The Mount Angel Abbey Museum is a very eclectic collection put together by the community of Benedictine monks that live and work at the abbey of Mt. Angel, Oregon. But the museum isn’t the only reason to visit. Established in 1882 by the Abbey of Engelberg, Switzerland, the abbey is located on the top of a scenic 485-foot high butte.
The bulk of the museum is comprised of rocks and minerals, antique liturgical vestments and religious items, American Civil War memorabilia, and, the biggest draw, mounted animal dioramas. The collection of taxidermy features an American Bison, a calf that was born with 8 legs, a two-headed cow, and a giant hairball from a pig on the Abbey’s farm.
The museum has recently been renovated and cleaned up quite a bit reducing some of the charm and homeliness of the experience (previously you had to track down a key from one of the monks that let you into a large closet dominated by the buffalo).
Know Before You Go
Once in Mt. Angel, turn east onto Church St./College Rd. After less than a mile, look for signs up the hill to St. Benedict's Abbey and follow the road to the top. The museum is on the south side of the Abbey, at its far eastern end.