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.


Tom Haji

Tom Haji, Monroe hero     –     annual membership meeting and free event, Wednesday, March 14

Mario Vega, graduate of Monroe High School and Washington State University, will present a program on Tom Haji who, with his family, being Japanese-American, was interned during WWII. Tom, who was vice-president of the junior class at the high school at the time of the internement, joined the Army as soon as he could and lost his life fighting in Italy. This promises to be a thorough look at this engaging story, as Mario has spent years researching all aspects. The program follows the Monroe Historical Society’s annual membership business meeting at 6:00pm at the Monroe Library, 1070 Village Way, Monroe. The program is open to all, free of charge. Hope to see you there!




In honor of Women’s History Month the Monroe History Museum is displaying an informative exhibit created by the Women’s Legacy Project. The trifold display tells the stories of several amazing local women who had a real impact on local history. Stop by and see; it’ll be at the museum through the month of March.




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.




Congratulations to our 2017 Haji Family Scholarship recipient, Molly Thompson. 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. Society president, Tami Kinney, on right, presented this year’s award to Molly, who plans to attend the University of Washington in the fall.



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!


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!


Adjacent to this new addition to the museum Chris Bee, museum director, has been working on a display for the Avalon Theater. Originally the Monroe Theater, it opened in 1929 and showed the first “talkie” in town in 1930. schooldisplay2The projector next to the piano was from the Avalon. The theater ended its run in 1966 and the site is now a parking lot.


Continuing along that wall visitors come to the recently completed pioneer school display. The heavy black slate on the wall is one from the old Wagner School which closed in 1956.