Last summer my friend Ann and I went out to Waterville as we’d heard about an incredible museum in this town. Waterville is the county seat of Douglas County. The latest stats I could find on population date back to 2016 when it was 1181. We never did get to see the museum that day. There had been a death and the whole town was at the funeral so the museum was closed.
This past Friday we decided to try again. We enjoyed a beautiful drive to Waterville via Badger Canyon Road upon leaving Wenatchee. The leaves are beginning to change color and the mountains are amazing. We stopped a couple of times to admire the view. I was disappointed in my photos as it was a cloudy day.
We arrived in Waterville and took a drive through town. We noticed that the library had moved but everything else appeared as it had last summer. And the museum was OPEN!
We stepped inside and were in awe from the moment we entered. I took over 200 photos and will include only a handful in this post. There was such a variety of collections. We lucked out and had our own private tour guide who was a wealth of information. She told us how people just kept donating collections and donating items and that the building had been outgrown.
In the first room I was enchanted with the toys, dolls and vintage books. Creative talent had built a church out of thousands of popsicle sticks. There were also displays of vintage hats, purses and other accessories. This room also had cases filled with glass, china and other collectibles.
Next we moved into a room containing rocks, fossils, petrified wood and vintage courthouse furniture. We got to touch a piece of a meteorite. The lights were dimmed and we were treated to a black light show of the contents of one of the cases. We learned that petrified wood is the state’s gem. We were also told that the majority of the rocks in the room had been donated by one man who had displayed them in the basement of his home for a number of years.
We then went into the largest area in the back of the museum. A large horse and sleigh greeted us. Vintage rooms on display included a medical office, a laundry room, a child’s bedroom, a kitchen, a dining area and a living area. There was a statue of Minerva, a display of Native American including a headdress, original vintage wedding gowns, an old organ and other instruments and phonographs. There was an old vault inside a replica of a bank office, a John Deere display, and so much more.
The basement also held treasures ranging from a two-headed calf to tools. Here is a pic of an old cream separator.
Three hours later, we finally left in search of lunch. For a small town, this is truly an amazing museum. I can’t wait to visit it again next year to see what else has been added.