The gallery is operated by the San Joaquin County Historical Society. David Stuart with the society points out that, before Europeans arrived, this region was central to the Miwok and Yokuts-speaking natives.
"This is always a fact that amazes people," says Stuart, that the population density was greater in what is now San Joaquin County than anywhere in North America, the whole continent."
The society used a $500,000 state grant to double the size of the gallery, add more artifacts and install new exhibits; including a round, wooden bench where visitors learn about native history and traditions.
"And there the feature is what we call a sonic circle,' says Stuart. "It's a circular bench that has audio messages."
One of those messages is about the Indian freedom fighters led by Estanislao - for whom the Stanislaus River and Stanislaus County were named.