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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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Expanded Museum Hours: In addition to being open Wednesdays and Saturdays noon to 3:00pm the museum will now be open the first and third Sundays of each month, noon to 3:00, starting with Sunday, November 21, 2021. Drop by when you’re out and about.

 

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old library space

Ongoing work at the museum  As with any 113 year old building, Old City Hall is often in need of repairs. The Society is currently looking for contributions and volunteers to help restore the rotting rear upper floor exit stairs (one of our board members actually fell through the landing!!) and restore the upper floor library space back to some degree of its original condition. This includes cleanup, sanding, painting and window replacement. The space has been used as a Tae Kwon Do studio for the last several years. Contact the Society via email or phone and use the nice “donate” button to help financially. All is welcome.

 

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Archives available online   Many of the Historical Society’s archives are now available to view online at monroehistoricalarchives.org. These include yearbooks, historical photos and links to historical maps and newspapers.

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Lee Orr Exhibit   In recognition of the upcoming Summer Olympics the museum has a new exhibit about local Olympic athlete Lee Orr, once considered one of the fastest men in the world. A graduate of Monroe High School, Lee set track records that held for many years. Having been born in Canada, he ran for that country in the 1936 Olympics held in Berlin, in which Lee ran against his friend, Jesse Owens. A modest man, Lee Orr lived his later years just outside of Monroe and would only reluctantly talk about his running career.

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Congratulations to our 2021 Haji Family Scholarship recipient, Zoe Yates! The Monroe Historical Society is proud to offer this annual scholarship to a graduating Monroe High School senior each year, thanks to a generous endowment from 1941 Monroe High School valedictorian Hiroko Haji. 

 

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It’s a sign!   After many years of watching our old museum sign deteriorate and hoping a new one would take its place we finally have a wonderful new sign gracing Old City Hall. The mounting bracket is topped by a metal cutout showing a steam locomotive and a load of logs. This attractive addition is thanks to a generous grant from the city of Monroe and the work of Pablo Guerrero of Amigo Arts in Monroe. Come by and take a closer look, and a big ‘thank you’ to all who made it possible. The city has promised to at least trim back the trees this fall which, as much as we like foliage, have begun to make building fronts hard to see.

 

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Now you can donate to Monroe Historical Society simply by shopping! Fred Meyer stores donate a portion of the money you spend to a non-profit of your choice. FredMeyerRewardsSimply go to www.fredmeyer.com/communityrewards and link your rewards card to Monroe Historical Society – you can link by name or by our non-profit number [85404]. You still earn your rewards points, fuel points, and rebates. You can also sign up at the customer service desk.

Amazon will also donate a portion of sales to  the society, using AmazonSmile: www.smile.amazon.com and choosing Monroe Historical Society.  Every little bit helps!

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Currently at the museum:

piano2The upright Hamilton piano that once provided music at the silent movie theaters of Monroe was installed at the museum in October. Nellie Johnson Blakeslee (photo on left side of piano) played the piano at various venues in town theater2for many years. Recently tuned, it sounds beautiful!