About Museums, Interpretive Centers, and History Resources

Information about museums and interpretive centers, historical societies, architectural history, genealogical societies, Hanford history including the B Reactor, historical photo and video collections, and Native American history is provided for Tri-Cities Washington and other nearby communities in Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon (see List of Cities & Counties and Area Maps).

There are a lot of museums and interpretive centers in this region that you can drive to within one hour or so from the Tri-Cities. Plan a day trip and enjoy! Check out the following topics:

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Architectural History - Richland, Downtown Kennewick, Dayton & Walla Walla

Architectural History of Richland

During the 1940's, the US Government hired Albin Pherson, an architect from Spokane, to plan the entire community of Richland. Construction of the streets began on March 20, 1943 with the first house being completed (a B-house) on April 28, 1943. The houses built were assigned a letter.

Alphabet Homes - Video

Richland Alphabet Homes Videos

The City of Richland has published video about Richland's alphabet homes. The alphabet homes have a history just as unique to Richland as the Hanford site. This video provides recollections from residents about the challenges of living in the WWII government owned town of Richland: Alphabet Homes - part 1, Alphabet Homes - part 2 and Alphabet Homes - part 3.

In addition, a Richland resident is doing her part to make sure the Richland alphabet homes legacy is not only remembered, it's preserved as shown in this Alphabet homes online group video.

The Houses that Hanford Built

For information about the alphabet houses, check out The Houses that Hanford Built. Information on street names in 1945 and general building floor plans are also provided.

East Benton County Historical Society

Richland, Kennewick, Finley, and the ghost towns of Hover, Hanford, and White Bluffs

The East Benton County Historical Society has a brief history with photos of some of the early homes and buildings for Richland, Kennewick, Finley, and the ghost towns of Hover, Hanford, and White Bluffs. Follow us on Facebook

Registry of Historic Places - Dayton

The Dayton Historic Preservation Commission was established in 1992 to ensure that the historic and cultural resources within the City of Dayton are preserved for future generations and has compiled a local registory of historical places (PDF). Also, each year in October, visitors can view several of Dayton's beautiful historic homes.

Walla Walla 2020

Walla Walla 2020 is a civic group whose purposes are to envision, plan for, and undertake projects to help realize a livable community in the Walla Walla area now and for the future. They have published information about some of the historical sites in Walla Walla.


Children's Museums

Collage of children's museum images

There are several children's museums in this region that serve as an educational resource with activities geared for children ages 10 and under. Some even host birthday parties!

Hands In for Hands On Tri-Cities

The Tri-Cities Children's Museum closed several years ago. Lara Seabaugh Hastings, the organizer behind Hands In for Hands On Tri-Cities, has the ultimate goal to establish and provide continued support for a children's museum in the Tri-Cities that stimulates curiosity, creativity and learning through fun, interactive exhibits and programs for children, families and school groups. All fundraising activities undertaken by HiHo go toward the exhibits and activities HiHo is able to offer.

If you are interested in being a sponsor or want to volunteer your time then join the Hands In for Hands On Tri-Cities. Follow us on Facebook


Genealogical Societies & Family History Centers

Richland Family History Center

Genealogical Societies

There are several genealogical societies in Tri-Cities, Yakima, Walla Walla & Pendleton that are dedicated to preserving the past for future generations.

Tri-Cities

The Tri-City Genealogical Society was founded in 1961 as a non-profit organization whose purpose is to educate members and the public on the purposes and methods of genealogical research, and to research, record, and report materials of genealogical value for the people of, and those researching in and around, the Lower Columbia Basin region of eastern Washington state. Follow us on Facebook

Pendleton

The Blue Mountain Genealogy Society is dedicated to preserving the past for future generations.

Genealogical Societies - continued

Walla Walla

The Walla Walla County GenWeb Project is maintained by Rella Gleaton.

Yakima

The Yakima Valley Genealogical Society is dedicated to helping genealogists and family historians research their roots. We have members who can help you get started on this wonderful journey of discovery that we call genealogy.

Family History Centers

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Since 1894, FamilySearch has worked with archives, libraries, and churches in over 100 countries to facilitate economical access to records that help people find their ancestors. These records and services are available online at FamilySearch.org, or through over 4,600 family history centers in more than 130 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Family history centers and FamilySearch Affiliates (such as libraries and historical societies) are free and open to the public and staffed by knowledgeable volunteers. Each facility offers both novices and experienced family historians the tools and resources to learn about their ancestors.

