Pioneers and agriculture are integral parts of Central Washington and the Central Washington Agricultural Museum does a fabulous job of showcasing the history of both in the Union Gap area.
You guys! I was so excited that The Union Gap Tourism Board added a stop at the Central Washington Agricultural Museum to our family visit. While I have no dreams of becoming a farmer, I’ve been a country girl most my life and have seen the hard work agriculture is – the risky business, the stress, the physical toll, and most of all, the way we CAN.NOT.LIVE. without the farmer who often isn’t valued nearly as much as he should be. Agriculture is serious business that feeds us all and getting to the roots of it and learning more about this mainstay of our country was amazing. I think every person young and old should visit at least once.
Central Washington Agricultural Museum is a nonprofit by donation museum and we were introduced to it by the Union Gap Tourism Board. The museum building and authentic log cabin and homestead house at the entrance are just the beginning. Now go register your car at the office and take a driving tour through this treasure that preserves our history for generations to come.
A visit to the main building before you hop back in your vehicle turns up a treasure trove of old jars, work tools (foot operated, hand tools, etc.), old time irons, and an eclectic mix of old barbershop supplies, kitchen appliances, etc. Hey mom, who wants the job ironing when you have to heat the cast iron iron on the stove with water in it and keep reheating it?! You might even find a wave of nostalgia wash over you as you tell the kids “I remember my grandmom had….”
One of the cool things at the museum was this scrapbook of museum history.
- An old wooden slat silo. You could order the kit from a book and it would be shipped to you to assemble with over 2K slats.
- An old log cabin with the interior replicated with old furnishings and clothes – more spacious than one would think.
- An old one room homesteader house that was recently donated by the woman who grew up in it – a true lesson in economy of space, the original tiny house.
Now buckle up and let’s take the driving tour where we’ll find old field equipment (nicely labelled), gas pumps, a vintage tractor graveyard, an apple sorting line, and a whole magical world of rust and history. Central Washington Agricultural Museum is one of those fantastic places you can visit over and over – see just a bit, or THINK you’ve seen it all? You’ll discover there’s still so much more fun to be had.
If you have the chance, take the guided tour on a tram that comes from no other place than Dollywood. They’ve thought of everything! They even had the trams adapted with lifts after they purchased them so they are accessible to all. Contact the museum ahead of time to see when they are running.
You can also take part in special events like Pioneer Days, which we were sad to miss by just a couple weeks. While you’re in Union Gap you can enjoy a picnic in the park that is right in front of the museum or stop at family friendly favorites like Los Hernandez Tamales or Pepp’rmint Stick Drive-in. Need a place to stay? See why we recommend the Best Western Plus Ahtanum Inn.
While some of the buildings may close during parts of winter, the museum is open year-round! Another fun fact is that the museum is non profit and all buildings have been built by volunteers or donors. How fantastic is it that this truly is a community project?