Celebrating the Presby Museum’s 50 years
Contributed: Leo Spencer
REMEMBERING HISTORY: A crowd listens to speakers at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Presby Museum Saturday.
The Presby Museum in Goldendale held its 50th anniversary celebration on Saturday, with a dedicated group of approximately 80 individuals enduring sweltering heat to observe history and speakers and eat pie.
“Wow, 50 years! Slips by pretty fast, doesn’t it?” said Josephine West, Charter Member, before the start of the celebration.
The ceremony kicked off with Boy Scout Troop 551 presenting the flag, while The Star Spangled Banner, performed by Doug Siegel, played in the background. Guests then listened as thanks were given to Charter members including Denise Morris, Ada Ruth-Whitmore and husband Lawrence, Josephine West, and Ethel Reed. The Charter Members are individuals who signed up in 1958, when the organization first began. Distinguished guests attending the ceremony included Senator Jim Honeyford and his wife Jerri Honeyford, Representative Norm Johnson, Goldendale’s Mayor Clinton Baze, and the Executive Director of the Maryhill Museum Colleen Schafroth with her husband Steve.
Speakers talked about the history of Klickitat County and the start of the Presby Museum. Also mentioned was the 1897 Russell Steam Tractor, which has been painstakingly restored by Jim Fisher. And finally, Mary Childs, historical buff and Klickitat County Board Member, discussed Klickitat County’s history and the Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.
William O. Douglas, from Yakima, was not only the longest-serving justice in the history of the Supreme Court; he was also the principle speaker on August 18, 1962, when Pearl Shepard sold the Presby house to the Klickitat County Historical Society.
Mayor Baze gave a few brief words on the celebration and the restored Russell Steam Tractor and thanked everyone for coming. Bonnie Beeks, the President of the Board for the Presby House Museum, was the closing speaker for the celebration. She discussed the museum’s need for volunteers, memberships, and the next big project: the Presby’s front porch.
Music was provided at the end of the celebration, accompanying pies, iced tea, coffee, and other treats. The desserts were provided by the Goldendale Grange and Dick and Neva Wheelhouse.
“Fifty years ago, friends, neighbors, and families came together to preserve the history of Klickitat County,” Mary Evan Childs said as she began her speech 50 years ago, with a more detailed introduction to Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas.
Fifty years later, friends, neighbors, and families all gathered to celebrate the Presby House Museum’s history, changes, and future.