Thursday, March 25, 2010

Weekend Drive Society: The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum

Located about an hour outside of Portland, on the Washington side of the Colombia River, is a small but very nice museum exploring the varied history of the Pacific Northwest's greatest waterway and the small towns and industries that dotted its shores. Admission to the Colombia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum may seem a little steep, but when you enter the first exhibit hall and begin to wander it becomes clear that a lot of effort was put into this institution.

Of particular highlight for me was the replica of a fish wheel which once dotted the river trapping salmon in a massive series of interlocking cages. Another exhibit that I felt was interesting, was a display of artifacts from the numerous Japanese immigrants to the area.

The following sideways video, trouble with using a cell phone to shoot a film, shows the view from the top of the "wheel."

My only complaint with the museum is the how some artifacts were handled in their display cases. One case filled with older books was is full view of sunlight which is very damaging to the integrity of paper products. In another display, the humidity and temperature sensors were placed directly on certain objects meant to be preserved, obscuring the view of the artifacts displayed. These mistakes are kind of big deals in my opinion. 

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