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.


1894 Wagon Bridge over the Skykomish Rivier at Lewis Street

1894 Wagon Bridge over the Skykomish Rivier at Lewis Street

Holiday Open House!



Members and the public are invited to the annual Monroe Historical Society Holiday Open House. Come see friends, visit the museum and enjoy warm drinks and cookies. Saturday, December 5, 1:00 to 3:00pm at the Monroe Historical Museum, 207 E.Main St., Monroe, WA.


Fourth, 2015 field trip 1Fifth and Sixth grade students from Sky Valley Education Center in Monroe visited the Monroe Historical Museum October 8. Students participated in chores and other activities of a century ago, a walking tour of downtown and time in the museum itself, including a visit to the still intact jail cell. A fine time was had by all. This is one of the many volunteer opportunities available. If you would like to help, contact us through the website, call, or drop by the museum during open hours.


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!


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.