Quincy Community Heritage Barn unveils new exhibit on March 30, 2019
Quincy Valley Historical Society brings life to historyFor Goodness Sake
You are invitedto celebrate the public unveiling of the new exhibit inside the Community Heritage Barn Saturday, March 30, 2019, beginning at 1:30 pm. It will be a grand celebration as months of tireless research, design, and fabrication have gone into it. The exhibit is titled "Hope and Hard Work: The Story of our Farms and Food". An added "extra" will be the AR (Augmented Reality) enhancements available. Special presentations at 2:30... And cake, yes, there will be cake!
The raising of the Quincy Community Heritage Barn
by Melea Johnson
Raising the barn has been an ongoing project since breaking ground last August. The vision of all the Community Heritage Barn stands for has been in the mind and hearts of the people of Quincy for a very long time. A dream come true.
I recently had the opportunity to do a walk-through with Harriet Weber, project overseer, and was delighted in her excitement as she gave me a tour of the new construction and what the barn will house when completely finished.
I will have to say it is remarkably impressive.
It is a multi-purpose building. Not only will it house an exhibit with the purpose of bringing history back to life in a most original and artistic way, but is also available for events, wedding, receptions and group conferences. A commercial kitchen for catering is on hand.
The exhibit, designed by Chris Erlich from Gig Harbor, will tell the story of the farmer and the farm worker, past to present. Rolling display pods (rolling to have the ability to move easily to a side room to make way for an event), sit in various places in the large room. Photos and quotes by farmers on the wall will express their heart for farming. A substantially large mural art piece will show the chronological order of agriculture from the late 1800's until today.
On one side of the Barn, a Research Room with bookshelves and desks will allow for help with family and community history. Next to this is a climate-controlled Archive to protect the over 60,000 pieces in the QVHSM collection. There is even a safe from 1905 in the room. The combination is still known, so it is still in use.
On another side is an Exhibit Room, which will contain static and interactive displays related to farming. All ages in Quincy can come to look at the exhibit to understand their community and take pride in the generational aspect of it. To come and look at actual photos of family members over several generations connects a family in a way, unlike any other way.
Since its inception in 2002, the QVHSM has worked to produce a "living" museum. Not content to have a place to just look at historical objects, education and learning have always been the focus, with hands-on learning and experience-driven opportunities.
Each year elementary school children from Quincy and surrounding towns come and participate in activities from early days. Third-grade teachers from the Quincy schools utilize a 23-page activity book called “My Quincy”, to give their students lessons plans prior to them coming on site.
What they experience on the day they arrive are hands-on pioneer living activities, such as washtub laundry, grinding sharpener and other farm tools, beeswax candles, butter churn, wood stove cooking, quilt blocks, and toys, to name a few.
Recently, a new collaboration with Quincy School District has been evolving. With the idea from one of Quincy's bylines, which reads "Where Agriculture Meets Technology", plans are underway for Quincy Innovation Academy students and the Jr. High School Drone Club to participate on an ongoing basis. They will film and product video mini-documentaries and virtual reality exhibits, so visitors can almost walk "in the shoes" of those who produce our food. They see this as a way to make this exciting and relevant for the next generations.
Harriet shared with me it has not been easy to do a community building. There were many hurdles to overcome with new regulations. Even difficult for contractors, who usually can get "in and out" of projects, this required patience, and long-term commitment. They took pride in their work, seeing it as a legacy for the community.