Lacey Museum gains photos from Alternative Fuel Fair and shopping center door handles


Lacey’s Historical Commission accepted two acquisitions for the Lacey Museum during a meeting held yesterday, November 16.

The first acquisition is the door handles from the Sears building in South Sound Shopping Center, while the second is two photo albums documenting the now-defunct Alternative Fuel Fair, which have been supplanted with the STEM Fair.

Lacey Museum curator Erin Quinn Valcho explained that the door handles were acquired through a contractor working on the Sears building while the photo albums were an internal city acquisition.

The door handles, which are mid-century in design, are of historical relevance as they relate to the opening of South Sound Shopping in 1966, which is closely tied to the city’s incorporation during the same year.

Commission chair Jim Keogh also explained that the opening of the shopping center was crucial to early tax generation for the city.

“During the battle for incorporation, the City of Olympia basically was carving out for an annexation of pretty much anything commercial that was next to Lacey,” Keogh explained.  “Lacey was getting steadily deprived of funding sources as that occurred, so the South Sound [Shopping] Center opening was really critical to being a generator for sales tax for the city.”

Valcho added that Lacey Museum only has a few physical artifacts related to the shopping center's opening, making the door handles a valuable addition to the museum.

She said that she was also considering the inclusion of certain farming tools and a player piano but found no local provenance for the items.


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