The era in which the Kirkmans lived in Walla Walla was a time of great progress, prosperity, and change. The new permanent exhibit - Windows to the Past - explores the community in which the family lived from the 1870s to the early 1900s.
The exhibit tells the story of Walla Walla’s growth through maps, drawings, photos, and advertisements of the day. An outstanding feature of the exhibit is the wallsized 1884 city map that provides a sense of the town’s population, around 4,000 people at the time. Walla Walla was the largest city in the Washington Territory until the late 1880s.
Many of the buildings and businesses represented in the exhibit are now gone but some still stand and can be located on the large map. The mid-20th century saw many Victorian-era buildings razed to make way for more modern structures. Our exhibit tells the story of these beautiful buildings, both bygone and existing, and the businesses that occupied them.
Want to know more about Small’s Opera House and Livery on Alder, or the Blalock mansion on Second Avenue, or the Stine Hotel on Main Street? We have the buildings’ histories - who built them, what they looked like, and why they were important to the 1884 Walla Walla community.
Come experience Windows To the Past and immerse yourself in the Kirkman Era in Walla Walla