To appreciate the present, take a look at the past

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As 2010 comes to an end, it is natural to start to contemplate the past year, and begin looking to the future — wondering what 2011 will bring.

But, how about focusing instead on what our local history has meant for Camas and Washougal? And how the area’s past has impacted its present and future?

Answers to these questions and much more are available under one roof at the Two Rivers Heritage Museum in Washougal. It is truly one of the local area’s best kept secrets. A place that should be explored and appreciated by the citizens of the Camas-Washougal communities that have such rich and diverse histories.

Visitors will find an incredible amount of information about the people and families of Camas and Washougal. Artifacts and pictures from those early years are prominently featured, and available to those who are interested in doing a little research.

The museum itself has its own unique history. Its first home was in the basement of the Camas Public Library on Northeast Fourth Avenue. In 1997, Betty Ramsey became the museum’s director when the facility moved into the building at 1 Durgan St., adjacent to the Pendleton Woolen Mills.

More than a decade ago a significant monetary contribution from the estate of Christine Kropp, a retired Crown Zellerbach secretary who died in 1998, gave the museum a boost and allowed some remodeling to occur and new additions to be built.

Currently, the facility is temporarily closed to the general public as its first major re-organizing and updating project in several years in underway. At the beginning of February, a fresh new look will be introduced to local residents. Right now, desperately needed volunteers are being recruited to help out in a variety of ways, as the museum begins a new chapter in its life.

To learn how far the cities of Camas and Washougal have truly come, make a point as we enter the New Year to take a look back at how it all started.