MONROE — The Western Heritage Center Interactive Museum at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds is expecting its biggest donation ever.
A Forks resident is preparing to donate thousands of items he accumulated over his lifetime, including a Model T Ford, the oldest known John Deere tractor and a steam-engine tractor.
“These are things people have never seen before,” said Jerry Senner, president of the Western Heritage Center’s board.
The value of the collection is estimated at up to $3 million. The collection will be shared with a museum in Aberdeen. Senner estimates the value of the items the museum will display as between $1.5 million and $2 million.
First, though, the Monroe museum needs to grow so it has space to display the new additions.
The museum wants to add about 20,000 square feet.
“We hope to be the largest heritage museum in the county,” Senner said. The museum’s current size is about 3,000 square feet.
The farming, logging, mining and transportation museum has the approval of the Snohomish County Council to expand. The museum is at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in building 611, which is owned by the county. It is open seven days a week, from 10 to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Entrance is free, but donations are accepted.
Museum staff are working on the architectural and engineering design alongside the county government, Senner said.
Construction will be in two stages, dividing the cost and construction in halves.
The center plans to apply for private foundation grants, such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to help cover the $1.6 million in construction costs for stage one.
Besides having a new exhibit, Senner plans to have a silo to display old photos and film of the logging and railroad industries.
Senner hopes to begin construction this summer. There is no date to start the second stage.
Alejandro Dominguez: 425-339-3422; email@example.com.
•Western Heritage Center Interactive Museum
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Saturday
Noon to 5 p.m. Sunday