NASA exhibit, others draw hundreds to opening in new hall

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Museumgoers take in the NASA exhibition during opening day at the new location of the Washington County Museum.Washington County Museum officials were thrilled with the turnout at Saturday’s opening of their new exhibition space on the second floor of the Hillsboro Civic Center.

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.

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Jim Bull strolls through backlight displays of the solar system.“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,” says Barbara Mason, a member of the museum’s board of directors.

Admission was free on Saturday, which boosted attendance. But 30 people visited Sunday 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,” says TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Ilene O'Malley gives a presentation on the Bracero program.

The 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 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 TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Visitors flocked to the opening of the Washington County Museum's new exhibition space in the Hillsboro Civic Center on Nov. 17. NASA's 'Hubble Space Telescope: New Views of the Universe' was a big hit.

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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