Columbia River Maritime Museum
Established in 1962, the Columbia River Maritime Museum is Oregon's official state maritime museum. It promotes the natural and cultural history of the river and the Pacific Northwest and houses the largest collection of artifacts related to this region: 30,000 artifacts, 20,000 photographs, and 10,000 volumes in its research library. Exhibits cover topics such as the history of the U.S. Coast Guard, the salmon river run, and the floating lighthouse Columbia, which is a National Historic Landmark (visitors can tour the vessel). In addition to the exhibits, the museum offers classes, workshops and demonstrations.
Backstory and Context
The Columbia was built in 1951 and was stationed a few miles off the coast to mark the entrance to the Columbia River. The ship was needed because where the river and the Pacific met is one of the most dangerous places on earth to sail across. It operated until 1979 when it was replaced by buoy that is no longer in place.