Local Museum Offers Scholarship to Seniors


Oliver Galvan Mauricio

Milliken Museum, located within the Los Banos Co Park

Oliver Galvan Mauricio, Staff Reporter

In town, there resides on East Pacheco Boulevard, by the Loftin Stadium and the Public Library, the Milliken Museum. The museum, as in the name it self, stores the antique history of Los Banos throughout the years.

Origins and the Founder

Ralph Leory Milliken was born on October 25, 1880 in Michigan.  He came to Los Banos in 1910 after graduating from Stanford University.  One of his first jobs was as a bookkeeper for the Miller & Lux Company.  Ralph began collecting Westside history while serving as the first rural mail carrier.  He met Lucybeth, who was a teacher in Los Banos, and married her in 1929.  Together they were long-time companions in marriage and supported each other throughout their lives. 

Ralph had a passion for history, particularly local history. This led to him opening the Los Banos Historical Museum in 1954, where Milliken included documents, artifacts, and oral histories collected by him throughout the years. The Museum was rededicated as the Ralph L. Milliken Museum in 1968 to honor and recognize Milliken’s pioneering efforts.  He served as the museum’s curator until his death in 1970.  The Museum is still in operation and is a nonprofit and volunteer run based operation.  Ralph also wrote a book titled, California Dons: Recollections of Life in a Mission Town Over A Century Ago in 1967.  This book provides historical accounts of early California life.

Ralph Leroy Milliken, Founder of the Milliken Museum
Lucy Beth Milliken, Wife of Mr. Milliken
Mr. Milliken at the museum, 1960

What does the museum contain ? 

The Museum contains the history of Los Banos while it developed over time. It displays artifacts of more than half a century ago. The museum includes the information on the original species who roamed the lands, Native Americans who resided prior to settlers and the development of the town towards the modern era. Included in the museum is Henry Miller, the cattleman who is responsible for a handful of land development in Los Banos, as well as the effects of the infamous 1906 San Francisco Earthquake on Los Banos.

Visiting Milliken Museum

The Museum, located at 905 E Pacheco Boulevard is still in operation and is a nonprofit and volunteer run based operation. There is no entrance fee.  The museum does accept donations, or patrons can buy a history book available for sale. It is open Tuesday to Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Ralph and Lucybeth Milliken Memorial Scholarship

In 1970, Roy Lower, attorney of the Millikens and the trustee of their estate was to proportionate income to the Los Banos School District, creating the Ralph and Lucybeth Milliken Memorial Scholarship for graduating seniors.  This scholarship continues to honor two individuals who appreciate historical legacy and events in our area.

Should the opportunity present itself, stop by and pay a visit to the Milliken Museum.