Category Archives: Museums

Teapot Dome in Zillah, WA

 

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In the early 1920s, during the presidency of Harding, our country was subject to the Teapot Dome Scandal, which revolved around oil reserves that were leased without competitive bid. There were two oil fields involved, the Teapot Dome fields in Wyoming and the Elk Hills field in California. The leases were investigated by the Senate and criminal charges were filed. Fines were paid, jail time served and the phrase Teapot Dome became synonymous with political corruption.

Well, in 1922, in the middle of the scandal, Jack Ainsworth, constructed his Teapot Dome Gas Station as a nod to the scandal. It is considered a roadside attraction and is open for visiting on the weekend for limited hours. Originally it was situated on Highway 410 between Zillah and Granger; however in 1978 it was scheduled to be moved to make way for Highway 82. Five days before it was to be moved, a car plowed into this tiny structure. The building, which is now on the historic register, was reconstructed by hand and moved to its current location at 14691 Yakima Valley Highway.  It has its own parking lot, a public restroom building and is next to a memorial for fallen firefighters.

I got there about five minutes before it closed (I didn’t even think it might be open!) and got the tour (about 2 minutes). The volunteers were delightful. I read that there is a movement to relocate the building once again to downtown Zillah and to have it function as a visitor’s center. I was glad to have a chance to see the quirky building, though the light made it difficult to capture the image.

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US Airforce 675 is in Granbury, but don’t go see it

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There I was at the Granbury Post Office mailing some paperwork to my niece. Looking for something else to do, I stopped at the firefighter’s memorial and from there I could see a plane! OK, that’s cool. I backtracked down the road and through the open gate of the US Veteran’s Museum. Just past the building, which was closed, I found the plane. A gentleman in a riding mower came to check out my intentions and told me that the museum had been closed for about a year. I found out later it had moved to nearby Glen Rose. I let him know that I was harmless and just wanted to snap a couple of photos, which I did while circling the plane on foot. The google map showed the plane complete, however, the wings had been removed and were next to the rest of the plane on the ground and the tail was missing. Since the museum is closed, I won’t suggested anyone else going to visit though a locked gate and/or no trespassing sign would have prevented me for seeing this kind of great plane. The riding mower man made sure I actually left and good for him for watching out for the property.

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Just Be Your Selfie (in blue)

Just Be Your Selfie in Blue

Stopped by the Tacoma Art Museum today to catch the Edvard Munch and the Sea exhibit before it slipped away on 7/17/16. While that was terrific and I learned a bunch about Munch, what I really loved was the Northwest Art Now Exhibit. There are some excellent, thought provoking pieces in that exhibit, included one of my favorites “Just be your selfie” by Dylan Neuwirth. I was at TAM on a brilliantly sunny day and this outside piece was difficult to see, so I did highlight it in blue in the photo (look at me learning Photoshop!) I need to go back in the evening to capture it glowing. More information on the Seattle based artist can be found here.

Below is the photo without my added blue box, Richard Rhodes’ untitled “stone wave” sculpture and a shot of the gallery (again playing with Photoshop).

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Tacoma Historic Society

imageThe Tacoma Historic Society at 919 Pacific Ave, Tacoma, WA 98402 has been at this location since March 2014 (two years) and today dear husband and I finally made it for a visit. I was eager to see the Tacoma Candy exhibit (Sweet Success) before it went away on March 26th. While it is not a huge museum like the Washington State History Museum, it is well curated and so very interesting.  I really loved seeing the machine that makes ribbon candy. I thought it was a musical instrument at first! The Mission Statement of the Tacoma Historical Society is as follows “Tacoma Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation, promotion and presentation of the history of the City of Tacoma and its people.” 

While the exact number of Tacoma Candy makers isn’t known, there was about 75 of them. The three remaining ones that I can think of are Brown & Haley, Johnson’s Candy and Emily’s. There is a press release about the exhibit here and the website for the museum and historic society is here.

Fort Steilacoom Museum

imageFor a year we planned to visit Historic Fort Steilacoom at 9601 Steilacoom Blvd, Lakewood, but they have limited hours (Sundays 1-4 during the summer and the first Sunday of the month from 1-4 from Labor Day to Memorial Day), and we have three different schedules, so it just took that long.

