The International Museum of the Horse and the Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry invites the interested public to a Shareback Session on Thursday, June 13, from 6–7pm in the Lexington Public Library, in Lexington, KY. This free presentation is a follow-up to their History Harvests events held in April and May, which invited people to share their stories and artifacts related to the history of African Americans in the horse industry. At the Shareback Session, organizers will share some of the discoveries, mementos, documents and stories that contributors brought. For more information about the History Harvests, see this blog post.
The goal of the Chronicle of African Americans in the Horse Industry project is to create an online, interactive archive to house and display photos, documents, artifacts, and oral histories of African Americans who have worked, and continue to work in equine industries. Its users will be able to connect the past to the present. It is funded by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and housed at the International Museum of the Horse.
Let’s kick of Workhorse May with a look at Northwest Carriage Museum.
Northwest Carriage Museum
The Northwest Carriage Museum in Raymond, Washington is North Pacific County’s most visited tourist attraction. Voted one of Washington’s best museums, the Carriage Museum houses one of the finest collections of 19th century horse drawn vehicles in the entire country. Every year, thousands upon thousands of people make the Northwest Carriage Museum a “must see” destination stop while visiting the Pacific Northwest. Visitors have been pleasantly surprised to find such a world class collection of horse drawn vehicles in the tiny town of Raymond.
The Northwest Carriage Museum opened in 2002 as a result of a very generous donation of 21 carriages from a local family. Over the years, the collection has grown to 51 vehicles including a variety of carriages, buggies, wagons, sleighs and commercial vehicles. The museum’s collection includes an 1888 Stagecoach, a 1900 hand carved hearse from Vienna, Austria, a Chuck Wagon, a beautiful cut under Wicker Phaeton, a 1880 Mail Wagon and the magnificent Brewster Summer Coupe Brougham. Several vehicles in the collection have an “old” movie connection. Come see our C-spring Victoria used in Shirley Temple’s “Little Princess” or our beautiful Landaulette used in the original “Ghost and Mrs. Muir” starring Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney. Of course, everyone loves viewing our famous Shelburne Landau which was Belle Watling’s carriage in the classic “Gone with the Wind.”
In addition to our many vehicles, the museum houses many other period artifacts from the 19th century. Clothing, travel trunks, harness gear, hand tools, carts and an amethyst glass collection are beautifully displayed throughout the museum. Looking for something fun for the kids? The museum includes a user friendly one room schoolhouse where children can write on the chalkboards and ring the school bell. They can also dress in period clothing and have their pictures taken on our Three Spring Democrat Wagon. Parents will also enjoy visiting our wheelwright/blacksmith display where they can view how wooden spoked wheels were made.
The Northwest Carriage Museum is located at the junction of Hwy. 101 and State Route 6 in Raymond, Washington. Right outside our doors is the beautiful Willapa River and a well maintained park which is the perfect place for you and your family to enjoy a picnic. Within walking distance are restaurants, and shopping opportunities. Bring your walking shoes or bikes and hike/ride the Willapa Trails pathway to South Bend. Bring your kayak and put in at the city dock right next to our building.
The Northwest Carriage Museum is open year round from 10am to 4pm. They have a unique gift shop featuring a variety of jewelry, books, toys and local products. Group tours are our specialty and can be arranged in advance. They have admission discounts for families, seniors and military personnel. AAA members can show their card and save as well.
This exhibit is being developed for the International Museum of the Horse by Purdue University doctoral candidate Elise Lofgren and Dr. Colleen Brady. The exhibit is far ranging, covering pre-domestication horse-human interactions through 21st century agritourism. Despite the ambitious scope, appropriate to the Museum of the Horse, it is already a very inclusive exhibit.
Elise Lofgren seeks to bridge disciplinary divides among both riders and researchers, as well as integrating technology into agricultural outreach and education. Her research in informed by her riding experience, while her interest in instructional design and active research allows her to address the gaps in traditional equestrian education. In addition to the museum exhibit, she and Dr. Brady are designing a much needed online course on “Horses in Human History and Culture,” which will be available through Purdue. A survey course of this nature will be invaluable to social science and animal science students alike.
Two things set the “Horses in Agriculture” online exhibit apart from similar projects that have come and gone from the web over the years. The first is the level of interactivity, reflective of Lofgren’s background in educational technology. While the exhibit is still in beta (and seeking your feedback!), there is already a variety of media. Along with textual introductions to each subject, there are photos, infographics, navigable maps, video, and audio. Despite the high media content, it loads quickly and allows visitors the choice of where to go next via a navigational sidebar. The exhibit also “remembers” where you were when you last visited, and gives the option of returning to that section. The second thing that sets this exhibit apart is that it makes use of the most recent research in a variety of fields, and avoids perpetuating common myths.
You can visit the exhibit here, and after taking a look around take their exit survey (regardless of your prior experience with horses or horse history) to suggest what features or information you might like to see in the final exhibit.