Marysville historians kick off museum project

MARYSVILLE – For 30 years, history buffs in Marysville have dreamed of building a museum.

Other projects tended to sidetrack that dream.

In recent decades, the Marysville Historical Society has moved an old pioneer-era cabin and helped save the city’s Depression-era water tower from the wrecking ball.

Now, the historians are ready to start raising money for a museum, said Ken Cage, the historical society’s president.

“As an author once stated in a book he wrote, I’m shaking the nickel bush,” Cage said.

He’ll need a whole bunch of nickels – 40 million, in fact.

The Marysville Historical Society has kicked off a campaign to raise $2 million to build a 6,300-square-foot museum near its old pioneer cabin at Jennings Park.

Given how long the group has hoped to build a museum, spirits are high now that the project is moving forward, Cage said.

“It’s a great feeling. People are behind it,” Cage said.

Local architect Scott Kirkland has drawn a design for the building. It will have one story, plus a basement, Cage said.

The civil engineering, including plans for street improvements and sewers, has been completed and paid for, Cage said.

“The only thing between us and the museum is the money,” he said.

The museum will have a choice location near Jennings Park, the petting zoo and the 1884 Gehl family pioneer cabin. The society moved that cabin to the park in 1984.

“We envision this as being kind of the centerpiece of the town. … It’ll be a very easy thing for people to visit the park, then us,” Cage said.

Exhibits will feature photographs from Marysville’s pioneer days of logging and later farming, he said.

The society even has the original handwritten tally sheet for the very first mayoral election in 1891. Mark Swinnerton won.

The society hopes to raise the money it needs for the museum through grants and donations within the next two years, Cage said.

Not moving forward on the museum sooner has been disappointing but understandable, given the other projects the group has tackled, he said.

Now, the path is clear.

“There’s no more water towers to save, no more cabins to move,” Cage said.

Reporter Scott Morris: 425-339-3292 or

To donate

To contribute to the museum fundraising campaign or donate artifacts for display, visit the Marysville Historical Society’s capital campaign office at 1624 Grove St., Suite B, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m Wednesdays and Thursdays, or call Ken Cage, the society’s president, at 360-659-5808.

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