PENDLETON — The Umatilla County Historical Society recently received a boost for its Heritage Adventures tours program.

The Umatilla County Cultural Coalition provided $1,700 and the Education Foundation of Pendleton gave $532. The money will be used to help offset the cost for area fourth-graders to learn about the history of Umatilla County through tours at Heritage Station Museum.

Ellen Wardell, the Heritage Adventures tour coordinator, wrote both grants. During the museum visits, students are exposed to a variety of information, including about the founding and growth of local communities, how settlers claimed land using timber cultures, what it was like attending a one-room schoolhouse, the history of wool in the area and how a milking and branding barn operated.

Also, while stepping inside an actual caboose, participants learn about the history of the train depot and the career of a conductor. In addition, hands-on experiences provide information about quilting and its history. And by touring an actual homestead, they learn about life in the area for new immigrants.

Kari Brooks, historical society executive director, said the program is important to area fourth-graders, as their social studies class curriculum includes a focus on the Oregon Trail and Oregon state history.

The mission of the Umatilla County Coalition is to represent and support arts, heritage and humanities in Umatilla County. Also, the coalition is responsible for carrying out the goals of the Umatilla County Cultural Plan. The Education Foundation of Pendleton encourages and supports curriculum enrichment, supplemental learning experiences and other projects that benefit students in the Pendleton School District. Through its work, the foundation promotes public awareness and seeks to increase community support for its schools.

For more information about Heritage Station Museum and its programs, contact Brooks at, 541-276-0012 or visit

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