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Sidney Museum celebrates 100th year

Back in 1908, the Ziegfield Follies opened in New York City, the Wright brothers registered flying machines at the United States Patent Office and the first Model T rolled off the Ford Motor Company assembly line in Detroit.

Botanist Harol Wager claimed that plants had eyes that could see and Katie Mulcahey was arrested in New York City for lighting up a cigarette in public.

That same year, a Masonic Temple was built at 202 Sidney Ave.

The history of this building is very significant to its current tenants, because halfway through the 20th century the Masonic group moved up the hill and the building was taken over by the Sidney Museum and Arts Association.

The main floor features the art of current South Kitsap residents, while the upper floor remembers those that passed through here years before.

This year and month are very significant to the association and especially the building, as it celebrates 100 years sitting just up the hill from the Sinclair Inlet, and the association recognizes National Historic Preservation Month.

They will celebrate the occasion at their location on Sidney and at the Log Cabin Museum at 416 Sidney Ave.

The log cabin serves as the home to the fictional Orchard family — a set of mannequins that are moved between the log cabin and the Sidney Museum for various displays.

Lewis and Amelia Orchard are the parents of four children ranging in age from six months to thirteen years. Their accommodations are a little tight as they share the space with Sadie, Amelia Lewis’ 21-year-old cousin.

They came to the Sinclair Inlet from Troy, New York.

This early in the century, the Orchard’s would have seen the town change from its original name, Sidney, to — coincidentally? — Port Orchard. The city would fill in part of the water front to create Bay Street.

Cars would begin to appear, and because of oil leakage the city put a dirt strip down the middle of the road for parking.

The Orchard family is near and dear to the hearts of the museums’ volunteers. Maxine Spillinger said they are like dolls.

“Some people play with Barbie, we play with mannequins,” she said. “We’ve had them do everything that a family would do, all with mannequins.”

The organization celebrates National Historic Preservation Month with a display at the Log Cabin Museum. The organization’s newsletters contain letters written by their mannequin mother, Amelia Lewis.

The Sidney Art Gallery will display local artists in their 38th Annual Helen Norris Open Art Show. The exhibit will show May 4 through 29 with a reception Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

August 10, the museum building will celebrate its official 100th birthday.

For more information, visit www.sidneymuseumandarts.com.

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