Port of Kalama Opens New Administrative Offices and Interpretive Center to House Community’s Rich History

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Port of Kalama showcases area history at a Grand Opening this week; new museum weaves time along waterways, railways and roadways to drive home why transportation continues to be Kalama’s mainstay.

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Kalama Transportation Interpretive Center

Kalama has such a rich history and this Interpretive Center will illuminate how really distinctive our past is and how our roots in commerce and transportation have created what we are today.

The Port of Kalama hosts a Grand Opening celebration of its new Kalama Transportation Interpretive Center and state-of-the-art administrative offices this Thursday, November 6 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. The public is welcome to attend the event which includes a Flag Ceremony by the local Veterans of Foreign Wars, a Building Dedication to the late Port of Kalama Commissioner Jim Lucas, tours of the building and Interpretive Center, and a short program.

The new facility not only houses the Port of Kalama operations team with much-needed space for a growing list of new business and community projects, but celebrates Kalama’s unique place in Pacific Northwest history as a transportation and commercial hub. The center is designed to replicate a traditional waterfront warehouse of the 1800s and will house cultural artifacts, memorabilia and replicas of the past will pose life-sized within its walls and bring history alive for its visitors.

“Kalama has such a rich history and this Interpretive Center will illuminate how really distinctive our past is and how our roots in commerce and transportation have created what we are today. Those assets continue to draw international business to the region,” says Alan Basso, Port of Kalama Commission President. “Much of what made Kalama replete and thriving in the past still holds true today. Kalama remains an ideal place to do business and our growth continues in such a positive way.”

Port officials expect the new administrative facility and museum to further develop Kalama as a destination not only for businesses looking to grow, but day-trippers and tourists. Exhibits track Kalama’s early inhabitants and the settlers that followed over the next 100 plus years including renowned Oregon Trail writer Ezra Meeker. Displays illustrate how Kalama’s particular landscape gave birth to a booming transportation system impacting the area both culturally and economically and ultimately transforming the area into its position today as an internationally-connected community.

The Kalama Interpretive Center will not only tell the story of how Kalama was settled, but treat visitors to artful display models and replicas including:

  •     Handcrafted canoe carved from a cedar log by Cowlitz artisan Robert Harjeu
  •     Prairie Schooner covered wagon, like the one used by Ezra Meeker to cross the Oregon Trail
  •     Railroad ferry boat, Tacoma, the second largest in the world in its day
  •     Actual 1929 Model AA Ford Truck
  •     Interpretive materials featuring the area’s first settlers and transportation technology of the day

About Port of Kalama – Where rail and water meet:
The Port of Kalama is located in Southwest Washington on the Columbia River and immediately off of Interstate Highway 5. The port exists to induce capital investment in an environmentally responsible manner to create jobs and to enhance public recreational opportunities. Port of Kalama's industrial area includes five miles of riverfront property adjacent to the 43' federally-maintained deep draft navigation channel of the Columbia River. The Port is served by the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads. There are over 20 industries located at the Port of Kalama, employing over 830 people. Port of Kalama offers all the superior facilities businesses need to thrive, and an unsurpassed quality of life. The port offers shovel ready sites, a new Industrial Park, state of the art Marine Terminals and transportation accessibility to rail and highway all just a 30 minute drive to the Portland International Airport. Port of Kalama also offers high-bandwidth communications, with dual access fiber-optic service to Seattle and Portland. Properties currently available at the port for businesses wishing to expand and thrive: Visit http://portofkalama.com/industrial_property.

CONTACT: Claudia Johnson, Strategic Communications, 503-799-2220/cell

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Liz Newman
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