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  • Writer's pictureDallas Area Visitors

Want More History?

A lot of people really enjoyed the series we did on the myths and history of Dallas Oregon. The information presented in the blog posts were very general and surface information. We've had a lot of requests for further information on certain topics. Unfortunately we don't have the ability to dig deep into these questions. Don't fear though! Did you know that the Polk County Historical Museum has a 14,000-square-foot facility jam packed with detailed history about the topics we discussed and so much more! The Museum is a non-profit organization that is totally staffed by volunteers, both amateur and professional. It is also a research facility with a fine archival collection. Many artifacts–physical, pictorial, and written–from the eras of 1842 to 1960 are on display in the Museum and at the Historic Brunk House, just a couple miles east. A large number of the original pioneer families still have descendants in the area who have graciously shared their family treasures and enriched our inventory.

The Museum Association had been collecting treasures, both donated and on loan, for years. These treasures were now available to be seen and shared with the public, no longer hidden in attics, garages and sheds. The artifacts and documents collected reflected the diversity of cultures and people of the Polk County area. Opening ceremonies included talks by local collectors and historians, performances by local musicians and songs sung by Grand Ronde elders to the beating of a skin drum.

Polk County continued to support museum construction efforts by providing a 99-year lease on the southwest corner of the Fairgrounds, and the Polk County Commissioners came through with $2000 to create a permanent home for the historical artifacts of the Polk County area.

The Museum Association merged with the Polk County Historical Society in 1995, continuing to dream of a new, larger facility. Their tireless efforts proved that dreams really do come true. In the fall of 1999, the current 80×100-foot facility located on Highway 99W on the Polk County Fairgrounds, opened its doors to the public. In 1974, PCHS was bequeathed the Harrison Brunk pioneer farm site located at Brunk’s Corner, the junction of Highways 51 and 22.

The story has just begun. The dedicated members of the Polk County Historical Society, local City and County Governments and the descendants of Polk County history will continue their efforts to bring history to life for those who wish to learn from the past.

Want to learn more? Everyone at the museum will be more than happy to help you out!

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