ST. JOHN HERITAGE MUSEUM
Past: We started in the Fall of 2009 with nothing but a building with brick walls, a floor that was falling in, a basement full of wet coal and dreams of building a museum. Thanks to memberships, memorials, donations, money making projects and volunteers, we were able, by the end of 2011, to tear out old flooring, remove plaster from brick walls, install a new floor, get power back in the building and install studs for the walls. Loads of debris and coal were removed and hauled away.
In 2012 we worked with Washington State University students from the Interior Design Department who provided invaluable assistance with building codes, design, paint colors, flooring materials, and displays. We also started our next phase: installing wallboard, sump pump and heat pump, and cleaning and finishing the interior brick wall.
In 2013 we regrouted the outside masonry, installed insulation, replaced the single pane windows with energy efficient windows that provide UV protection for displays, and installed laminated wood flooring. The walls and ceiling were then given a beautiful coat of paint, a stained glass window was installed over the door, the beginnings of a timeline were applied to the west wall, and lettering announcing the museum was applied to the windows. Once the beautiful Nona Hengen paintings were hung, we were delighted to present the front half of the museum to the public during the 2013 Winterfest.
Present: Volunteers are gathering and cataloguing items from St. John residents, past and present, for displays. This will be a continuing process and items may be donated to the museum or loaned for temporary rotating displays. Histories and stories of pioneer families, farmers and business people in St. John are particularly valuable in planning exhibits.
Future: The next phase is to begin the difficult but exciting tasks of organizing, designing and creating exhibits in the front half of the Museum and open it to the public. Meanwhile, volunteer work on the back of the museum, which will be used for temporary displays and for storage, is already beginning. Volunteers plan to “shore up” the floor, replace flooring and put up walls.
Alex McGregor & Jason Hough presenting a check to Lydia Smith, President of the St John Historical Society,for $4000.
It was a grant from the McGregor Company for the “Farming Through the Years” wall shown behind them