The Buildings

aButts family cabin in the 1950s

The museum is housed in a historic summer cabin built in the rustic Arts & Craft style typical of the prewar building boom that created Idyllwild as a settled community. It is the only intact example of an early Idyllwild vacation cabin accessible to the public.

The original two-room structure (a living room and kitchen with a minimal bathroom) was built in 1930. Two years later, Charles and Augusta Butts bought and expanded it, adding space to house bedrooms for themselves, two children and a maid, as well as a larger kitchen. Three generations of the Butts family used the cabin for 60 years and preserved its original condition remarkably well.

 

aMuseum and archive building today

In the 1990s it became a rental property, successively housing domestic residents, a film institute and a real estate office. Interior partitions were removed along the way, but the kitchen remains intact and now serves as the museum’s retail shop. Several original interior features — a river rock fireplace, walls, windows, flooring and a handmade dining table — remain intact.

The old garage behind the museum now houses our administrative office. A new building behind the museum houses the Frank and Mabel Moote Archive and Research Center.