Plenty of History Is on Display at Area Museums

By Edna Fund, For The Chronicle

Lewis County Historical Museum, 599 N.W. Front Way, Chehalis, is located in the former 1912 Northern Pacific Railroad Depot.

The McKinley Stump will be available for viewing and train watching in late spring. Rotating exhibits include the 150-year anniversary of Claquato Church (oldest Protestant church west of the Mississippi in the same location and building), and 125th anniversary of Chehalis. On Sunday, July 13, the 150th anniversary of the Claquato Church will be celebrated at the church. On Saturday, Aug. 2, the 125th anniversary of Chehalis will be celebrated at LCHM. (See web site for details.)

Admission prices are $4 for adults, $3 seniors, $2 children 6-17 years, and children under 6 are free; Guided tours available for $30 for groups up to 30. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. From June 1 until Sept. 30, LCHM is open 1-5 p.m. on Sundays.

For information, call LCHM Director Debbie Knapp at (360) 748-0831, or go to


Old Settlers Museum & Morton Depot are operated by the Cowlitz River Valley Historical Society in Morton.

Admission to the museum is free, yet donations are accepted. The museum is located at 710 Main Street and is open by appointment until Memorial Day. From Memorial Day until Labor Day, the hours are 1-4 p.m. on Saturday. The depot, located east of downtown, is currently being renovated.

For information, contact Lennis Allen (360) 496-6446 or go to


Tenino Depot Museum, located in the city park near the swimming pool, provides a historical perspective of South Thurston County.

The 1914 depot was used until after World War II when it was moved and converted to a museum. It features exhibits on sandstone mining and logging. It also has American Indian artifacts from the Nisqually and Chehalis tribes. It has the original printing press for the famous Tenino wooden money. The 1932 Ticknor school house was moved next to the museum in 2003.

Admission is free, yet donations are accepted. The museum is open 1-4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday beginning April 19 and ending on Oct. 19.

For information on special tours, contact Jean and Norman Montgomery (360) 264-7273 or go

Veterans Memorial Museum, located at 100 S.W. Veterans Way, Chehalis, is dedicated to the men and women who have honorably served our nation in the Armed Forces during peacetime and war.

VMM had 11 inches of water inside during the 2007 flood. As a result, over one-half of the displays have been totally revamped. Damaged tapes have been restored and transferred to DVDs.

Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students. The gift shop is presently open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. In May, VMM hopes to return to regular hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. From June 1 until Sept. 30, VMM is open on Sundays from 1-5 pm.

For information, contact VMM Director Lee Grimes at (360)740-8875, or e-mail info@veteransmuseum.orgor go to


Vintage Antique Motorcycle Museum, located at 545 N. Market St. in Chehalis, features original and fully-restored pre-1916 Indians, Harley Davidsons and Excelsiors motorcycles as well as other vehicles, including antique bicycles. The museum is owned by Barbara and Frank Mason.

Open for visiting from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on weekdays. Admission is $5. Contact (360) 748-3472 or go


White Pass Country Historical Society is located in the former Packwood Grade School on U.S. Highway 12. WPCHS focuses on the Upper Cowlitz Valley from the “underwater” town of Kosmos to the skiing area of White Pass.

The society opens the museum on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. During the summer, the museum is open Saturdays from noon to 5 pm and Sundays 1-3 p.m. For a special appointment, call (360) 494-4031 or (360) 494-4007. For further information, e-mail, write P.O. Box 958, Packwood, WA 98361 or go to…/wpchs%20main.htm.


Winlock Historical Museum is located in the old fire hall (1914-1997), near the Timberland Regional Library on N.E. 1st Street in downtown Winlock.

History dating back to the 1800s is available, including memorabilia from Egg Day celebrations and schools. A jail cell has been restored inside the museum.

After Egg Days in June, the museum is open noon until 3 p.m. on Wednesday and Friday. Admission is free, yet donations are gladly accepted.

For information, contact Mike Porter at 785-0304, Carolyne Nixon at 785-3980 or Shirley Heitzmann at 785-3638. Mailing address is P.O. Box 188, Winlock, WA 98596.


Lewis County is home to many locations on the National Registry of Historic Places.…/state.html for complete details.


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