White Pass Country Historical Museum

Our Exhibits

The White Pass Country Historical Museum's collection includes historical artifacts, photos, and documents from the underwater town of Kosmos to the summit of White Pass.

Included in our exhibits is information on local geographical features, the major events and the local residents who have shaped the history of the area. Exhibits change regularly so visit often. Look below for links to on-line highlights of some of our displays. We maintain 6 full rooms of displays at the museum, so these links are just a regularly changing sampling of what you'll see at the museum.

Antique Quilt Exhibit

There are many antique quilts on display through out the museum. These quilts were used by the settlers in the valley. Some were made by individuals and some by groups of women in quilting circles. Some are even autographed by the makers.

Mt St Helens Display

MT St Helens
Ash and pumice from the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens. The dark piece of pumice in the photo is from an eruption of Mt Rainier.

In 1980, Mt St Helens erupted with a tremendous blast of fire and smoke that destroyed more than 230 square miles of forest.

Native American names for Mount St. Helens were “Loowit” or “Louwala-Clough”, which meant “smoking mountain”. A Gifford Pinchot National Forest “Mount St. Helens” Brochure (1980) tells the story of how Mount St. Helens came to be:

“An Indian name for the mountain, Louwala-Clough, means “smoking mountain”. According to one legend, the mountain was once a beautiful maiden, “Loowit”. When two sons of the Great Spirit “Sahale” fell in love with her, she could not choose between them. The two braves, Wyeast and Klickitat fought over her, burying villages and forests in the process. Sahale was furious. He smote the three lovers and erected a mighty mountain peak where each fell. Because Loowit was beautiful, her mountain (Mount St. Helens) was a beautiful, symmetrical cone of dazzling white. Wyeast (Mount Hood) lifts his head in pride, but Klickitat (Mount Adams) wept to see the beautiful maiden wrapped in snow, so he bends his head as he gazes on St. Helens. …”

Native American display

Native American Display
Native American Foods, Baskets and Drums

The Upper Cowlitz River area around Packwood and Randle was home of the Taidnapam. The most famous on them was Mary Kiona. Mary was an expert basket maker, and it is estimated that she lived to be 115 years old. Other Indians living in the area were Jim and Annie Yoke, Bat Kiona, and the Santanus family. The Indians of the upper Cowlitz were of a piece full nature and many of the adopted the ways of the white man.

The Native American Exhibit includes information on the foods they ate and how they acquired them. Along with photos and information on their way of life.