Experience the Culture of The Gorge in Troutdale!

Much of the fascination of the Columbia River Gorge is the unmatched beauty within. Yet, the city of Troutdale is home to the history, arts and culture that has accompanied that beauty for more than 100 years. Many unique galleries, museums and outdoor art exist in Troutdale, each with a special story to tell. Residents of Multnomah County receive free admission to all historical society museums in East Multnomah County due to a successful 2021 Oregon Historical Society levy. But the cultural offerings of Troutdale are well worth the price of admission for visitors as well!

Art comes to life in Troutdale in a number of forms. The Red Trillium Gallery is a cooperative that features work from local artists in the Northwest. The Vista House is an incredible work of art in and of itself, with exquisite craftsmanship that has drawn visitors for more than 100 years. The beautiful views of the Columbia River Gorge from the Vista House are matched with the beautiful history found in the museum within. The public downtown Troutdale Mayors Square offers sculptures by local artists, including a bronze sculpture of the town’s first female mayor, Clara Latourell Larsson. Other sculptures and a mural on the east wall of the historic Helming Saloon building, depicted Troutdale as it looked in the early 1900s, framing the fountain, paths and open space that families and persons of all ages enjoy.

The artistic culture of Troutdale can be found in short drives emanating from downtown, whether they are to the town’s iconic water tower from the old Bissinger Wool Pullery, the “Gateway to The Gorge” arch sign framing the Historic Columbia River Highway or the numerous turn-of-the-century bridges at area river crossings.

Vista House at The Gorge in Troutdale, Oregon

Several museums are sprinkled throughout Troutdale, offering a glimpse into the history of the town and The Gorge itself. 

At the Gateway to The Gorge Visitor Center, visitors can learn more about the history of the Columbia River Gorge. It is housed in the historic Troutdale Depot, built more than 100 years ago as a Union Pacific depot. The building also includes the Depot Rail Museum, where visitors can view a 1975 Union Pacific CA-10 Caboose and learn more about the history of the railroad in Troutdale.

The Barn Exhibit Hall currently houses the King of Roads Exhibit - Byway of the People, which details the history of the Historic Columbia River Highway, the first planned scenic highway in the country.

Visitors can also tour the Fred E. Harlow House Museum, a farmhouse built in 1900 by the son of Capt. John Harlow, Troutdale’s founder.

Other wonderful locales featuring the arts and culture of Troutdale include:

Plan Your Experience

Also Arts is open late the First Friday of every month!
ALSO Arts is a community arts program, studio, and gallery located in Troutdale, Oregon. It is a foundation and pillar of ALSO’s programs and services committed to the full inclusion of people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. 
Bronze statue by Rip Caswell
Featuring the largest selection of bronze sculpture in the NW. Free bronze foundry tours daily. Large selection of sculpture, paintings, jewelry, pottery, glass and more.
Vintage Buttons
Located in the beautiful “Gateway to the Gorge”, Columbia River Gallery is centrally situated in historic downtown Troutdale, Oregon. Visit their eclectic collection of hand-picked art and more in the cozy lower-level gallery.
Earthart Clayworks is in a small building nestled on the Edgefield property.
Potter Cisco Freese has been infusing this tiny space (formerly a temporary morgue for the poor farm) with spirit and life, not to mention a variety of artwork such as hanging planters, vases, sculpture and more. Visit Cisco in this cozy space Thursday through Monday.
Fred E. Harlow House Museum
This home was built in 1900 on what is known as the ”Harlow Farm” by Fred E. Harlow, son of Capt. John Harlow. Originally a sea captain from Maine, Captain Harlow was a Portland businessman who came to the Sandy River to establish a country farm. He named his place Troutdale because of the fish ponds he built near the cliff. He convinced them to establish a depot, which took the name of the farm....
Spend some time watching the art of blow glass being made!
Glass-blowing artisans create luminous bottle stoppers, ornaments, vases and more, right before your eyes. These colorful objets d'art are available both onsite in the glass-blowing studio or at the Edgefield Gift Shop.
Oregon's premier outdoor music venue!
Set on a sloping lawn surrounded by trees, Edgefield is the place for summer concerts – every seat is a good seat. With a capacity of 7,000 and beer, wine, cider, spirits, food and ice cream within steps, concert goers find everything they need for an evening of fun.
Rail Depot & Caboose Museum
On November 20, 1882 a rail line was built through what is now Troutdale and east through the Columbia River Gorge. Troutdale’s founder, Capt John Harlow, asked the railroad to establish a depot at his town site. When they refused, he sailed his small riverboat up the Sandy River during a spring freshet and declared the river navigable demanding an expensive draw bridge to accommodate river traffic instead of the trestle planned by railroad builders....
French Breakfast Still Life
Red Trillium Gallery is a gallery cooperative committed to fulfilling the needs of fine art patrons locally, regionally and world-wide by facilitating their interface with Northwest Oregon artists; furthering educational and promotional interests of area artists and supporting educational and the professional goals of local and regional art organizations.
Kathy Kollenburn's Fish Platter
Nestled in the sweet spot between the world and the wilds, the Troutdale Art Center is the ideal space for artists to work in their studios, and still be easily accessible to clients and the public.Sculptor Alison Brown purchased the building in late 2014 with the intention of bringing together a group of artists in varying mediums to create a synergy of working methods and space, and to encourage the free flow of ideas and...
OTIS Result
Learn about the history of Troutdale. Visit the Troutdale Historical Society's Barn Exhibit Hall, the Fred E. Harlow House Museum and the Depot Rail Museum.
Vista House at Crown Point
Traveler Alert: This area was impacted by the recent Eagle Creek Fire. Before you head out, please check with USFS for the most up-to-date information on closures.  Vista House was built between 1916-1918 by Multnomah County as a comfort station and scenic wayside for those traveling on the Historic Columbia River Highway, which was completed in 1916. Vista House is also a memorial to Oregon pioneers. It was formally dedicated on May 5th, 1918. The graceful...