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“Going Places” exhibit opens at Harbor History Museum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 13, 2012, Gig Harbor, WA; Carriages—not cars—once ruled the road. These forerunners of automobiles and trucks were absolutely essential to American life in the 1800s. Carriages came in an amazing assortment of sizes, shapes, and finishes, from the buckboard phaeton to the sidebar buggy to the booby hut.

Visitors to the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor will experience diverse artifacts – including a full-sized carriage, children’s carriages, and assorted harnesses and tack – that speak volumes about our insatiable desire for travel, speed, and new technology. The exhibition also covers a broad range of questions: How were carriages made and repaired? Where were they sold, and who could afford them? The answers are surprising, and frequent parallels to today’s car culture make Going Places a fascinating journey.

Going Places explores the culture, evolution, and eventual demise of horse-drawn transportation, from the early nineteenth century, through the industrial revolution, and into the 1900s and the dawn of the automobile age. The Harbor History Museum is the only venue for this exhibit in the Pacific Northwest.

Special programming will bring “Going Places” to life for museum visitors:

February 25, 1 pm: Storyteller Karen Haas presents “Wagons West!” – taking her audience on a wagon train through time. $4 admission charged in addition to museum entrance fee; Harbor History Museum members - free. This presentation is made possible through a grant from the National Endowment for Humanities.

March 11, 2 pm: Cultural historian William Woodward presents “River, Rail and Road: How We Got Here…and Why” – sharing the tragedy and triumph behind America’s successive waves of settlement. This presentation is made possible through Humanities Washington and is free to the public (museum admission not included).

The Harbor History Museum winter hours are: Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm and Sunday noon to 4 pm. Admission is $6 adult, $5 seniors (65+) or military, $4 youth ages 7 to 17, 6 and under free. Harbor History Museum members have free admission for all special programming. Call 253-858-6722 or visit for more information.

Going Places was curated by William F. Ayres, director of collections and interpretation at the Long Island Museum of American Art, History, and Carriages. The exhibition has been made possible by NEH on the Road, a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is toured by Mid-America Arts Alliance. Founded in 1972, Mid America is a nonprofit regional arts organization based in Kansas City, Missouri. For more information, visit and


Victoria Blackwell, Curator
Harbor History Museum, Gig Harbor, Wash.
253-858-6722 x 5