Waitsburg Historical Society
Waitsburg Historical Society
Preserving the history of the Touchet River Valley








Explore luxury living, circa 1883.



Docent-guided tours available daily.

The exquisitely-detailed Victorian home of Perry and Caroline Bruce in historic Waitsburg was the "showpiece of the town" in its day, and has been lovingly restored to share with the public. From the detailed architecture, luxurious furnishings, and glamorous gowns, to cutting-edge 19th century technology, like the Edison phonograph or pump operated vacuum, you'll see what living in grand style looked like for our pioneers 135 years ago. Now the jewel of our Bruce Mansion Museum Complex, the museum houses furnishings, fine quilts, art, and artifacts from this bygone era. We invite you to book your tour today, and experience the glory of the Bruce Mansion Museum for yourself!

Or call (509) 386-3739


By appointment only

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Mid-May - September

Suggested Donation:

$10 per person / $25 for a group

If you happen through town on the spur of the moment, we can usually be available for a tour within 15 minutes of your request.


Tours & Annual Events



3rd weekend in May.

During the heyday of horse-racing, this annual community event was known as the 'Days of Real Sport'. While horse-racing has long since galloped away, the celebration has been retained as an annual community event.  A parade kicks off the festivities on Saturday morning, with an enthusiast's car show is in the park, along with music, food and entertainment.  We begin our museum touring season on this day, with all properties open to the public. 



9 a.m.- 5 p.m. by appointment, mid-May through September.

 Each tour is led by a knowledgeable docent who will share the history of Waitsburg, point out fascinating details, and ensure that you see everything that the Bruce Memorial Mansion has to offer. Advance booking is appreciated, but we strive to be available within 15 minutes of your request:  (509) 386-3739.

Pioneer Fall Festival

3rd Sunday in September. See the 2019 Schedule!

Embrace the heritage of the Touchet Valley at our Pioneer Fall Festival. Kick-off with the Pioneer of the Year award ceremony at 11 a.m. followed by a non-denominational church service. Vie for best pie at the Laurette McCaw Pie-oneer Pie-Baking Contest and enjoy buffalo BBQ. Watch an antique fashion show, listen to live music, admire antique cars, take a horse-drawn carriage ride and see how history was made with pioneer crafts & free museum tours.


School Pioneer Days

The final week of school.

During the last week of the school year, we invite elementary school classes grades K-5 to come and visit the museum.  Several education stations are set up to demonstrate pioneer skills, games, and crafts, and the groups rotate among stations so that everyone has a chance to experience each activity.


Are you planning to make a weekend of it? Plan your overnight stay in Waitsburg.


Our Mission:

Historical   Preservation

The Waitsburg Historical Society was formed to preserve the history and memorabilia of the Touchet River Valley between the town of Dayton and the region known as Lamar.


Since the townspeople of Waitsburg undertook the restoration of the Bruce Mansion in 1971, the Waitsburg Historical Society has been a passion project for people in our community who wish to honor and preserve our town's history and cultural artifacts. Would you like to help?



TOM LAND, President

RICHARD HINDS, Vice President


ANITA BAKER, Recording Secretary




Thank you for considering a donation to the Waitsburg Historical Society.  Every penny helps, and all funds support the maintenance of this fine historic property and the acquisition of cultural artifacts. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and all contributions are tax-deductible.



Our staff is 100% volunteer, and we'd be delighted to welcome you to our team of dedicated volunteers! Lead a tour, catalog memorabilia, help with maintenance, or finesse fundraising campaigns. Whatever your special talent, we'd be glad to put it to use!


Your annual membership provides critical support to the exhibits, conservation projects, and education programs that bring our mission to life.  Join today and be a part of what makes the WHS so extraordinary.


Choose WHS as your Amazon Smile beneficiary

A small percentage of your order will be donated to the Waitsburg Historical Society every time you shop on Amazon.com!


Our Impact:

Today, the community's pride in this facility is seen as many volunteers serve as tour guides during the summer months and assist in preparing for planned events.  Pioneer families of the region have generously donated artifacts for display which are important to the history of the area.

To date, the Bruce Museum Complex has expanded beyond the historic Bruce Mansion to include the following properties: 

CARRIAGE HOUSE featuring handsome horse-drawn transportation

SCHOOL HOUSE with scholastic and educational artifacts from the area

WAIT'S MILL HOUSE which shelters a replica of Waitsburg's 1865 Flour Mill

WILSON-PHILLIPS HOUSE with curated special collections of local interest

Because we avoid the use of government funds in the restoration of the buildings and grounds, the Historical Society relies heavily on donations, memorials, endowments, and memberships.   The annual Pioneer Fall Festival is presented as a community service and no admission is charged.