Betsy Millard at Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

Betsy Millard, the executive director of the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, at the museum in Ilwaco, Washington. 

Nestled in the small town of Ilwaco is the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. The museum has been a mainstay for Pacific County residents and visitors alike since its humble beginnings, which occurred in the early 1980s when then-Ilwaco City Council member Noreen Robinson came up with the museum’s concept over breakfast with fellow residents.

Since its opening, the museum has acquired over 23,000 artifacts for viewing. Permanent exhibits feature important pieces of the Long Beach Peninsula’s past with topics such as cranberry harvesting, maritime culture and the Chinook Indian Nation’s local presence. Touring and local exhibits are also shown at the museum, showcasing features like local students’ art and other historical topics relevant to the Long Beach Peninsula.

In addition to its exhibits, the museum’s staff, led by executive director Betsy Millard, are always available. Staff members can answer just about any question a visitor has regarding local history. During the rare times they don’t have an answer, they’re ready and willing to find the information in question. Museum staff are also available to help visitors do their own research.

Museum archives are available for viewing by appointment. The Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Museum admission costs $5 for adults, $4 for seniors 55 years and older, $2.50 for children ages 12 to 18. Admission is free for children under age 12. Thursday admission is free for all ages.

Alyssa Evans is the editor of Coast Weekend. Contact her at 971-704-1721 or

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