Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Mansfield -"A town you drive to, not through"

The little town of Mansfield, in North Central Washington was just being established when my great grandparents & grandparents homesteaded about 15 miles west of town. 

It was lucky that the Great Northern Railroad saw the potential of the area and ran the rail lines up.  The railroad purchased a quarter section of land and moved the town about a mile to where the rail lines ended.  It grew to a population of about 2500, until fires in the late teens burned most of the business district, and the 1920's saw drought.  The "Great Depression" hit the area hard and many had to pack up and leave to find work elsewhere.    

Not changing much since the late 20's, the town now has about 350 people in the city limits.  For the first time, the school had no Senior Class, but 16 babies were born in the area this year, guaranteeing a Senior class in 2031...

And technology has come to local UP church - 

Their wayside pulpit is an electronic reader board!  

At the height of the 'boom time" this building was a bank.  Then when I was growing up, it was the Post Office.

It sat empty for many years after the USPS built a new facility across the street (you can see it in the first picture)

After sitting empty for many years, in 1998,  a group of local people proposed a museum for the space.  It has some wonderful displays.  

A replica of the old barber shop

One of the One Room Schoolhouses that dotted the country side.  

The little school building featured in this picture was about a  mile from our home.  My sisters went to grade school there - I had 1/2 day kindergarten on Fridays in the spring before I started 1st grade in town. 

 The Museum volunteers have put together some very informative displays.  It is well worth the trip to the town to see the Museum.  If you are over in Chelan for a summer weekend it's just a short 45 minutes or so up to the area. 

I'm sorry that I didn't get a better picture of the tin ceiling tiles.  They are very close replicas of the original tiles that were in the building when it was built.  

A display honoring the railroad's contribution to the area is being established in the basement.  

And while you are there, make sure you stop in the restroom to see this amazing marble tile on the floor!

Our friend Doug opened the museum up just for our family. Thanks, Doug.  


Anonymous said...

Dang! I missed the museum when we visited last year. Maybe this year?

Lilylou said...

Lovely, Tina!