We have been looking forward to visiting the Columbia River Maritime Museum for quite sometime. This past week we took advantage of the beautiful weather and drove to Astoria, Oregon to visit the museum.
The Columbia River Maritime Museum was founded in 1962 to preserve the rich maritime heritage of the entire Columbia River region. The museum has the largest collection of Pacific Northwest maritime artifacts in the country. They even have a boat that traveled all the way from Japan after the tsunami!
Founded by Rolf Klep, the museum showcases much of his artwork as well as an extensive display of the scrimshaw he collected.
I never realized just how violent the weather is at the mouth of the Columbia River. There is a wonderful exhibit that takes a look at the legendary Columbia River entrance, where the forces of the mighty Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean meet to create one of the most dangerous bar crossings on the planet. There is a dramatic interactive shipwreck map, which shows the terrible loss the wind, and waves have caused over the last 200 years.
Included with your ticket price is a tour on the Lightship Columbia, a national historic landmark. Beginning in April 1965 – 1979, the Columbia was stationed 5.3 statute miles from the mouth of the Columbia River. It served as a floating lighthouse, making the approach to the Columbia River.
Another exhibit in the museum is a life-size coastguard boat shown rescuing a person in the water. I am thankful for the coast guard and their diligence in protecting those at sea. I couldn’t imagine rescuing people in such conditions!
If you ever find yourself in Astoria, Oregon visiting the Columbia River Maritime Museum is well worth exploring. There are may exhibits that will interest both the young and old.