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Shoppers hunt for the good stuff at museum yard sale

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | May 16, 2024 2:10 AM

MOSES LAKE — The appeal of a yard sale is that hunt for treasure. 

Maybe the treasure is a 1930s radio in a handsome wood cabinet. Maybe it’s jewelry or artwork, maybe a vintage baseball mitt or even a 1970s sewing pattern catalog. The thrill of the hunt attracted shoppers to the Rusty Mammoth sale Friday night and Saturday at the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center.

Museum Director Dollie Boyd said the money raised through the sale goes to pay for the museum’s community programs.

“We raise money for all our free programs and our exhibits,” Boyd said. “One of the goals we’re working towards right now is our natural history exhibits — we’d like to update those in the next couple of years.”

Those exhibits feature storyboards and historical items, from fossils to vintage clothing, and the existing ones have been on display for a while.

“These exhibits where we talk about the Ice Age, our landscape, and our flora and fauna, they’ve been here since we’ve been open. So they’re about 12 years old,” Boyd said. “And that’s about the time that museums start thinking about their content.”

Some of the information in the exhibits needs to be updated, she said.

“Some things have changed,” she said. “For example, we talked about the pygmy rabbit being extinct, and it’s not. It’s still hanging on. So we want to put out good and accurate information for people, and freshen everything up.”

Museum members got a sneak peek at the merchandise Friday night, with the public coming in Saturday morning. 

Shoppers evaluated the artwork, some of it original, and looked over the tables filled with glass and jewelry, toys and electronic equipment. 

“I’m garage sale-ing,” a customer told a friend as she flipped through a basket of art prints and simultaneously conversed on her phone. 

The museum’s community programs are paid for through museum memberships and fundraisers, the Rusty Mammoth sale among them.

“We use the money from our fundraisers for (programs like) Free Family Saturday, our lecture series, our exhibit openings and anything we do,” Boyd said. 

The sale has been one of the museum’s fundraisers since 2017, built around the idea that people have a lot of things they no longer need or want or may not have room for, but that aren’t ready for the landfill. Boyd said the donations are always a surprise. 

“We’ve got some interesting, very cool things,” Boyd said. “It’s always amazing what people bring out of their closets, and basements and attics. They’re very generous, and we’re thankful every year.” 

Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at cschweizer@columbiabasinherald.com.

    Treasures in hand, a shopper heads for the cash register at the Rusty Mammoth sale.
 
 
    Art prints, posters and artwork were among the items for sale at the Moses Lake Museum & Art Center’s yard sale Friday.
 
 
    A table full of toys caught the eye of treasure hunters.
 
 
    A shopper examines a postcard at the Rusty Mammoth sale.