Yakima Valley Museum
The History of a Museum for the Yakima Valley

Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington

The Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington and friends in the newly adopted museum rooms in the basement of City Hall, 1951. Pictured from left to right: Angus McDonald, Charlotte Amende, Anita Lockwood, John Jacob Miller, Alene White Wright, Clara Sylvester, Anna Smith, Walter Purdin, Christine Pankey.

Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington

Groundbreaking
Groundbreaking for a new museum in Franklin Park, 1956.
George Martin and John J. Miller in foreground.
The exhibits at the new Yakima Valley Museum
The exhibits at the new Yakima Valley Museum, as they looked in the late 1950s.

The Yakima Valley Museum
The Yakima Valley Museum as it looked in the late 1950s.
Groundbreaking in 1974
Groundbreaking in 1974 for new addition.

Gannon Wagon Collection In 1975 the Gannon Wagon Collection is moved from the old Burrows Building, at Front and A Streets, up Tieton Drive to the new 29,000 square foot addition to the Yakima Valley Museum. The Yakima Valley Museum
The Yakima Valley Museum as it looked in the late 1970s.

The Yakima Valley Museum The Yakima Valley Museum
The Yakima Valley Museum as it looked in the early 1990s.

The H.M. Gilbert Homeplace
The H.M. Gilbert Homeplace, built in 1898, was given to the museum in 1982.
Helen Jewett pulls the old foyer
Helen Jewett pulls the old foyer off the front of the Yakima Valley Museum in 2001 at the groundbreaking of the New Museum for a New Century remodeling project.

Yakima Valley Museum
The Yakima Valley Museum in 2002.

1917 The first museum opened in a log cabin clubhouse at the State Fairgrounds, but a fire several years later destroyed this “place for historical relics.”
1934 A. E. Larson dies and wills the City of Yakima his house Rosedell and $100,000 to found a community museum. The City Council rejects the bequest, and the Larson Family later uses the funds to build the Larson Museum & Gallery at
the Yakima Valley Junior College.
1935 The City of Yakima celebrates its Golden Anniversary, and within a year three groups announce plans to establish a museum, but none are implemented.
1951 The local chapter of the Daughters of the Pioneers of Washington opens a museum room in the basement of the Yakima City Hall on February 20, 1951.
1957 With the impetus of a grant from the Alexander Miller Trust, local residents donate $160,000 to build a 12,000 square foot brick structure on donated land adjacent to Yakima's new Franklin Park.
1975 A group of Yakima businessmen donate the William L. Gannon collection of horse-drawn vehicles and Native American material, and the community donates $750,000 to add 29,000 square feet to the existing structure.
1982 The museum is given the Horace M. Gilbert House, an orchard house built in 1898 and located 3 blocks from the museum at 2109 West Yakima Avenue.
1989 Following a third successful community campaign, which raised $1.6 million, the museum is expanded to 56,000 square feet.
1995 The Children’s Underground, a hands-on interactive center, opens.
1996 The Museum Soda Fountain opens. The museum also receives its first-ever grant from the Institute of Museum & Library Services, a federal agency which each year selects just 400 museums nationwide as grant recipients.
1999 The Museum receives notification of a $400,000 matching grant from the State of Washington. The museum is ranked second among the 80 applicants in terms of need and value to community.
2000 A New Museum for a New Century, a $3,958,000 fund development campaign is made public, and the community responds with gifts and pledges totaling over $4.5 million.
2002 A completely renovated museum building, now 65,000 square feet in size, is completed, work begins on the installation of all new exhibitions, and the Board of Trustees establishes The Basalt Society, an endowment drive designed to ensure a rock-solid future for the museum.


 

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