The Meux Home Museum – Fresno, California - Atlas Obscura

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The Meux Home Museum

Fresno, California

The same family lived in this Victorian house for nearly 100 years without altering the building. 

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Tucked in a busy corner of Fresno’s downtown district, the Meux Home is a towering, two-story Victorian home that now acts as a historic museum, thanks to the daughter of the original owner maintaining the property as it stood in the late 1800s.

Dr. Thomas Richard Meux was born in Wesley, Tennessee, to Anne Meux and John Oliver Meux. He later graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Medical School in 1860, and promptly enlisted with the Confederacy during the American Civil War as an assistant surgeon. He served at the battles of Shiloh, Murfreesboro, and Atlanta, and by 1865 had advanced in rank from private to captain. Meux then withdrew from the service and eventually went on to marry Mary Ester Davis in 1874.

Mary Meux grew sick, and upon the advice of his brother, Meux moved his family to California, registering himself, his wife, and their three children at the Southern Pacific Hotel in December of 1887. The following year, the Meux family purchased the R Street property and by 1888, the family had moved into the blue-grey and white home. 

Meux established his medical practice in Fresno in 1889, and from then on, the Meux family was highly involved in local life. Meux was a staunch Democrat and was active in the local Democratic Club. The family were devout Methodist Episcopals and were very active in their church. The family members also owned vineyards and were interested in local agriculture.

The Meux family lived in the home for a total of 81 years. The second-to-last Meux inhabitant, daughter Anne Prenette, was an active and lively woman, as well as very well-educated. Thanks to her, the home was maintained exactly how it had been when she was a young girl and remains exactly as it was to this day. 

The museum displays include classic architecture, interior design, wallpaper, furniture, clothing, toys, kitchen, and dining ware. A docent in period-appropriate costume guides groups for one-hour tours through the house. Seasonally, various events are available, such as the Mother’s Day Tea in May, and the Christmas Luncheon in December, featuring Victorian Christmas decorations and tree decor. Check the museum’s website for dates and times.

Know Before You Go

The Meux Home is located on the corner of Tulare and R Streets in Downtown Fresno. From Highway 41 South, take the Tulare Avenue exit and head southwest on Tulare Avenue West. The museum will be approximately one block up, on the right. Free parking for visitors can be found just north of the museum. The museum is open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Hours of operation are from 12pm to 3pm. Groups and school groups can be accommodated by appointment. Weddings and other large events can also be held at the museum. The museum's first floor is completely accessible to visitors with disabilities, as per the Americans with Disabilities Act standards. Unfortunately due to the historic architecture and design of the museum, the second floor is inaccessible to wheelchairs. If proof can be furnished, members of the American Association of Museums will have their admittance fee waved (normally $5 for adults).

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May 2, 2023

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