Stillaguamish Valley museum putting out its welcome mat

ARLINGTON — The welcome center at the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum along 67th Avenue NE is beginning to look a lot more welcoming.

The hand-carved poles are up and installation of the roof is set to follow. Volunteers plan a dedication ceremony in June before school is out.

“We’re getting very close,” volunteer Michele Heiderer said. “It’s going to be a beautiful historical attraction and a great learning tool for local students.”

When complete, the gazebo-like center will resemble an open-air Coast Salish building. It will shelter a 5-by-10-foot hand-carved cedar relief map of the Stillaguamish River watershed as it was in 1910, when Arlington was the world’s capital for cedar-shake mills.

The map includes pioneer communities; mines; logging operations; Stillaguamish tribal encampments; and the sites of old roads, schools and cemeteries. The cedar map was carved by Twisp sculptor Bruce Morrison, who previously made a relief map of the Methow River valley.

The dedication is timed to celebrate the centennial of the 1910 plat map, Heiderer said.

Holding up the roof beams are a dozen 7-foot to 10-foot cedar story poles carved by Lummi tribal carver Jewell James. The poles are based on the salmon story of the Stillaguamish Indian Tribe.

Heiderer, her husband Steve, and their friends Shirley and Dick Prouty have volunteered fours years working on the $90,000 welcome-center project.

Among the donors to the project are the Snohomish County Historic Preservation Commission, the Stillaguamish Tribe, Murdock Charitable Trust, Norcliffe Foundation, Pemco Insurance, the museum, the city of Arlington, Arlington Hardware and Oso Lumber.

To donate to help fund the dedication ceremony, call 360-435-2720.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427,

Correction: The phone number for donations to the dedication ceremony was incorrect in an earlier version of this story. The number above is now correct.

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