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Posted on Aug 29, 2017

Historical society breaks ground for heritage barn

A groundbreaking event held Monday by the Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum signaled confidence in its plans for an additional building at the Reiman-Simmons House heritage site, despite an important grant still being uncertain.
The Community Heritage Barn planned for the site, at 415 F St. SW, Quincy, was No. 18 on the list of 35 projects approved by the Heritage Capital Projects Fund. At No. 18, the Quincy project’s grant request had a solid ranking and stood a very good chance to get funded by the Washington Legislature.

The Heritage Barn to be built at the Reiman-Simmons House heritage site features diamond-shaped windows.
Rendering submitted by Harriet Weber

In spring this year, Harriet Weber, a volunteer with the Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum and the project manager for the Community Heritage Barn, was frustrated with the Legislature. The grant was in doubt.
Without knowing the fate of the $205,000 grant application, the Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum board decided to go ahead and start construction based on the funds it had raised.
Weber said the project has been boosted by a large donation from the Webb & Millie Jones Charitable Trust. Other large donors included someone under the name Anonymous Donor, the city of Quincy, and various business, farm and personal donations – all of them, Weber said, will be listed in the months to come.
In mid-August, the Legislature had still not passed a capital budget, but all 35 projects on the Heritage Capital Projects Fund list were slated for funding in both versions of the capital budget, the House version and the Senate version, Weber said. So, she said the grant should come through.
If the grant is awarded, there will still be future needs for money at the complex of historical buildings – fundraising will not end, Weber said.
Besides money, what the historical society needs are stories and artifacts for exhibits for the heritage barn.
The wooden structure is to be built behind the Reiman-Simmons House and the Pioneer Church.
“This will complete the site,” Weber said.
There has been a need for space at the site for some time – a large room for larger gatherings and a space for the historical society’s archives.
The barn will also create a space for exhibits about local agricultural history, and the society has hired a professional designer from Gig Harbor to help create the exhibits. Weber said Quincy has a lot to share with people in telling the story of how they get their food and to inspire local youngsters to take pride in their home area.
One thing the new exhibit space will not focus on is antique farm machinery.
“We’re trying to tell the story of the farmer and farmworker,” she said.

Stories wanted
The Quincy Valley Historical Society & Museum is recording oral histories and seeks local folks to tell their stories. One’s life story does not need to be as exciting as a Hollywood movie plot to be of interest to the historical society, said Harriet Weber. Anyone interested may call the historical society at 787-4685 and leave a message, or call Weber at 398-1949.

By Dave Burgess, qvpreditgor@gmail.com