Pateros Museum

The Pateros Museum
113 Lakeshore Drive

Hours: 7:00AM - 3:30PM
Monday - Friday

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The Pateros Museum has a great collection of local history. Some of the Exhibits include:

Relocation of Pateros and Construction of Wells Dam

Pateros Philippines, Sister City, Namesake, & America's 1898 "Splendid Little War."

 Fort Okanogan - The first American-owned settlement with Washington State

Early days of Pateros and the Apple Industry

Railroad & Steamboats

There are exhibits in Memorial Park, at the Methow Monument and Riverview Pavilion, along the trail, and in the downtown pedestrian mall. 

The Pateros Story in video:
"Reflections on Pateros" produced for Pateros Centennial

"Reflections on Pateros" involved filming, editing, sound coordinating and producing a 45-minute documentary capturing the stories and history of rural Pateros, WA. The story of Pateros, a town of about 600 people, and its relocation due to the installation of a dam was told through numerous interviews with long-time community members. This self-directed project required a commitment of 300 hours over the course of three months.

The Pateros Story in just a few pictures:

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The first people of Pateros were the Methow, with villages on both side of the Methow River where it flows into the Columbia, as depicted here by Native artist, Virgil "Smoker" Marchand. 
Detail exhibit at Methow Monument and the Riverview Pavilion in Memorial Park

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Lee Ives settled at the confluence of the Methow and Columbia in 1885. In 1894, using money from his fur trade, Lee purchased lumber for the Ives Landing Hotel and had it delivered by steamboat from Everett. 
Extensive photo collection in the museum

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The townsite was purchased from Lee Ives in 1900 by Charles E. Nosler, a Spanish American War veteran. The town was renamed for the battle of Pateros Philippines and the first streets were named in honor of fallen officers and members of First Washington Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Pateros was incorporated as a town in 1913. 
See the Spanish American War & Nosler exhibit in the museum and history on the Riverview Pavilion. 

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From the late 1880s to the early 1920s steamboats were a primary mode of transportation in and out of the Okanogan. Pateros was a daily stop for passengers and mail coming out of Wenatchee. The Methow Rapids, shown here, was a significant challenge to navigate. Steamers would attach a cable onto an iron ring mounted in a rock and pull themselves through the rapids.
A rock and iron ring can be seen in Memorial Park next to the museum.
Models of steamboats built by Pateros Highschool students are on display at the museum. 
Read the Poem by Fred C. McDermott, a steamboat captain on the upper Columbia at the Riverview Pavillion

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In 1914 the Great Northern Railroad was completed, and Pateros became a main railroad hub from Wenatchee to Oroville.
Railroad Exhibit in museum and at the Riverview Pavillion. 

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Pateros grew as community and center of economic activity. 
Historical information boards are placed along the walking trail in Memorial Park. 

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By the 1960s Pateros had five large fruit packing plants with loading facilities directly onto the train. The tree lined Methow Street was busy, and had markets, drug stores, gas stations, dealerships, bakery, hotel, bank, cafe's, lumber yard, fuel bulk plant, train depot and more. 
Apple Industry Exhibit and extensive photo collection and maps found in the museum.

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In the mid 60s, the Wells Dam Hydroelectric project would dramatically alter the town. Wells Dam backed up the Columbia by over 50 feet and created a 20-mile-long reservoir, named in honor of the old town - Lake Pateros. All of old Pateros was destroyed or moved up out of the inundation line to make way for the project. 
See survey map of old town with inundation line donated by engineer responsible for the redesign of the new city at the Pateros Museum. 

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A new town was built, and Methow Street became a pedestrian mall. 
Why a pedestrian Mall? Read about architecture and planning design that was trending in the 60s at the Riverview Pavillion.

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In 2013, Pateros celebrated its centennial birthday. A delegation from Pateros Philippines visited during the Apple Pie Jamboree. The following year, a delegation from Pateros WA, visited Pateros Philippines and the two cities officially become Sister Cities.
Visit Sister City Exhibit at the museum. See documents and gifts confirming sisterhood. 

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Pateros has experienced disasters. One of the earliest documented was the flood of 1894, when the Columbia flooded 70 feet above the low water mark, flooding the basement of the new Ives Landing Hotel. The flood of '48 was much more devastating.
Read of accounts and see photos of the event at the museum and at Riverview Pavillion


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On July 17, 2014 Washington's largest wildfire, the Carlton Complex Fire, descended from the surrounding hills and destroyed over 30 homes.
Visit the museum and Riverview Pavillion for exhibit of survival and recovery.

Carlton Complex Video by Mayor Anders
CBS Mornings Carlton Complex Fires
kxly report Carlton Complex recovery after one year (Interview with Mayor Brady)
AP Report & Gov. Inslee
KREM 2 News Five Year Fight: The Carlton Complex Fire Recovery 
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Part 5

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Pateros is known for the Apple Pie Jamboree...

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its parks...

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and its art & artists. 

Learn more about the history and governors that have visited the Apple Pie Jamboree - Mr. Byers and his famous art and foundry - Dick Elliot's reflector art installation on the city water towers. Did you know that Alta Lake State Park was once a city park, and if the State stops using it for park purposes it returns to the City of Pateros?  

Learn more about the history of Pateros at the Pateros Museum, along trails in Memorial Park, at the Methow Monument and at the Riverview Pavillion. 

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