DISCOVER OUR HISTORY.
Our Mission: To collect and preserve the natural and cultural history of our local region.
The Chelan County Historical Society, a 501(c )(3) nonprofit organization that operates the Cashmere Museum & Pioneer Village, began in 1955 as a collaborative effort between local collector Willis Carey and local businesses, led by John McDonald and the Cashmere Chamber of Commerce. Carey was terminally ill with cancer, and wanted his large personal collection of Native American artifacts, historical relics, antiques, and curios, famous throughout Central Washington, to be displayed together and preserved for posterity. The community leaders and citizens of Cashmere agreed.
Incorporated in 1956, the building opened in 1959 housing and highlighting Carey's renown collection, and what would become known as the Pioneer Village acquired its first structures, the blacksmith shop and Mission church. Ultimately growing to include 20 original structures, the Pioneer Village showcases a carefully restored Great Northern Railway caboose and a one room school house, originally located in Brender Canyon. Officially opened in 1967, the Pioneer Village recently celebrated its 50th Anniversary in 2017. And in 2007, the Russell S. Congdon collection of ancient art and artifacts, sourced from archaeological sites on the Mid-Columbia, was donated to the Museum and is now housed in the Archaeology Wing.
Developed by, for, and in conjunction with the community, the Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village seeks to engage, educate, and entertain visitors both local and international. Hundreds of volunteers have worked thousands of hours to make this possible, growing the Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village into a must-see museum in Central Washington. The building is now over 13,000 square feet, with two floors of thoughtfully curated Native American objects, Pioneer artifacts, geological specimens, taxidermy, and ornithology. The cabins in the Pioneer Village are furnished with antiques from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.