Moving history forward

Five Oaks Museum is a gathering place of vibrant art, culture and storytelling — a resource for all who are curious about the world around us. It’s a place for everything from learning and self-reflection to the sheer joy of making art or enjoying cultural traditions together.

Since our founding in 1956 as the Washington County Historical Society, we’ve worked to preserve the artifacts and narratives that define the Tualatin Valley’s unique place in the world. By collaborating with others to explore how art, culture and history shape the past and influence the future, we help visitors connect to a collective local history made up of community voices and the important stories they tell.

Here, everyone is part of the story. We hope you’ll visit soon.

About Our Name

The communities around the Museum are growing and the cultural landscape is more complex than ever. In order to grow alongside you, the Museum needed a name that can reach further, yet keep us connected to place. The historic Five Oaks site has been a place of gathering, exchange and preservation in this valley for centuries. In becoming Five Oaks Museum in 2020, we embrace those deep roots as we do our part to move history forward.



Our Values


Body First — we recognize that all bodies have the right to be safe and welcome. We exceed ADA compliance and provide audio, tactile and visual display content. We provide water, food, quiet, movement and other support for well being; we respond to input about how we can welcome folks with specific bodily needs.


We believe that the land (the Earth, the ecosystem) is the beginning and end of every story. We recognize the millennia of stewardship that Native people have given — and continue to give — the land. We tell stories of the land and animals in conjunction with stories of people. What can we do to walk the walk of environmental stewardship?


We take truth to be an orientation rather than a fixed state, and we remain persistently devoted to its pursuit. We maintain a high level of rigor in supporting all of our work with research, and we highlight complexity and nuance in our content.


History and culture are tools of production; they must be used in resistance to structural inequity so as to support the possibility of justice for all. We apply an equity lens to all of our actions and products. We uplift many voices and ways of understanding the world.


The people who share their time and attention with the museum are the reason that it exists, and all of our work is approached with generosity towards them in mind. We trust the expertise and capability of the community and include community leadership and input into everything we do. We center descendant communities in all storytelling work.

“Your work on this has been impeccable and I hope you understand the positive effect it will have on our city and the region.”

-City of Tigard representative about our work for the Tigard Outdoor Museum