Museum is a hidden treasure

Camas and Washougal are unique communities with complex and layered histories. To say they are simply “mill towns” (paper for Camas, wool for Washougal), would be seriously minimizing both of their colorful pasts.

The treasure chest that houses all of these facts, stories, photographs and historical documents, is the Two Rivers Heritage Museum in Washougal. Tucked in a corner at 1 Durgan St., away from a lot of regular foot and vehicle traffic, even museum leaders admit that many citizens in both communities aren’t aware it’s there.

“The museum has been in its current location since 1996, but many locals have never been here or don’t know we exist,” commented Lois Cobb, volunteer coordinator.

But step inside this quaint little building, talk to the passionate volunteers who give their time, and there is little doubt the special role this place plays in the community. Its displays pay tribute to the people, events, businesses and others that have created the communities that exist today.

Heritage Day, an annual event, provides an amazing opportunity to see exactly what the museum has to offer. On Saturday, Sept. 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the event will include free admission, historic exhibits and vendors, live music and food. There will be demonstrations including creating rugs on the museum’s antique traveling loom, operating the walking spinning wheel and pine needle basket weaving.

The event offers a glimpse into Camas-Washougal’s storied past, with little pieces of historic trivia and treasures around every corner.