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Deliver in Haste: Mail from, to, and through the Dalles 1830s-1890s Members Only Event

June 1 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

P7-1.1 OR&N illus with US Mail & WFCo signage

Deliver in Haste, Transporting the Mail from, to and through the Dalles, 1830 -1890's Members Only

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Columbia Gorge Discovery Center is presenting a new exhibit, with a private preview opening to members only, on June 1, 2018.

The evening kicks off with a exhibit opening and no host bar at 5 pm followed by a dinner of fresh Salmon, quinoa salad, roasted vegetables, and Carolyn’s homemade pineapple upside down cake. A talk along with a Power Point presentation  will be given by both Dale Forster and Glenn Mason about the new exhibit.
This is a fascinating, visual journey of how mail, has moved through The Dalles from the early 1830s through the 1890s. Original letters and envelopes, along with period paintings, photographs, documents, and related artifacts, are presented as testament to the transportation challenges our forefathers faced to keep in touch.

The exhibit focuses on the importance of mail as it was the only way the earliest non-Indian residents in the Pacific Northwest could communicate with distant family and friends and conduct far-away business. In the 1830s and 1840s, letters were carried via Indian canoes on the Columbia River, or by foot or horseback on barely discernible trails. In the 1850s and 1860s, post offices were established and contracts signed for carrying mail by steamboats and stagecoaches, although much mail was privately carried by express companies. By the mid-1880s, railroads became the preferred option.

All of the delivery methods are explored with detailed content of letters and images and the ever changing circumstances that went with each transportation mode. Rapids, hostile trails, inclement weather days on end. Each step of the way the personal hand written words would somehow make their way to the intended recipient. Sometimes the letter might be addressed to a missionary or individual, “Beyond the Rocky Mountains” or to a specific mission. Astonishingly, such letters were received!

Because of its location, The Dalles continued to serve as a hub for the various transportation methods through the years and provided a touch-point for communication.

The exhibition is curated by Glenn and Judith Mason from the private collection of Dale Forster. Both Glen and Dale will be speaking at the event.

Glenn Mason and his wife, Judith, formed Cultural Images and specializes in museum, historical society, special collections consulting and project contracts. They are dealers of 19th and early 20th century paper ephemera, vintage photographs, and fine and unusual books. Glenn, currently serves as a national board member of the Ephemera Society of America.

Please RSVP by May 30 by calling 541.296.8600 ext 201, or purchase your tickets here.

This event is for members only – if you are not a member yet this is a perfect time to join!




June 1
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum
5000 Discovery Drive
The Dalles, Oregon 97058
+ Google Map
541.296.8600 #201