Built in 1924 as a home for Polson Logging Co. heir Arnold Polson, the Polson Museum is housed in one of Hoquiam’s finest surviving riverfront mansions. This National Register property, designed in the colonial revival style, features a grand entry-way staircase, four fireplaces, and full-length 40-foot clear hemlock flooring. Photographs taken when the museum served as the Polson family residence capture the grandeur of the time.
The museum grounds, situated on over two acres of parkland, offer picnic areas, the Burton C. Ross Memorial Rose Garden, and a scenic hillside trail. Notably, the museum’s Railroad Camp brings Grays Harbor’s extensive logging and sawmilling history alive in over 3,800 square feet of dramatic exhibition space modeled after original Polson Logging Company structures.
Of the museum’s 26 rooms, 15 are open to the public with entertaining and educational displays, notably an extensive collection of Native American artifacts and basketry. Permanent exhibits on the region’s rich industrial history await those eager to immerse themselves in the gritty world of Harbor sawmills and deep-woods logging camps. In contrast, the domestic realm of Harbor life in a privileged household is also depicted — highlights include a working kitchen and dressing room displays of past fashion trends.
After two pandemic closures afforded staff and volunteers to complete a full interior restoration, the Polson is pleased to welcome guests back to the mansion to explore the 1924 mansion anew. As the museum's single biggest "artifact", the Polson home is a showpiece in itself along with dynamic new permanent exhibits completed in early 2022.
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