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MOOT exhibits showcase historic preservation and odd objects in Oregon City

These metal finger traps were used as splints in early days. Other odd objects are on display too.

The Museum of the Oregon Territory opened two new exhibits Feb. 3.

The first exhibit, titled Preserving Places: Local Stories of Conservation, Restoration, and Preservation, tells the story of area heritage houses and historical landmarks across Oregon. Focuses include the Timberline Lodge, Gordon House, Ermatinger House, Molalla Log Cabin, and Carman House. Each location faced challenges and hurdles to their preservation and restoration. Guests will discover why landmarks are historically significant and why their preservation is important.

“With ‘Preserving Places’ we have brought together artifacts on loan from several regional institutions,” says Clackamas County Historical Society Executive Director Claire Blaylock. “Oregon is rich with historic places, and the importance of preservation shines through in this exhibit.”

Displays will include a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed side table from the Gordon House, artifacts from the original interior of Timberline Lodge, and a pair of dovetailed logs from the Molalla Log Cabin, among others.

The museum’s second exhibit, called Intriguing Objects, is a collection of oddities and interesting artifacts found in the historical society’s collection, connected by a common theme.

Highlights include farm tools that look more medieval in nature than agricultural; and a collection of bizarre medical devices, such as metal finger traps used to keep joints secure during surgery. The finger traps are a precursor to the brain teasers made of bamboo in the 1800s that were commonly known as “Chinese finger traps.”

The museum is located at 211 Tumwater Drive in Oregon City.

SUBMITTED PHOTOS:  - This side table designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is part of the new exhibit at MOOT.