Hanford History


The “Secret City” Revealed

Discover how Hanford was involved in WWII as the history behind one of the U.S. Government’s most important secret war projects, also known as the Manhattan Project, unfolds. Visit CREHST Museum to discover the power of nuclear energy as Hanford, one of three “Secret Cities”, is revealed through our series of exhibits and rarely seen 1940s Hanford photographs. Continued production through the Cold War era is presented through displays, hands-on experiences, and operating tools used in the production of plutonium. Current and future efforts to clean up the legacy of plutonium production demonstrate the high price our pocketbooks and our environment paid for victory.

The history of Hanford is depicted in several exhibits, including

  • the “Three Faces of Richland”
  • Day’s Pay, the B-17 donated by Hanford workers to the War effort
  • guard shack security point
  • an early engineering office
  • single- and double-shell waste tanks
  • Hot Cell robotic remote manipulator (a hands-on exhibit)
  • models of early reactors
  • …and much more!

See close-up and aerial photos of the Hanford construction camp; from views of the trailer camps, to photos of Richland’s Prefab housing and the business district. This exhibit also includes photos of the Hanford mess halls, a profile of Hitler sign which hung outside the Hanford Savings Bond building, a hands-on radiation detector and much more!