So, we are experiencing an historic moment. The Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum is closed until further notice. Local businesses are beginning to open, at least for curbside service, but in April it was possible to drive through Fall City, Snoqualmie and North Bend at one in the afternoon and not see a single car parked in front of any business. For a full century Valley gas stations, restaurants, motels and car camps only survived because people on the cross-state highway made a quick stop.
More recently, the hikers, the outlet mall bargain hunters and all our new neighbors have kept the towns humming, but this spring the streets were deserted. The museum’s main exhibit in 2019 focused on the history of high school in the Snoqualmie Valley, and this year’s senior class went into the fall thinking it would have the distinction of being the very first graduating class in the spectacular new building in Meadowbrook. Now the students are sheltering at home. The members of the Class of 2020 and their parents and the school district are now scrambling to improvise some whole new kind of senior year spring, one that we hope will never have to be repeated.
The museum is closed, of course, but Cristy continues to post new pictures and text on social media every day, and she tackles the steady stream of questions that you email in. We will use the downtime to make some improvements in the galleries and back rooms. It will be challenging to find ways to reopen to the public, given our narrow hallways and small spaces, but we are working on the problem.
I have recently heard from two people who are using their shelter time to dust off family history projects they’ve been meaning to get to. I’ve been doing some of that myself. I’ve decided there are FOUR GREAT STEPS we should all take right now.
One: Label your photographs! Today everyone knows that that is Aunt Cindy in the back row on the left in that picture taken at the lake, but your grandchildren won’t know, and they might use that as an excuse to just toss the picture altogether. Your great-grandchildren might never know who you were.
Two: Phone your parents, grandparents, cousins and college friends and ask those questions.
Three: Write down those funny stories about your kids. You tell the stories all the time, and they groan, but thirty years from now they’ll be sorry if they can’t quite remember how it was that you and your friend Dale got into that barrel of tar.
Four: Be sure to fill out the 2020 Federal Census. Your actual form won’t be made public for 72 years, but after the year 2092 your descendants and the local museum will be desperate to know every detail. This is your chance to make a mark on history!
by Gardiner Vinnedge, Board President