Fort Dalles Museum, in The Dalles, Oregon, is housed in the former Surgeon’s Quarters; the only remaining officer’s quarters of the 1856 Fort Dalles military complex. It is one of Oregon’s oldest history museums, with it first opening its doors in 1905.
This museum gives insight into daily life in Oregon during the mid-1800s to the early 20th century. It’s not simply a fort in the typical sense. Fort Dalles and Anderson Homestead instead showcase two homes, a barn, sheds, tools, and personal items actually used by army officers living at the fort, and an area farming family. The museum is great for history buffs, kids, and families alike.
The Anderson Homestead is a Swedish log homestead built in 1895. Lewis Anderson, a Swedish immigrant, built this house in 1895 on Pleasant Ridge, 25 miles southwest of The Dalles. Its hand-hewn logs, mostly tamarack and some pine, came from areas farther up the ridge. The house was the social center of Pleasant Ridge in the late 1800s. The Anderson house was lived in until the 1950s. It was left vacant until the Wasco County-City of The Dalles Museum commission acquired the house in 1971, moved it to The Dalles, and restored it to its original condition, largely through community volunteer efforts. The Anderson Homestead is located just across the street from the Fort Dalles Museum Surgeon’s Quarters. Tours are provided by the staff of Fort Dalles Museum and you may tour the Anderson Homestead with a paid admission to Fort Dalles Museum.
The Fort Dalles Museum houses a historic collection of wagons and antique vehicles. The collection holds over 30 wheeled vehicles, including a stagecoach, buses, road-building equipment, a covered wagon, two horse-drawn hearses, and two surreys, one of which was owned by Oregon Governor Zenas Moody. A portion of these antique vehicles were entrusted to the care of the museum by the American Legion Post #19. In addition, several early 1900’s vintage automobiles give visitors a look into the past of the “horseless carriage.”