My wife, Karen, and I first had the pleasure of visiting Walla Walla with friends from Boise two years ago. While touring some of the many fine wineries in the area, we chanced to stop at the Fort Walla Walla Museum and ended up spending the entire afternoon.
Though still under construction at the time, the exhibits dealing with the geography, culture and history of the region were varied, enlightening and very entertaining.
When making plans for a return visit this summer, we learned from the museum's website (fortwallawallamuseum.org) that a substantial expansion of both facilities and educational programs had been undertaken. This progress and the military origins of the fort prompted us to contact James Payne, the museum's executive director, and to donate a small collection of Spanish-American War materials and artifacts for research and display.
We followed up with a visit over the July 4 weekend and found the "new" museum facilities and exhibits very well done.
We still love the wineries and restaurants, but the Fort Walla Walla Museum adds an important dimension to the visitor attractions in and around your community. Speaking as outsiders, the museum is a gem and deserves your active support and contributions. We will be back and have encouraged others to put your area and the museum on their lists of places to see.