Welcome to The Troutdale Historical Society
The Troutdale Historical Society’s mission is to gather, preserve and make available material relating to the history of the community of Troutdale, the Sandy River, the Columbia River Gorge and nearby areas. We are committed to the stimulation of interest in, and knowledge of, the locality’s past. To find out more about us select here.
We maintain three museums, the Harlow House, a 112-year-old farmhouse; the Depot Rail Museum, a turn of the century railroad depot, complete with Caboose and gift shop; and a Barn Museum that houses our changing exhibits. Select here for current hours and contact information.
The Barn building committee, which consisted of community volunteers, residents, pioneer families, and city government, cooperated in a huge project of building a 6400 square foot, two story building. The builders completed the project over a ten-year period on a pay as you go basis. The Barn Museum now houses our changing exhibits on the main floor with storage and meeting facilities on the upper floor. Find out more about the Barn Museum here.
The Harlow House, one of the oldest farmhouses in the city of Troutdale, was purchased by the historical society over 25 years ago. It is maintained as a turn of the century home, much of it in its original state, and furnished with furniture and belongings from families in the area. The city maintains the grounds as a beautiful park for all to enjoy. Find out more about the Harlow House here.
The train depot, once a bustling rail stop heading into the Columbia River Gorge, sat abandoned and deteriorating. The historical society moved the building across the tracks up onto the scenic Old Columbia River Highway, where it is easily accessible to tourists. We later acquired a caboose donated to us by the Union Pacific Railroad to place next to the depot building. The depot houses the train memorabilia museum, a gift shop, and the society’s office. Find out more about the Rail Depot here.
Current Museum Exhibits
The Harlow House presently features a collection of more than 300 egg cups and the displays usually change with the seasons. The Barn Museum exhibit is called “What Went By” and illustrates the history of Troutdale from its beginning as a city in 1907 until its centennial celebration in 2007. In 2011, as McMenamin’s Edgefield turned 100, a display of artifacts and photos were added to the Barn Museum from residents of what was the former Multnomah County Poor Farm. Among the exhibits visitors will find text panels, antique farming tools, a slide show of vintage photos, and murals by local artist Kathy Allegri. A wonderful collection of railroad memorabilia and tools is on display in the the Depot Rail Museum. You can download the Troutdale Historical Society Brochure by selecting here.