The Museum is housed in the former Bingen Congregational Church, which was dedicated in May, 1912. The Museum was established in 1984 by the West Klickitat County Historical Society to promote interest in the legacy passed to us by the native people and the immigrants who settled and traded in the mountainous river valleys and along the Columbia River.
The Collection... You are invited to explore the heritage of the native peoples and pioneers of West Klickitat County and East Skamania County. This scenic region between Mt. Adams and the Columbia Gorge is the background for rich histories of Native Americans, explorers, trappers, pioneer settlers, fruit growers, ranchers, miners, and loggers.
Recorded history in the Columbia Gorge began some 1,100 years ago. Evidence of possible earlier inhabitants was destroyed by a series of floods over a period of 1,500 years. These floods devastated the Columbia River Valley and created the Columbia River Gorge as you now see it. The river provided the bounty and avenue for a trade culture between the inland and coastal natives.
In the early 19th century, Lewis and Clark camped near Bingen Point during their passage to the Pacific Ocean. They were followed by the Hudson Bay Company, American Fur Company, the Oregon Trail, and immigrant settlers, entrepreneurs, and merchants.
The Museum exhibits will acquaint you with pioneer clothing, house-hold items, logging and farming tools, medical and surgical equipment. Also included are historical documents, newspapers, and Native American artifacts and crafts. The displays and exhibits have been donated by the families of these pioneers and collectors of history. Donations of historic materials are always welcomed by the West Klickitat County Historical Society.
The Museum invites you to become a member. All volunteers are welcome.