Dear Friends of the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum:
History can be a great teacher if we save it, preserve it, make it accessible, and teach it.
You may know that our museum building was the original Opportunity Town Hall, built in 1912 – the year the Titanic sailed. Pioneers who lived in the Valley at that time were just welcoming home veterans of The Great War when they were faced with a deadly enemy at home – the great plague of 1918. One can only imagine the fear and trepidation people felt from this invisible killer, back then. Perhaps we feel a greater kinship with these pioneers as history repeats itself today with a new pandemic.
That’s the thing about history – it warns us, it unites us, it inspires us, and it teaches us.
These are anxious days at the museum. The building is closed by order of the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” directive. We don’t know when we’ll be able to open our doors again. I miss hearing children oohing and aahing at our exhibits. I miss seeing the smiles of our volunteers. Honestly, I feel the voices of the past yearning to speak while I make regular checks on our quiet building – the artifacts and archives are silenced by an unseen enemy for an indeterminate time. Closing the museum at this time is the right and necessary thing to do. As a business executive, however, I can tell you bills come in even when visitors cannot.
Your Spokane Valley Heritage Museum survives on admissions, memberships, events, programs, and field trips – all of which are, for the moment, paused. We always appreciate community investors and support, but we especially need your help right now to make it through this dark time. If you can help, please call (509) 922-4570 or visit online at spokanevalleymuseum.com. Thank you for whatever you can give.
The other day, when I stood at the museum door and looked up at our big sign, I was struck by how beautiful it was, both in size and color – bright yellow, like the daffodils that are blooming again all over the Valley. From this, I take inspiration that our museum will bloom again soon as a vital part of Valley life. Oh, how I look forward to that day when we’ll be able to throw open its doors once again to light, laughter and love of history.
May you be well until we meet again,
Jayne Singleton, Founder and Executive Director
Spokane Valley Heritage Museum