Touching History Mobile Museum

Touching History Mobile Museum brings the Washington County Museum right to your classroom, community center or neighborhood group. Choose from seven informative, educational and entertaining presentations on major topics of local history, all taught by experienced, professional educators. Using a kit of artifacts from the Museum’s collection, presenters demonstrate how the objects were used and explain them in the context of the lives of the people who used them.

How Mobile Museum Works / Pre and Post Visit Activities

Seven Topics are Available

cowlitzbasketAtfalati-Kalapuya: First People of Washington County

Explore the lives of the indigenous people of the Tualatin Valley, the Atfalati branch of the Kalapuya tribe. Learn how the Atfalati dressed, their customs, what they ate, and where they lived. See—and touch—furs, stone tools, baskets, and more.


canoe_2Chinook: Master Traders of the Northwest

The “Wapato Lowlands” – the region on the lower Columbia River with Sauvie Island at its heart – was once one of the richest, most densely settled areas north of Mexico and the   home of the Chinook people. Practice words of the Chinook trade language and investigate artifacts.


5WMBF00Z_optOn the Oregon Trail

Learn who traveled the emigrant trails and why. How did they decide what to take and what to leave behind? What factors played a role in who survived and who didn’t? Explore the hardships and responsibilities children and adults faced on the Oregon Trail.


School Days

Discover the world of a pioneer classroom, circa 1880. Students compare past and present aspects of schooling, participate in a lesson using slates and explore a variety of pioneer toys.



Lewis and Clark: The Science of Discovery

When Lewis and Clark pushed their boats into the Missouri River in May of 1804, the Corps of Discovery was launched. Examine the methods of travel and tools of navigation. Discover flora, fauna and learn about the Native Americans Lewis & Clark encountered on this historic trek across America.


0511_MadeinWA1Silicon Forest: Touching Technology

The seeds of the high-tech industry in Oregon were planted in the 1930s and sprouted in Washington County creating the Silicon Forest in the early 1950s. Play trivia and explore every day products that were developed right here.



Braceros: The Men of Migrant Labor

In 1942, faced with a labor crisis, the United States turned to Mexico for help. The Bracero Program was born. While American men were fighting in WWII, the Braceros traveled to  Oregon and other states, under a treaty with Mexico, to help farmers bring in their crops. Trace the migration of a Bracero, examine historic photographs and investigate artifacts.


How Mobile Museum Works

Page1[1]_optWe look forward to visiting your classroom, retirement home, or community center! To create a highly successful visit, there are a few organizational items to consider before contacting the Education Registrar.

Please click here (Learn how the Mobile Museum Program Works, Set-up & Procedures) for a Mobile Museum Planner that will lead you through expectations and set-up so we can serve your organization to the best of our abilities.

To download a PDF version of the Mobile Museum brochure, please click the image to the left.




Scholarship Applications

Thanks to a generous grant from the Herbert E. Templeton Foundation, Title 1 and low-income schools may apply to receive Mobile Museum presentations at a reduced cost. Please fill out a Mobile Museum Scholarship Application and email it to us at or fax it to (503) 640-7195.

Educational Alignment

Educational Alignment & Benchmark Standards (pdf)

Mobile Museum is generously funded by the following sponsors:

  • Herbert E. Templeton Foundation
  • The William G. Gilmore Foundation