Family history centers in the Tri-Cities region are located in Richland, Kennewick, Pasco, Dayton, Walla Walla, Pendleton, Hermiston, Prosser, Sunnyside, and Yakima.


Hanford History - Videos, Books, etc.

Resources related to the history of Hanford, including the B Reactor, are provided in this section. Most of these resources are videos.

Arid Lands (film) - Environmental and Cultural History of the Mid-Columbia Basin

Arid Lands film

An award winning film, Arid Lands, focuses on the environmental and cultural history of the Mid-Columbia Basin. The film tells the story of the changes that have shaped this landscape, from Hanford nuclear production and federal irrigation projects, to more recent forces, such as environmental cleanup, housing development, and tourism. For more information, see www.sidelongfilms.com.

Atomic Fortress: B-Reactor and its Legacy - Video

Atomic Fortress: B-Reactor and its Legacy Videos

Atomic Fortress: B-Reactor and its Legacy... is a historical look at how Hanford's B-Reactor changed the history of Richland and the world. Recollections from retired Hanford workers and historians provide "hands-on" description of life at the world's first nuclear reactor in this video published by the City of Richland: Atomic Fortress - part 1, Atomic Fortress - part 2 and Atomic Fortress - part 3.

B Reactor Museum Association

B Reactor

The B Reactor Museum Association is an all-volunteer association of individuals and groups working to preserve the historic B Reactor on the Hanford Nuclear Site as a public museum.

Camp Hanford - Video

Camp Hanford Videos

The City of Richland has published a video about Camp Hanford that provides a historical look at the 1943 Hanford and 1948 North Richland trailer camps, which housed the workers of the secret WWII Manhattan Project: Camp Hanford - part 1, Camp Hanford - part 2 and Camp Hanford - part 3.

East Benton County Historical Society and Museum

The East Benton County Historical Society and Museum has an architectural history section with photographs that covers Richland, Kennewick, Finley, and the ghost towns of Hover, Hanford, and White Bluffs. Follow us on Facebook

Hanford Bus Tour - B Reactor - Video

B Reactor Bus Tour Videos

Charter Communication's has published a video that gives you a peek at what you'll see on the Hanford Bus Tour of the B Reactor: Hanford Bus Tour of the B Reactor - part 1, Hanford Bus Tour of the B Reactor - part 2 and Hanford Bus Tour of the B Reactor - part 3.

Hanford: War Construction in the Desert - Video

Hanford: War Construction in the Desert Videos

The WSU Libraries published a video about the development of the Hanford Site in Washington state, which appears to have been produced by the U.S. government at or near the end of World War II: Hanford: War Construction in the Desert - part 1, Hanford: War Construction in the Desert - part 2 and Hanford: War Construction in the Desert - part 3.

Lasting Legacy: Hanford's Historic B Reactor - Video

Lasting Legacy: Hanford's Historic B Reactor

In 2009, Hanford Communities produced the television program Lasting Legacy: Hanford's Historic B Reactor which is about the history of Hanford's B Reactor, the world's first full scale nuclear reactor. Included at the end of the program is film footage of the ceremony when the Deputy Directors of the Department of Interior and the Department of Energy visited B Reactor and presented a plaque designating the facility as a National Historic Monument.

Made in Hanford: The Bomb that Changed the World - Book

Made in Hanford book

Through clear scientific explanations and personal reminiscences, Hill Willams, the author of Made in Hanford: The Bomb that Changed the World, traces the amazing but also tragic story of the plutonium bomb - from the dawn of nuclear science through World War II and Cold War testing in the Marshall Islands.

Manhattan Project at Hanford Site - Book

Manhattan Project at Hanford Site book

The Manhattan Project at Hanford Site, by Elizabeth Toomey, describes the top-secret effort undertaken during World War II to develop a weapon never imagined at "Site W" or “Hanford Engineer Works,” one of three sites selected in the United States (plus Los Alamos and Oak Ridge) to research and produce weapons that were ultimately used to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki and end World War II.

Many of the WWII Hanford photos in the book were shot by Robley Johnson, who arrived at Hanford in 1943 to supervise contractor DuPont's photography crew.

