PENDLETON —The Umatilla County Historical Society’s Heritage Station Museum has canceled museum tour appointments due to flooding in one of its galleries.
On Tuesday, Aug. 11, one of the museum galleries, housed in the historic 1909 train depot, experienced flooding. No artifacts were lost or damaged during the flood and damage was contained to exhibit displays cases, carpet, drywall and baseboards.
In an Aug. 21 interview, Kari Brooks, the executive director, said the flooding was the result of a plumbing issue with a water valve that went down.
Since July 28, the Heritage Station Museum has offered museum tour appointments to visitors. These tour appointments were two-hour blocks of time that allowed visitors the comfort of a safe, stress-free museum experience even during COVID-19. During these tour appointments, visitors were able to visit the much-anticipated Umatilla Gold Exhibit and also view a tribute to Til Taylor.
All visitor appointments have been canceled and work has begun to clean up and repair the issue. Due to the time it will take for cleanup and repairs, the museum will be closed to the public until work is complete. There is currently no reopening date for Heritage Station Museum as repair work is ongoing.
2020 was supposed to be a highlight year for the Heritage Station Museum as it was set to host a grand opening for its Umatilla Gold exhibit on the history of the local wheat industry. With the museum already having its operations restricted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Brooks said the flood adds another setback for the facility. While revenue has taken a hit, Brooks said the historical society has been aided by the Community Thrift Shop, which directs its proceeds to the nonprofit.
For more information about the Umatilla County Historical Society, or to make a donation to help support the Heritage Station Museum, please contact Umatilla County Historical Society Executive Director Kari Brooks at [email protected] or call 541-276-0012.