Brought to you by:
Douglas County Historical Society

Our open season runs from the Thursday before Memorial Day until the Last Day of September.

You may visit us Thursday through Sunday from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM during our summer season.

During our regular season, we are open on National Holidays celebrated on Mondays.

We can be available to you beyond our seasonal schedule. To check our availability email:

efcater@gmail.com, or text a message to my cell number 515-371-3535

Dr. E.F. Cater, Director

124 West Walnut Street
PO Box 63
Waterville, WA 98858

Brought to you by:
Douglas County Historical Society
SEASON
OPEN May 23, 2024

Director: Dr. E. F. Cater
info@douglascountymuseum.com
509 745 8435

2023 Announcements

The original Douglas County Museum Building was a gift of William and Etta Schluenz in order to house some 4,500 rocks and minerals that William had collected over decades.

Click Here to read more.
DCHS Museum Sep 1984 Photo taken by Jim Gill of the Waterville Empire Press

Additions done in recent times include

  • The large gallery added in 1990
  • The double entry added in 1996
  • The rear addition for display and for storage added in 2004

 

Today,
Douglas County Museum is very proud of the facility including a fairly comprehensive rock and gem collection which contains gems, minerals, petrified wood, meteorites and thunder eggs (similar to geodes).

The highlight of our Rock Gallery is a 73.25-pound iron and nickel meteorite known as the Waterville Meteorite.

The Waterville Meteorite was discovered in 1917 and was the first to be recovered in the state.

"Man Riding Cow" is one of many Photos at DCM!

Douglas County Museum is Fun! Adventure! For EVERYONE!

Waterville Roller Mills - 1890

The Douglas County Historical Museum, in Waterville, Washington, is an adventure worthy of your time! 

We are here to help you enjoy a fantastic museum visit in a climate controlled environment!

Open starting May 25 for the 2023 season and
on National Holidays celebrated on Monday
like Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Wait! Here is a great deal for you!
IF you are looking for a family adventure, want to complete genealogical research, or have this aching desire to gather your scattered family to take a look at your heritage–we are here to assist you!

Mansfield Grain Elevator circa 1910

We will open ANYTIME during the year for groups or special events.

Schedule your next company meeting here, we have the space!

Douglas County TRAMWAY

A mural is painted of the Tramway on the side of the museum building.

The Tramway ran with 32 buckets. Each bucket carried 5 sacks of wheat to the river dock.

The Tramway was originally planned to use gravity to carry wheat down and merchandise up, but a power drive was soon added.

Close-up of mural on museum building outside wall.

Waterville Aerial Tramway

The aerial tram was operated from late 1902 until 1910.

The Columbia Tram Company let the contract for building the double cable 9200 foot tram to R.C. Riblett from Spokane.
 
Built three miles north of Orondo on a bluff west of Waterville.
 
Elevation at the top was 2400 feet down to 700 feet at river level.
 
It extended two miles from the top to bottom across two deep canyons.
 
A moving cable supported on wooden towers carried large steel buckets.

The buckets were shaped like a bread loaf pan, nearly four feet long, three feet wide and two feet deep.

Thirty-two buckets held five sacks of grain each for the trip down.

Coal, lumber, and merchandise were hauled up.

It is unclear when open carriers were added.
 
The original idea was that the weight of the downward bound loads would operate the tram.

Apparently this was not satisfactory because an engine and drum were installed at the top of the terminus.

W.E. Stevens was the operator.

Mural painted by Ron McGaughy of Manson, Washington.

Douglas County Museum DOWSER STATUE

The “Dowser Statue” greets everyone entering the museum and is a recognized icon in Waterville along US Highway 2.

Designed and cast by Sculptor Richard Beyer of Pateros in 1996

Richard Viebrock is the “water-dowser” represented in the statue.

This Douglas County Museum Photograph pictures Richard with his Dowsing Rod in front of the Dowser Statue.

Douglas County PIONEERS

PIONEERS

Learn how and why Pioneer Settlers came to Douglas County by the thousands in search of a new life, a new beginning and Free Land!

Learn about Douglas County History and important Events that solidified our presence here.

Most of all, you will have fun and enjoy the new Pioneers’ Page.

If you are from a Pioneer Family and do not see your Family Name in our 1915 Patron’s Spotlight List, then Contact Us and we’ll do research for you!

HOMESTEADERS

Our Precious Pictures

Pictures are the pathway to our past. In some cases, photographic evidence is the only proof of existence left!
Douglas County Museum has thousand’s of photos either on display, or as a scanned digital image on a publicly accessible desktop computer. If you desire a digital copy, bring your flash drive.

Stop by in-person to see the large photo display in our climate-controlled museum building!

Our Galleries

Douglas County Museum has many Gallery Areas, each with its own unique features and personality.

The Main Entrance Gallery will grab your attention and take you back to an earlier time in Douglas County.

The Douglas County Museum is your opportunity to travel back in time and have some fun along the way. 

Douglas County Historical Society THRIFT SHOP

The Douglas County Historical Thrift Shop handles 2nd hand clothing, used and antique furniture, memorabilia and lots more!

 Come visit us at 113 E. Locust Street in beautiful downtown Waterville.

The Douglas County Historical Society Thrift Shop is a proud sponsor of the Douglas County Museum.

WATERVILLE WEATHER
MANSFIELD WEATHER
BRIDGEPORT WEATHER
COULEE DAM WEATHER
ROCK ISLAND WEATHER
EAST WENATCHEE WEATHER