Oregon - Where Past is Present

Under construction until fall 2016.
Last winter, the museum began construction on Oregon – Where Past is Present and the adjacent exhibit spaces in the museum’s south wing. The undertaking will bring new interactive displays, fresh content, and greater accessibility to the ten-year-old cultural history exhibit – plus a brand new exhibit area devoted to Oregon’s Paisley Caves. 

The exhibit hall will be open but under ongoing construction through Sunday, September 11, 2016.

The exhibit will be closed for final construction phases from September 12 through November 4.

Saturday, November 5 and Sunday, November 6, 2016
Free admission and half-price family memberships available all weekend. Check out our events calendar for details!  

Experience 15,000 years of Northwest cultural history and 200 million years of geology. Realistic environmental displays portray four geographic regions of Oregon, each a different time in history and a different season of the year.

Oregon - Past is Present

The Great Basin environment portrays an autumn, 6,000 years ago, when the area we now know as desert, bloomed with abundance. View a traditionally made wikiup and a cache of tui chubs, a food staple.

One of North America's largest Native fishing and trading centers at Celilo Falls is illustrated in the Columbia Plateau environment during the summer fishing season some 250 years ago. Observe up close the span of a fishing net used at the Falls for over 10,000 years.

A highlight of the Pacific Coast environment is a three-dimensional replica of a traditional winter plank house, situated in village at the mouth of an inland estuary around 1,500 years ago.

In the Western Valleys, view a mural of Native women gathering camas roots during the spring harvest, in a valley surrounded by an oak savanna and a pine forest some 1,000 years ago.

See artifacts featured in this exhibit in the Oregon - Where Past is Present web gallery.