This week in history from The Arlington Times archives

10 Years Ago 1997

The Stillaguamish Pioneer Associations grand opening celebration of the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum, at 20722 67th Ave. in Arlington, will begin at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 9. The event will begin with a program in Pioneer Hall, followed by an official ribbon-cutting ceremony, refreshments and tours of the museum. Built completely by volunteers with locally-raised funds, the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum is truly a product of love the loving labor of many pioneers whose families have a long history in the Arlington area. The staircase itself, a glowing masterpiece that fills the main foyer of the building, took four people over two years to complete. The Stillaguamish Pioneer Association has been working toward this grand opening celebration many yeas, and through 20 association presidents. Current president is Bill Senica. Were very glad to have finally reached this stage of completion, said Senica, but the work isnt done. We still need more volunteers even just three hours a month will help us keep the doors open longer hours. The museum, built on land that was donated to the pioneer association by Mathew Birkenmeier in 1916, and designed by Jack Sturgeon, stands majestically next to a grove of Douglas firs and a pond built by Bill Wallace. Over seven acres were donated on the condition that a building be built and so Pioneer Hall was constructed in 1923. It is still used for numerous functions including the biannual Pioneer rummage sale, which provides finds for a large portion of the museums operations. The Pioneers are very proud of the fact that no government funds have been used for this project. Besides the garage sales, cash donations, memorials and bequests have funded the project. The Pioneers broke ground for the museum in 1989 and construction began in May 1991. The museum has been partially open to the public since January 1995, with the collection, exhibits and installation growing and changing since then. The collection will continue to change, as we acquire new artifacts, explained grand opening cochair, Dorothy Sturgeon. Though the new museum seems full already, the pioneers will continue to accept donated artifacts. We will be more selective, because we need only so many old butter churns, for example, explained Sturgeon, The advisory committee decides what will be accepted for the collection. Exhibits are nicely arranged to portray what life in the valley was like in the early years. Fully fitted rooms include a kitchen with all utensils, dining living and bedrooms, and a babys room with a wicker baby carriage, illustrating how people lived in the early 20th century. Throughout the museum, and especially in the doctor/dentist office those people who served the community are remembered. A mercantile, a post office and a beauty shop realistically depict the life of commerce during the early days, soon after the arrival of Europeans in the Stilly valley. Sports equipment, including wooden bowling balls and Arlington High School trophies, remind us that people also played in those days. Two outbuildings, which were constructed for storage, now house larger farm, dairy and logging equipment. Sure to be a favorite in the museum are the animal heads, collected through the years by Rick and Jack Gray, previous owner of the Arlington Hardware Store. The pride of the pioneers is a glass bottle created in Washington Territory in 1889. The Pioneers always welcome new volunteers. We need help so that we can open the museum to the public more hours, said association president Bill Seneca.

