May 6, 2010 in Washington Voices

Valley shows off heritage

By The Spokesman-Review

Spokane Valley Heritage Museum director Jayne Singleton gets assistance from Steve Stevens, center, president of the Inland Empire Steam and Gas Buffs, and museum volunteer Don Gorman, greasing the wheel of a circa 1890s John Deere hay wagon that will be on display at the Valley Heritage Fair on Saturday. Historic tractors, engines, farm implements, cars and even a firetruck will be on display as well as interactive demonstrations.
(Full-size photo)

Coming up

The Spokane Valley Heritage Fair will be Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. at 10200 E. Sprague Ave. Admission is $5 per family or $3 per person. The proceeds will benefit the Spokane Valley Heritage Museum. For more information, call the museum at (509) 922-4570.

The Spokane Valley Heritage Museum celebrates the Valley’s past all year long, but this weekend the museum is taking a bit of that past and bringing it outside – a good place to celebrate the city’s agricultural roots.

The Spokane Valley Heritage Fair will be held Saturday in the lot across from the old University City. Visitors can expect to see old tractors, steam engines, a hay wagon and demonstrations.

Jayne Singleton, the museum director, said agriculture was paramount in developing the area that is now Spokane Valley – ever since Antoine Plante became the first permanent settler in 1849. Apple orchards covered the area, and hearts of gold cantaloupes became a local favorite.

“They were the juiciest, sweetest prize,” Singleton said.

The museum has teamed with the Inland Empire Steam and Gas Buffs to bring lots of old tractors and other farm machinery to present a tractor parade through the grounds on Saturday. Steve Stevens said his organization works to preserve and promote the area’s agricultural history. The group has always participated in a large show at the Spokane County Fair and Expo Center.

“We always look for another chance to display in the earlier part of the year,” Stevens said.

Along with the tractor parade, there will be food from Terry’s Breakfast and Specialty, country music broadcast through speakers and a performance by the Valley Fiddlers.

Herman Meier, a volunteer with the museum and another member of the Buffs, said there will also be plowing and disking demonstrations as well as planters and fanning mills – devices that separate the wheat from the chaff.

There will also be a water pump set up so children can see how the early settlers got their water.

“There will be something for everybody to do,” Singleton said.

Singleton said there will be tents set up and the event will be held rain or shine.

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