Community

Arlington's Pioneer Picnic features dedication

During this year’s annual picnic, he Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers will be dedicating a hand-made map  donated by volunteers Dick and Shirley Prouty and Steve and Michele Heiderer. - Courtesy Photo
During this year’s annual picnic, he Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers will be dedicating a hand-made map donated by volunteers Dick and Shirley Prouty and Steve and Michele Heiderer.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

ARLINGTON — The Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers are still two years from their centennial celebration, but that doesn’t mean members can’t take advantage of an early gift.

Thanks to the volunteer efforts and fundraising of community members Dick and Shirley Prouty and Steve and Michele Heiderer, a $90,000 map and welcome center has been completed just outside of the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum.

The map, which has been in production for about four years, shows key locations, such as local dairies, logging camps and Indian settlements as they were in 1910.

“It’s very striking — you drive by it and you have to look at it several times,” said Michele Heiderer. “With its coloring and its green metal roof, you can’t help but want to look at it more.”

The hand-made map will be dedicated during this year’s 98th annual Pioneer Picnic at nearby Pioneer Hall Aug. 15.

The event begins at 10 a.m., when members will have a chance to renew their memberships. Group members, including President Myrtle Rausch, will dedicate the map at 11:30 a.m.

As usual, the yearly potluck begins at noon.

“It’s usually a lot of catching up between the members, sort of like a family reunion,” Rausch said. “A lot of people will come and just talk to each other. Everybody brings a dish to share.”

While conversation is common to the yearly function, the map will be the new attraction to this year’s picnic.

The map was created by Twisp sculptor Bruce Morrison who it out of three carved cedar planks.

Once it was cut into its current form, the map was eventually sent south to be painted by Wenatchee painter artist Rose Jones.

The painted map was then shipped to Arlington, where volunteers finished installing it in July.

A wooden gazebo structure, as well as a concrete slab base, were also constructed to protect the map from the elements.

Cedar poles holding up the roof were also carved by Lummi artist Jewell James.

Funds for the project were donated by numerous individuals, organizations and tribes. Nearly one-third of the donated funds came from the Stillaguamish Tribe.

Rausch said that the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers encourage all residents to attend the picnic. Community members do not need come from a family of an early settler.

Cost is $10 for a one-year membership to the Pioneers. Attendees can also opt for a lifetime membership, which available for $100.

Members receive free access to the Pioneer Museum.

For more information about the picnic or the Pioneers, call 360-435-7289.

The museum and nearby Pioneer Hall are located at 20722 67th Avenue NE, Arlington.

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