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September 26, 2024


6:00PM - 7:30PM


All Ages (Under 18 must be accompanied by a parent)


114 E 3rd Ave, Ellensburg, WA 98926

Lecture: “Big Apples, Big Business: How Washington Became the Apple State”

September 26, 2024

About this Program:
Why do so many apples in the grocery store look the same? And why do so many come from Washington?
In this talk, explore how Washington became the top apple producing state in the country, and how, in the process, it transformed apples into an industrialized commodity. Many regions in the West attempted to grow apples, but in Washington, big apples became big business thanks to the work of scientists, investors, irrigators, railroad corporations, marketers, and apple growers. How does the history of Washington apples reflect larger changes happening in the American food system—changes that continue to affect our environment and the way we eat today?
About the Speaker:
Amanda L. Van Lanen (she/her) is a Professor of History at Lewis-Clark State College and the author of The Washington Apple: Orchards and the Development of Industrial Agriculture. She earned a Ph.D. in history at Washington State University, and blogs about food history at Van Lanen lives in Asotin.
In-Person Seating: Click Here!
Online Access: Please Check Back!
The Event, At a Glance:
What: Big Apples, Big Business: How Washington Became the Apple State
Who: Professor and Author, Amanda Van Lanen
When: Thursday, September 26, 2024 at 6pm
Where: Kittitas County Historical Museum, 114 E 3rd Ave, Ellensburg, WA 98926
Cost: Free
About Humanities Washington:
Humanities Washington is a nonprofit organization dedicated to opening minds and bridging divides by creating spaces to explore different perspectives. For more about Humanities Washington, visit
About the Speakers Bureau Program:
In communities throughout Washington State, Speakers Bureau presenters give free public presentations on history, politics, music, philosophy, spiritual traditions, and everything in between.

Their roster of over 30 Speakers Bureau presenters is made up of professors, artists, activists, historians, performers, journalists, and others—all chosen not only for their expertise, but also for their ability to inspire discussion with people of all ages and backgrounds. Hundreds of Speakers Bureau events take place each year. Find a Speakers Bureau event near you.

To reach as many Washingtonians as possible, Humanities Washington partners with a wide range of organizations, including libraries, schools, museums, historical societies, community centers, and civic organizations. Qualifying nonprofit organizations are encouraged to host a speaker.

The Speakers Bureau program is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the State of Washington via the Office of the Secretary of State, the Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service at Washington State University, and generous contributions from other businesses, foundations, and individuals.

More to Explore at the Museum

Lecture: “Big Apples, Big Business: How Washington Became the Apple State”

September 26, 2024

Amanda Van Lanen, a professor and author, will present “Big Apples, Big Business: How Washington Became the Apple State” on Thursday, September 26th at 6pm. The event is in-person at the Museum, free, and open to the public.This event is in partnership with the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau.

Intoxicating Elixirs

Permanent Exhibit

Come see unique pieces of local soda bottling equipment, a wide variety of pioneer medicines, and tales of moonshining, bootlegging, and disasters that unfolded afterward.

Historic Pub Crawl

May 16, 2024

Join us on May 16th from 5pm to 8pm, as we share Ellensburg’s interesting, colorful, and often mysterious past in a fun and entertaining way. With a night full of saloons and salacious stories, this event is great for both those new to Ellensburg and long-time residents.