Descendants of the Aurora Colony

Families with Roots in Aurora

An estimated 1000 people spent some time working and living in the Bethel and/or Aurora Colony’s.  There are, consequently, many more thousands of descendants of these original colony members. 

Colony descendants were very active in the organization of the Aurora Colony Historical Society in 1963, and they have supported the museum with donations of artifacts since it first opened in 1966.

Are you a Descendant of the Colony?

If you are a descendant of the colony, we’d love to get in touch! Share updates to your family tree and share a story from your family’s past!

Family History Files

ACHS maintains active contact files with colony descendants including correspondence, family related research, Photography files and lists of museum artifact donations.  These files are open to qualified researchers by (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or calling 503-678-5754.

Collections and Exhibits

We exhibit authentic colony artifacts usually acquired by donation or loan from colony families.  Since the colonists made most of their furniture, textiles, metal products and baskets we have a rich collection from which to draw.  During 2015 we are marking the 160th anniversary of the Oregon Trail journey by the future Aurora Colonists from Bethel, Missouri into the Washington and Oregon Territories. Two exhibits featuring artifacts, documents and historic photos from Aurora Colony families are scheduled: “Why Not Willapa?” from February 1st to June 7th and “How Do You Like Those Apples” from June 23 to September 27.