Oregon Experience - Hanford - Documentary

Oregone Experience - Hanford

In 1943, as World War II raged in Europe and the Pacific, thousands of men and women from across the United States began arriving in a remote part of south-central Washington state. They knew very little about why the U.S. government had hired them — only that it was an important project to support the war effort. It was a project that would change the world forever.

The history of Hanford is traced in a one-hour long documentary produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting for the Oregon Experience.

Our Hanford History - A Community Project

Our Hanford History

The Hanford History Partnership is seeking to capture and share stories of our Pre-Manhattan Project past by working on a community project called Our Hanford History. They are preparing a list of the pre-1943 residents of Hanford, Richland and White Bluffs. Is your family on the list? Call and chat 509-943-9000 to see if they can locate your family home. Follow us on Facebook

Ranger in Your Pocket (a virtual tour guide)

Ranger in your Pocket

The Atomic Heritage Foundation has created a powerful new interpretive tool called Ranger in Your Pocket. Tourists around the world can now take a virtual tour of the historic B Reactor and learn about life at the Hanford site. The website features dozens of first-hand accounts of working on the top-secret Manhattan Project from solving the mysterious “poisoning” of the B Reactor to enduring the “termination winds.”

Safe as Mother's Milk: The Hanford Project

Safe as Mother's Milk

Safe As Mother's Milk is a multimedia project created by Kim Stringfellow which examines the history of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. The project uses declassified documents, news reels, and historical photography to create an unofficial multimedia documentary of the Hanford site. It illustrates the ways in which the Internet can be used to disseminate unofficial histories through multimedia technologies.

Secret Mission: HANFORD - Video

Secret Mission: HANFORD

KSPS Public Television produced the documentary Secret Mission: HANFORD. At a time when the future of the free world was at stake, the unsuspecting farming town of Hanford, Washington became the site of an urgent WWII mission. It was key to the Manhattan Project...code name for America's top-secret atomic weapons program. This is the story of the men and women whose unpredictable destiny marked the beginning of the atomic age.

T Plant - Video

T Plant Tour Video

Arguably the second most historic building at Hanford is the T Plant. This facility is historic in that it’s the oldest remaining nuclear facility in the country that is still operating with a current mission. However, it is also historic as it’s the “canyon” where the plutonium used in both the world’s first atomic explosion (the Trinity Test) and in the Fat Man bomb dropped over Nagasaki, Japan, in World War II was processed.

You can watch a video of a public tour of the T Plant that was produced in October 2013.

Termination Winds - Video

Termination Winds Videos

Termination Winds is a video published by the City of Richland that provides a historical look at the developement of the Hanford Engineering Works Project. The top secret WWII project that changed the face of Richland and the world forever: Termination Winds - part 1, Termination Winds - part 2 and Termination Winds - part 3.

The Area: A Journey through the Hanford Nuclear Reservation - Video

The Area: A Journey through the Hanford Nuclear Reservation

A recent graduate from Utah State University (2011) Cameron Salony accepts a job with the Department of Energy at Hanford and soon finds that his new workplace is a former site of plutonium production during WWII and the Cold War, but today is part of the world's largest environmental cleanup. View The Area: A Journey through the Hanford Nuclear Reservation as Cameron explores the history and issues of Hanford as he interviews local tribal members, a citizen advisory board member, former and current workers, Hanford management, regulators and more.

The Hanford Story - Video

Hanford Story Overview Video

View video chapters of The Hanford Story, a multimedia presentation that provides an overview of the Hanford Site - its history, today's cleanup activities, and a glimpse into the possibilities of future uses of the 586-square-mile government site in southeast Washington State.

Voices of the Manhattan Project - Oral History

Voices of the Manhattan Project

Voices of the Manhattan Project is a joint project by the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society to create a public archive of our oral history collections of Manhattan Project veterans and their families.

The online collection features over 200 audio/visual interviews with Manhattan Project workers and their families, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, General Leslie R. Groves, Glenn Seaborg, Hans and Rose Bethe, George Kistiakowsky, and many more. You can search for B Reactor and find several interviews.

Welcome to the B Reactor - Video

B Reactor Video

You can watch Welcome to the B Reactor which is an eight minute video about the history of the B Reactor that was produced by the The Atomic Heritage Foundation.


