MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Historical Society’s long-awaited museum came a significant step closer to completion on Saturday, Aug. 25, as MHS members, city of Marysville officials and representatives of local service clubs joined in breaking ground at the site adjacent to the Jennings Park Barn area.
MHS President Ken Cage reflected on how a museum to preserve and display Marysville’s history has been one of the Historical Society’s goals since its founding in 1974. In 1986, the Society purchased a plot of land off Armar Road as the future site for such a museum, after which a $3 million capital campaign was launched in 2006.
“We’ve had starts and stops along the way, but the energy expended by our citizens has been getting us there,” Cage said. “It’s the culmination of a long dream, and we’re deeply indebted to a large group of people, including Valda and Gary Bloom for starting this whole thing off.”
Cage noted that Scott Kirkland’s preliminary architectural designs had to be scaled back in the wake of the economic downturn in 2008, but added that the museum would retain his plans for an old storefront appearance and a community center as part of its design. While Cage credited the local chapters of Soroptimist, Kiwanis and Rotary with supporting the museum, he promised that the museum’s community center would bear the Rotary’s name in honor of the group’s $250,000 in pledged funds.
Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring commended the Marysville Historical Society for its commitment to making the museum a reality over the course of four decades.
“We talk a lot about the identity of Marysville, and this museum will help enhance our culture, for both our citizens and those visiting our town,” Nehring said.
In the crowds, Nehring pointed out Marysville City Council members Donna Wright and Steve Muller, as well as state Rep. John McCoy and Greater Marysville Tulalip Chamber of Commerce Board Chair John Bell and President and CEO Caldie Rogers, all of whom he described as longtime supporters of the museum as well.
Muller, who’s also a member of the Marysville Noon Rotary, spoke on behalf of Rotary in place of its president, Kelly Peterson, who was unable to attend the groundbreaking.
“I remember as far back as 13 years ago, meeting with Ken almost every day on this museum,” Muller said. “We’ve had a lot of input in the years since. With the museum’s 200-person grand hall, we won’t have to go out of town for our big celebrations. The museum will become a center of social and cultural activity, which will help provide cash flow for it. I’m a lifelong resident of Marysville who’s proud that both Rotary and the city were able to be part of this.”
Construction on the MHS museum is scheduled to start this September.
The Marysville Historical Society is a private, not-for profit organization of about 200 members, dedicated to the discovery, preservation and display of all items relating to the history of the greater Marysville area. This includes artifacts, photographs and personal stories about the people who brought Marysville out of the woods and made it a city. For more information, contact Cage at 360-659-3090.