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About This Collection

Kiona-Benton City Heritage is a project of Washington Rural Heritage, a collection of historically significant materials residing in libraries, heritage institutions, and private collections throughout Washington State. The collection includes photographs, documents, and artifacts which tell the stories of Washington's small and rural communities.

Benton City Junior Rodeo poster, 1964. Bob Dunlap Collection.Benton City Junior Rodeo poster, 1964.
Bob Dunlap Collection.
Since 2010, the Benton City Library (Mid-Columbia Libraries) has coordinated Kiona-Benton City Heritage, a collaborative effort between the Library, the Karolina Lorz Foundation, and the Kiona-Benton City Historical Society. The collection consists of photos, artwork, books, and documents that detail the history of Kiona and Benton City, Washington, and nearby communities of the Yakima Valley. Many of the items in the collection focus on farming, railroads, and the lifeblood of the region—irrigation waters from the Yakima and Columbia Rivers.

If you have corrections or additional details regarding records in the collection, please use the digital collection's public comments feature, or contact the Benton City Library directly to update the information.


Bob Dunlap Collection

This collection displays a small portion of the large body of work created by Benton City's beloved local artist Bob Dunlap. The work shown here encompasses a variety of mediums from acrylics to screen print to collage, sometimes incorporating several mediums in one work. Bob Dunlap was born in Plankinton South Dakota in 1923. A few years later, his parents moved to Minnesota where he spent his childhood among the lakes and parks surrounding the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota region. Following his 18th birthday, he joined the Army Air Corps where he served for the duration of World War II. He and his wife came to Washington State in 1947 when he worked as a draftsman for the Pullman Company. He worked in the Hanford Area for General Electric, first in design and engineering and later as a nuclear process operator. He retired from GE in 1982 to pursue a full time Graphic Design business. Bob and his wife raised their family in Benton City in a home that he designed and he and his wife built themselves. Bob has been a tireless and enthusiastic supporter of preserving Kiona-Benton City area heritage through his painting and photography. He frequently exhibits his artwork at local events to the delight of attendees. We are appreciative of his allowing us to include some of his material in this collection.

Historic Glass Plate Negative Collection

The glass plate negatives featured in this collection were preserved by Chuck and Betty Morgan. The glass plate negatives are the survivors of what was once a larger number left abandoned and forgotten until they were discovered in about 1970 in the attic of the house the Morgans were renting. Many of the glass plates were badly broken; the Morgans gathered up and saved the ones they could. The house, often known as the Alvin Scott house, was near the present corner of Sixth and Belle. It has since been torn down, replaced by housing built under sponsorship of the Richland Housing Authority. Mary Lou Wing delivered the negatives from the Morgan’s care to the Kiona Benton City Historical Society in 2010. Some of the negatives are still enclosed in paper envelopes with descriptions and dates on them. Some of the descriptions look to be written by more than one hand. Some negatives are obviously in the wrong envelope, and some are numbered in no apparently discernable sequence. They encompass the years 1903 through about 1909, and all look to be taken in the locality. The glass plate negatives are in various conditions, some pretty bad and some surprisingly good considering the circumstances they must have endured over the years. The results achieved by only being able to manipulate the variables of light and dark are testament to saving old images/artifacts in hopes of being able to one day unlock the stories they can tell.

Rights & Use

Some items from Mid-Columbia Libraries' Kiona-Benton City Heritage collection are under protection of copyright. Please contact Mid-Columbia Libraries to inquire about necessary permissions regarding the use of items in this collection.

By the use of these digital images and texts, users agree to the following:

  • Materials may not be used for any commercial purpose without prior written permission from the copyright holder and/or owning institution. The Washington State Library does not have authority to grant such permission; please contact the holding institution.
  • Materials may be used for purposes of research, teaching, and private study. You must contact the holding institution and/or copyright owner for permission related to other uses.
  • Credit must be given to the contributing institutions (e.g., 'Photo courtesy of [owner] and Mid-Columbia Libraries.').
  • Materials may not be re-published in print or electronic form without prior written permission from the holding institution and/or copyright owner.
  • Materials may not be mounted on an additional server for public use, or for use by a set of subscribers without written permission from the holding institution and/or copyright owner.

View the Washington Rural Heritage Rights & Use Statement for additional information.

About the Benton City Branch, Mid-Columbia Libraries

Located at the confluence of the Columbia, Yakima, and Snake Rivers in southeastern Washington State, Mid-Columbia Libraries is a public library district serving Benton, Franklin, and portions of Adams Counties through eleven branches and a bookmobile. The Benton City Branch serves a community of over 2,800 residents in a library that overlooks the Yakima River and scenic Red Mountain. Many landscape views in library windows are also reflected in photos in this digital collection.

About the Kiona-Benton City Historical Society

The mission of the Kiona-Benton City Historical Society is to preserve the history and heritage of the communities of Benton City and historic Kiona. The Kiona-Benton City Historical Society is pleased to have the opportunity to utilize technology to bring awareness of the area’s cultural heritage to the community and others. We gratefully acknowledge the support received from the Mid Columbia Libraries, The Karolina Lorz Foundation, and the Washington State library.

Washington Rural Heritage home

Contributing Institutions

Benton City Library

Benton City Library, Mid-Columbia Libraries

(509) 588-6471

810 Horne Drive

Benton City, WA 99320

Kiona-Benton City Historical Society

Karolina Lorz Foundation

This project is supported with Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding provided by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

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