Kamas Valley History Group will host a mobile museum grand opening celebration on Memorial Day
Event will honor veterans
Kamas Valley History Group is on a roll.
While it awaits IRS approval to become an 501( c)(3) nonprofit, it plans to open its new mobile museum during an all-day celebration that will include a ribbon cutting, arts and crafts, old-time foot races and live music on Memorial Day, said the group’s secretary Kate Wynn.
The program will be presented by Kamas Action, a group of community members that is leading projects for the revitalization of Kamas Valley, she said.
“The ribbon cutting will start things off and be done under the flagpole at Kamas City Hall,” Wynn said.
Oakley Mayor Wade Woolstenhulme, Kamas Mayor Matt McCormick and Francis Mayor Byron Ames will take part in the celebration, she said.
“Following the ribbon cutting, we’ll have ‘Crafts on Main,’ where there will be craft stations set up along Main Street from the Shack on Center Street down to the Artique boutique at 283 N. Main,” Wynn said.
The party will return to the City Hall grounds where the local Lions Club will host the races.
“We’re planning on doing an egg-and-spoon race as well as a three-legged race,” Wynn said.
The night will end with live dance and music performances, she said.
“We will also host an open mic, so we encourage people to buy some takeout from local restaurants and enjoy a picnic while the music is going on,” Wynn said. “We’ll also make paper-bag luminaries that will be put under the flagpole in the evening.”
The mobile museum, which is a trailer that measures 20 feet by 7 feet, will feature an exhibit about Kamas Valley veterans.
Local veterans, including George Lambert, the husband of Kamas Valley History Group Chairwoman Deborah Lambert, have donated some of their military hats to the exhibit.
“We thought that would be appropriate for Memorial Day,” Wynn said. “And in addition to showing the hats, we are writing stories about local veterans. Many of them had some interesting and unique military occupations.”
The beauty of the mobile museum is its versatility, Lambert said.
“Since we are focusing on veterans on Monday, our next exhibit will be about the Fourth of July in Oakley, and then the next exhibit will celebrate the settlers of Kamas on the 24th of July,” she said. “So, we are able to modify the museum based on where we will be stopping.”
The museum can also be rented out for local family reunions, Lambert said.
“If someone has a family reunion, we can design an exhibit based on their family,” she said.
The Kamas Valley History Group had thought about establishing a brick-and-mortar museum, but found the high costs probititing, so it changed plans and purchased the trailer, Wynn said.
“We also thought about adapting an old school bus,” she said. “But there are only certain people who would be able to drive a bus, whereas most people in the valley could tow a trailer.”
After reviewing options, Lambert came up with the idea to host a yard sale to raise the money, Wynn said.
“We raised $900 to buy this used trailer that had old pipes, bad wiring and insulation hanging out,” she said. “It has been in our barn for the past six months, and my husband Paul has been working on it.”
Through donations from the community, the group was able to purchase some new windows, and another member’s husband has been able to rewire the trailer, Lambert said.
As of now, the Kamas Valley Mobile Museum doesn’t have many artifacts, but both Lambert and Wynn hope the community will be able to donate items soon.
Wynn and Lambert would also like to interview older local residents about their histories.
“We would love to get their stories, because we’ve been collecting histories of settlers and mapping where they lived in the area,” Lambert said.
That project is a challenge because although the Kamas Valley was settled in 1859, there are no maps from the community’s earliest days.
“The oldest one is from 1912, so we’re having to go backwards and look at old census records to see who lived close to whom,” Wynn said.
Lambert is also creating a pedigree chart, because there are a lot of people who live in the area who are related.
“There were originally seven big families who moved and settled here, and since they were so isolated, everyone married into each other’s families,” she said. “We want to gather their stories, because I think people would be interested to hear who they are related to.”
When: 2-8 p.m. on Monday, May 31
Where: Kamas Main Street
2 p.m. — Ribbon cutting, Kamas City Hall
2-4 p.m. — Craft and activity stations on Main Street from the Shack, 5 E. Center St., to Artique, 283 N. Main St.
4-5 p.m. — Old fashioned games run by the local Lions Club
5-8 p.m. — Picnics, live entertainment and an open mic session
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