Museum of the Oregon Territory
Heading north on Route 99E from Willamette Falls, look for the Tumwater turnoff on the east side of the highway for the Museum of the Oregon Territory (211 Tumwater Dr., 503/655-5574, 11 a.m.–4 p.m. Tues.–Sat., $9 adults, $7 seniors, $5 children). From the elevated perspective of the museum parking lot you’ll have a great bird’s-eye view of Willamette Falls.
Prior to perusing the diaries, artifacts, and historic photos on the second floor, you’ll encounter a timeline that correlates world events over thousands of years to the geologic, political, and social growth of Oregon. This imparts a larger perspective to what you’ll see in the exhibit hall. Signposts for your journey through the ages include Native American baskets and arrowheads, a horse-drawn carriage, and the world’s first kidney dialysis machine (invented locally).
The county collection serves as a valuable complement to the End of the Trail Interpretive Center and historic homes just north of here, and one admission fee gets you into most of these places.
by Judy Jewell and W. C. McRae from Moon Oregon, 8th Edition, © Elizabeth & Mark Morris and Avalon Travel