Our Story


It all started when...

Funded by local contributions and built in 1982, the East Benton County Historical Museum was designed by a local architect to showcase some wonderful historic artifacts. With its artful construction and sensitive use of natural lighting, this museum has won renown with museum professionals as "the best small museum building in the state".

Located facing Kennewick's oldest park, Keewaydin Park, you will find on the museum grounds ancient Indian petroglyphs recovered from the Columbia River in 1939, pioneer farm implements, and the school bell from the old Finley School south of town.

Entering our museum you are awestruck by the beautiful petrified wood floor lovingly created by a local ironworker. The gift of this floor to the Historical Society served as the major impetus for the building of our museum. You can look for hours at the intricate and varied patterns in this floor.

Areas of our museum are devoted to the forces and movements that shaped the eastern part of Benton County. Indians who were here first are represented by many stone tools and arrowheads gathered over the years.

Situated as we are along the Columbia river, transportation played a key role in the area's development and is represented in our museum by exhibits dealing with rail, water, and auto travel.

Agriculture built the region, and appropriately, a portion of our museum is devoted to the different and important agricultural crops, from dryland wheat to irrigated fruit crops. Walk through our museum and see the schoolroom, the exhibits devoted to the business and professions of the region, and the rooms depicting home life in this part of the state.

Photographs record the essence of our communities and people and we have a fine collection depicting life in Kennewick, Richland, Finley, Hover, Hanford, White Bluffs and surrounding areas. Through donations, we seek to acquire important regional photos.

Before leaving the museum, don't forget to stop at our Museum Store. We stock a wide variety of unique items including books, pamphlets, and cards. New material is added all the time.

Become a member of the society and visit us at the museum.