About Deschutes Historical Museum
For thousands of years, the Deschutes River country’s resources and beauty have attracted people; whether Native Americans traveling seasonally along well-established trade routes, fur trappers hunting otter and beaver, timber barons scouting the magnificent pne forests, or settlers seeking a place of their own. Inside historic Reid School, the Deschutes Historical Museum celebrates life in Deschutes County at work and at play in the shadow of the Cascades.
History of the Museum and Society
The Deschutes County Historical Society is a 501(c) 3 non-profit. We fundraise to support the operations of the Deschutes Historical Museum. Reid School, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is owned by Deschutes County, which leases the building to DCHS for the purpose of running a museum. The Deschutes County 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.
Located in historic Reid School, the Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10am-4:30pm.