The History Museum of Hood River County in a 2013 file photo.
On Jan. 6, The History Museum of Hood River County will reopen its doors to the public after being closed for nearly a year.
During that time the museum has undergone extensive renovation, transforming from dark and gray to a light and airy space to display the county’s tradition and heritage. The major project was the first stage of three planned phases for renovation.
“We still have some of the exhibit components that just weren’t possible at this time due to budget constraints, but hopefully grant funding will take care of that over the next year,” Museum Director Connie Nice wrote in an update on construction progress.
“For now, we have a beautiful new vibrant space filled with interesting displays, plenty of historical photographs and unique artifacts.
“Some of the displays will change every few months to give us the opportunity to showcase more artifacts and more stories. While we are almost done with Phase I, we are not done with accomplishing our long-range goals for The History Museum.”
The museum will now be open year-round, with the exception of major holidays and weather emergencies. With the increased operating time, the museum is looking to bolster its volunteer ranks. To find out more about being a volunteer, visit the museum’s website at www.co.hood-river.or.us/museum.
The Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the renovated museum will be held Jan. 6 from 2-4 p.m. The public is invited by the museum to “commemorate all we have accomplished with your help…and celebrate our exciting future.” The museum will have free admission the day of the ribbon cutting.
The second phase of the renovation is a structure on the north end of the building for storage. Many artifacts were moved off-site as the museum underwent renovation, but now that they are coming back, Nice says there is an “extreme need to provide a long-term storage facility for our growing artifact collection.” The museum also hopes to eventually add more gallery space.