Visit the Museum at Four Rivers Cultural Center
About the Museum
The Four Rivers Cultural Center Museum gathers the wonders of over a century of history within its walls. The museum exhibits trace the settlement patterns of the Northern Paiutes, Basque, Japanese, Hispanic, and Euro American immigrants. The visitor’s exhibit tour begins with an educational film, designed to provide a historical context to the exhibit gallery.
From the orientation theater, visitors enter a life scale diorama of a Northern Paiute camp along the river. Unique audio dialogue will further the learning experience as they move through the museum.
The diorama leads to exhibits on the reservation period and removal of the Paiute from the Malheur Reservation as the cattlemen move into the region.
In 1883, the arrival of the Oregon Short Line Railroad brought a new focus to the area, opening up new markets in agriculture and improved accessibility for new settlers.
A history of the valley’s irrigation walks you through the early efforts to irrigate by water wheels, private ditch projects, federally funded irrigation dams, and finally a stroll through a giant siphon tube.
Next, visitors learn about the internment, as well as the war effort of the Japanese Americans. Visitors will encounter personal recollections, via unique audio dialogue and text, of individuals from the community to understand the experience of Japanese Americans during World War II. Most will quickly note the dedication of Japanese Americans to their country, even as they were imprisoned.
This section of the museum features the 442nd Infantry Regiment, which was composed almost entirely of Japanese Americans, renowned for they courage and strength in battle. Learn about these heroically brave men and women, as well as others who fought and died for their country. This section also features a replica of the barracks where interned Japanese Americans were forced to stay during World War II.
The second major exhibit gallery describes contemporary Cultures and Communities. Four re-created building facades serve as the backdrop for discussion of issues faced by the modern settlers in Eastern Oregon and Western Idaho.