If you like to go exploring and have the time to visit Prineville, Oregon, you should go check it out. I recently visited the A.R. Bowman Museum (Crook County Historical Society). It is housed in two floors of an old bank in downtown Prineville, a few blocks from the county courthouse. Like most county centric museums there are lots of items from the 'early days' of the town and their pioneer roots (a very common theme in Oregon). There were photos of the old baseball teams, teachers, ranch hands, prominient buisnesspersons and what-have you. There was even, for fans of political items, some of those tucked away in this museum that you had to really look to find.
Here are the items I noticed.
1) William McKinely bootjack.
Most of us are probably thinking....what is a bootjack?? It is a device invented to help remove your boots. This bootjack was used in William McKinely's successful 1896 campaign for President according to the caption provided with it.
2) Tom McCall outfit
Most Oregonians know the story of Governor Tom McCall. When he was a boy he was raised back east with this grandparents and enjoyed many summers out west in Oregon. The estate back east was called 'Dreamworld' and the ranch outside of Prineville his father owned was called 'Westernworld'. Inside the museum, they have a uniform young McCall wore as boy.
3) Presidential Autographs
As you walk up the stairs to the second floor of the museum you will notice a few framed letters. One letter is signed by Woodrow Wilson and another is signed by Calvin Coolidge. There is even one with the signature of Oregon Governor T.T. Geer.
All in all, it was a great museum. I'm glad I took the time off from the drive to go visit it. If you are in Prineville. Not all political items are in the collections of APIC members. Be sure to go check out your local historical society for items!