Three Island Crossing Visitor Center

Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho

The Oregon Trail center on the Snake River at a historic site called ‘Three Island Crossing,’ was to create a bridge between the citizens of Glenn’s Ferry, Idaho, and the Shoshone Paiute People of the Duck Valley Reservation. The intention was to deliver an historically accurate version of what really happened when the friendly relations between Oregon Trail settlers and the Shoshone Paiute People living at the crossing, went sour – a story that the tribes deemed overdue.

Jan Coleman worked with Idaho State Parks, Duck Valley representatives, and the project architect to produce architectural, site and exhibit concepts: hiding the visitor center within the sloping site to keep the scenery intact; providing panoramic river views from the visitor center; and capitalizing on sightlines to Oregon Trail ruts across the river. Exhibits of the main gallery were to change character in response to changing relations between settlers and tribes, so that visitors transitioned through Time and emerged in the Present.