Listen to this article



May 9, 2024


6:00PM - 7:30PM


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


114 E 3rd Ave, Ellensburg, WA 98926

Lecture: “Weird, Wonderful, and Worrisome Objects in Washington State’s Museums”

May 9, 2024

About this Program:
Most museums display no more than 10 percent of their holdings, often citing “not enough space” as the reason. But there are also a wide range of cultural, philosophical, political, environmental, historic, and even superstitious reasons why museums keep some objects from public view.

In this talk, explore a wide range of hidden objects found in the back rooms of museums in our state and around the country. Examples include a Spokane institution that holds Bing Crosby’s toupées and a museum in Lynden that’s home to a 150-year-old pickle. When possible, we will have local museum curators on hand to answer questions, participate in our discussions, and unbox a few hidden treasures.
About the Speaker:
Harriet Baskas (she/her) is the author of nine books, including 111 Places in Seattle That You Must Not Miss and Hidden Treasures: What Museums Can’t or Won’t Show You. She writes about airports, museums, travel, and a variety of other topics for outlets such as NBC News, The Points Guy, and her own site, She produced a radio series on hidden museum artifacts that aired on National Public Radio. Baskas has a master’s in communications from the University of Washington. Baskas lives in Seattle.


In-Person Seating: Click Here!
Online Access: Please Check Back!


The Event, At a Glance:
What: “Weird, Wonderful, and Worrisome Objects in Washington State’s Museums
Who: Author, Harriet Baskas
When: Thursday, May 9, 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

Antique Automobiles

Permanent Exhibit

The Museum is home to a very unique collection of antique automobiles. This display showcases six automobiles ranging from an 1899 Mobile Steam Runabout Dos-a-Dos to a 1923 Ford Model T Speedster.

Lecture: “Impactful Women and Their Contributions in Ellensburg History”

October 15, 2024

Julia Stringfellow, Professor and University Archivist at Central Washington University, will speak on “Impactful Women and Their Contributions in Ellensburg History.” The event is free, open to the public, but seating will be limited.

Ellensburg Blue Agate

Permanent Exhibit

Over 50 samples of Ellensburg Blue Agate are featured in the ongoing Rock and Mineral display, which is the largest collection held by a museum.