Historic Photos of Tri-Cities, Walla Walla & Yakima

The Manhattan Project at Hanford Site

This section lists resources related to historical photo collections for Richland, Kennewick, Pasco, Walla Walla, Yakima and the early days before and during the Hanford Manhattan Project.

Arcadia Publishing

Arcadia Publishing is best known for its iconic Images of America series, which chronicles the history of small towns and downtowns across the country. Captured in unique pictorial format, small slices of hometown history detail the often forgotten aspects of American life. With more than two hundred vintage images, each title celebrates a town or region, bringing to life the people, places, and events that define the community.

The following books have been published by local authors and retail for under $25:

You can purchase the "Manhattan Project at Hanford Site" at the The REACH Museum (REACH). Part of the profits from the copies sold at the REACH will be used to benefit its programs. Purchasing the book at the REACH will have a second benefit. The center has created a map with WWII sites and exhibits across Washington state, which will be included with the copies it sells.

Tri-Cities

East Benton County Historical Society

The East Benton County Historical Society has photos of some of the early homes and buildings for Richland, Kennewick, Finley, and the ghost towns of Hover, Hanford, and White Bluffs. Follow us on Facebook

Tri-City Herald - Historic Photo Galleries

The Tri-City Herald maintains over two dozen historical photo galleries of Richland, Pasco, Kennewick and the early days of Hanford.

Vintage Tri-Cities

Vintage Tri-Cities features a collection of vintage photographs from in and around the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco) and surrounding communities. Follow us on Facebook

White Bluffs Settlers - Historic Photo Collection

The Department of Energy maintains a historic photo collection that depicts the early White Bluffs area settlers prior to the establishment of The Hanford Project in 1943.

Walla Walla

Bygone Walla Walla

Bygone Walla Walla is a collection of Walla Walla vintage images of city and county by Joe Drazan.

Yakima Memory - Searchable Images

Yakima Memory features searchable images from the collections at the Yakima Valley Regional Library and the Yakima Valley Museum.

Washington Rural Heritage

Washington Rural Heritage brings together local history resources from 94 heritage organizations and 282 private collections throughout Washington State. These collections include historical photos, letters, and scrapbooks for:


Kennewick Man - Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture

Kennewick Man Skull

On, Sunday afternoon, July 28, 1996 two young men were wading along the banks of the Columbia River at the upper edge of Columbia Park, in Kennewick Washington, when one of them stepped on a skull... and Kennewick Man was discovered.

The Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture (University of Washington) has information about the Kennewick Man that is believed to have lived 9,200 years ago in this region.

The Burke Museum provided secure and respectful curation of The Ancient One from 1998–2017, under contract to the US Army Corps of Engineers, the government agency that controlled the remains until they were repatriated.

On Friday, February 17, 2017, the remains of The Ancient One, otherwise known as Kennewick Man, were returned to the tribes who claim him as their ancestor.


Manhattan Project National Historical Park & B Reactor Tours

Hanford B Reactor

Manhattan Project National Historical Park

The Manhattan Project National Historical Park was created in November 2015 and includes historic sites at Hanford, as well as Manhattan Project-related sites at Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The funding and approval of the park was established by Congress late in 2014. It is the first National Historical Park of its kind, combining multiple locations as one Manhattan Project National Park.

At Hanford the park includes:

  • the B Reactor National Historic Landmark, which produced the material for the Trinity test and plutonium bomb
  • the Hanford High School in the Town of Hanford and Hanford Construction Camp Historic District
  • Bruggemann's Agricultural Warehouse Complex
  • White Bluffs Bank and Hanford Irrigation District Pump House, which together provide a glimpse into the history of the Hanford area before the arrival of the Manhattan Project

The T Plant, a chemical separations canyon, will not be in the Park initially, but visitors will learn about its vital role at other locations in the park.

Pre-Manhattan Historical Hanford Site Tours

Pre-Manhattan Historical Hanford Site Tours are available that offer visitors a chance to see the town sites and structures that existed before the Manhattan Project was formed in 1942.

B Reactor Tours

The Hanford B-Reactor National Historic Landmark Tours are offered regularly, from April through September. The free, guided tours last approximately 4 hours, including travel to and from the B Reactor and the departure location at 2000 Logston Blvd. in Richland.

