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Museum Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9a-5p - Closed Sunday and Monday
1451 Main St. -- Klamath Falls, OR 97601 -- (541) 883-4208

Welcome To The Klamath County Museum

The Klamath County Museum and Related Historical Sites Housed in a former national guard armory built in 1935, the Klamath County Museum features exhibits on natural history and human history. The museum also houses a large collection of historic photos and public records.

  • Main Museum - 1451 Main St. --  Klamath Falls, OR 97601 -- (541) 883-4208
  • Baldwin Hotel Museum - 31 Main St. -- Klamath Falls, OR 97601  --  (541) 883-4207
  • Fort Klamath Museum - 51400 Highway 62  -- Fort Klamath, OR 97626 -- (541) 381-2230.

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Klamath History Overview

Click here for a nice seven page read about how it all started for Klamath Falls
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Mystery Image help

We need your help to find any information regarding the images in our Mystery Gallery.  If you know anything about them, please contact us. Click Here Now..
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Klamath Organizations

Click here for a comprehensive list of organizations in Klamath Falls.  Subject to change at any time. pdfClick Here...
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The Modoc War

Click here to read stories and view images regarding the Modoc War Read more...
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Shown below are links to a variety of online video resources related to Klamath History.

"Klamath Memories"

Programs originally produced for broadcast on Klamath County's government cable channel:

Klamath Memories No. 12 - An interview with Harriett (Fox) Zalabak, who dated David Kingsley before he left for service in the Army Air Corps in World War II. Kingsley Field in Klamath Falls is named for David Kingsley. Recorded Oct. 18, 2012.

Klamath Memories No. 11 - History of structure fires in the Klamath Basin, including tragic fires that claimed lives as well as blazes that destroyed commercial and industrial property. Guest: Monte Keady. Recorded Oct. 9, 2012.

Klamath Memories No. 10 - History of forest fires and firefighting in the Klamath Basin. Discussion of fuels, ecology and major fires, including the Lone Pine fire of 1992. Guest: Gene Rogers. Recorded Oct. 2, 2012.

Klamath Memories No. 9 - Descendants of the Wilson and McDonald families from Langell Valley review the history of their families, including incidents related to the Modoc War. Recorded May 5, 2012.

Klamath Memories No. 8 - History of the company-owned town of Gilchrist is reviewed by Mary Gilchrist Ernst and John Driscoll, author of "Gilchrist, Oregon; The Model Company Town." June 14, 2012. (Book available for sale at Klamath County Museum.)

Klamath Memories No. 7 - A review of more than 100 "Mystery Photos" in the collection of the Klamath County Museum, with commentary by Bill Anderson and Todd Kepple. Recorded May 15, 2012. (Click here to see all our Mystery Photos.)

Klamath Memories No. 6 - A collection of panoramic photos of the Klamath Falls area and nearby historic sites, including Malin, with commentary by Mark Clark, Ryan Bartholomew and Todd Kepple. Recorded April 10, 2012.

Klamath Memories No. 5 - Operations of the Weyerhaeuser facilities in Klamath Falls, with special emphasis on the lumber mill. Guests include Max Revis and Bill Anderson. Featuring photos from the collection of Gene Gjertsen. Recorded March 13, 2012. (First minute of sound lost.)

Klamath Memories No. 4 - Guests Steve Harper and RC Brown, retired Oregon Air National Guard, discussing the history of Air National Guard operations at Kingsley Field. Recorded Feb. 14, 2012.

Klamath Memories No. 3 - Guests Richard Nelson, Neal Eberlein and the Metler family recall life in the Altamont neighborhood. Recorded Jan. 10, 2012.

Klamath Memories No. 2 - Guests Nina Pence and James F. Stilwell, sharing stories about Main Street and the downtown district of Klamath Falls from the 1930s to present. Recorded Dec. 13, 2011.

Klamath Memories No. 1 - Guest Bill Meade, recalling various aspects of the lumber industry. Recorded Nov. 10, 2011.


Links to other online video resources

"Oregon Experience: The Modoc War" - A 2011 documentary produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting.

Modoc Basket - The PBS History Detectives look into the case of a basket that may have been made by Toby "Winema" Riddle, who played a key role in the Modoc Indian War.

Downtown buildings of Klamath Falls - Short YouTube video produced by Ryan Pfeil featuring history of downtown Klamath Falls.


"Oregon Trails"

Selected installments of a weekly history series by KDRV-TV.

Brick Upon Brick - Aired June 15, 2012. Klamath Brick & Tile Co. produced building materials for 77 years before closing down in 1994. It was one of several brick manufacturers in Southern Oregon.

Deep Freeze of '49 - Aired Jan. 6, 2012. Bitter cold across Southern Oregon in early 1949 caused some hardship, and offered unique opportunities for adventure.

World War II camps - Aired Dec. 2, 2011. Topics include Camp White and Camp Abbott, as well as the Marine Recuperative Barracks near Klamath Falls, the Japanese relocation center near Tulelake, and the Klamath Falls Naval Air Station (now Kingsley Field).

Red Ball Stage Line - Nov. 25, 2011. The stage line that operated between Klamath Falls and Lakeview for many years.

Bomber Crash Site - Nov. 4, 2011. A visit to the site of a World War II era bomber crash that killed 11 airmen in the Pueblo Mountains in southeastern Oregon.

Plum Crazy - Sept. 30, 2011. Local companies use wild Klamath plums to produce jams, jellies and wine.

Klamath Tribal Restoration - Aug. 26, 2011. The Klamath Tribes celebrate regaining recognition by the federal government in 1986.

Klamath Armory - June 3, 2011. Trumpeter Fred Floetke recalls the days when band leader Baldy Evans filled the Klamath Armory with music.

Additional "Oregon Trails" programs

Listed below are some of the most popular local legends in the history of Klamath Falls and the surrounding area. Click on each title to find out if the legend is fact or fiction . . . or something in between.

 

  1. Midges were introduced to the Klamath Basin as part of an effort to crowd out mosquitoes.
  2. The government once tried to eradicate suckers from throughout the Klamath Basin.
  3. The municipal swimming pool in Klamath Falls was built with money from the red-light district.
  4. It's been known to snow on the Fourth of July in Klamath Falls.
  5. An old city ordinance -- still on the books -- makes its illegal to kick the heads off of snakes.
  6. Frozen ducks fell from the sky one day in Klamath Falls.
  7. There are no falls in Klamath Falls.
  8. A series of tunnels exists beneath the downtown area in Klamath Falls.
  9. Klamath County was once part of an effort to form a new state called the "State of Jefferson."
  10. Salmon once migrated all the way up the Klamath River watershed to Upper Klamath Lake.
  11. Link River is the shortest river in the world.



Status: False.

Discussion: Several species of midges are native to the Klamath Basin -- as are several species of mosquitoes.

Click here to read more about midges.

 



 


Legend: The government once tried to eradicate suckers from throughout the Klamath Basin.

Status: False.

Discussion: At least three species of suckers are native to the Klamath Basin -- Lost River suckers, shortnose suckers, and Klamath largescale suckers. There is no evidence that the government has ever tried to eradicate any of them.

This rumor is often repeated by those who are opposed to efforts to protect suckers that are on the Endangered Species List. But no one has ever produced evidence to substantiate the rumor. Furthermore, eradication of a species as widely distributed as suckers would be enormously expensive and destructive to other species.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, as part of its sport fishery management program, has on occasion treated certain lakes with a chemical that kills all fish. Such treatments are typically aimed at eliminating non-native species that can't be controlled by any other means.

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