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Tank of Gas Getaway: Klamath County Museums

Klamath County, Ore. – The long and dramatic history of the Klamath Basin comes to life at several local museums.

There’s so much to discover, you’re going to want to spend the whole day.

NBC5’S Scott Gee is your tour guide in this week’s Tank of Gas Getaway.

The history of the Klamath Basin is fascinating and very well documented.

Some of the things that happened here had international significance.

So we can’t just send you to one museum to learn all about the history of the Klamath Basin, you need visit all four! And you’ll want to start at the Klamath County Museum.

Did you know 10,000 year old artifacts were discovered near the Klamath Basin?

Or the only Americans killed on the US mainland due to enemy action during World War II perished in Klamath County?

And just 35 miles north of Klamath Falls, the US Army built a pre-civil war military outpost.

Well, this is the place where you can hear these stories.

Klamath County Museum Manager Todd Kepple said, “The Klamath County Museum is a great place to learn the deep background of Klamath County’s history.”

Have you heard about the ancient sandals? Kepple revealed their secret “We are very fortunate to have two sandals that were found in a cave by Luther Crestmen, an archeologist working for the University of Oregon back in the 1930’s. He found sets of sagebrush bark sandals that were made by native Americans between eight and ten thousand years ago. It’s a chance for people to see objects that are several thousand years old. And you won’t find that anywhere else.”

So take your pictures, grab some brochures and head out. There’s a lot more to see.

Kepple said, “There are two other museums that the county owns. One is the Baldwin Hotel Museum down at the other end of Main Street. That’s a four story, brick building constructed in 1905 that’s been a museum since 1978. And we certainly encourage people to go check that out. We also have the Ft.Klamath Museum. That’s about 35 miles north of town. But it’s a great site, it’s an important site in national history, because the Army had a frontier military post there that opened in the 1860’s. We have the Favel Museum of Western Art and Indian Artifacts. That’s a privately owned museum. They have an amazing collection of western art and thousands of Indian artifacts. So that’s certainly a place where people would want to consider visiting.”

Did we say there were only four museums? Sorry. There are a few more.

“And then nearby, we have, you know, a number of other museums that have more of a specialized focus,” Kepple said. “There’s a community museum in the town of Malin, there’s one at the Tule Lake County Fairgrounds. And then of course, we have the Collier State Museum and Park about 25 miles north of Klamath Falls.”

Think of it this way. If you’re just one tank away from the Klamath Basin, that qualifies you as local. And that means Klamath’s history is part of your history. Discover it!

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