Membership fees at Fort Walla Walla Museum are set to go up in the new year and here’s why: the museum taps into the area’s history through a large collection of horse-era agriculture implements, a pioneer settlement and military exhibits.
Five halls on the grounds at 755 Myra Road showcase Walla Walla Valley history, including the journey of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery Expedition through the region, the story of Fort Walla Walla, the Lloyd family’s Indian artifact collection, horse-era transportation, textiles and a rotating special exhibit.
Fully furnished period buildings in the outdoor Pioneer Village are open March-October.
The museum stores more than 50,000 artifacts and photographs, offers a Living History series that taps local talent and hosts other events and programs to tell the stories of the many people who have inhabited the Valley.
The expeditionary force that passed through in 1806 engaged with Indian tribal people who lived along the many creeks lacing the Valley. Fur traders by 1818 had established a post, and in the 1840s wagon trains began stopping at Whitman Mission.
Soldiers established the first military Fort Walla Walla in 1856 followed by settlers who built houses, businesses and churches.
Realizing the value of past events, Fort Walla Walla Museum in 1968 opened to the public at its current location in Fort Walla Walla Park on 15 acres of the original 640-acre military reservation.
An early military cemetery lies adjacent to museum grounds.
The museum provides archaeology services to the region with professional staffing and a fully equipped laboratory.
All of these features and benefits come at a cost. In order to provide a high quality of programs, exhibits and staffing, the museum is taking steps to grow its revenue, according to a notice. For the first time since 2016, it will increase membership fees for 2019 by $2 to student, senior, individual and family memberships.
“Simply put, our costs are growing at a rate that outpaces our income. This modest increase to memberships is one of several initiatives that will be put in place this coming year,” the notice said.
The museum will honor 2018 membership rates for existing members who renew before Feb. 1, 2019.
The museum reopens after the Christmas holiday on Tuesday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Upcoming events include:
Museum After Hours talks by Bob Carson, author of “The Blues,” at 4 p.m. Jan. 31; by Catie McIntyre Walker, author of “Lost Restaurants of Walla Walla,” at 4 p.m. Feb. 28; and Shannon Buchal, “Fakes and Forgeries,” at 5 p.m. March 28. For more details, call 509-525-7703, email firstname.lastname@example.org or see fwwm.org.