Oregon Historical Society
Oregon Historical Society
4.5
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
Explore Oregon’s past at the Oregon Historical Society! Located on the historic South Park Blocks in downtown Portland, the Oregon Historical Society’s museum is open seven days a week and features original and traveling exhibitions that tell stories of the people, places, and events that have shaped Oregon and American history. In February 2019, the Oregon Historical Society unveiled a brand permanent exhibit, Experience Oregon, that chronicles the state’s complex history through rare artifacts, hands-on interactives, and digital displays. The Society’s world-class research library is open Tuesday through Saturday and is the perfect place to research a historic home or find a long-lost pioneer relative. Don’t forget to stop by the museum store for a uniquely Oregon souvenir!
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  • SMF-Collegeville
    Batesville, Indiana205 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great Museum on Local Portland and Oregon History
    Great museum with a good mix of information and interactive exhibits to ensure that all can move at their own speed. Purposely provides a range of viewpoints and makes history feel more alive. Has an area that is specifically focused on exhibits for younger kids.
    Visited July 2023
    Written August 21, 2023
  • Princerman
    Otsego, Minnesota1,259 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Neat museum
    This was a neat little gem right near the farmers market. We were probably here a couple of hours. I am sure that more perspectives could be added but it was generally pretty good. I could see how a conservative person may not like this museum as much. A lot of stuff about how native Americans were hosed over time.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 22, 2023
  • Michael V
    11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Intrigued with the Oregon Trail
    My husband and I traveled to Portland to visit family and the first day’s activity included a visit to the Historical Museum. I am a fiction writer and wanted to learn more about the historic Oregon Trail as part of my research. The displays featured a lot of maps, actual artifacts, and a recreated covered wagon set in a panoramic illustrated background. The gift shop had a lot of interesting books on the topic. Entry fee was reasonable. Seniors and students get a discount. We stayed a little over an hour but could have lingered longer. Highly recommend this museum.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written October 18, 2023
  • John C
    Indianapolis, Indiana8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent Exhibits
    Really great tour through Oregon history in the 3rd floor permanent exhibit! Well worth the very reasonable admission price. Great way to spend a rainy hour or two in Portland.
    Thank you for sharing your review! I am glad that you enjoyed the Experience Oregon exhibit; we appreciate your support and recommendation!
    Written March 13, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written February 11, 2024
  • cgc9
    New York City, New York10 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Excellent, make this your first stop!
    make this your first stop in portland. really well thoughtfully done. A lot of excellent content in three stories. under appreciated in my opinion. great gift shop. you should get your post cards here!
    Thank you for sharing your review! I am glad that you enjoyed the exhibits and gift shop; we appreciate your support and recommendation!
    Written March 13, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2024
    Traveled solo
    Written March 9, 2024
  • Brent H
    St. George, Utah47 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very nice museum. Well worth a visit.
    I enjoy historical museums and this one did not disappoint. Well laid out. Start on the 3rd floor, then work your way down. Exhibits are very professional. A must see if you want an overview of Portland. Staff were helpful and knowledgeable. Spent about 3 hours which was about right.
    Visited June 2024
    Traveled as a couple
    Written June 24, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles467 reviews
Excellent
250
Very good
153
Average
48
Poor
12
Terrible
4

Sherry R
Phoenix, AZ90 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
Information provided in a confusing blast. You can walk through room after room reading little placards to learn about the Native American Tribes and Oregon's racist history. Eventually, there is information about people coming from England via ship and overland from the East and Midwestern parts of the U.S. Unfortunately, after the initial short film, there are no other breaks from reading placards. No other short films or activities.

Really difficult to absorb so much disparate information all at once. I would have welcomed even a coffee shop with a few chairs to take a rest before I tried to finish the exhibit. If you live in Portland, it is free. It cost me $8.

