Bolt's Antique Tool Museum

If you are visiting Oroville, California, one of the mandatory sights on your visit list should be Bolt’s Antique Tool Museum. This facility offers a collection of hand tools, which are among the most important items ever invented. When you think about it, it is these tools that led to the creation of many other items, including the tech perks you are using to read this article.


It sounds unbelievable, but this is the only museum of this type in the world. That makes it a unique asset for the entire world and one of the main reasons why you may visit the community.


Where Did the Idea Come From?

The name you are looking for is Bud Bolt, an enthusiast for old tools and a former salesman. He was an expert in selling Snap-on tools and, over six decades ago, he came up with a strategy. The idea was to find old tools and compare them with the Snap-on he was selling to demonstrate how they can do a better job. At that point, his fascination with handmade tools started. It didn’t take him long to collect the first 1,000 pieces and he thought he will stop there. Fortunately, he didn’t, and this Nebraska-born man continued gathering tools from numerous trades.


When Was the Museum Opened?

Bolt opened the museum in May 2006 and, according to the archive, he exhibited more than 8,000 tools in an artful and informative way. The collection grew even more over time and it is believed that there are more than 12,000 tools available now. They are spread across several different categories, such as farm and railroad tools, blacksmithing, wrenches, sockets, and unusual instruments.


There isn’t a single section that Bud neglected presenting in his museum. You can find brands? board, household, car, and truck tools, as well as wrenches coming from all parts of the world. One of the most interesting setups is the restoration of a Ford Gas Pump from 1927 with gas cans, grease guns, funnels, and other equipment pieces. Some tools are more than 130 years old, but if you ask Bud what the most important piece ever made is, he would say monkey wrench. If you are visiting the museum, make sure to find that tool and check it out!


When Can You Visit the Museum?

The facility is open seven days a week and the admission is set at only $3 per adult, while children under 12 can enter for free. In case you organize a large group, you will get a discount. Tours are possible if you call the museum in advance, but you can also enjoy touring the facility by yourself. If you have any questions, Bud and the docents are there to answer them.


How to Help If You Are a Local?

Gecko Pest Control is joining the efforts to spread the word about the museum. We use modern equipment in our pest management, but we are aware that pest fighters in the past used tools that you can find in Bud’s facility. If you are a local or appreciate what you saw in the museum, you can donate to help the institution to become self-sufficient.


See directions here:

Bolt’s Antique Tool Museum

1650 Broderick St, Oroville, CA 95965, USA


Get on CA-70 N/State Hwy 70 N from Montgomery St

4 min (1.0 mi)


Follow CA-70 N/State Hwy 70 N, CA-149 N and CA-99 N to E 1st Ave in Chico. Take exit 386 from CA-99 N

20 min (21.8 mi)


Continue on E 1st Ave. Drive to Wayne Ln

3 min (1.1 mi)


Gecko Pest Control Chico

185 East Ave, Chico, CA 95926, USA