Heritage Barn exhibit opens to eager crowd
A large crowd turned out to celebrate the grand opening of the exhibit in Quincy’s new Community Heritage Barn on March 30.
It was a long haul and a major undertaking for the group behind it, the Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum. Ground was broken for the barn in August 2017, and there were many twists and turns, countless hours of work and generous donations that helped build the barn and create the exhibit, titled “Hope and Hard Work: The Story of Our Farms and Food.” Now it is ready to welcome visitors to its cutting-edge, educational and highly interactive displays.
Part of the celebration recognized the donors, construction partners and volunteers who made it all happen. The historical society also gave the city of Quincy a Heritage Award and Gar Pilliar, of the QVHSM board of directors, an emeritus award.
A long list of donors, individuals, businesses and other organizations, was printed up on the back of the Exhibit Guide. And on a wall inside the barn is a collection of acrylic plaques acknowledging people and organizations that donated.
Harriet Weber, director of operations for QVHSM, had prepared remarks expressing what a growth experience it was for QVHSM to take on such a project, a project seemingly beyond the reach of a small group in a small community.
“It took more guts, more stamina, more determination, more humility, more asking, more hoping, more prayer than you can imagine,” she wrote. “We thank you for believing in this, for supporting it, for giving to it with your hard-earned resources and with your time and energy. And for the sharing the celebration with us today.”
Some of the many people in attendance remarked that the exhibit is lovely, good for children and families, and that the barn is a special place.
Peggy Porter and her daughter-in-law Liz Porter came from Moses Lake. They are both from Quincy farming families and have followed the development of the Community Heritage Barn. The Porter family even recently celebrated a wedding at the venue.
On opening day, they both seemed pleased with the new exhibit inside the barn.
“I am excited for the community to have this facility,” Peggy Porter said.
Seeing the new exhibits brought back many old memories, she said.
Liz Porter said she was impressed with the accurate detail and that the displays include the future, not only a look back in time.
“This is very exciting,” she said.
Ray Freeman, whose company, Workshop 3D, created an augmented reality experience for the barn, was present. He said augmented reality in a museum like Quincy’s Community Heritage Barn is on the cutting-edge.
The AR concept for the barn grew when Freeman met Weber at a museums conference in Tacoma. Freeman said she had a guiding vision in mind for the kind of high-tech experience that could be developed for the barn, adding to the range of educational attractions and opportunities for local people to get involved.
“Harriet’s imagination knows no bounds,” he said.
Freeman created the augmented reality experience to be able to change and grow with the involvement of local people, including students.
“We turned this into an open-ended app,” he explained, so high school students, groups or clubs can add to it. For instance, the target group in mind was the drone club at the high school, with the idea that the club had the ability and interest to create video for the app.
QVHSM president Ed Field said the event was extremely well-attended, and he was very thankful for community members participating. He expressed his thanks for the donations and volunteers. He estimated that 200 people turned out and got to enjoy the barn and honor the people who helped in ways large and small to make it a reality.
Many of the large donors, their family members or representatives were present, for instance, Jeanette Northcutt Marbourg, who, Field said, had made the largest donation by an individual.
At the end of the event, as volunteers tidied up and put away chairs, Weber, understandably tired, said, “It was a great day.”
The exhibit is free and open to the public from Friday, April 5, through Saturday, May 11, on Friday and Saturdays from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Check the Facebook page of Quincy Valley Historical Society or call 509-787-4685 for the latest hours. The Quincy Heritage Park at 415 F St. SW, along Highway 28, in Quincy.
By Dave Burgess, email@example.com