REDMOND, Ore. - Since the Redmond Museum opened in 2009, officials have had a hard time letting community members know it exists.
Part of the reason is because the population has quadrupled since the late 1990s, and it's those new residents the museum wants to reach.
"We all come from someplace, and what happens is we get to a new place and we have no sense of being there," Kathleen Clark, the museum's president, said Tuesday.
A sense of community is what the 40 members of the Greater Redmond Historical Society hope visitors feel when they come to the Redmond Museum.
"This bell was found in the old depot in Redmond several years ago when the depot was moved off the railroad tracks," Clark said as she showed some of the museum's items.
"Our fire department is not only professional but compassionate people who are concerned and worried about us and safety, and so this display honors them and identifies a lot of them," Clark added.
The museum displays are grouped in a variety of themes, from the fire and police departments to schools and the military.
"We have quite a few artifacts from the Iraq War donated by two soldiers who live here in town who have served in Iraq," Clark said. "So we are very proud of that, and we are very proud of our veterans and we are happy to honor them."
Many of the items in the museum are donated by community members, but the space isn't large enough to showcase everything.
"We need a bigger place," Clark said. "We need a really bigger place. We have a lot of things."
"We have limited space for items that people have given us," said Bonnie Williams, a volunteer for the museum. "Everything else that we don't have upstairs is stored down here, in what we call 'the vault'."
The vault stores thousands and thousands of items, including hundreds of old cameras, tools, clothing and kitchen appliances.
"These things have an emotional attachment to people," Williams said. "Maybe it belonged to their grandmother or grandfather, and maybe they don't want to put it in a yard sale, they want it preserved. It has meaning to them."
Museum officials do still encourage people to bring in items that have to do with the city's history, but they also need volunteers and money.
"We try to present all of the history, so that all of us have a sense of place and belonging here," Clark said.
Museum officials are eying a move to the old Evergreen Elementary School, but they need city approval.
The museum is open Thursday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. and is located at 529 SW 7th Street.
To become a volunteer, make a donation or simply to learn more, you can visit its website at http://www.redmondmuseum.org