Book shows names, faces of early Stilly Valley schools

ARLINGTON — The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society has released a book that includes the names and photos of many of the children who went to school in the river valley from the late 1880s to 1935.

The publication was a huge undertaking, said Wendy Becker, economic and cultural development officer for Snohomish County.

“The amount of work that these volunteers put in (to compile it) is amazing. Every time they thought they were close to being finished, they would find another little cache of information and pictures, and would have to start over,” Becker said. “This (publication) is just the first phase, with more to come.”

The book represents years of work and dedication by Marietta Roth, the founder of the society, as well as members Kay Crabtree and Mary Buzzell, said society spokeswoman Shirley Case.

“Roth understood that early Arlington school records were in danger of disintegrating, so she and her committee worked tirelessly to extract information, page by page,” Case said.

Helen Hubert Eliason and Joanne Holdal Wetmore began two years ago the task of entering the school data into a computer program used to self-publish books.

After another bunch of school records were found a year ago, the committee went back to page one of its plans, Case said.

The book has information and photographs of Arlington city schools and pupils, the original Kent Prairie School and students at schools in the communities of Bryant, Haller, Pilchuck, Edgecomb, Jordan, Loyal Heights, Island Crossing, Silvana, Trafton, Lincoln, Oso, Cicero and others. Most of the school buildings now are gone.

So much information exists that the society hopes to publish a second volume of early Stillaguamish River valley school records, Case said.

The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society offers the book for sale as a resource, especially for longtime Arlington area families and history researchers.

The books sells for $25. To buy one before Christmas, leave a message on the society’s library phone at 360-435-4838. The library opens to the public again at 10 a.m. Jan. 3 at 2215 French St. S.

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