Cashmere water wheel finds new life

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A cherished piece of Cashmere history got some tender love and care just in time for this weekend’s Apple Days festivities at the Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village.

Becca Cazzanigi, a member of the team at the Cashmere Museum for the last five years, says after reminiscing with her husband about their memories as kids of the water wheel turning on the riverfront, they decided to look into what kind of fixes were necessary to get the piece of history up and running again.

With a small group of volunteers, including her husband, parents and kids, along with another museum staff member and her family, the project became a family affair.

An anonymous donor stepped up, covering the cost of lumber, and Tacoma Screw donated supplies to cover everything they needed to replace the rotting wood on each paddle and bucket, getting the wheel ready for Apple Days this weekend.

Cazzanigi says getting the wheel turning again is bringing a piece of local history to life again for generations to come.

“I remember when I was little, people would pull over as they got over the bridge and walk back over the bridge to take pictures of it turning,” Cazzanigi said. “Seattle has their Space Needle and skyline, and in Cashmere we don’t have a skyline but this is our one really interesting piece of architecture so it’s kind of what we’re known for.”

This weekend, Cazzanigi’s dad will get to throw the switch for the water wheel the first time in five years. While it won’t be a big fanfare this weekend at Apple Days, the museum has plans for a big celebration this Spring.

“It will just turn for those two days, and then for the rest of the season it will remain off,” Cazzanigi said. “Next Spring when we open we’ll have a restoration celebration and have wine and appetizers and a band.”

Cazzanigi also gives a rundown of the family-friendly activities happening at Apple Days 2019 this weekend, as well as a new event for adults.

Cashmere Apple Days 2019

For more information on Apple Days visit the Cashmere Museum and Pioneer Village website here.