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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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Museum closure   As most of our museum hosts are elderly and/or have underlying health issues, the museum will be closed until further notice. Stay peaceful and clean and go for a walk. Hopefully the cancelled spring program can be rescheduled for June.

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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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2019 Quilt Raffle       The winner of this year’s Monroe Historical Society annual quilt raffle was Lily Molina of Phoenix, Arizona. It was a beautiful queen size quilt, Houses and Trees, crafted and donated by the local Queen Bee Quilting Group, pictured here. All proceeds go to help keep the museum open. From left to right, Janet Osborn, Mildred Ness, Sandra Freeman, Sharon Parker, Marilyn Karlsson, Pat Powell and Delores Hanson. Congratulations Lily!

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Congratulations to our 2019 Haji Family Scholarship recipient, Alondra Guzman. 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 secretary, Dexter Taylor, on right, presented this year’s award to Alondra on May 30th at the high school’s award ceremony.

 

 

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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!

 

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.