Throngs view Hubble telescope, Braceros exhibits in Hillsboro

Washington County Museum officials were thrilled with the turnout at the opening of their new exhibition space on the second floor of the Hillsboro Civic Center earlier this month.

Officials say 435 people visited the museum on Nov. 17. That’s more than 10 times the number of people that usually visit the former exhibit space on PCC’s Rock Creek Campus in an entire month. They included many parents with children and visitors from as far away as Eugene.

“Moving downtown was an excellent idea. We had no idea whether a small number or a large number of people would visit, but the opening went very well. A lot more people are going to take advantage of our excellent programs from now on,” said Barbara Mason, a member of the museum’s board of directors.

Admission was free on opening day, which boosted attendance. But 30 people visited the following day, Nov. 18, when they had to pay and hours were limited from noon to 5 p.m. Some of them had visited on Saturday and returned the next day with friends.

“That’s pretty exciting,” said Mason.

The current exhibitions are NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope: New Views of the Universe, Americans All: The Braceros Program in Washington County and artifacts from the museum’s collection. They will be on display through the end of June.

The new exhibition space is located at 120 E. Main St. in Hillsboro. Admission is $6 for adults, $4 for children and free for members. Hours are: Wednesday to Friday, 10 5 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.

Admission is free from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the second Saturday of every month. Dick Pugh of the Cascadia Meteorite Laboratory and Portland State University will present an interactive talk on asteroids and meteorites in Oregon on Dec. 8. Visitors can touch $10,000 worth of meteorites. If you think you have one, bring it in and Pugh will assess it.

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