Museum tells the story of Columbia Gorge from the viewpoint of both 19th century pioneers and the Chinook people who lived there long before
About This Deal
History tends to repeat itself, which means there’s a good chance you’ll get run over by another war elephant. Learn from the past with this voucher.
- $11.50 for one-day admission for two (up to a $20 value)
Membership benefits include free admission, a 15% discount at the museum store, and a subscription to the museum newsletter Explorations.
About Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum
Two great eyes keep lookout over the residents of the Columbia Gorge. Her name means "She Who Watches," and Tsagaglalal has been watching the land transform for centuries. According to Wishram legend, she was once chief of all who lived in the region, and she preferred to govern from high on the cliff side where she could look out over everything. One day Coyote came to her. Soon, he predicted, women would no longer be able to be chiefs, even though she was a good leader who taught the people to live well. She wished to stay where she was, forever, and Coyote granted her wish in his trickster way by turning her to stone.
Like Tsagaglalal, the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum strives to keep watch over the area by acting as a steward to the gorge's natural and cultural history, which stretches back 40 million years. So it was that Wishram spokesman Nelson Moses dedicated Tsagaglalal's spirit to the museum in 1987, and granted permission for the organization to use Tsagaglalal's image as their logo.
Being less than 1 hour away from Portland, visitors to the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum can explore the region's entire 15,000-year history, starting with the First Peoples exhibit which is dominated by a replica of the Tsagaglalal petroglyph. In the exhibit Clahclehlah and the Corridor of Commerce, a less familiar perspective of American history becomes clear as the tale of Lewis and Clark is told through the oral history of a Native American village the explorers visited in 1805 and 1806. Early Changes takes the form of a dry goods store circa 1907, and Transportation covers the history of the SP&S Railroad, the development of Highway 8, and the era of the sternwheeler. Outdoors, visitors can find cedar log carvings, vintage logging equipment, and a diesel locomotive. Visitors especially enjoy the McCord Fishwheel and the giant Corliss Steam Engine.