10,000 Years of Culture
The mid-Columbia is one of the oldest continuously occupied places in the Western Hemisphere. Early inhabitants who sailed across the oceans or came across the Bering Land Bridge during the last Ice Age more than 10,000 years ago migrated to the Columbia River region where salmon from the river would have provided a dependable year round diet. As civilization spread south and east, the mid-Columbia remained a primary place to gather and trade.
Exhibits explore the traditional lifestyles of people along the Columbia, and examine the cultural changes that took place following the construction of fishwheels and dams on the river. The “Art of Utility” exhibit showcases over 80 utilitarian baskets from throughout the Pacific Northwest, many with intricate woven designs unique to the mid-Columbia Basin.