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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Review of Portland Museum in Louisville, KY

 photo 24a7075d-89e8-4cbc-9a8d-d2988859f0a6_zps01529eaa.jpg photo f51e4bd9-80d2-4bc7-a354-fcc644d65f66_zpsdf3533b4.jpgI learned about the Portland Museum last summer while I was researching all the museums in the area for Louisville Family Fun.  I was surprised I hadn’t heard of it since it had been around so long.  I asked a friend who grew up in Portland if she knew about it, and she said she had gone there several times for school field trips.  I added it to my summer agenda.

When I tried to go over the summer, I discovered it was only open Tuesday-Friday from 10-4:30.  The hours made it difficult to get there, but I finally made it this winter.

 photo af0d398c-1be9-4094-8821-7e43989f1fda_zps9ce3f77b.jpgIn the main lobby is an animatronic version of Captain Mary Millicent Miller, native Portlander and the first licensed woman steamboat captain in the United States.  She tells her story of working with her husband and then eventually captaining her own vessel.

Then we went into another room filled with animatronics and dioramas that tell the history of the Portland area.  Each area is accompanied by an audio presentation, and you are prompted to move through the exhibit by the stories and lights.  It was really a unique experience.  I had my four year old with me that day, and once he got over his fear of the dark he seemed interested in the animatronics if nothing else.
 photo 2a0b4843-8f77-45d0-b941-12466dc81a28_zps951a20fd.jpgThere were many displays of historic artifacts and documents relating to the Portland neighborhood.  I don’t recommend this for very small children, as it is a hands-off museum.  This would be a great place for older kids (6+) and anyone who wants to learn more about the unique history of the Portland area.

 photo f8b6b6d8-2929-4ba2-b11f-a177c0be7973_zps2a443fdc.jpgPerhaps my favorite thing there was newsreel footage from the 1937 flood in Louisville, but my son wasn’t interested in sitting still for it so I wasn’t able to watch the entire collection.  I will return for this.


 photo 3963b879-509c-4b52-a07c-7005f49cb1d3_zps55e67687.jpgThere isn’t much off-street parking, but there seems to be plenty of on-street parking.  This would be a nice place to visit in the summer time, because they have a really great playground in the back.  I would recommend this in conjunction with a trip to the Falls of the Ohio and/or the Howard Steamboat Museum since they all deal with the same area and histories.

By guest contributor: Maggie

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