25 Years Ago 1982

Discussion between Seattle Metro and a citizens committee over the use of sludge at Pilchuck Tree Farm near Bryant began March 6 at the Arlington Public Library. Metro, municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, presented its sludge use proposal for the tree farm, then gave the 15-member committee a tour of possible sludge use sites. The committee was formed by Duane Weston, tree farm manager, and consists of representatives from various groups: tree farm neighbors, the Arlington School District, fisheries department and the city of Arlington. The committee was created to help work out a sludge use plan that satisfies all parties, if thats possible. After the presentation, the committee asked the Metro officials to bring an outline of its work plan for a 70-acre demonstration sludge project at the tree farm to the next meeting. The work plan will answer committee concerns, discuss transportation and other aspects of the project. Metro will continue this process of plan review until one is decided on, said Sam Hubbard of Metro. Once Metro has the committees approval, an Environmental Impact Statement must be drawn up and Metro must acquire a permit from Snohomish County Health Department before sludge can be used at the demonstration site. The tree farm, owned by Pacific Denkmann Company, seeks sludge use because of its positive effects on tree growth. Sludge is the solid matter that is a product of wastewater treatment. Properly treated, sludge can be disposed of in a number of ways including burial in a landfill, incinerated, composting or land applications on agricultural or forestry lands. The tree farm is being considered as a disposal site in the Metro long-range sludge utilitazation plan, because of its request for sludge use. Other requests for sludge have come from Burlington Northern for forestland near Enumclaw and Orting St. Regis Timber Company for its forestland near Orting and the State Department of Natural Resources for forestland near Belfair. Sludge transported from Metro treatment plants would be sprayed on the trees during wet weather months, when rain would wash the sediment from the branches. Out of the tree farms 13,000-acres, divided into three sections, Victoria, Pilchuck and Armstrong, Metro selected 430-acres in the Armstrong section to look at more closely. From their review, they came up with three tracks of 60 to 80 acres for possible use as the demonstration area. Metro officials recommended a 70-acre parcel bordered by Rock and Kuntz creeks, as the ideal spot. The nearest residents to the recommended site are 300 feet from the tree farm property line. A 500-foot buffer zone from the property line to the sludge application is recommended by Metro so 800 feet is between the sludge and the nearest home. Among the committees concerns is the contamination of area wells because the sludge is not made sterile, monitoring for sludge seepage and the wear on area roads from trucking the sludge to the site. Metro will answer these concerns in the work plan. To cover 70 acres, 550 truckloads of sludge must be transported to the tree farm. This would take about two months and one week according to Metro officials. The Seattle wastewater plant produces eight truckloads of sludge a day. The committee and Metro have yet to work out the truck route or trucking times during a day. At the Saturday meeting, the committee seemed to favor a night trucking operation, which Metro said the hauler prefers. Before the application of sludge occurs, it will be stored in a 120 x 200 foot lagoon that is 18 feet deep. A plastic liner will stop seepage. A monitoring system to check for seepage is planned and fencing will keep people out. Portions of the sludge demonstration project would also be fenced. Metro plans to hold public meetings in July to update the area residents on the sludge plan and more formal public meetings are scheduled in the fall, if a draft plan is formulated. If the demonstration project is approved and is successful, Metro and the tree farm would like to expand the sludge use to other areas of the property. Metro is currently disposing of sludge at landfills or using it in demonstration projects, primarily for forested applications. These methods are inadequate to handle future projected loads. Metro has already conducted some preliminary analysis of various alternatives of disposal, including marine disposal, landfill, composting, incineration, and land application of forestland for agriculture and for soil improvement. The number of alternatives has been narrowed because of applicable laws or regulations, cost-effectiveness studies or potential public health risks. Metro selected the Pilchuck Tree Farm as a potential site for long-term forestland application because of its landowner interest, transportation distance, and remoteness from population centers.

50 Years Ago 1957

A beautiful case of silver-plate dinnerware, service for eight, was won by Mrs. Paul Kroeze, who correctly identified the mystery farm where she had lived for 10 years before it was purchased by the present owner, Mr. Frank Flatt. The prize was awarded by last weeks star sponsor, the B & H Equipment Co., with Mrs. Kroezes name being drawn from 62 entries correctly identifying the Frank Flatt Farm. Not long after moving onto his farm, one year ago, Mr. Flatt undertook to relocate a creek that ran through his farm and do some clearing of scrub timber with the result being twenty-five new acres of dairy pasture added to his farm. This project called for some 2,000 feet of ditching and of course, extensive fertilizing and seeding, all of which was accomplished with the help of the U.S. Soil Conservation Bureau, who shared in the cost and helped in engineering the drainage through the local office, headed by Mr. Ed Stephens. Mr. Flatt remarked that the new drainage system had now opened the possibility of reclaiming an additional tract of several acres, which had always been too marshy to consider clearing in the past. Mr. Flatt sowed a mixture of Kenland Red Clover, Alsik, Akora Orchard, English Rye grass, timothy hay, and gray oats in his new pasture. The gray oats spring up rapidly and are pastured off, giving the other growth chance to develop and re-seed, he said. The river frequently floods the lower pasturelands of the farm, Flatt said, sometimes rising above the fence posts, leaving a welcome deposit of silt over the fields, which acts as a natural fertilizer. Beginning with one milk cow and three heifers on a farm rented from Charles Smith, near Darrington, Flatt developed a herd of sixty, with thirty milking, after moving to the Running farm. Dairying was a sideline for Flatt in those days, as he was superintendent of the Morcrop Lime plant for the past ten years. Since the plant closed operations, he has moved on to his own farm and is aiming toward an all Holstein herd of about 50 head. He keeps a breeding bull of his own. The Flatts have two children, Gary, 9, and Debbie, 3. The prize pet of the children is their Shetland pony, a very handsome and well-behaved chap.

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