Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum presents special exhibition: Tabletop Tourism: Picturing America

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco is hosting a special exhibit of souvenir state tablecloths.

ILWACO — Many have memories of traveling through the United States by car. Stops were often since gas mileage was low and truck stops, roadside attractions and souvenir shops were plentiful.

“Today, vintage souvenir linens are very collectible, as more and more collectors are drawn to the charm of these pieces of our past,” according to a press release from the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. “Not only are they collectibles you can use, but they also convey a real sense of nostalgia of days gone by. They are a gentle reminder of the U.S. of our childhood, quaint roadside attractions, and rural small towns that today are rapidly disappearing. Strong graphics, bright colors and the dizzying array of designs make them visually delightful. All states at one time sold souvenir tablecloths.”

This private collection of over 30 state tablecloths provides an opportunity to relive those auto-touring days and even learn a bit about the states. Each state is usually depicted with its state flower, bird, and other fun facts. Accompanying the textiles will be a collection of vintage souvenir salt and peppershakers to round out the “tabletop.”

Tabletop Tourism accompanies the museum’s annual 6x6 exhibition and auction. More than 60 artists contributed a piece with this year’s theme, “State of Mind.” The 6x6 auction will take place on Saturday, Nov. 5.

There will be an opening reception for Tabletop Tourism on Friday, Oct. 21, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The show will be on view from Oct. 21 to Dec. 3.

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum is located at 115 SE Lake Street in Ilwaco. Museum hours are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free on Thursdays thanks to sponsorship by the Port of Ilwaco. For more information call 360-642-3446.

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