Ana Goodwin

Anna Goodwin

The Hood River Heritage Council has selected Anna Goodwin as the new executive director of the Hood River County History Museum. Goodwin, who lives in The Dalles, brings 17 years’ experience in museums across the country. She has a master’s degree in historical administration from Eastern Illinois University and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology, classics, and museum studies from Beloit College. She started work on Jan. 18.

“We are excited to have Anna join with the board, volunteers, and members of the History Museum as we look forward to 2021 and beyond,” said Debby Chenowith, president of the Heritage Council, in a press release. “Anna’s impressive education and experience will help us continue to provide new exhibitions and programs for both residents and visitors to the Gorge.”

“I’m excited to join the dedicated team of board members, staff, and volunteers at the History Museum,” Goodwin said. “Telling the history of everyday people provides an opportunity to show that even the most ordinary can be extraordinary. I’m looking forward to partnering with the community to explore and share the remarkably diverse stories of our region.”

Most recently, Goodwin had been the Collections Manager for the Maryhill Museum of Art, with responsibility for managing and caring for more than 18,000 objects.

She also serves on the Washington Museum Association Board of Directors. She has held positions in Arizona, South Carolina, Illinois, Washington, and Wisconsin over the last 17 years, working in most aspects of museum administration.

Previous Executive Director Lynn Orr was with the museum for five years and retired in November. She has returned to California to be closer to family.

The Hood River County History Museum holds in trust a collection of artifacts, documents, and photographs that document the history of all the peoples of this area of the central Gorge. The mission of the museum is to bring to life the stories of our heritage through education, discussion, and exhibitions and to promote understanding of history and how it impacts our present and shapes the future.

The History Museum will be closed to the public in January and February. The museum is expected to reopen in March, if COVID-19 guidelines allow.

During the winter, work continues, processing new acquisitions, researching patrons’ queries, and planning and preparing new exhibits and programs.

Much of the work at the museum is performed by volunteers. They manage the collections, prepare objects for storage, and create new displays and exhibitions. They also research details about the historical context of objects, help create interpretive programs including Cemetery Tales, and publish information about the collection and museum activities.

Information on memberships, volunteering, and/ or ways to donate is available at

New Heritage Board Members

The Hood River County Heritage Council, the non-profit organization that manages the History Museum, has recently added three new members, Evelyn Charity, Matt Rankin, and Kirby Neumann-Rea.

Charity taught History and Social Science at Hood River Valley High School and recently retired. Charity is working on the museum research committee and assisting in developing a virtual museum tour for local third graders.

A co-editor of the Columbia Gorge News, Neumann-Rea has been an actor in the museum’s “Cemetery Tales,” one of the most popular of the museum’s events and fundraisers.

Local volunteer actors research a person whose grave is in Idlewild Cemetery, write a script, create the character, and then portray the character in the cemetery over several evening performances.

Rankin was the director of the Hood River County School District Community Education program and has marketing experience. Rankin has also been an actor in “Cemetery Tales.”