PENDLETON — The Umatilla County Historical Society was recently awarded a $25,000 grant for capital improvements from the Union Pacific Foundation.
The money will be used at Heritage Station Museum to replace heating and air conditioning units, repair the breezeway between buildings and upgrade fencing to ensure the safety and security of museum staff, patrons and museum property.
“The Historical Society has had from the beginning a special relationship with Union Pacific, and that relationship has strengthened over time,” said board president Tom Winn. “Together, we share a love of Umatilla County history, and the wonderful museum that stores and exhibits our stories.”
Established in 1974, two years later, the historical society began publishing “Pioneer Trails,” a historical journal. It continues with quarterly publications to document, preserve and share stories of people, places and events in Umatilla County.
Its first museum was initially housed in a storefront gallery after receiving contents of the Sturgis Museum at Blue Mountain Community College. In 1987, arrangements were made to convert the 1909 Union Pacific railway depot into a museum, Winn said in a written statement — it opened a year later. An extensive remodel and expansion project was completed in 2003.
Director Kari Brooks said capital improvements are essential in order to continue welcoming visitors and groups to the museum. It currently serves approximately 3,200 patrons every year.
With the upcoming installation of the Umatilla Gold exhibit, which highlights the wheat industry in Umatilla County, the museum anticipates a 15% increase in annual patrons.
“I’m so grateful for the partnership with Union Pacific,” said Brooks. “Their support for these capital improvements shows a commitment and value to telling the story of Umatilla County.”
The museum is located at 108 S.W. Frazer Ave., Pendleton. Regular hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, 541-276-0012 or visit www.heritagestationmuseum.org.