The Cascade Locks Historical Museum is located in one of three original locktender’s houses, built in 1905, in the Port of Cascade Locks Marine Park. The Museum overlooks the original lock and canal built in the late 1800’s. At this National Historic Site you’ll find fascinating artifacts, information and photographs. A must-see if you’re interested in historic waterways and locks, the once-fierce Cascade Rapids, railroads, fish wheels, sternwheelers and steamboats on the Columbia River, or Cascade Locks History.
The first steam locomotive built on the Pacific Coast is on display here, the Oregon Pony Engine. The Oregon Pony steam locomotive was the first to be used in the Oregon Territory. Until the Oregon Pony went to work in 1862, the conveyances were flat cars running on rails, equipped with benches for passengers and pulled by mules. Shortly after the Pony was put into service, canopies were added to protect the passengers and their goods from the hot, sooty water that rained down on everything as the little locomotive steamed along. The little Oregon Pony engine moved nearly 200 tons a day between the Cascades and Bonneville, until it was transferred to the The Dalles , where it was put to work on the portage around Celilo Falls . The Oregon Pony is now owned by the State of Oregon and is kept in a climate controlled exhibition chamber next to the Cascade Locks Historical Museum.