The following are the current exhibits at the Washington County Museum. Many of the museum’s events, lectures, and educational programs are directly associated with current exhibits. Visit our events and lectures announcements and Program Calendar for information on other events and activities associated with these exhibits.
Oregon’s Landmark Legislation
August 24- October 22
Oregon has repeatedly led the nation in creating, revising, and implementing laws shaping the quality of life of its citizens. While Oregon’s innovations have evoked controversy, they have charted the course for other states and nations.
This traveling exhibit highlights groundbreaking legislation that Oregon has passed since Statehood either by Politician, Legislative Action, or Public Initiative. Arranged chronologically, the panels present legislation that focuses on environmental, social, and land use issues, including the Bottle Bill, the Oregon Forest Practices Act and the Aerosol Spray Ban.
Put a Bird on It: Nature Photography of William L. Finley
July 13-October 22, 2016
The Washington County Museum provides a stunning and unique glimpse through the lens of William L. Finley, a nationally known naturalist and wildlife conservationist. Finley’s black-and-white bird photographs will be on display to celebrate his tireless advocacy for wildlife preservation. The original glass plates and lantern slides created by Finley between 1902 and 1920 were donated to the museum in 1980 by Dr. Amo DeBernardis, founding president of Portland Community College.
City of the Month Celebrations
Visit the Museum to celebrate the cities of Washington County, Oregon. Each month WCM will focus on a different municipality with special displays and programs. Residents for each honored community with receive special benefits during the selected month. For example, during the selected month, residents of the respective city with a valid ID will get discounts on regular admission and museum store purchases. Residents also get in FREE on the third saturday of their month.
On-to Hillsboro Centennial Celebration
In 1959, the State of Oregon celebrated its 100th anniversary. Part of the year-long celebration included the On-To-Oregon Cavalcade. The idea was to reenact a wagon train traveling the entire Oregon Trail from Independence, Missouri, to Independence, Oregon. Seven wagons were sponsored by five towns and two counties in Oregon: Drain, Hillsboro, Independence, Jackson County, Lane County, Pendleton, and Roseburg.
There are only 4 wagons from the Cavalcade left in existence. This wagon, sponsored by Hillsboro, was built by then 66 year old Weaver “Pop” Clark, who had the distinction of being the oldest member of the Cavalcade. Clark along with his grandson, Robert Fineout, represented Hillsboro by driving the Hillsboro wagon.
Silicon Forest: Innovation in Washington County
Innovation is the core concept of this new exhibit at the Washington County Museum. The Silicon Forest in Washington County exhibit showcases the extraordinary infusion of invention and knowledge that made high tech a powerhouse in this region. After exploring some of the key innovations, this exhibit will also challenge visitors to think about Washington County’s future — and your own.
Washington County has been and continues to be a nurturing and supporting incubator providing the creative spark for individual and group invention and innovation. Using examples from a variety of innovators from this area, this exhibit demonstrates that practical know-how, as the catalyst that turns creativity into innovation, has long been a deeply held value in Washington County.
Washington County Goes to War
Washington County Goes to War is a salute to the brave men and women who served our country in the first two World Wars. A generous donation of local resident Bill Crandall’s father’s World War One uniform soon sparked a complete exhibit about both World Wars and the sacrifices made by those who fought and those who remained on the home front.
The first World War began in Europe 100 years ago this year. US troops did not join the fight for another two years. When they did arrive on the front, the soldiers engaged in a brutal trench war more savage than they could imagine. World War Two saw a wave of patriotism on two fronts, in Europe and the Pacific. On the homefront, the Braceros came up from Mexico to help keep the agriculture business running and Japanese Americans found themselves uprooted from their lives and sent to internment camps.
This Kalapuya Land
This Kalapuya Land exhibit celebrates the cultural history of Native Americans in this region from the Atfalati band of the Kalapuya Indians through today’s amalgamation of 130 tribes as the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde. Many school age children who experience Oregon Native American history in person for the first time do so through Mobile Museum lessons our educators deliver to students in schools across Washington County. This exhibit expands on that history through words, pictures and artifacts from our collection. The Museum has also researched where to find the camas plant in Washington County and has created a local seasonal round map available for purchase through our Museum Store.
Americans All: The Bracero Program in Washington County
The Americans All: The Bracero Program in Washington County exhibit explores the first recorded influx of Mexican and Latino immigrants into Washington County, made possible through the Bracero program. Washington County has the largest Latino population north of Sacramento, California.
Past Exhibits and Collections
The Washington County Museum features exhibits and collections celebrating and honoring the history of Washington County, Oregon. Check out some highlights from Past Exhibits, and please enjoy the many unique collections on display.