The Skagit Historical Museum exhibit <em>Hugo Helmer: Skagit’s Own Music Man </em>struck a chord with museum-goers in 2021. After a little refurbishment in January, the museum will re-open with an exciting line-up of exhibits for 2022. Skagit Historical Museum photo.

The Skagit Historical Museum exhibit Hugo Helmer: Skagit’s Own Music Man struck a chord with museum-goers in 2021. After a little refurbishment in January, the museum will re-open with an exciting line-up of exhibits for 2022. Skagit Historical Museum photo.

Skagit’s history comes to life in 2022 with generous local support

The past year has been a time of reinvention for many as communities have grappled with the “new normal” brought by the pandemic. While many businesses have struggled, refocusing on the local community has meant a good year for some local institutions and locally owned business.

The new normal shines a new light on local community, how we fit into it — and where it all began. For Jo Wolfe, Director, Skagit’s history has long been a focus and bringing it to life for local residents is a passion she shares with all of those who work at the Skagit County Historical Museum — making 2021 a great year for the Skagit County Historical Museum, in spite of COVID.

Seeing ourselves in the faces of the past

Two fantastic feature-exhibits showcasing local history — the Art of Jesus Guillen Exhibit and the Hugo Helmer: Skagit’s Own Music Man – really struck a chord with local museum-goers in 2021, allowing folks to connect with the living past. Jo notes that, “the Hugo Helmer exhibit has been so special because people who played in the band are coming in or the children and grandchildren to be part of their own history!”

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

Funding the future to preserve the past

Now that 2022 is nearly here, the museum board is finally able to do some much-needed refurbishment. Funding has come mostly through the generous support of members and community donors who see the value in preserving history for generations to come.

Early on, the Board of Trustees and Staff made creating investment accounts a priority. Interest from the Endowment and Operating accounts had been used to assist with Museum operations. For the past two years, due to the amazing support of members and donors, the Museum has not had to draw from those funds. So – these funds are being used for much-need renovations and refurbishments.

The museum will be closed until February 2022 while worn out carpet is replaced and fresh paint is applied, but museum workers will continue to work on projects and prepare the new exhibits!

READ MORE: Discover Skagit County’s remarkable hidden history

Mark your calendar!

Coming in February, visitors can experience 1968: The Year that Rocked Washington! This exhibit comes on loan through the Legacy Washington Project and is further enhance by local links to the Skagit part of the story. Will you see anyone you know?

May will feature A Life Well-lived, about the local artist, teacher and author Lavone Newell-Reim, who hosted art-exhibits in her barn and lived an extraordinary life.

Fall brings more local history that explains many local names and solves some mysteries as the Skagit County Historical Museum explores the many towns that were boom towns or settlements that have disappeared into the mist of time, leaving behind nothing more than a name. Find out all about local history at the Lost Cities of Skagit: Rediscovering Places of our Past exhibit which will coincide with the publication of a new book!

Check out the website here for more information on upcoming exhibits and the renovations. Contact them at museum@co.skagit.wa.us, call 360-466-3365 or find them on Facebook here. All COVID safety protocols are followed.

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