Two people walk down the steps from a wagon shaped musuem.
05/29/2024 | Arts & Heritage, Featured on Homepage, Heritage

Interactive Family Fun At Mt. Hood Territory Museums

Nestled against the majestic backdrop of Mt. Hood, Oregon's Mt. Hood Territory is a haven for outdoor adventures. But beyond the slopes and trails lies a rich history waiting to be discovered within one-of-a-kind museums. From delving into the mysteries of the elusive Bigfoot to reliving the challenges of traveling the Oregon Trail, visitors are offered a glimpse into this region's past and present. Here are just a few of the interactive museums you’ll find.

North American Bigfoot Center

In the town of Boring, which is anything BUT Boring, the North American Bigfoot Center is a must-visit for anyone intrigued by the legendary Sasquatch. This museum houses an extensive collection of Bigfoot-related artifacts, including casts of footprints, eyewitness accounts and even thermal images. Interactive exhibits allow visitors to delve into the science and folklore surrounding this enigmatic creature, leaving them to ponder the question: fact or fiction?

Mt. Hood Cultural Center & Museum

Located in the heart of Government Camp, the Mt. Hood Cultural Center & Museum chronicles the region's fascinating history. Immerse yourself in the lives of early Oregon Trail pioneers, explore the development of the iconic Timberline Lodge, discover how alpine skiing impacted the area and learn about the cultural significance of Mt. Hood for Native American tribes. Interactive displays and engaging exhibits bring the area's past to life, offering a deeper appreciation of life on Mt. Hood.

Fun Fact: The museum is located alongside the historic ruts made by the early Oregon Trail pioneers as they traveled along the Barlow Road. Make sure to visit the replica West Barlow Tollgate, between mileposts 50 and 51, on Hwy 26. 

End of the Oregon Trail Visitor & Interpretive Information Center

Step back in time at the End of the Oregon Trail Visitor & Interpretive Information Center in Oregon City. This museum recreates the hardships and triumphs of the pioneers who completed their arduous journey along the Oregon Trail. Enjoy fun and interactive family activities like candle dipping, butter making and packing a wagon. A film showing in their theater titled “Oregon’s First People” was created in partnership with the Grand Ronde Tribe to shed light on the indigenous peoples that lived in the area centuries prior.

Museum of the Oregon Territory

Overlooking the awe-inspiring Willamette Falls, the Museum of the Oregon Territory offers a comprehensive story about the region's history and culture. Learn about the lives of Native American inhabitants, witness the transformative impact Willamette Falls had on industry and discover the stories of the pioneers who settled the land. One of the favorite features of the museum is the Kaegi Pharmacy which features an antique collection of what a true pharmacy would have looked like in the days of Herbert Hoover.

As a bonus your ticket also gets you into the Stevens-Crawford Heritage House in Oregon City. Built in 1908 by prominent real estate developers Harley Stevens and his wife Mary Elizabeth, this American Foursquare home exemplifies the enduring style of craftsman architecture.

Philip Foster Farm

Take a step back in time at the home of Philip Foster, one of Oregon's earliest pioneers. Look, listen and feel the pioneer experience as you walk through the beautiful gardens and smell the fragrance of the oldest lilac in Oregon. Visit the 1883 farm house, 1860 hay barn and authentic building replicas, such as the store Oregon Trail pioneers used. You can even schedule a guided tour with costumed volunteers or try your hand at pioneer chores. 

Fun Fact: Visit in September for the annual autumn Cider Squeeze, you can press fresh apples into apple cider.

These museums are just a taste of the incredible history of Mt. Hood Territory. Each offers a different window into the region's past, providing a deeper understanding of the land, its people and the enduring spirit that continues to define this captivating area of Oregon.

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