We thought it would be a small museum and perhaps it might be about Western State Hospital, but we were wrong on both accounts. The museum included several buildings and a two hour tour and was completely about the historic fort which had operated on the grounds. The tour guide was so incredibly  knowledgeable and explained the fort’s history using the detailed model and in the other buildings to illustrate to us how the soldiers lived. I found it particularly interesting that the army would send representatives back east to meet new immigrants at the docks. The men would be offered transportation to the west coast and a job with room and board. Some eventually received free land. Such an opportunity. The fort’s history can be found on their website, but it is worthwhile to visit in person and go inside the actual buildings and talk to the terrific volunteers.

Talking about the volunteers, the green tint on the two gentleman is completely the fault of the lens! I was told that the lack of smiles is because people didn’t smile for photos in those days. They thought it made them look imbecilic.

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http://www.historicfortsteilacoom.org/

Jellies at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium

imageSqueezing in a little last bite of summer, a bunch of us went to to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium  to visit the jellies and the big cats. It was such a treat because one of the group of our happy group actually volunteers at the zoo and was able to tell us about the animals. I was so busy chatting with my friends, that I forgot to take many photos! Perhaps the dearest of the exhibits was the cloud leopards cubs even though they just slept there in a big pile of darlingness.

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Wet Science Center, Olympia

imageThe LOTT WET Science Center at 500 Adams Street NE, Olympia was a pleasant find. LOTT’s WET (Water Education and Technology) looked pretty inviting with its outdoor water features, so I went in, asking if it was strictly for kids.  The lady behind the counter assured me that I was welcome and I explored the space with great interest. The center is open 10-4 and is free. They even have things to give away like a shower timer and a small bag carrier (poo bags) that can be clipped to a dog’s leash. There is a variety of educational interactive exhibits and they even have a box turtle.  There are often special events especially on Saturdays and school groups come by during the school year. They have a website and a Facebook page. They also have a Twitter Feed and a YouTube Channel!

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Lan Su Chinese Garden, Vancouver

IMG_3681The Lan Su Chinese Garden in the Chinatown neighborhood of Vancouver, BC. is a little piece of serenity in a very busy downtown. All of the garden’s materials were brought in from the city of Suzhou, Vancouver’s sister city and built by citizens of that city. I took the 45 minute tour lead by a wonderful docent while my other family members wondered off to find their own adventures. One of the interesting facts I learned is that the decorative windows in the walls are all different and they are called leaks because they lead in light and air. More information can be found here.

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Little Free Library #8353, Kent and the Neely Soames House

todayMy dentist use to be kind of nearby, but she moved to a new office in Kent and I faithfully followed here. After my appointment, I wandered off to find a park that promised a pirate’s ship (that didn’t happen) and the adjacent Little Free Library. The historic home was just a bonus!

The Neely Soames House is located at 5311 South 237th Place, Kent in a residential area next to the Green River Trail. The house was constructed in 1884 making it the oldest standing residence in Kent. What I loved about the house was the amazing porch and wisteria. Looking at my photo, it looks like a one story house with abundant landscaping, but it is really a two story house with the wisteria almost completely covering the porch. More information including some interior photos can be found here.

The Little Free Library #8353 is around the corner from the Soames House was built by Orval Dealy at the request of the Kent Senior Center. It has a delightful paint job featuring children at the adjacent park. Inside there are about two dozen books, mostly paperback. The titles include The Fountainhead (which yes, I’ve read) in case you were on the lookout for a little light summer reading.

I found this interesting Pinterest Page with Little Free Libraries from around the glove.

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Olmstead Place State Park

IMG_3031On my way back from visiting dear daughter, I stopped at Olmstead Place State Park outside of Ellensburg (921 Ferguson Road, Ellensburg, WA 98926). I was pretty excited to be able to use my Discover Pass, but I didn’t spend too much time since I was worried (rightfully so) about snow on the Pass. The park has 217 acres and plenty of pioneer artifacts. Perhaps my favorite part was the red winged blackbirds. There was an entire flock of them on the overhead wires. More information can be found here.

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