WEEKEND: Jefferson museum exhibit takes look back at Great Depression in Washington
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Washington State Historical Society
Men using a wheelbarrow as a makeshift stove are captured in Chapin Bowen’s photo “Breakfast Outside the Tacoma Commons Mission,” taken in 1930. This image is one of many examples of ingenuity in “Hope in Hard Times,” an exhibit opening Sunday in Port Townsend.

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PORT TOWNSEND — The Jefferson Museum of Art & History, one of seven places in the state chosen to display a state exhibit on the Great Depression, will open the show with a ribbon-cutting at 2 p.m. Sunday.

“Hope in Hard Times: Washington During the Great Depression” will be on display through July 7 at the Jefferson County Historical Society's museum at 540 Water St.

It is the only place it will be seen on the North Olympic Peninsula.

“This exhibit focuses on the adversity and triumph of everyday Americans, comparing the struggles of the 1930s with those faced today,” Bill Tennent, historical society executive director, said in a statement.

The exhibit is built around 10 interpretive panels featuring stories, photographs and artwork from Washington's Depression-era past.

It is curated by the Washington State Historical Society and based on a larger exhibit of the same name that appeared at the Washington State History Museum in 2012.


“We were very pleased to have been selected to receive this traveling exhibit,” Tennent said. “It gives us an opportunity to compare Jefferson County with the rest of the state during the Great Depression.”

The historical society has created a supplemental exhibit showcasing both work and play in Jefferson County in the 1930s.

Also, a variety of programs produced locally are planned. Among them will be a presentation on 1930s movies by film critic Robert Horton on June 20.

Bring food

Those who attend the ribbon-cutting are asked to bring a can of food to donate to Jefferson County food banks.

Roger Loney, outgoing president of Port Townsend Paper Corp., has been tapped to cut the ribbon.

“Roger is the perfect person to open the exhibit since it was the mill that helped us through the Depression,” said Julie Marston, historical society board president.

“Hope in Hard Times” was developed in partnership with Humanities Washington and the Washington State Historical Society.

It comes to Port Townsend from Clarkston and will move on first to Naselle, then to Burien, Walla Walla, Spokane and Ilwaco.

“The exhibit looks at real people dealing with tough times,” said Humanities Washington Executive Director Julie Ziegler. “In our current recession, this exhibit reminds us we are not alone, our fortunes are interconnected, and we get through hardships as a community.

“'Hope in Hard Times' emphasizes that hope exists in all times.”

Times, admission

The Jefferson Museum of Art & History is open daily from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Admission is $4 for adults and $1 for children ages 3 to 12, and is free to members of the Jefferson County Historical Society.

Admission also is free the first Saturday of every month for Jefferson County residents.

For more information on the museum, visit www.jchsmuseum.org.

For more information on Humanities Washington's Traveling Exhibit, visit www.humanities.org/programs/exhibits.

Last modified: April 11. 2013 5:38PM
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