Vernonia Pioneer Museum

The Vernonia Pioneer Museum: A great way to spend a day for the whole family.

Saturday, Sunday 1-4 PM
Will open by appointment

Address: 511 Bridge St E, Vernonia, OR 97064
Phone: (503) 429-3713

Admission: FREE
Of course, donations are always welcome.
Museum membership is $5 per year for an individual, couple or family.


An early picture of Vernonia, Oregon:Fig31Enhanced (1)











The Vernonia Pioneer Museum Association is dedicated to recording and preserving the history of the City of Vernonia and the Upper Nehalem River Valley.

Its mission is to educate, display, research, and preserve the history of this area.

479969_297934743660293_602607060_nIn the early days of Oregon forestry, lumber mills were the heart of a large percentage of towns across the state. Vernonia is one of the few mill towns that is still a vibrant community.

A visit to the museum is a great way to spend a few hours learning about early life in a historic mill town.

Vernonia from Corey Hill - 1924The building that houses the museum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Oregon–American Lumber Company Mill Office and is loaded with displays, many contributed by Vernonia’s founding families who were part of that history.


537110_319852948135139_1638034176_nThere are tools, clothing, and household items, as well as an extensive photographic collections. For those who enjoy prying more deeply into the past, the museum contains a wealth of documentation about local pioneer life and logging operations, in addition to blueprints and paper records of the Oregon-American Mill that was built in 1923 and demolished in the late 1950’s.


Each year the museum hosts over one thousand visitors and logs nearly an equal number of volunteer hours. The Vernonia Pioneer Museum opened in 1963 and is the largest of the Columbia County museums. Stop by, browse, and chat with one of the knowledgeable volunteers. There’s something for everyone at the Pioneer Museum.


10 Replies to “Vernonia Pioneer Museum”

  1. I would like to know if you have any pictures of the Greenman field grandstand. Or any historical data on the grandstand.

    1. Thanks for the note, Pat. And sorry about the delay in responding. I found your comment in spam. I would suggest stopping by the museum. They have a lot of information and photos.

  2. I spoke to you at the Nehalem Valley Pioneer meeting. You indicated you were not aware of the Nehalem Valley Co-operative Colony. it was establish in 1886 and lasted until 1892. Five miles from Mist, across the river frim the Natal School, but some distance back from the river. It is mentioned in “Eden within Eden” by James JK. Kopp on pages 68, 71, and 72.

  3. I would like to come visit the museum but it seems to be closed on the days I want to come. Could you please tell me what your September hours will be?
    Georgia B.

  4. My mother and I lived with my grandfather , Holly Holcomb Sr,, during WW2 while my dad was flying B17’s in the South Pacific. We lived in the third house from the top on OA Hill. I am wondering if the path that was built from the top of the hill and ended near the downtown bridge, is still existing. I am almost 80 and can remember vividly walking to and from kindergarten on that graveled path. I also loved the playground that was at the bottom of the hill, across from the mill. Great memories!

  5. I would like to know if you have any information on the Alley shingle mill. They lived at Apiary and built a shingle mill closer to the river. My family talked of Vernonia and many surrounding areas and people. They came to the Apiary area in the 1800’s.
    Any information you may have would be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you.
    Karen Alley Neal

  6. I have a document that was mailed around 1913 to Miss Hazel Ruzie, Box 25 Deer Island, Ore. I would like to know if it is possible to find out any information about this family.

  7. I shall have to visit soon.
    Albert and Elizabeth Parker are my great great Uncle and Aunt .

    Charles Nelson lived there several years.
    My great Uncle.
    Charle’s son Mike lived there as well.

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