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Historical Society raises funds with holiday photos

“He’d like to stay in it all day,” said Marysville Historical Society board member Lyle Schadee, as his grandson Jordan sat in the Ford Model T. - KIRK BOXLEITNER The Marysville Globe
“He’d like to stay in it all day,” said Marysville Historical Society board member Lyle Schadee, as his grandson Jordan sat in the Ford Model T.
— image credit: KIRK BOXLEITNER The Marysville Globe

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville Historical Society put visitors into the driver’s seat of history Dec. 6, when they conducted their first holiday fundraiser using one of two cars lent to them by the Jubie brothers.

Kids and adults alike were as excited to get their pictures taken with the Ford Model T in front of the Marysville Historical Society as they were to pose for snapshots with Santa Claus inside the Historical Society’s Third Street building. Of course, with Santa Claus himself happy to explain the history and operation of the Model T “woody,” onlookers could get both in the same photo.

“This was made in late 1923 or early 1924,” said the Historical Society’s Santa, who preferred to be identified simply as “Santa Claus.” “This was the equivalent of a modern-day taxi, because it was used to transport people from train stations to hotels, and to make deliveries, if you took out the back seat.”

The woody’s four-cylinder engine runs on regular gas and can start with either the battery or the crank, although Claus warned that “you’d better have a lot of muscles, because if it backfires with the crank, it could break your arm.”

The 23-inch tires, which have 35 pounds of air pressure, are so scarce now that they can only be found in New Zealand. As for the woody’s inclusion of both headlights and oil lamps, Claus explained that this was a concession to the dominant traffic at the time.

“Horses and buggies still had the right of way,” Claus said. “Cars were a rarity back then and had to yield. They weren’t even allowed loud horns, because they couldn’t scare the horses.”

Because the woody doesn’t have an actual transmission, both starting and stopping it are complicated affairs.

“It’s got two speeds, and your parking brake is also your clutch,” Claus said. “The three pedals on the floor are the brake, the reverse position and the forward position. The throttle is in the steering wheel, which you have to adjust to get at the gas tank, which is under the front seat. To drive it, you have to have an extra hand, an extra foot and a whole lot of prayer.”

Harvey and Larry Jubie allow the Historical Society to use their old cars, in exchange for the Historical Society storing, showing and maintaining them. The Model A was shown during this year’s Strawberry Festival parade.

After he’d shown off the woody, Santa returned to posing for pictures with kids. Jai Ekle’s daughter Mia was anxious about sitting in Santa’s lap, but the Nielsen boys were cool customers about it, even though Casen Nielsen was only six months old. At age 10, Jordan Nielsen made sure to ask Santa for a Xbox 360.

“We make sure to make it down here every year,” father Brian Nielsen said. “We love the parade and the tower lighting.”

By 2 p.m. Dec. 6, Marysville Historical Society Secretary Rietta Costa estimated that the Historical Society had been visited by 40-50 families, and received approximately $800 in donations.

“Don’t wait for fundraisers to donate, though,” Costa said. “We need funds to keep our doors open, and we need motivated members to join us.”

You may log onto the Marysville Historical Society’s Web site at www.marysvillehistory.org, call them at 360-659-3090, or visit them at 1508-B Third Street in Marysville.

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