Also, while I agree it is important to acknowledge racist and shameful events in the past, I would like to acknowledge that some white people (my relatives, for example), traveled to Oregon to make a better life for themselves; not to kill ethnic minorities.

I also saw a Motown exhibit. Unfortunately, the sound on the videos was so quiet, I could barely hear them!
Written February 27, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Princerman
Otsego, MN1,259 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
This was a neat little gem right near the farmers market. We were probably here a couple of hours. I am sure that more perspectives could be added but it was generally pretty good. I could see how a conservative person may not like this museum as much. A lot of stuff about how native Americans were hosed over time.
Written August 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EaglesFan27
Reading, PA697 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023
As an east coast person, I really enjoyed learning about the history of Oregon. The museum talks about the geography, the native peoples, followed by the more recent history of the state. The third-floor gallery was the best part, while the others were ok.
Written May 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

adventuregirl14
United States1,269 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020
Loved the sheer amount of history that this museum encompasses - so much to take in about the state. I usually get bored in museums but this was different. There were so many interactive exhibits, videos to watch, etc. I would definitely recommend a trip to the Oregon Historical Society if you are visiting Portland!
Written February 5, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SMF-Collegeville
Batesville, IN205 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023
Great museum with a good mix of information and interactive exhibits to ensure that all can move at their own speed. Purposely provides a range of viewpoints and makes history feel more alive. Has an area that is specifically focused on exhibits for younger kids.
Written August 21, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michael V
11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
My husband and I traveled to Portland to visit family and the first day’s activity included a visit to the Historical Museum. I am a fiction writer and wanted to learn more about the historic Oregon Trail as part of my research. The displays featured a lot of maps, actual artifacts, and a recreated covered wagon set in a panoramic illustrated background. The gift shop had a lot of interesting books on the topic. Entry fee was reasonable. Seniors and students get a discount. We stayed a little over an hour but could have lingered longer. Highly recommend this museum.
Written October 18, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brent H
St. George, UT47 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2024 • Couples
I enjoy historical museums and this one did not disappoint. Well laid out. Start on the 3rd floor, then work your way down. Exhibits are very professional. A must see if you want an overview of Portland. Staff were helpful and knowledgeable. Spent about 3 hours which was about right.
Written June 24, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John C
Indianapolis, IN8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2024 • Solo
Really great tour through Oregon history in the 3rd floor permanent exhibit! Well worth the very reasonable admission price. Great way to spend a rainy hour or two in Portland.
Written February 11, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for sharing your review! I am glad that you enjoyed the Experience Oregon exhibit; we appreciate your support and recommendation!
Written March 13, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

cgc9
New York City, NY10 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
make this your first stop in portland. really well thoughtfully done. A lot of excellent content in three stories. under appreciated in my opinion. great gift shop. you should get your post cards here!
Written March 9, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you for sharing your review! I am glad that you enjoyed the exhibits and gift shop; we appreciate your support and recommendation!
Written March 13, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Amyadamsdad
4 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2019 • Couples
The displays in the Oregon History Room are actually really quite good. The physical presentation is also good. What is lacking is context of the times. It’s a tedious march of oppression of one group against others. No mention of the fact that in eras past everyone oppressed someone.
Antique rifles are displayed with statements like “used to oppress” minorities and such and may have been used to actually fire on them. More likely they were donated by a generous citizen whose great grandfather used it to shoot food for the table. But that doesn’t fit the general narrative of the display.
Several errors are stated, such as “native peoples have always been here”. Really? Apparently Oregon was the cradle of civilization. No mention of the fact the indigenous peoples were quite territorial and routinely oppressed their neighbors (other than a statement about practiced slavery).
Minor accomplishments of some groups outweigh major milestones of others. Lewis and Clark get more press in the history of beer making exhibit than in the Oregon History section.
And to on to Oregon History of beer making...
somewhat interesting. But mostly displays of old beer bottles and brewery freebies. Mostly panels and photos.
Written February 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Oregon Historical Society - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

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