A Brief History of the Museum

Founding

Citizens of Springfield began collecting items for a museum as early as the 1950s. In 1979 the Springfield Museum Committee formed as an offshoot to the Springfield Historical Society. In 1981 the Springfield Museum officially opened to public, housed in the restored Pacific Power and Light transformer station on Main Street in downtown Springfield.

A Powerful Location

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Built in 1911, the Springfield Museum’s brick building originally housed the Oregon Power Company transformer station. Power was generated by burning wood waste at the the nearby Booth-Kelly Mill. The interior was originally a single, cavernous 3-story room with three transformers that towered from floor to ceiling. The building served a succession of power companies during Springfield’s decades of fiercely competing power enterprises, including Mountain States Power Company and finally Pacific Power and Light, which vacated the building in 1976.