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Museums Focus on Oregon Culture, Past

May 25, 1997

Visitors to Oregon this summer will find new museums focusing on geology and culture.

A $21.6-million project, combining the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center and Wasco County Historical Museum, opened this weekend in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area, about 80 miles east of Portland.

The Discovery Center surveys 40 million years of geologic history, including volcanoes, landslides and floods, that created the Columbia Gorge; narrates Native American and pioneer history; and describes current wildlife and vegetation.

The historical museum reviews the county's 10,000 years of Native American life, early explorers and industry. Both museums are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission fees, good for both, are $6.50 for adults, $5.50 seniors and $3 ages 6 to 16. Information: (541) 296-8600.

On Friday, the $12.5-million Four Rivers Cultural Center is to open in Ontario, Ore., about 50 miles northwest of Boise, Idaho. It uses dioramas and artifacts to explore the history of the Northern Paiute Indians, European immigrants, Latinos and Japanese Americans (with a focus on their World War II internment). The museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 seniors and ages 3 to 12. Information: (888) 211-1222.

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