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Started in 1864 by Henry McClurg as the settlement of Park Place, Monroe experienced rapid growth in the early 1900s due to its rich farmlands and abundant timber, and its proximity to the Great Northern Railroad. Monroe is scenically set against the foothills of the Cascade Range, near where the Snoqualmie and Skykomish Rivers join to form the Snohomish.

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The Public is invited to join the Monroe Historical Society at its Fall Program, Thursday, Oct. 30 at the Monroe Library, 818 Village Way. In conjunction with the recent painting of the landmark smokestack, Bob Kosters, archivist for the Carnation-Nestle Company, will present the history of the Carnation milk brand in the area and the history of the Carnation Condensery that was at the site of the stack in Monroe from 1908 to 1929. Doors open at 6:30pm for light refreshments and visiting, with the program beginning at 7:00.

Condensery at Monroe

Condensery at Monroe

The smokestack is all that is left of the sprawling plant and horse stables that put Monroe on the map and employed many in the community. From its peak years in the last half of the 1910s, the plant slowly ceased production and was finally closed, laying idle for over a decade.  In 1944, the facility reopened to process flax for the WWII effort. It was in operation only three weeks when it burned to the ground.

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This year’s quilt raffle celebrates Pioneer schools of the Monroe area. Designed and sewn by Monroe Historical Society’s Gail Dillaway and Ben2014quilt Franklin’s Janet Osborn, the full-size quilt features historic school photos printed on 100% cotton, surrounded by log cabin and schoolhouse blocks.  All who have seen the quilt agree it is a work of art. Raffle tickets will be available at the Monroe Historic Museum at 207 East Main Street, the Shannahan Cabin during the Fair and society events. Tickets are $1. The winning ticket will be drawn Nov. 29 at the museum’s holiday open house. Thanks to Gail, Janet and Ben Franklin Crafts for supporting the raffle, a tradition in Monroe since 1976.

Also, at this year’s Monroe Chamber of Commerce Community Awards program June 12th, Gail was recognized for her work in coordinating the highly successful local National History Day program. Congratulations Gail!

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Thanks to an endowment by Hiroko Haji Ishida, the  Society this year was able to present the first annual scholarship in honor of the Haji family to Monroe High School senior Rose Geiger. The last remaining member of the Haji family, Hiroko  wanted the community to remember her family who lived in Monroe until the family was interned in June 1942 during WWII because of their Japanese heritage.

Rose Geiger, left, with board member Chris Bee

Rose Geiger, left, with board member Chris Bee

The Haji family valued academic excellence. Hiro was valedictorian of her class and her brother, Tom Haji, was on track to be valedictorian of his class if the family had not been uprooted. Even after this treatment, Tom volunteered to serve in the Army in WWII and was killed in Italy.
By offering this  scholarship, the Society wishes to promote the desire to understand how history defines who we are and how human rights are affected by our actions. Rose Geiger, through her efforts, has used this knowledge to work for change and is dedicated to making a better world.

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Currently happening at the museum:
school display
The school display room is undergoing a much needed upgrade, thanks to Chris, Gail, and Keith