The Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame Association (ERHOF) is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 to preserve the history and traditions of the Ellensburg Rodeo. Founding Board members were Mike Allen, Joel Smith, Rick Cole, Nancy Graham, Betsy Billeter, Jerry Anderson, Sandy Bryan, Dick Powers, Sam Kayser, Bob Kelley, Keith Love, and John Ludtka.
Since its founding, the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame has conducted annual banquets on Thursday evening of Rodeo Weekend, selecting and honoring Inductees in the categories of (1) National Contestant; (2) Local Contestant; (3) Participant (clown, judge, announcer, trick rider, stock contractor etc.); (4) Volunteer Organizer; (5) Livestock; and (6) Pioneer Rodeo Family. Inductees are chosen only after careful research and consultation with multiple archives and local rodeo experts.
ERHOF has written a permanent biographical file for each of the Inductees, preserved their mementoes and artifacts, conducted membership drives, hosted annual fundraisers, and established a permanent museum fund. ERHOF publishes a bi-annual Pony Express Hall of Fame Newsletter and annual articles on Hall of Fame Inductees for the Ellensburg Daily Record, Pro Rodeo Sports News, The Ketch Pen (National Cowboy Hall of Fame), and regional newspapers. ERHOF has collected, stored, and displayed saddles and tack, memoirs, photographs, posters, jewelry, buckles, programs, costumes, books and magazines, ephemera, and other historical artifacts from the Ellensburg Rodeo donated by national competitors and local participants, organizers, and their families.
ERHOF now leases the former “Downtown Pharmacy” (owned by the Clymer Museum) on Pearl Street. In 2018, ERHOF joined the Clymer and Western Art Association to create the Western Culture and Art Center (WCAC). The three non-profits share the historic Ramsey Building, 416 N. Pearl, in downtown Ellensburg. ERHOF stores its valuable collection of rodeo artifacts in the WCAC’s spacious upstairs, part of which is currently under renovation thatnks to a Washington State Historic Preservation grant. ERHOF mounts permanent and recurrent rodeo history exhibits in the old Downtown Pharmacy space of the WCAC and also displays its collection in the Ellensburg Rodeo headquarters and, during Labor Day weekend, the Ellensburg Rodeo’s Western Village.