The History Trunks program helps to bring history to life. During 2020, this program has been transitioning from museum docents bringing history trunks into classrooms for presentations to the trunks being available on-site at the Corvallis Museum as part of our School Tours program. Teachers may also check out a history trunk to explore in their classroom. During this transition we are also working on making the history trunk presentations available virtually. We have ten history trunks exploring ten different themes. The Oregon Trail, Early Settlers, and Kalapuya trunks are particularly popular. If you'd like to delve into any of these fascinating trunks with your students, please contact Laura Young, Curator of Education, at [email protected]

When Schoolbells Rang

Teachers can recreate a day in the life of an Oregon pioneer student in a one-room schoolhouse, using the textbooks, information and supplies in this trunk, including McGuffy readers, slates and slate pencils, an abacus and more.

19th Century Games

Sixteen replicas of artifacts children used in the 19th century to play the most popular games of the time: marbles, jacks, tops, Bilbo-catcher, nine pins and more. Many games require math, cooperative skills and/or hand-eye coordination.

Victorian Parlor Amusements

Introduce students to life before electricity. Amusements from the Victorian parlor can supplement a science segment with optics lessons. Stereoscope and cards, Victorian viewing jar, kaleidoscope and zoetrope included.

Quilts & Quilting

Quilt-making has been recognized as a uniquely American craft. Introducing kids to quilts and quilt patterns can easily support a math lesson and arts/crafts.

19th and 20th Century Clothing

Clothing is a great way to compare and contrast historical and modern life within social studies and history lessons. This trunk includes historic photographs of children and replicas of historic clothing.

Oregon Trail

Pack your wagon and prepare for the historical trip of a lifetime. Replica wagon and all the gear are ready to go! Learn about the history of the Trail, what people took along to survive and what they had to live without.


Learn about Benton County's first residents through replicas of artifacts used by past Native American Indians. Included are:

• Short trunk (small objects)

• Long trunk (bow, arrows, etc.)

• Portfolio of photoboards

Architecture as a Basic Curriculum (ABC)

Students will discover how to identify basic architectural styles and be able to find examples of those styles in photos. There are three building materials to create three different styles of architecture.

Early Settlers

A fascinating chapter of American history is the westward expansion and settlement of the West by the 19th century pioneers. This trunk contains artifacts just like the ones used by emigrants creating a new life in Oregon.

Taking a Picture

This trunk contains six enlargements of historic photos of children in the 19th century. They represent different historic photo processes including daguerreotype, tintype, carte-de-visite, cabinet card and paper prints. The information included tells how these processes relate to the photos in the trunk. You will also learn about the process of taking and posing for pictures as photographic technology evolved and how clues about dating photos can be gleaned from clothing styles.