We have another primo camping spot right on the water: At Mary Hill State Park near Goldendale, WA, on the Columbia River.
The first place we visited was nearby Mary Hill Museum, built by Samuel Hill, an attorney, Quaker, visionary, promoter of roads, and president of the Seattle Gas and Electric Company. Born in North Carolina in 1857 and Harvard educated, Hill’s dream was to build a Quaker farming community along the Columbia River. His plan included a hilltop mansion home; however, Hill never finished the house, nor did his utopian society materialize.
Hill was convinced by a friend -- avant garde dancer Loie Fuller -- to turn his unfinished home into an art museum. Fuller (we saw a film of her dancing/swirling in voluminous fabric) helped Hill obtain an impressive collection, including 80 Rodins. The museum also contains paintings, photographs and furniture belonging to another of Hill’s friends, Queen Marie of Romania, a granddaughter of Britain's Queen Victoria. And much more.
Hill died in 1931 before the museum was opened but another friend, sugar magnate Alma de Bretteville Spreckels, continued his dream. The museum was opened to the public on Sam Hill’s birthday on May 13, 1940. For more about Sam Hill, and this lovely and eclectic museum, click here.