Additional information about the B Reactor tours:

Manhattan Project Hanford B Reactor Tour Photos

B Reactor Tour Photos

Thomas Schrantz from Bothell Washington went on the Hanford B Reactor Tour in May 2012. You can view over 100 photos he published on his Manhattan Project Hanford B Reactor Tour photostream.


MCBONES - Coyote Canyon Mammoth Site

Mid-Columbia Basin Old Natural Education Sciences (MCBONES) Research Center Foundation

The Coyote Canyon Mammoth Site is the keystone site of the MCBONES Research Center Foundation. Large bones were discovered here during quarrying operations in 2000. When it was recognized that the bones were from a mammoth, excavation was halted. In 2008 the site was purchased by a local farming family who wished to see the site preserved and developed into a research center for K-12 teachers, students, and community volunteers from the Tri-Cities Washington region. Follow us on Facebook


Museums, Interpretive Centers and Historical Societies - Southeast Washington

Photo collage of historical places

This section lists museums and intrepretive centers, heritage centers, and historical societies in Tri-Cities, Connell, Dayton, Grandview, Moses Lake, Othello, Palouse, Pataha, Pomeroy, Prosser, Sunnyside, Toppenish, Union Gap, Vantage, Waitsburg, Walla Walla and Yakima.

Tri-Cities

B Reactor Museum Association - Richland

The B Reactor Museum Association is an all-volunteer association of individuals and groups working to preserve the historic B Reactor on the Hanford Nuclear Site as a public museum. The B Reactor is part of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

East Benton County Historical Society and Museum - Kennewick

The East Benton County Historical Society and Museum is dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the rich history in this area. Their architectural history section includes photographs and covers Richland, Kennewick, Finley, and the ghost towns of Hover, Hanford, and White Bluffs. Follow us on Facebook

Franklin County Historical Society and Museum - Pasco

The Franklin County Historical Society and Museum captures the history of Franklin County. The museum, originally constructed in 1910 as part of Andrew Carnegie's worldwide library construction program, is operated by volunteers of the Franklin County Historical Society. Follow us on Facebook

Gesa Carousel of Dreams - Kennewick

The Gesa Carousel of Dreams is a world class piece of art that features beautiful turn of the century antique carousel horses that is located in the Southridge Sports and Events Complex in Kennewick.

In 2003, a local group of businessmen founded the "Three Rivers Carousel" Foundation and purchased the vintage 1910 Charles Carmel Carousel from Marianne Stevens of Roswell, New Mexico. Follow us on Facebook

LIGO Hanford Observatory - Richland

The LIGO Hanford Observatory has detected gravitational waves -- ripples in the fabric of spacetime and public tours are available on the second saturday of the month. Follow us on Facebook

Natural History Museum - Washington State University Tri-Cities

The Natural History Museum at the Washington State University Tri-Cities campus features the Gladys Archerd Shell Collection, Richard E. Fitzner Natural History Collection, and collections of marine fossils, petrified wood, pressed plants, rocks and minerals.

Pacific Northwest Aviation Museum

The Save the old NAS Pasco Control Tower group is working to restore the original and historic Naval Air Station Control Tower / Hangar #2 located at the Tri-Cities Airport. The Naval Air Station was built in 1942 to train pilots. At its peak, it was the third-busiest naval training base in the country. The base was a self-contained community of thousands and all the services and recreational outlets to serve it.

Sacajawea State Park and Interpretive Center - Pasco

The Sacajawea State Park and Interpretive Center tells the remarkable story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The exhibits highlight their activities at this site and the role of their interpreter, Sacagawea.

The REACH Museum - Richland

The The REACH Museum (REACH) was developed to celebrate and learn about the natural and cultural history of the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River and greater Columbia Basin. The REACH is a hybrid institution-part interpretive center, part museum, and part visitor center. Follow us on Facebook

Washington State Railroads Historical Society - Pasco

The Washington State Railroads Historical Society is dedicated to preserving the history of railroads and railroading in the State of Washington. The Society operates a museum that is open to the public from May to December on Saturdays.

Note: As of May 2013, this museum is closed while the society locates a new home for their museum.

