Telephone History Museum Destroyed in Recent California Wildfire

The JKL Museum of Telephony, dedicated to preserving the history of phones, was destroyed last week as one of the worst wildfires of the summer raged across the central valley of California.

Located in the town of San Andreas, which was hit hard by Butte fire, the John K. La Rue museum contained thousands of telephones, telephone switching boards and other antique equipment, dated from the late 1800s to the present. The devastation was pretty much total. Here are some photos, courtesy of the JKL Museum:


In a blog post earlier this week, the museum announced its intentions to rebuild, but acknowledged that this would take a lot of careful planning and time. A the moment, the site of the former museum is still smoking as fire crews continue to put out hotspots.

On Thursday, the museum put out a call for quality donations to help replace items that were lost. If you’ve had an antique rotary phone collecting dust in your basement for the last decade, now’s the perfect opportunity to give that phone new purpose. Contact the museum using this form or at if you’d like to make a donation.


All week at Gizmodo, we’ve been talking about survival. As I’ve learned speaking with experts on all sorts of catastrophes, an important aspect of survival is having the capacity to rebuild.

[The Verge]

Follow the author @themadstone

Top image: JKL Museum


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