Historical Society opens exhibit on Third Street
August 28, 2008 · Updated 9:36 AM
MARYSVILLE The shape of things to come was on display last week as the Marysville Historical Society gave citizens a glimpse of what their future museum might look like.
And society members were all ears as they listened to what people said they want to see in the planned $2.5 million structure that will be built on property adjacent to Jennings Memorial Park on Armar Road.
A downtown storefront on Third Street was converted to a cache of memories as treasures from the societys storehouse were put on display for people to see. There was ancient logging equipment that society president Ken Cage put to use before the Oct. 11 grand opening to level out a huge stump to display.
Its a place to house yesterday is what I say, said museum trustee Walt Taubeneck.
He took pleasure in looking at the old pictures on display; pointing with pride to what was known as the Lincoln building that once housed the Marysville High School, several incarnations past.
I went to school in that building for three years, Taubeneck said proudly.
There was a huge wall of photos from Marysvilles past, tracing the growth of the town on Ebey Slough over the last century. Many old timers had fun pointing out the people they knew from school photos taken in the 1920s. The Historical Societys DVD The Place Where it All Began was playing on a television, and that was a good analogy to Cage, as he outlined his hopes for the month-long display.
The society board of directors wants people to stop by and look, but Cage said they are really interested in hearing what the community wants the museum to be.
The more information we can get from the public, the better decisions we can make, Cage said.
He and board vice president Brandon Heslop were chatting in front of some huge murals of historical pictures, including a tiny house made out of a huge stump. In the picture a man is leaning out of a frame window while a couple sit on the porch of the house. A stove pipe pokes out of the tin roof, making the whole thing look comical, but Cage said the stump house was actually situated near Edgecomb, on the Arlington Marysville border.
Thats why the huge wooden log nearby was standing in the back with an ax sticking out and a springboard wedged into the lower body. Pictures of old logging operations showed how loggers would use a complex scaffolding of springboards to fell the immense trees that once littered Whiskey Ridge, Getchell Hill and the rest of Snohomish County.
The strawberries came much later.
Marysville started out as a logging community, Cage emphasized.
While the revised plans for the two-story building were there for people to see, society members were interested in the guts of the building, which will also house the Norwesco Telephone Pioneer Club and exhibits from other partners such as the Marysville Artist Guild. Board members are interested in planning for the future but want to bring the community on board now so they can provide input and direction, Cage said.
This is just a preview of what will be in the museum, he said.
Its a good start to build visibility, Heslop added.
He suggested future projects like another DVD that picks up where the first left off, in the 1920s, as well as working on an improved collection of sports pictures. Those might be more relevant to current generations who dont fell trees for a living but do pass the ball around. Heslop said it would be fun to splice together footage from the many films made by high school classes over the years.
All those are just some of the ideas that could be housed in the museum. Board member Jim Strickland said the storefront museum at 1508-B Third Street could be a nice prototype and he suggested more activities for people to be involved in. Students at a local school made a time capsule for a class project and Strickland said something similar could be done in time for the museum construction.
I think people are going to want something thats interactive, Strickland said. To him a museum should reflect the broader interests of a living community, and not just be a repository for relics gathering dust.
For longtime resident Darlene Scott the display was a chance to catch up on the past while keeping everyone honest. Her Carrs Hardware Store has been in business downtown for 84 years, so Scott knew what she was talking about when she fingered a picture of former Marysville mayor Ernest Washburn who was listed as Washington.
Were disputing the names on some of these pictures, Scott laughed. I want names on all these pictures.
The storefront display will be open in the donated retail space for about a month, or until the landlord rents the space, Cage said. Hours will be flexible, but they should be open on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. or from noon until 4 p.m. Anyone who stops by is encouraged to complete a one-page questionnaire about what they would like the museum to be.
The Marysville Historical Society exhibit is at 1508-B Third Street. It will be open on Saturdays in the early afternoon. Admission is free; for more information see their Web site at www.marysvillehistory.org.