Fort Walla Walla Museum houses one of the nation’s largest collections of horse-era agricultural equipment, circa 1859-1930s. The collection illustrates the early days of farming in Walla Walla, a primary agriculture-producing region where wheat dominates and vegetables, cattle and sheep, orchards and vineyards, thrive.
In one hall, a 1920s harvest mural sets the scene for the impressive display of a 1919 Harris hillside wheat combine at work, complete with lifesize replicas of a team of 33 mules. Numerous of other exhibits include a pre-combine stationary threshing outfit, an ox-shoeing stall made of hand-hewn timbers, a cigar-shaped water wagon, and a branding iron collection.
And at the nearby cook wagon, visitors can almost see the dust hanging in the air, the intense heat rising from the old cookstove, enamel plates piled with thick biscuits, and the sweat-soaked, dirt-stained men lining up at the door.
Photos illustrate working parts of an 1886 steam engine, detail from a combine, one of the many archival images on display and a sheep wagon used on the summer range.