White Bluffs Quilt Museum - Richland

The White Bluffs Quilt Museum is both a museum and a support organization for all the quilting, weaving, spinning and basketry guilds and groups located in Eastern Washington State. Visitors are always welcome. Follow us on Facebook

Connell - Connell Heritage Museum

The Connell Heritage Museum, located in the Old Town Park, is replete with historical artifacts and information. Current museum hours are Saturdays 1-4 p.m.

Dayton

Boldman House Museum and Garden

The Boldman House Museum and Garden has a mission: to bring life to the family home of Miss Gladys M. Boldman through restoration, conservation, interpretation, and education.

Dayton Train Depot

The Dayton Train Depot is the oldest surviving train depot in the state. It was originally built in 1881 and is now a museum. Follow us on Facebook

Palus Artifact Museum

The Palus Artifact Museum, located at 426 E Main Street, offers a collection of locally found artifacts from the Palouse Indian tribe.

Grandview - Ray E Powell Museum

The Ray E Powell Museum offers an abundance of history display items. All types of cultural enrichment opportunities are on hand for your enjoyment. This museum is open by appointment only.

Mattawa - Wanapum Heritage Center

The Wanapum Heritage Center presents, maintains, and continues Wanapum history and way of life. A new 50,000 square-foot center opened in October 2015. Located next to Priest Rapids Dam off Highway 243 about five miles south of Mattawa, projects implemented at this new building will perpetuate the importance of the culture, traditions and beliefs of the Wanapum for years to come.

Moses Lake - Museum and Art Center

The Museum and Art Center in Moses Lake offers both history and visual arts and features an extensive collection of historical artifacts including the prestigious "Adam East Collection". Follow us on Facebook

Palouse - The Roy M. Chatters Newspaper and Printing Museum

The The Roy M. Chatters Newspaper and Printing Museum was established to preserve the older equipment and methods of printing called "letter-press printing."

Pomeroy

Eastern Washington Agricultural Museum

Folks can step back in time and take a look at the equipment used for farming tasks at the Eastern Washington Agricultural Museum at the Garfield County Fairgrounds. The museum, which is open by appointment only, houses all sorts of antiques, from branding irons to horse- drawn buggies used in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Lost Highway Museum

The Lost Highway Museum is mostly comprised of signage, porcelain signs, neon signs, point of purchase signs and display advertising. The collection also includes early televisions, arcade games, kiddy rides, giant shoes and other unusual items. The museum is not open to the public as it is also our home, but much of the collection is viewable online.

Pataha Flour Mills

The Pataha Flour Mills was restored and opened to the public in 1998. The mill includes a gift shop, restaurant, and a historic camera collection. Follow us on Facebook Note: view the beautiful photographs of the Pataha Flour Mills that were taken by Charles Hallsted Photography.

Pomeroy Historic Preservation Committee

The Pomeroy Historic Preservation Committee is engaged in the preservation of the Pomeroy Downtown National Historic District. You can read the history of each building in this District, view old photos, and read a short history of Garfield County.

Prosser - Benton County Historical Museum

The Benton County Historical Museum, located at the Prosser City Park, features a variety of pioneering artifacts, Native American items, and more.

Sunnyside - Sunnyside Historical Museum

The Sunnyside Historical Museum features a collection of artifacts and documents, as well as several displays depicting home life in Sunnyside at the turn of the 20th century.

Toppenish

American Hop Museum

The American Hop Museum is the nation's only hop museum dedicated to the preservation of the historical equipment, photos, and artifacts that have long been important in the growing and harvesting of the obscure perennial vine, Humulus lupulus, that is vital to the brewing industry.

Northern Pacific Railway Museum

The Northern Pacific Railway Museum is located in a restored 1911 Northern Pacific Railway depot and provides an opportunity for visitors to view many aspects of early railroad transportation.

Yakama Nation Museum and Cultural Heritage Center

The Yakama Nation Museum and Cultural Heritage Center is home to one of the oldest Native American Museums in the United States. The 12,000 sqare foot exhibition hall is the result of years of effort on the part of the Yakama people.

Union Gap - Central Washington Agricultural Museum

The Central Washington Agricultural Museum has preserved the agricultural heritage of the Yakima Valley and Central Washington by restoring antique farm equipment and household items to educate the public about the processes and equipment used in early agriculture. Follow us on Facebook

Waitsburg - Bruce Memorial Museum

The Bruce House is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and maintained by the Waitsburg Historical Society as the Bruce Memorial Museum. Tours are available during the summer months by appointment.

