Yakima Valley Museum is a two-story building that displays the cultural and natural history of South Central Washington. This museum has the most extensive collection of wooden wagons west of the Mississippi. This 65,000-square-foot museum offers historical exhibits on the Yakima Valley, like its natural history, pioneer life, early city life, American Indian culture, and the beginning and development of the Valley’s fruit industry.
This site has a massive collection of horse-drawn vehicles, like stagecoaches and hearses. You can also find at the Yakima Valley museum a historical exhibit and reconstruction of the environmentalist and former Yakima resident, Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas’ Washington D.C. office, a petrified Miocene treen exhibit, the Neon Garden exhibit with vintage neon lights, and a changing schedule of temporary but unique exhibitions.
The Yakima Valley Museum’s collections are always available for stud and research by appointment. There’s also the Children0’s Underground within the museum, a 2,500-square-foot interactive learning center that offers museum-related programs and educational activities for children (5-15 years of age). The Yakima Valley Museum has a functioning replica of the Art Deco soda fountain (originally made in the late 1930s), called the Museum Soda Fountain, that is furnished with restored and salvaged parts of the authentic Yakima soda fountains. Beneath the Neon Garden is the museum’s great hall, a grand performance space that offers programs and concerts all year round. The Yakima Valley Museum operates nearby H.M. Gilbert Homeplace, an 1898 late Victorian farmhouse that is now filled with period furnishing.
This famous museum conserves the city’s stories to inspire the community and visitors, celebrate the present, and guide the future. Throughout the museum’s collections, exhibitions, and preservation of historic artifacts and stories, as well as public and educational programming, the Yakima Valley Museum provides every visitor with historical perspectives that may influence the Valley’s future. This museum is one of the largest cultural history museums in the state and is fully accredited by the Alliance of American Museums; it is one of only three museums in eastern Washington to be so.