Arts and Culture
The Columbia River Gorge is one of the most historic locations in the Pacific Northwest. You can re-live the rich heritage of the area at our local museums. Two specifically that should not be missed:
Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum
A trip to Skamania County would not be complete without a visit to the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center Museum, www.columbiagorge.org . At this world-class museum in Stevenson you will be able to visualize and participate in the bountiful life of the Columbia River Gorge. The center is dedicated to preserving, exhibiting and interpreting the cultural and natural history of the Gorge. Don’t miss The DeGroote Family Trust Theater, which features a 12-minute program recreating the cataclysmic formation of the Gorge. Lewis & Clark exhibits, Native American history, the world’s largest rosary collection and a full-sized fishwheel and steam engine are all inside.
Cascade Locks Historical Museum
The history of Cascade Locks is closely linked to the river, which flows past it. Lewis & Clark’s Discovery Corps portaged around the rapids of the Cascades in 1805. Forty years later the pioneers traveling the water route on the Oregon Trail were forced to make the same portage. The small settlement that grew up on the banks of the Cascades was involved in helping early travelers on the river get around the rapids, first by foot and then by mule-drawn rail cars. Visit the museum at Marine Park in Cascade Locks for information on the past of this small town on the south shore of the Columbia River, www.cascadelocks.net. Sternwheelers, the Oregon Pony, Whiskey Flats - you will see it all here.
Plan your trip to Skamania County to enjoy one of the many performances provided by the Skamania Performing Arts Foundation (SPAF), www.skamaniaarts.org. Their annual Guest Artist Series brings a variety of musicians to venues throughout the Gorge - Stevenson, North Bonneville and Cascade Locks. There are also many fine music festivals offering everything from blues to bluegrass. Check out www.cityofstevenson.com and www.skamaniacountyfair.com for event schedules.