Walla Walla

Fort Walla Walla Museum

The Fort Walla Walla Museum offers five large exhibit halls, a 17-building pioneer village, and more than 40 Living History performances each season. The Museum occupies 15 acres within Fort Walla Walla Park, part of the original 600-acre military reservation of Fort Walla Walla. Follow us on Facebook

Kirkman House Museum

The Kirkman House Museum enriches the Walla Walla residents with exhibits, events and programs that bring the valley's history to life. The Kirkman House has been on the National Historic Register since 1975. Follow us on Facebook

Whitman Mission National Historic Site

Whitman Mission National Historic Site commemorates Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, the role they played in establishing the Oregon Trail, and the challenges encountered when two cultures met.

White Swan - Fort Simcoe State Park Heritage Site

The Fort Simcoe State Park Heritage Site is a 200-acre, day-use heritage park in south central Washington on the Yakama Indian Nation Reservation. The park is primarily an interpretive effort, telling the story of mid-19th century army life and providing insights into the lifeways of local Native American culture.

Yakima

McAllister Museum of Aviation

The McAllister Museum of Aviation originally opened in 1926 as a flight school by brothers Charlie and Alister McAllister and was one of the longest running flight schools in the Northwest. After Charlie's death at age 95, the school was transformed into the museum it is today.

Yakima Valley Museum

The Yakima Valley Museum is a 65,000 sq.ft. facility that offers historical exhibits on the Yakima Valley - its natural history, Native American culture, pioneer life, early city life, and the roots and development of the Valley's fruit industry. Follow us on Facebook

Yakima Valley Trolleys

The Yakima Valley Trolleys (YVT) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because it is the last authentic, all-original, turn-of-the-century interurban electric railroad in the United States. You can take a ride during the months of May through September and learn more about the history of YVT. Follow us on Facebook


Museums, Interpretive Centers and Historical Societies - Northeast Oregon

Photo collage of historical places

This section lists museums and intrepretive centers, heritage centers, and historical societies in Boardman, Echo, Milton-Freewater, Pendleton and Umatilla.

Boardman - Sage Center

The SAGE Center is an interactive visitor center that highlights sustainable agriculture and energy. Developed by the Port of Morrow, the SAGE Center gives visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the technology that takes place locally within the Port of Morrow and region without having to visit each industry.

Echo - Chinese House Railroad Museum

The Chinese House Railroad Museum features Union Pacific and Oregon Railway and Navigation Company tools, photos and other items used in early Echo and Oregon railroad operations. The City of Echo also boasts ten buildings or sites that are on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, view the history of Echo and gallery of photos.

Milton-Freewater - Frazier-Farmstead Museum

The Frazier-Farmstead Museum is a six acre site listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Frazier home was built in 1892 and houses a fine collection of antique furnishings and other items of the 19th Century daily living. Most of the furnishings are the original items to the home. Follow us on Facebook

Pendleton

Heritage Station Museum

The Heritage Station Museum is a 1909 train depot that houses the Umatilla County Historical Society's exhibit galleries. On the grounds you will be able to ride the rails in the caboose, attend class in a 1879 one-room schoolhouse, and walk through an 1879 homestead. Follow us on Facebook

Pendleton (continued)

Pendleton Air Museum

The Pendleton Air Museum is about preserving the military history of the Pendleton Army Air Field.

Pendleton Round-Up & Happy Canyon Hall of Fame

The Pendleton Round-Up & Happy Canyon Hall of Fame showcases the history of the Pendleton Round-Up and the Happy Canyon Show. It includes facinating displays of Round-Up history, past Royalty, Presidents, Champions, and even rodeo stock.

Pendleton Underground Tour

The Pendleton Underground Tour provides a nostalgic tour of Pendleton's wilder side and a lively look at their infamous and entertaining past. Follow us on Facebook

Pendleton Woolen Mills

Pendleton Woolen Mills has been "weaving America's spirit since 1909." This company started out in the Indian trading blanket business and has since expanded their manufacturing process to include weaving fabrics for their exclusive Pendleton apparel. Read about the Pendleton Heritage and arrange to take a mill tour. Follow us on Facebook

Tamastslikt Cultural Institute

The Tamastslikt Cultural Institute opened in August 1998 and presents an entirely new perspective on history - that of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla Tribes. Follow us on Facebook

Umatilla Museum & Historical Foundation

The Umatilla Museum & Historical Foundation was formed with the purpose of preserving the history of Umatilla and the surrounding area. The foundation maintains the Umatilla Museum.


