ARLINGTON — The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society credited the generosity of a longtime Darrington native with providing the community a resource for research.
Although Arvol Hyatt currently resides in Arlington, he grew up in Darrington and researched his own family’s roots in the Darrington area with the same Minolta microfilm reader and printer, complete with its own special cabinet, that he’s recently donated to the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society’s Library at 215 S. French Ave. in Arlington, next to the old Arlington High School building.
Shirley Case, publicity chair for the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society, explained that patrons of the Society’s Library may use the microfilm reader and printer to trace their own family histories, without needing to make trips to Marysville to copy images.
“The Society is very grateful to Mr. Hyatt for his generous donation,” said Case, who noted that the machine itself would have cost approximately $25,000 for the Society to purchase, not including the roughly $4,000 worth of microfilm that Hyatt had bought himself. “That amount of money is beyond the means of the Society, so it was really a thrill to receive this gift. The microfilm collection includes historical material for Washington, Oregon, California, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Missouri and more.”
Case noted that the films in the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society’s Library contain more than 400 rare books on colonial America and New England, including pioneer histories and early land vital records. She added that the Society’s Library is an affiliate library with the Family History Center in Salt Lake City, “which means when material is ordered, it is sent to our library to be viewed.”
The Society’s membership costs are $15 for one year or $150 for a lifetime, and members receive access to genealogy websites, which they can log onto at the Library or on their home computers.
The Society’s free hour-long educational presentations have likewise grown enough to necessitate moving them to the Arlington Free Methodist Church on Highland Drive, on the second Tuesday of each month at 1 p.m. The March 12 presentation will be delivered by area author Richard Logg Sr. and is expected to include anecdotes about people from the greater Arlington community, including local farmer Dan Grewe.
Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society Education Chair Steve Baylor will likewise teach a beginning genealogy class in April, for just $10 for four classes. Prospective participants may sign up for the class through the Arlington City Hall.
“Since the Society is a nonprofit organization, donations are always needed to pay the rent, phone and utilities, and those donations are tax deductible,” Case said. “Volunteers are also needed to help with the Society’s Library. Donations of paper reams for the computer are always helpful. The Society would even like to have old pictures of local schools, and the annuals of public and private schools in the area as well.”
The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society is even publishing a book about the early schools in the Stillaguamish area for $25 apiece, which will be available in March.
Please call the Society’s Library at 360-435-4838 for more information.