Preserving History - Educating Future Generations
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Cultivation of a Dream
Is there a place that preserves Eastern Washington's rich farming tradition, educates youth about agriculture and creates a space for children, parents and grandparents alike to congregate and embrace the tradition of small-town rural life? In October of 2004, this picturesque vision inspired eight locals to come together in order to achieve such a goal. The hope was to teach children, who believed Albertsons made their bread, about wheat and farming, from plow to plate. They wanted to preserve the sacred agricultural tradition and history and create a space for memories to be made. In order to fulfill such tasks they decided that an Agricultural Museum was fitting for the quaint and friendly town. It could be used not only as an education tool, but would rekindle fond memories in older generations, interest the middle-aged and awe children with stories of farming in the “good ‘ole days.”
Thanks to local supporters, fundraising, and grants the dream to preserve the cherished history of Eastern Washington and educate younger generations was realized. The first weekend in April 2008, marked the day in which the desire of those eight local hearts became reality. About 800 people were in attendance for an experience that would not soon be forgotten. With over fifty draft horses and mules plowing, harrowing, cultivating, fertilizing and seeding the ground, antique equipment displays and demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides, antique quilt and car shows, FFA’s spring preview, steer judging and a home cooked lunch and potluck the event proved to be a success. The unveiling was just a small step towards what many hope to see the museum become.
Our second 8,400 sq. ft. building was completed in September 2013. The 17,040 sq. ft. agricultural museum displays farm machinery and equipment, horse-drawn implements, tractors, engines and other machinery dating from the late 1800’s into the 1950’s! Demonstrations of machinery and draft horses are held throughout the year.
- Garfield County Museum and Historical Association
- Washington Rural Heritage - Pomeroy
- "History by the Bushel" - Originally published April 10, 2008
- Pomeroy Chamber of Commerce
Funding the Museum
Building #1 itself cost approximately $200,000 to construct. The group began raising money and came up with $21,000 by salvaging steel, lumber and roofing from the old Jolly Green Giant pea cannery that was about to be removed, and through donations. Then, they approached the legislature and received $150,000 from the 2006 State Supplemental Capital Construction Budget, which was passed by the Legislature. Sen. Mark Schoesler, R-Ritzville and Reps. David Buri and Don Cox, both R-Colfax, showed extreme efforts in acquiring these funds. Cox praised Pomeroy FFA Members for taking the time to express their interest in the museum, which increased the chances of receiving funding and made quite an impression on the chairman.
Cox said, “I received personal letters from about 30 students, all of whom expressed their wish to see the museum become a reality. And they weren’t form letters. These young people wrote very thoughtfully about their ancestors, their family roots in the farming community, and their desire to see that heritage preserved for themselves and future generations. And in every case, the youngsters’ letters conveyed community pride and hope for the future of Pomeroy.”
According to Cox, the chair of the House Capital Budget Committee read each letter. Building #2 was funded by grants and donation.
Future Goals: Many hope to see the development of a working kitchen, fully equipped with a wood cook stove, regular hours, and offer more events and activities!
We are open by appointment anytime.
Set up a Tour:
For a scheduled visit, guided by an old timer contact:
- David or Nancy Ruark: (509) 843-3506 / dnruarkwildfire.net
- Larry Carey : (509) 566-7214 / 1larrycareygmail.com
- Jay Franks: (509) 566-7027 / pvpercheronsmsn.com
The Eastern Washington Agricultural Museum is located on the Garfield County Fairgrounds.
99 Fairgrounds Rd
Pomeroy, WA 99347
Have questions? Want to make a donation or become a member?
Contact: David & Nancy Ruark: (509) 843-3506 / dnruarkwildblue.net
(Both monetary and artifact donations are appreciated)
Eastern Washington Agricultural Museum
PO Box 326
Pomeroy, WA 99347