The Times - Serving Waitsburg, Dayton and the Touchet Valley

By Michele Smith
The Times 

Dayton Depot Museum manager busy behind the scenes

 


DAYTON—Dayton Historic Depot Manager Tamara Fritze is busy with important behind the scenes museum work, pending museum reopening on May 4.

She said work continues on inventory of the museum’s entire collection of artifacts. Fritze said thorough historical research must be completed and a written description of all that is known about the artifact will be included in their database.

“This helps us create interesting exhibits and helps us provide answers to our visitors’ questions,” Fritze said. “We have a long way to go for a complete inventory of what is in our museum.”

Fritze is also working on a newsletter which examines the life of Native Americans who were on the land in Columbia County, prior to settlement by Euro-Americans.

“As most people who live here know, the area that has become Dayton was a meeting ground for several Native American groups,” Fritze said.

Fritze said two exhibits are planned for this year.

“Romping in the Blues,” explores the ways citizens of Columbia County used the Blue Mountains as a playground for hunting, fishing, hiking, camping and skiing since the 1880s and 1890s.

“We have some wonderful photographs in our collection and we also have artifacts from the Boldman House, and that have been loaned to us from some of our members,” Fritze said. “It is an enjoyable exhibit, especially for those people who still enjoy outdoor play.”

The other exhibit is called “Gladys, Doris, and Lela: A 1935 West Coast Tour.” This exhibit features Gladys Boldman, of the famed Boldman sisters, who toured the west coast with two of her friends by ship, sailing from Seattle to San Francisco, and then by bus to San Diego where they visited the California Pacific International Expedition.

From San Diego, the trio crossed the border to Tijuana, then took a bus to Los Angeles, and then to Portland.

Fritze said the expedition had been created to promote the San Diego economy, which had been hard hit during the 1930s depression.

Gladys Boldman saved momentos including tourist brochures and photographs from that tour, which are exhibitied in the waiting room and ticket office at the Dayton Historic Depot, Fritze said.

Both exhibits are the direct result of grants received from the Warren Foundation and the Blue Mountain Community Foundation.

“We could not create such wonderful exhibits without their help,” she said.

Writing grants for expenses for the upcoming year is ongoing, because the Dayton Historical Depot Society accepts no public funds and is no way supported by taxes, she explained.

All funding comes from membership donations, gift shop sales, admissions and grants.

Fritze is currently working on grant reporting, detailing how grant money the Dayton Historic Depot Society received last year was spent on exhibits.

 

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