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Four area museums offering free admission Saturday, Sept. 24

Bellingham Railway Museum chronicles history of local railroads

Take a look inside the Bellingham Railway Museum, which features model trail layouts, artifacts and displays that chronicle the history of Whatcom County through its railroads. Get details at BellinghamRailwayMuseum.org.
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Take a look inside the Bellingham Railway Museum, which features model trail layouts, artifacts and displays that chronicle the history of Whatcom County through its railroads. Get details at BellinghamRailwayMuseum.org.

Four museums in Whatcom and Skagit counties and several other Puget Sound-area institutions are participating in the annual nationwide Museum Day Live! event offering free admission Saturday, Sept. 24.

It’s sponsored every September by Smithsonian magazine, in the spirit of the Smithsonian Institution museums in Washington, D.C.

The Bellingham Railway Museum, Whatcom Museum, the Lynden Pioneer Museum and the Skagit County Historical Museum in La Conner are part of the promotion. Notable participating museums in the Puget Sound region include the Museum of History & Industry, Northwest African American Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, the Experience Music Project, and the Seattle Asian Art Museum.

A Museum Day Live! ticket, which must be downloaded online, provides free admission for two people per household or email address. Each set of tickets is good for one museum visit on Saturday.

To print a ticket, and to see a full list of participating museums, go online to smithsonianmag.com/museumday/museum-day-live-2016. Check the individual museum websites for their hours and locations.

Local museums

▪  Bellingham Railway Museum, 1320 Commercial St., features displays that describe the importance of the railroad in the pioneer era and how railroads helped fuel the logging industry in Whatcom County. Info: 360-393-7540, bellinghamrailwaymuseum.org. Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

▪  Two of the three Whatcom Museum buildings will be open: Lightcatcher galleries at 250 Flora St., and the Old City Hall galleries at 121 Prospect St. Current exhibits include “Spineless: Portraits of Marine Invertebrates by Susan Middleton” at the Lightcatcher and “Nostalgic Saturation: Mid-Century Bellingham In Historic Color” at the Old City Hall. In the Lightcatcher’s Family Interactive Gallery, visitors can try Full STEAM Ahead experiments focused on the invertebrates exhibit. Info: 360-778-8930, whatcommuseum.org. Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

▪  Lynden Pioneer Museum, 217 Front St., Lynden, offers exhibits on rural Victorian lifestyles, military history, agriculture and transportation. Its highlight is a life-size walkable replica of the historic downtown Front Street. There’s also a large collection of antique vehicles, horse carriages and farm implements. Info: 360-354-3675, lyndenpioneermuseum.com. Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

▪  Skagit County Historical Museum, 501 S. Fourth St. in La Conner, features historical exhibits and artifacts that chronicle the pioneer years and feature life-size historical dioramas. It has an extensive collection of agricultural implements and Native American artifacts from the Skagit Valley region. Current exhibits are “Cast and Count, the History of Voting,” and “Voces del Valle,” stories of the Mexican American community in Skagit County from 1940 to the present. This exhibit closes Sunday, Sept. 25. Info: 360-466-3365, skagitcounty.net/Departments/HistoricalSociety. Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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