The Chronicle has had a few stories over the years about the relatively new “King Agricultural Museum” which is on E. Maple in Centralia. I visited today and I found a gem.
Room after room of entertaining, creative, and mechanical displays. Entertaining were every kind of juke box and pin bowling. Creative were motorcycles made of sewing machines, and a watering system from strange stuff. And mechanical displays of tractors, motorcycles and even cream separators. David King, founder, creator, and manager of the museum thinks of it as more than a museum.
I noticed it was more when King came over and personally showed me the train that used to run at the drive-in movie theatre. It was fascinating how he acquired the train and made it much prettier than I remember. He also woke up some memories as he filled me in on the reason for the train—to keep us kids occupied while waiting impatiently for dusk and the movie.
The museum seemed like an active resource for finding old farm things. I overheard a man asking David for a certain piece of equipment, and the two of them seemed satisfied as they found the right one.
David King has put together a really fine agricultural museum, especially for Centralia, and my thoughts went to how to market this museum. King said that he has spent a lot of time and money on sites like Yelp, and also works with the Centralia Downtown Association. However, nothing has really taken hold, and the best way to publicize the “King Agricultural Museum” is through word of mouth.
I have lived in Centralia all my life and it seems like this town is a great destination with its “our” George Washington history, Fox Theatre, downtown historical businesses, and now, a very fun museum, even if you haven’t been around agriculture. I know many people are working on bringing more visitors to Centralia. I’d appreciate hearing thoughts and ideas.