Deschutes Historical Museum

Put Some History In Your Future

The Deschutes Historical Museum is you you can Explore life along the obsidian routes with the native people who passed along the Deschutes river and fur trapping with early explorers; see the logging and railroad barons racing to settle the last open spaces among the Ponderosa Pine forests; meet the pioneers of Deschutes County who settled along the river and raised their children, grew their crops or started businesses and prospered. Explore this and more inside the historic Reid School.

History of the Museum and Society

The Deschutes Historical Society is an organization “to gather, preserve and make available museum, library and other historical material relating to the history of Central Oregon…”. It was incorporated August 4, 1975. When plans were being made for the National Bicentennial Celebration in 1975 it was felt that Deschutes County needed a historical society, so the Bend Chapter of the American Association of University Women sponsored the organization.

Artifacts were soon being donated to the society and the need of a location was evident. Several possibilities were considered. Reid School, which was built in 1914 and is on the National Register of Historic Sites, was to be no longer used as a school. The Historical Society wanted to have the building for their home, many of the local citizens felt that Reid School should be preserved instead of destroyed, and the County Court felt that the building should be saved and used as a museum. After much negotiating, the county traded land to the Bend School District for the building and the grounds and in March 1979 the Historical Society assumed the responsibility for establishing and operating a museum and historic center.

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