OTHELLO — The Othello Community Museum will open for the season this Saturday at 1 p.m., the museum announced in a press release on June 10. The museum will be open every Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. through September. It is located in the original Presbyterian church, at the corner of Third Avenue and Larch Street.
The church was originally built in 1908 and was used until the early 1970s. It was renovated and opened as a museum in the fall of 1972.
Exhibits include a look at Othello’s past railroads and the arrival of irrigation to the area. The special focus this year is cattle ranching in the 1800s, including ranch brands and pioneer families.
“Ranchers grazed their cattle among the scablands surrounding Othello,” said LuAnn Morgan, the museum’s archivist, in the press release. “Before settlers began homesteading on the nearby lands, before the railroad platted the city of Othello and before water was readily available to farmers, livestock grazing by cattle ranchers was the primary use of the land.”
The cattlemen display is being dedicated to Billy Lee Morris, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel. Morris moved to Othello in 1976 and took a special interest in the history of the area. He served as the president of the museum for 30 years.
“He found artifacts on his land indicating that cattle had once roamed there,” stated the press release. “He researched brands used by area cattlemen and created a display of local brands.”
The museum hopes to continue researching cattle ranching.
“We also want to document histories of pioneer families,” Morgan said. “Both Fay Coats, museum vice president, and I are available to do interviews and write your stories. Fay can be contacted by calling 509-855-3911. My phone number is 509-855-6677.”
Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.