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Portland

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Oregon Historical Society Museum

The Oregon Historical Society Museum is a history museum housed at the Oregon History Center in downtown Portland, Oregon, United States. The museum was created in 1898 and house about 44,000 visitors annually. It houses the Portland Penny that decided the city’s name. This 1835 copper penny was flipped to decide between the names of Boston and Portland, with Portland as the winner. The museum contains over 85,000 artifacts, and is accredited by the American Association of Museums.

The museum is operated by the Oregon Historical Society. It began at the turn of the 18th to 19th century with a small museum located at Portland City Hall in downtown Portland. In 1917 the historical society and the museum moved to the Public Auditorium (later Civic Auditorium, then Keller Auditorium).

In 1966 the museum relocated again to its current home on the South Park Blocks, at 1200 SW Park Avenue. Part of the Oregon History Center is inside the former Sovereign Hotel that was built in 1923. There is a large mural on this nine story building painted by Richard Haas that depicts the Lewis & Clark Expedition. Other parts of the museum are in the three story 1230 SW Park Avenue building constructed in 1965.