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What To See in the Yakima Valley - Yakima Valley Museums
Yakima Valley Museum and Children's Underground Museum
Housed in the Yakima Valley Museum, 2105 Tieton Dr., Yakima, WA 98902, (509) 248-0747. Two full floors of exhibits on the natural and cultural history of South Central Washington including the largest collection of wooden wagons west of the Mississippi. Yakima Valley fruit industry, horse-drawn vehicles, Indian art & artifacts, natural history, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, and special exhibitions. Gift and book shop, research library, and an operating 1930's Art Deco Soda Fountain. The Museum's Soda Fountain was recently voted one of the West Coast's Top Ten Old Fashioned Soda Fountains by Sunset Magazine readers.
Yakima Electric Railway Museum
Former Yakima Valley Transportation Co. 1910 shop facility. Offering vintage electric trolley rides between Selah and Yakima. Original powerhouse and electric rail equipment on display. Located at South 3rd Avenue & West Pine, Yakima, WA 98901, (509) 249-5962.
Yakima Area Arboretum
A unique "tree museum" with both native and exotic plants from around the world. Enjoy one of the regions few Japanese Gardens. The Jewett Interpretive Center offers a great location for small meetings, a gift shop and library. Corner of East Nob Hill Blvd & Interstate 82, Yakima, WA 98901, (509) 248-7337.
Central Washington Agriculture Museum
Extensive collection of farm machinery, operating windmill, apple-packing line, and blacksmith shop. Two log cabins, railroad exhibit, Magness hand-tool collection, and 18 large display buildings. 4508 Main Street (in Fulbright Park), Union Gap, WA 98903 (509) 457-8735.
Firefighting equipment, early cattle ranching, Yakima Valley polo, gold panning, and wild horses exhibits. Story-telling by Grandpa and Grandma by appointment. 1 S. Elm, Toppenish, WA 98948, (509) 865- 4510.
Yakima Valley Rail & Steam Museum Historic Northern Pacific Depot
Museum, gift shop, and restored telegraph office. Enjoy a picnic in Railroad Park, adjacent to the museum. 10 Asotin Avenue, Toppenish, WA 98948, (509) 865-1911.
American Hop Museum
The rich history of the hop industry since the 1500s. Fascinating murals, displays, photos, implements, and a colonial brewery exhibit. Enjoy a wonderful gift shop on site 22 S. B Street, Toppenish, WA 98948, (509) 865-4677 (865-HOPS).
Fort Simcoe State Park Heritage Site
Established in 1856 as a consequence of hostilities between the Indians and the white men, Fort Simcoe has become one of the most-visited historical spots in the Yakima Valley. It was home to the infantry who watched over the area in the mid 1800s. Built as the advance post of the 9th Regiment, United State Infantry in 1855, it was built on an important tribal gathering place on the Yakama Indian Reservation. Planned both as a protection for the Indians against the encroachment of the white settlers and for the whites against Indians rebelling against new restrictions, the fort has a location as beautiful as it is strategic. It was blessed by abundant water, nearby timber, and an unusually moderate climate -- facts the Indians had long known. When the Fort was no longer used by the military, it became the first home of the Yakama Indian Agency, serving as a school for the Indian children. Visitors can walk through the officers' quarters, which are furnished in historical likeness of their original state. Although the rooms are protected with glass, you feel as though you have stepped back in time. Fort Simcoe State Park is located 30 miles west of Toppenish on Fort Simcoe Road. Traveling east on I-82, exit onto Highway 97 just south of Union Gap. Follow Highway 97 to Fort Rd. Travel approximately 13 miles west on Fort Road to Signal Peak Rd., turn left and follow the signs. Fort Simcoe State Park is open from 6:30 a.m. to dusk, April 1 - October 1. The buildings and interpretive center are closed Monday and Tuesday, but open Wednesday through Sunday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. The Fort is open weekends and holidays during the off season. For more information, call (509) 874-2372.
Another highly recognized historical landmark, the Ahtanum Mission was built in the early 1850's. Chief Kamiakin requested of a Catholic Priest in Walla Walla that they come teach his tribe. As a result of Kamiakin's request, two Catholic Fathers arrived and built St. Joseph's Mission on the Ahtanum Creek. In addition to teachings of the faith, the priests taught the Yakama Indians how to dig irrigation ditches and grow crops. Teachings began at five o'clock in the morning with prayer with an hour and a half of Catechism. At mid morning a blowing ox-horn reminded them to recite the Angelus, and at six o'clock there was a detailed explanation of the lesson of the morning and a class in reading and writing for children. Then some hymns and evening prayers. The Mission was burned in 1855 and not rebuilt again until 1869. The Mission still stands on the Ahtanum Creek and continues to be restored by today's Catholic community.
22 S. B Street
4508 Main Street
2008 So. 16th Ave
1401 Arboretum Drive
10 Asotin Ave.
2105 Tieton Drive
P.O. Box 796