Washington County residents have one of the most unique and interesting histories in the United States. It starts with the original indigenous residents, the Kalapuya, or as they called themselves, the “people of the bright shining water” because they lived next to a river.
Explorers, trappers and traders, and pioneers from the late 18th through the mid-19th century added their own color to the tapestry of life in the rapidly changing region. American farmers quickly identified the agricultural potential of the area and were quick to stake their claims on some of the richest land available anywhere in the United States.
Forestry has played a key role in Washington County for more than 150 years. More recent industries have included high technology.
Each new development has attracted a new and interesting population, often from other countries with distinct cultures and customs, which has in turn created both a deep and broad culture of many different ethnicities and histories.
The goal of the Museum is to make this history and culture broadly available to visitors and residents alike.