Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Museum seeks help to preserve historic cabins, artifacts

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CASHMERE – The Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village is raising funds to reroof three of the buildings in the Pioneer Village.

Museum member and volunteer Colleen Malmassari started the GoFundMe page Reroof the Past to raise the $8,000 needed to reroof the buildings and protect the artifacts and exhibits housed within them. 

"The Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, is a treasured piece of our community's history, transporting visitors back to the pioneer days," Malmassari said on the GoFundMe page. "However, time has taken its toll on three of the village's historic buildings, which are now in desperate need of new roofs to protect the artifacts and exhibits housed within."

"The Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village has artifacts and an experience that help make the history stay alive, of this area," she said. "And I would hate to see it go into disrepair and us not be able to keep those cabins or any of the artifacts in a state where they can be enjoyed and viewed."

"So, I'm asking the community to help with reroofing these buildings so that we can keep the village alive, so to speak, and the history that lives within it alive," she said.

The buildings in need of new roofs are the General Store, the Barber Shop, and the Saloon. 

Besides being a member and volunteer, Malmassari also has a personal tie to the General Store.

"Colleen Malmassari, the great-great-granddaughter of Archie Smith, who's original cabin was the General Store, asked if they could help in the efforts and put together the Reroof the Past Campaign," Museum Director Nicky Clennon said. "The roofs are generally reroofed on a rotating basis, but the three we have identified need to be reroofed before next winter to prevent deterioration and safeguard the artifacts inside the cabins."

Smith was one of the original settlers in the Dryden area. 

"Formally, his name is Archibald, but Archie was one of the true first homesteaders in the Dryden area in the late 1800s and had so much involvement in the growth and the development of that community, including he was hired as the first ditch walker of the upper valley irrigation canal," Malmassari said.

"Every spring, we hold a Cabin Cleanup event where volunteers come together to clean the cabins and prepare them for the upcoming season," Clennon said. "This year, we had a very rainy Cabin Cleanup, and the need for new roofs was evident."

Malmassari and her immediate family as well as a third cousin adopted the General Store and help with its upkeep at the spring and fall cleanup days. This spring they noticed a substantial leak through the roof line, seeping down onto the artifacts and starting to cause damage, she said.

"And so we've known that the roof has been needing some TLC," Malmassari said. "But then, now that there's water present inside the cabin, it's becoming even more critical."

Malmassari talked to Clennon and board members and learned that the two other buildings also need a new roof. So, she decided to start the fundraising campaign for all three buildings. 

Malmassari hopes to reach the goal by June 9 so that the museum can order the shingles and have them delivered in time to complete the roofing project before winter.

The museum will also be looking for skilled volunteers to help with the roofing project.

All donations go directly to the Chelan County Historical Society and are tax deductible.

Quinn Propst: 509-731-3590 or quinn@ward.media.

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