Due to extensive water damages, the Cheney Historical Museum hasclosed until spring.
Pipes located in an unused room above the museum broke, sendinghuge amounts of water pouring down. Much of the floor flooded withwater and the ceiling became so damaged that large pieces of theceiling tore off and fell on many museum exhibits.
“It really was a fright,” said Mary Jane Booth,director of the museum. “Most (of the exhibits) had to havesome repair work done.”
Local expert Steve Heidecker painstakingly restored theexhibits, which ranged from an Edison-style phonograph to turn ofthe century clothing and farm implements, to their original antiqueappearance.
Heidecker gave the Tilicum Club, who owns the museum, asubstantial discount for his services and the balance paid throughprivate donations.
The city of Cheney, who actually owns the structure, paid forthe building’s repairs. The city lends use of the facility tothe Tilicum Club in exchange for the cultural vitality of themuseum.
“The city has been really good to us,” said Booth.
Founded in 1903 as a women’s social and serviceorganization, the Tilicum Club funds book scholarships, swimmingpool tickets for low-income children, and summer music in thepark.
The club began collecting items for the museum in 1935. Startingwith just two bays of an old refitted bus garage, the museum hasexpanded to three times that size.
Booth, who has served off and on as director since the1970’s, will retire this year, leaving the museum in duecourse to Ann Heehn, daughter of deceased, prominent communityleader George Fisher.