Glimpse county’s industrial past at Western Heritage Center

  • Tue Apr 24th, 2012 7:33pm

<b>FAMILY TIME | </b>By Caroline Lippert-Burrows For the Weekly Herald

Tractors and other farm equipment from the 1900s jump out at you as you enter the Western Heritage Center located on the east side of the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe.

It’s hard not to be in awe of such historical machines that once made such a difference on the farms and lands of Snohomish County from the 1900s to the 1950s.

The brochure calls this an interactive museum and I can certainly see why. There are buttons to push to make model trains run, tools to hand-crank, real corn to drop into a corn sheller, hand-winders to turn for rope-making and farm tractors to climb up and experience the power of their engines.

The dairy section is fun because the museum lets you place your finger inside their 1930s Surge milker so you can feel the suction coming from the metal cups used to milk the cows back then.

The mining industry display features a variety of Snohomish County ore samples presented in an atmosphere of a real-life mine.

If you can, ask one of the museum’s volunteers to turn on their 1930s buzz saw used in conjunction with a 1937 John Deere tractor. You’ll get a chance to see these two historical machines in action, experience the firewood cutting process and be given a sample piece of firewood to take home with you.

Rope is another sample you can bring home with you if you participate in the turning process at the museum’s 1900s hand-winder used for making rope. For a $15 donation, instead of just a piece, the museum will help you make your own custom jump rope or dog leash.

Going to the Western Heritage Center is a wonderful opportunity to not only learn about some great local, industrial history but also a chance to get up close and personal with the tools and machines that played a role in making Snohomish County what it is today.

Western Heritage Center

WHERE: Far east-end corner of the Evergreen State Fairgrounds, at Highway 2 and Cascade View Drive, Monroe

PHONE: 425-232-3493

WEB: www.westernheritagecenter.org