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Museum to celebrate 13th anniversary

Join in May 17 event

The Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center in Stevenson announces that Saturday, May 17, the 13th anniversary will be celebrated, which is the exact day when it first opened in 1995.

Not only is it a free day for everyone, but it will include the annual general membership meeting of the Skamania County Historical Society.

Headlining the activities are antique appraisals and identification provided by none other than Stevenson's antique dealer, Jim Price of Rivertown Antiques.

He will talk with you about each item for a $5 donation, a benefit to the museum. This activity is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Go through that attic and bring that gizmo you don't know what it is, or the family heirloom you are dying to know what is the value. Appraising is limited to three items per person.

The actual celebration begins at 11 with a flag raising ceremony followed by a few black powder rounds from the 1856 Ft. Rains cannon. Light refreshments and popcorn will be served from 1 to 2 p.m. with the Ray Matta Band providing some toe-tapping tunes.

The locomotive cab will be open for visitors and Eran Howell will be running the single-cylinder engines for those who enjoy machinery.

Traditional handcrafts, such as spinning, beadwork and quilting, will be demonstrated in various areas of the galleries. Face painting can be enjoyed by the young and young-at-heart.

Living history characters will be portrayed by Merna DeBolt as Lucy, Meriwether Lewis' mother; Marilynn Weaver as a Native American, and Jane Jackson as Wanda West, a fictitious 1840s Oregon Trail traveler. All of these individuals will spontaneously interact with the public.

The annual general membership meeting convenes in the DeGroote Theatre at 2 p.m. under the chairmanship of president Ken Cole. The primary business will be to elect board members.

This very short but important meeting will conclude as soon as possible to allow plenty of time for the special program set for 2:30.

The program, "Trifles Will Not Stop Me," will be presented by Gary Lentz as he portrays David Douglas and his botanical explorations in the Pacific Northwest from 1825-1827. Lentz will be in costume, and as a living history presentation, become the man responsible for dozens of discoveries and descriptions of native northwest trees, shrubs and plants.

Live specimens and seeds of the type Douglas collected will be on display. The mystery surrounding Douglas' death will also be discussed.

In addition to the activities, refreshments and a special program, there will be a featured art exhibit. "Nature's Vessels" is the work of two Portland artists, Chris Warren and Leslee Burtt. The hand painted gourds and woven baskets are absolutely astounding and worthy of spending some time in the short term art gallery. The show is now open through June.

Call (800) 991-2338 or 427-8211 should you have questions.


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