The Clackamas County Historical Society was incorporated in 1952 as a non-profit organization. Society members held monthly and annual meetings and concentrated on collecting artifacts, archives and photographs that illustrated the history of Clackamas County. The Society had 172 members when the charter was closed in December 1953. Dues were $2.00 per person and included a subscription to the Oregon Historical Society Quarterly. Life membership were available for $25.00. For the first issue of the Society's newsletter click the photo to the right.
In 1968 the Stevens house was donated to the Society and was opened as the Stevens Crawford Heritage House Museum. As the collections grew, members soon realized that the preservation and interpretation of Clackamas County's history required a modern museum building and trained staff.
In the 1970's the Latourette family donated property to Clackamas County to be used as a park. With the agreement of county officials and the Latourette family, this site at 2nd and Tumwater was chosen for the new museum. Beginning with a $300,000 bequest from the Caufield estate a fund raising effort began. Through the efforts of individual donors and grants, including ones from the Meyer Memorial Trust and the Murdock Foundation the Museum of the Oregon Territory was constructed and opened to the public in September 1990.
The intervening years have seen highs and lows in the finances of the Society and at times the museum has had to close. In 2011 the museum was reopened after the most recent closure and a new membership recruitment effort was initiated. With the determination of the Board and the help of many volunteers the Society continues to meet its mission to collect, preserve and interpret the history, culture and technology of Clackamas County, Oregon