COMMUNITY ROOM

Available for rent by contacting Lloyd Stoess at (509) 954-3927 or via email.

Free Wi-fi, table and chairs provided. Restroom available.

FOOD BANK

FOOD BANK Distributes from THE COMMUNITY ROOM NEXT TO THE MUSEUM

Serving Families from the Washtucna, Ralston, Benge, and Hooper Areas

Many thanks to our board member Karin Clinesmith who spearheads this effort and has helped us partner with the agencies below to bring in food to our area patrons!

MUSEUM

The Washtucna Heritage Museum is a small volunteer-sourced and -staffed museum about a small eastern Washington town.

Our home, formerly a Washtucna business called Snyder Electric  opened in March of 1947 and later expanded to sell housewares and  insurance, has long been a site for community-focused gatherings.  At one time in the early 1950s, the Washtucna Commercial Club held meetings within its walls and worked to get the site of Palouse Falls accepted as a state park.

Our board was fortunate to have chosen a building whose owner was also a preservationist at heart, and we were gifted the building by the Jones family in 2016.

Community center, historical museum project continues in Washtucna (Ritzville Journal, July 16, 2015)

BASSETT HARDWARE BUILDING

In August of 1901 the Lodge of Woodsmen of Washtucna began work on the 2 story 32' by 85' frame building. It was completed November, 1901, by Pettyjohn and Krider Construction Company from Ritzville for a cost of $3,000. The lodge hall was on the 2nd floor and for many years the 1st floor was a hardware store managed by L.L. Bassett. Bassett was the eldest son of G.W. Bassett, founder of the town of Washtucna and one of the earliest settlers in the county. L.L. Bassett graduated from the Portland Business College in 1899 and for many years was an important business and civic leader in the community. This building is probably one of the oldest frame commercial buildings in the county still standing. The building has a boomtown false front facade common to frontier west frame commercial construction. An interesting feature is the old fire escape slide which is still intact. This was a common addition to schools and other public buildings during the early 1900's.

(Adams County Inventory of Historic Places, December 1979)

The Bassett Hardware Building is our latest project, one that would not have been possible without the building donation in 2018 by Jack Guske, - a historian to the core. In 2019, our board (and some very appreciated volunteers) set straight to work mothballing the building and closing up the portion of the originalroof that had finally yielded to our region's relentless winds.

In 2021 with reimbursable funding from the Valerie Sivinski Fund from the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation fronted by the Avista Foundation through a Rattlsnake Flats Windfarm grant, and with the much appreciated use of a manure spreader from the Blauert family, a small group of volunteers worked to clear out what felt like an enormous amount of pigeon droppings. Those went into the manure spreader to keep our tipping floor costs on a rented dumpster down so that we could fill the dumpster up with other debris scattered around both the upper and lower floors of the building.

Through 2021 and into 2022 work was undertaken to submit a nomination form to the National Register of Historic Places for the Bassett Hardware Building, as it will be known. On March 15th, 2022 the Washington State Advisory Council on Historic Places voted to approve this nomination. You can see the application on WADAHP's website. On May 16, 2022 the lodge was listed in the National Historic Register. Listing notice available for viewing on the NPS.gov site.

Our next goal is to keep the roof from caving in by rebuilding the roof to the original gable style the entire length of the building. Short-term emergency funding is being sought to help us keep this gem steady for another century to come.

#thatNWbus

The magic of #thatNWbus is a little bit irresistible. Our board had been aware of the social media sensation, driving past it on journeys south and seeing the part-living guest book, part-art gallery change before our eyes. Then suddenly our landscape was going to change forever when the Department of Natural Resources decided it was more of liability than a charming roadside attraction.

The museum board had less than one week to determine the plausibility and logistics of moving a former Toppenish School District 1955 Kenworth Pacific School Bus. A flurry of emails, phone calls, site visits and some of that bus' magic later and the traveling Instagrammers favorite was relocated to Washtucna.

Through a generous land donation from Blankenship Farms in 2018, the only thing about the bus that will be changing in the near future is the paint job.  

In 2019, WSU's RCDI put together a conceptual site plan for an art park/Ice Age Floods learning trail. Want to help us make this plan a reality? Hit DONATE!

#ThatNWBus has no wheels but it's on the move (Tri-City Herald, June 25, 2017)

Happy ending for #ThatNWBus on road from Tri-Cities to Pullman (Tri-City Herald, July 9, 2017)

#ThatNWBus finds home outside of Washtucna (Ritzville Journal, July 13, 2017)

PROJECTS IN NEED OF FUNDING

  • Snyder Building Front Window/Door Replacement $20,000 (quote)
  • Snyder Building Rear Double Door Replacement $2,500 (quote)
  • Snyder Building Solar PanelArray Install $35,702 (quote)


  • Bassett Hardware Building Whole-BuildingStructural Engineering Review $20,000 (estimate)
  • Bassett Hardware Building Engineered Roofing Plans (needed for a building permit) $4,500 (quote)
  • Bassett Hardware Building Roof Demo/Re-build/Replacement $45,500 (estimate)

MILESTONES

Goodwill Donation Trucks totalling $4,714. Proceeds were  split with local organizations (Lions Club, WPDA, Grange, SNYP)

NWFCS Grant Award in the amount of $1,500

Caring Neighbors Awards totaling $3,000

Avista Foundation Awards totaling $6,915

Innovia Foundation Awards totaling $7,250

Columbia Basin Foundation Award in the amount of $1,000

Columbia Grain Donations in the amount of $750

Valerie Sivinski Fund (Washington Trust for Historic Preservation) Awards totaling $3500

2016: Snyder Electric Building Donation by Jones family

2017: HVAC install in Snyder Electric building

2017: Acquisition of #thatNWbus from WA DNR

2017: Hazardous Tree Removal

2017: Snyder Building Gutter Downspout Repaired

2018: Land donation for #thatNWbus by Blankenship Farms

2018: Bathroom Remodeled in Snyder Building

2018: Lodge Building Donation by Jack Guske

2019: Repair of deteriorated building corner on Snyder Building

2019: Establishment of Food Bank Distribution Center in the Community Room

2019: Sivinski Award used to mothball Bassett Hardware Building (roof and windows)

2020: Repair of Snyder Building's Leaking Roof Through Capital Appropriation from the State Budget

2021: Replacement of Snyder Building's Rear Windows

2021: Replacement of Snyder Building's Failed Rear Door

2021: Innovia and Avista Monies Granted in Support of the Food Bank

2021: Reimburseable Sivinski Award to Clean Out Bassett Hardware Building, funds from Avista Foundation's Rattlesnake Flats Windfarm grant used to cover up-front costs

2022: Bassett Hardware Building Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places moves forward - application available for review through WADAHP. Listed in the National Register on May 16, 2022. Listing notice available for viewing on the NPS.gov site.