Fort Walla Walla Museum earned national attention with a grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services Museums for America program.
The $52,165 award will enable the Museum to more fully tell the story of regional development, said Paul Franzmann, museum communications director.
With the exhibit "Through War and Peace: American Military and the People of the Homeland Tribes," visitors can gain an appreciation of the interaction between local Indian peoples, volunteer militias, U.S military and various individuals in the Walla Walla region.
The exhibit will span an era from the Lewis & Clark expedition's first contact with the Homeland tribes through the Treaties of the 1850s until the closure of the fort in 1910.
The exhibit will be installed in the new Entrance Building, currently under construction.
The Museum's match within the grant's requirements is $53,501, approximately $22,000 of which has been identified. Fundraising will continue in pursuit of the remainder, as well as for unfunded aspects of Phase 1 as the work proceeds.
IMLS grant procurements will include life-like mannequins, replica uniforms to portray various periods of activity, a children's 'hands-on' exhibit and other accoutrements of a modern museum related to the display.
The Museum will install objects from its collection, including Indian artifacts and regalia, military items from Fort Walla Walla and other items to bring the story to life for visitors. IMLS funding will also support research, design and production of Through War and Peace: American Military and the People of the Homeland Tribes.
Through this exhibit and its accompanying guide, earlier interactions among Indian people, the military and Walla Walla regional communities will be stressed. The guide book is planned to include stories about the area's participation in World War II, and aspects that continue into current times.
"Even after the 2004-2006 bicentennial of the Lewis & Clark's Corps of Northwest Discovery, many people do not realize the expedition was a military expedition," said Museum Collections Manager Laura Schulz. "That first contact blazed the trail for much of what was to follow. The exhibit will help showcase the critical relationships over time between regional Indians, Euro-American settlers and the military. Examining each component separately would give an incomplete, potentially false, representation of the area's history."
The Museum will use funding from other sources for its new Lewis & Clark diorama and mural, to be created by local artist Leslie Cain.
Annie Charnley Eveland can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8313.