Have you heard of Hoogdal? Skagit County Historical Museum photo.

Have you heard of Hoogdal? Skagit County Historical Museum photo.

Discover Skagit County’s remarkable hidden history

Museum offers a glimpse into the community’s storied past

Everyone has a story, whether a personal tale, a family history, or a community’s timeline. Personal stories are part of the bigger picture that makes up our collective history.

Hidden history in plain sight

In Skagit County, history is all around, part of daily life — folks drive or walk past buildings or even street-name signs that are part of the scenery. But if you’ve ever wondered why there’s a road called Finn’s settlement, who the first settlers were, or who lived here before the settlers, the Skagit County Historical Museum can help you find the answers to these questions and many more.

All of the people who were here, who came to the County many years ago, and those who have only been here for a short time, make up the rich and colorful tapestry that is the modern Skagit County.

Jo Wolfe of the Skagit County Historical Museum loves to see visitors’ amazement when they discover something new to them about the area’s history. “If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say, ‘I’ve lived in Skagit all my life and I never knew that,’ I’d be rich!” Jo says.

It’s the personal tales that make such a colorful history, like the unique story of local musician Hugo Helmer, who made such a difference in the lives of many local kids.

READ MORE: Who was Hugo Helmer? New exhibit at Skagit Historical Museum strikes a local chord

One of the many intriguing artifacts. Skagit County Historical Museum photo.

One of the many intriguing artifacts. Skagit County Historical Museum photo.

A new home, far from home

The museum houses exhibits highlighting how the area has changed, including exhibits showcasing the roots of the county, the Native Americans who have been here sine time immemorial, and those who came after. Visitors can learn what brought people to the valley —logging, fishing, mining and agriculture.

A simpler time — and some harsh realities

Come and take a peek inside a period home and see what life in the west was like at a time before cars were commonplace and when home entertainment was a social affair. Find out about the boom towns like Hoogdal (see photo above) that have disappeared from the map, leaving behind a street name or sometimes, nothing at all.

What brought your ancestors to Skagit County? Skagit County Historical Museum photo.

What brought your ancestors to Skagit County? Skagit County Historical Museum photo.

Every gadget tells a story?

The objects of daily life have a story to tell too. The museum’s rotating exhibit space currently features kitchen gadgets from a bygone era. If there’s a kitchen task to be performed, chances are there’s a kitchen gadget to do it! Included in this exhibit is a remarkable White House Cookbook, containing a list of kitchen utensils required for any good kitchen. How does your modern kitchen measure up?

Stop by the Skagit County Historical Museum to learn more about the county we call home. Admission for adults is just $5, seniors and children 6 to 12, $4, families (two adults and two children) $10 and children under five are free. The museum is open Friday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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