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Stilly Valley Genealogical Society holds garage sale Aug. 10-12

Michelle Heiderer looks over the hundreds of old, rare and out-of-print books that make up the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Library. -
Michelle Heiderer looks over the hundreds of old, rare and out-of-print books that make up the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Library.
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ARLINGTON The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society and Library is aiming to attract shoppers to support its continued operation.
The non-profit organization is staging its 18th annual garage sale at 27230 SR 9 NE, just north of the Stanwood-Bryant Store, Aug. 10-12 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
We usually raise around $2,000-$3,000, but wed obviously like that to be a little higher, said Michelle Heiderer, a founding member of the society. Its become our main fundraiser for the year, to cover costs from rent and utilities on down.
Heiderer sees genealogical libraries across the country closing due to lack of funding and warned against relying too much on the Internet as a research substitute.
Many people believe they can trace and record their families unique histories simply by using whatever they find on the Internet, so they dont support their local genealogical libraries and societies, Heiderer said. The Internet is a useful tool, but genealogical libraries specialize in books, manuscripts and other research tools that will never see the light of day on the Internet, due to ownership and copyright issues.
By contrast, Heiderer pointed to the number of rare books on the shelves of the Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Library, at 135 Olympic Ave. in Arlington. She ran her hands along folders filled with obituaries clipped from The Arlington Times and The Everett Herald, as well as school yearbooks dating back to the 1920s, not only from Arlington and Marysville, but also hundreds of cities and colleges across the state.
We have old Skagit County directories, which include peoples phone numbers, where they lived and who they married, Heiderer said. We have a huge collection of cemetery readings, some of them from cemeteries that are gone now. We have about 20,000 obituary cards, donated from folks like Wellers Funeral Home. People donate their family histories to us, including books that are rare and no longer in print.
The librarys eclectic collection even includes Pennsylvania archives, Connecticut probate records, and records from Britain and Europe, although Heiderer admitted that Eastern Europe remains relatively underrepresented. Their file cabinets of microfilm and microfiche include Oregon and California.
By getting to know my familys history, I feel like I found my own place in the world, Heiderer said.
The Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Library at 135 Olympic Ave. is open Tuesdays from noon to 4 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and other times by appointment.

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