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Head to park for Fall Fundraiser

Saturday’s event supports Washtucna Heritage Museum and Community Center


Last updated 10/15/2020 at 3:16pm

WASHTUCNA — Rather than succumb to the tendencies of the Cancel Culture running at large in our nation due to COVID-19 restrictions, Washtucna Heritage Museum and Community Center board members will be presenting a Socially Distant Autumn Auction and Boxed Supper To Go.

If you missed pre-ordering a meal, you can still pack a picnic and head to Bassett Park for the silent auction Saturday, Oct. 17.

The goal of this Fifth Annual Fall Fundraiser is to raise money to continue the non-profit’s mission of providing a community gathering place, historical preservation, restoration of local buildings, exhibition of artifacts, and promotion of tourism and growth in the community.

The Washtucna Heritage Museum’s website serves as a valuable resource, especially during this time of closure due to COVID-19 restrictions, for anyone interested in the history of Washtucna and surrounding areas.

Under a section called “Research Room,” visitors to the website can access Washtucna Town Council minutes dating as far back as 1903.

Historical accounts accessible at the click of a mouse range from journal entries describing Palouse Indians as the closest neighbors, to abbreviated histories of the area, to reports on archaeological salvages.

An article about Washtucna written by the town’s founder George W. Bassett in 1908 details the author first laying eyes on the unsettled area in 1978 to it’s development as a “prosperous and thriving town.”

“We are now in one of the best eras of the growth of this part of the state. The building of the new line of railway through Washtucna and the rapid and large increase in the volume of wheat raised and marketed at this point shows that this is an important place for commercial and trade intercourse for a long and thriving section,” Bassett writes. He closes the article with the sentiment, “Many good opportunities are offered here now for settlement and those who come and place their lot with ours will never regret it.”

Collections of photographs paint a picture, at a glance, of life in Washtucna during more prosperous times. Images of the founding family, towering piles of bags of wheat stacked at warehouses ready for transport, the train depot, and grand celebrations of Independence Day provide a tour of the area in days long gone and more recent times.

Newspaper clippings dating from 1915 to 1951 cover topics ranging from a power plant burning, to the dedication of Palouse Falls State Park.

Current events and more recent happenings can also be found on the website, under “Community Room.”

The 2nd Harvest Hunger Relief Network’s Food Bank operates out of the Community Room next to the museum, serving families from the Washtucna, Ralston, Benge and Hooper areas. The next distribution dates are October 26 and 27, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

The Community Room is also available for rent, with free Wi-fi, table and chairs provided and a restroom available.

In an article titled “Washtucna: Good Water, Good People,” published in a 1994 issue of “the Pacific Northwesterner,” Randall Johnson advises, “Someday, if you can, do yourself a favor. Drive to Ritzville and take road 261 south to Washtucna. It’s relaxing and you may sense the majestic quality of this open, quiet country. In 26 miles you may see nothing but soaring hawks and a pickup truck now and then.” Johnson tells readers to travel a few blocks into town, “Turn right and you are in the grassy City Park shaded by gigantic willows. Walk along the tiny stream that still flows from the life giving springs. Good water.”

Bassett Park is located on Spring Street.

Bidding at the silent auction begins at 4 p.m.


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