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Heritage Night celebrates history of Mount Hood

Museum leaders invite residents to year's biggest fundraiser

Mount Hood’s version of a charity ball is fast approaching, and a membership to the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum is your ticket in.

Beginning at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7, members of the Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum in Government Camp will hold the annual Heritage Night, their biggest fundraiser of the year.

“It’s kind of the start of the winter season,” said Curator Lloyd Musser. “It’s the kickoff.”POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - The Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum serves as an educational museum, gift shop, visitors center and gallery in Government Camp.

Musser, Betsy Valian, Maryanne Hill and Nancy Spencer founded The Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum as a historical society in 1998.

In 2001, the society opened the museum in a 9,000-square-foot renovated bed and breakfast.

Today, from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week, the museum is home to ever-changing exhibits on the history of the mountain, its settlers and the winter sports that made it famous.

“We’re here to preserve the history of the mountain,” Musser said.

Musser explained that part of what makes the museum special is the connection it builds with the residents on the mountain and the history exchange those connections can result in.

When Dale Crockatt, a man well known to the mountain community as a skier, climber and photographer, died in July after a battle with cancer, he left his entire photo collection to the museum.

More than 10,000 prints of the mountain and other spectacles will now be available for Musser and other museum officials to work into the exhibits as they see fit.

“If we weren’t here, where would it go?” Musser said. “(Crockatt) wanted us to use it to make money for the museum and preserve his collection … That’s why we’re here.”

In addition to the exhibits, the museum doubles as a visitor’s information center and a gift shop, and also offers an upstairs gallery for mountain artists to display and sell their work.

Heritage Night is a chance for members to get together and celebrate the museum and generate some funds to keep it going. Admission to the event is a yearly membership to the museum, which costs $25 a person or $40 a couple. Memberships will be sold at the door the night of the event. POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - Lloyd Musser, museum curator, displays the Western Ski Heritage Award given to the museum in June 2015.

In addition to receiving discounts on the museum’s events, such as the Steiner Cabin Tours in the summer and Ski the Glade event in March, Musser said museum members will soon see another benefit of helping to fund the nonprofit organization.

The Clackamas County Heritage Council is set to begin a Clackamas County reciprocal museum membership for participating museums across the county, including Phillip Foster Farms in Estacada and the End of the Oregon Trail museum in Oregon City.

“If you have a family or equivalent membership at any museum in the county, you can go in (to another county museum) and get the same benefits as their family membership,” Musser noted. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

As the largest fundraiser of the year, the museum’s Heritage Night usually brings in about $8,000 in donations and bids during the oral and silent auctions.

In June 2015, the museum was recognized as the Western Ski Heritage Award winner by the Far West Ski Heritage program. In addition to a plaque, the museum was awarded a $4,000 six-day ski vacation for two at the Steamboat Ski Resort in Colorado — a prize that will be auctioned off during Heritage Night’s oral auction.

In addition to the vacation package, art, antiques, sports equipment, ski lift passes, gift certificates and more opportunities to get away will be available at the auctions.

Aside from making sure to get your membership, what is Musser’s most important advice about attending the event?POST PHOTO: KYLIE WRAY - The Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum opened in 2001.

“Don’t have dinner before you come,” he said with a laugh, referencing the large spread of hors d’oeurves provided each year by Mt. Hood Skibowl.

Learn the heritage

Mt. Hood Cultural Center and Museum’s annual Heritage Night will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 7.

A membership gets you in the door and complimentary hors d’oeurves. Annual memberships will be sold at the door for $25 a person or $40 per couple.

The museum is located at 88900 E. Government Camp Loop. For more information, call the museum at 503-272-3301 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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