Native American History & Cultural Centers

Three elder women at Tamastslikt Cultural Institute

This section lists historical resources related to the Native Americans in this region that include the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the Wanapums, and the Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation.

Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation represents the Cayuse, Umatilla and Walla Walla people. In 1855 the three tribes signed a treaty with the US government, in which it ceded over 6.4 million acres to the United States.

In the treaty, the tribes reserved rights to fish, hunt, and gather foods and medicines within the ceded lands, which today is northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington. Tribal members still exercise and protect those rights today. Follow us on Facebook

Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation

The Confederated Tribes and Bands of the Yakama Nation represents the "generations of people before the advance of the modern world where the lands of the Yakama extended in all directions along the Cascade Mountain Range to the Columbia River and beyond."

The Yakima Nation maintains the Yakima Nation Museum & Cultural Center for the purpose of preserving, protecting and perpetuating the Mid-Plateau lands and people throughout time.

Native American Photographs from the L.V. McWhorter Collection - Video

This Native American Photographs Video, published by the WSU Libraries, portrays a WSU History class as they worked to create a digital collection from the photographs of Lucullus V. McWhorter, who extensively documented the Nez Perce and Yakama tribes in the early 19th century. Many of the photographs are shown and discussed.

Tamastslikt Cultural Institute - Pendleton

The Tamastslikt Cultural Institute opened in August 1998 and presents an entirely new perspective on history - that of the Cayuse, Umatilla, and Walla Walla Tribes. Follow us on Facebook

trailtribes.org

trailtribes.org describes the history with a tribal perspective, along trails followed by Lewis & Clark. Read and watch short videos about the traditional and contemporary cultures of the Umatilla, Walla Walla, and Cayuse tribes.

This content was developed and produced by the Regional Learning Project at the University of Montana in collaboration with tribal partners.

Wanapum Heritage Center

The Wanapum Heritage Center presents, maintains, and continues Wanapum history and way of life. A new 50,000 square-foot center opened in October 2015. Located next to Priest Rapids Dam off Highway 243 about five miles south of Mattawa, projects implemented at this new building will perpetuate the importance of the culture, traditions and beliefs of the Wanapum for years to come.


Sacajawea Heritage Days - Tri-Cities

Sacajawea Heritage Days

The Sacajawea Heritage Days is held the last weekend in September and runs two days. Its purpose is to learn about and re-enact the life and skills of the the early American explorers, the Native American cultures they found along the way, and the lives of the early settlers.

There are Lewis & Clark re-enactors, members of the Umatilla and Yakama Nations, and the Wanapums. Mountain man encampments, and a variety of other people who enjoy sharing their skills and knowledge about what life was like nearly two centuries ago. This event is sponsored by the Friends of Sacajawea State Park.


The Columbia River - A Photographic Journey

The Columbia River - A Photographic Journey

A wonderful photo essay, The Columbia River - A Photographic Journey, explores Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later." According to Lyn Topinka, the journey "includes over 2,500 images of geographic areas and interesting items along 330-plus miles of the Columbia River, covering the area seen by Lewis and Clark in 1805 and 1806."


Washington Folk Arts

Washington Folk Arts

Washington Folk Arts, a project of Northwest Heritage Resources, offers narrated audio guides, including traditional music and stories from local residents along various routes through Washington state including one for the Richland to Clarkston corridor.


General Washington and Oregon History

Washington State and Oregon State government agencies provide searchable historical resources.

Washington State History

The Washington Secretary of State has a section on Washington History where you can search historical records, view historical newspapers, and view online presentations on Washtington State history. In addition, HistoryLink.org is an online encylopedia of Washington State history that can be searched.

Oregon State History

The Oregon Blue Book, which is the official state directory and fact book about all levels of government in Oregon, has a section on Oregon History. In addition, A Place Called Oregon offers history and genealogy information for Oregon State and has a section on Umatilla County.

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