Another Eastern Washington Treasure

Made another trip down the Columbia Gorge to visit the Maryhill Museum that has recently reopened due to the improved Covid conditions. No way to completely describe the truly eclectic collection at this museum. Going in I thought of it as an art museum and it certainly is, but there is also an extensive display of Native American artifacts. From petroglyphs to stone tools along with a fast amount of woven baskets, clothing, etc. and much more.

The museum was built by Mr. Sam Hill as a home high above the picturesque Columbia River gorge, but I’m told his wife didn’t really want to live there. So he turned into a museum. Among many things, Mr. Hill was a world traveler and a philanthropist who contributed to the Romanian relief effort after World War I. As a result he became friends with Queen Mary of Romania. The queen and her estate donated a significant amount of items to the museum, including furniture from her castle, jewelry, and a replica she had made of her coronation crown. There is also a display of Eastern European clothing from that era.

My wife, Darryl, was surprised and thrilled to discover the extensive Rodin collection of sculptures and drawings. The new wing of the museum includes contemporary pottery and glass art and an unbelievable array of art chess pieces.

There is much more on display that I have not mentioned making a visit to this museum a must for anyone living in or traveling near Eastern Washington. Maryhill is about halfway between Vancouver and Umatilla. You will also be treated to the amazing views and vistas traveling along the river, including of Mount Hood.

And no trip to Maryhill would be complete without stopping at the Stonehedge recreation, also by Mr. Hill, and the lovely Maryhill Winery for a tasting and late lunch. The latter was quite busy, as we found out this Memorial Day weekend was their 20th anniversary. We were able to get a table for two and enjoy a bottle of Viognier, wonderful lunch, and live music. Great to be out and about again.

1 thought on “Another Eastern Washington Treasure

  1. Very cool Steve. Glad you and Darryl had a wonderful adventure!

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