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.


Come visit us at the Shannahan Cabin during the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, August 27 through September 7.  The cabin, located in the southwest corner of the fairgrounds near the cabinlonghouse and logging show, is an actual homestead cabin built in 1887 and moved to the fairgrounds in the 1960s.Volunteers will be hosting from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm every day, with historical exhibits as well as local history books for sale. This year’s fundraising quilt will be on display – raffle tickets are only a dollar. Stop by and take a look!


Haji Family Scholarship – This years recipient of the annual Haji Family Scholarship was Monroe High School graduate Leah Nemeth.

Leah Nemeth with MHS secretary Dexter Taylor

Leah Nemeth with MHS secretary Dexter Taylor

The scholarship is made possible through a bequest from Hikoro Haji who passed away in 2012. The Hajis lived in Monroe and were quite well liked, but because of their Japanese ancestry they were sent to an internment camp in 1942. Hiroko’s brother, Tom, enlisted in the military as soon as he could and was killed fighting in Italy. The scholarship honors the Haji family, their love of education and Hiroko’s concerns for greater diversity and human rights. After sifting through a tall stack of applications, the scholarship committee was unanimous in its decision. Congratulations Leah!


‘Gone But Not Forgotten’ program June 3 at Park Place Middle School a huge success

Park Place Middle School 8th graders presented their research and efforts to refurbish and complete a WWII monument and honor the eighteen young men who lost their lives fighting in the war. The monument, originally installed at Monroe’s Memorial Field on Kelsey Street in 1951, has largely been forgotten. Some of the money needed to improve the monument was raised during theWW2memorial program, which was well attended by the public and city officials.  A panel, consisting of veterans Merv Boyes, Tom Parry and Russ Dean, talked and answered questions after the students’ presentation. Donations to complete the memorial, which can be sent to the Monroe Historical Society, are much appreciated.


This years quilt raffle features “Fruits of the Valley”, a beautiful2015quilt quilt with a festive fruit theme, honoring Monroe’s local fruit growers. This year’s quilt is once again the result of many, many hours of work by Gail Dillaway, Monroe Historical Society volunteer and board member. Catherine Kessel, of American Quiltworks, graciously donated the machine quilting. Raffle tickets, which are only $1, are available at the museum as well as at other functions in the area where it will be displayed. The drawing will be 6:30, December 8 at the museum. You need not be present to win. All proceeds help to fund activities of the historical society.


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.