Members of the Index Historical Society work hard to create and maintain artifacts and displays at the Pickett Museum that are both interesting and accurate, as well as provide support for a variety of exciting local historic projects and events. All are discussed in our newsletters along with offerings of stories from our town’s history.
Spring 2013 Newsletter:
Stunning Photograph on Exhibit
Reactions ranged from “Wow!” to “Look at that!” as Garvin Carrell carefully unwrapped for us his two by six foot color photograph of the entire scene from Mount Persis in the west through to Gunn’s and Merchant peaks in the east, with the town, Heybrook Ridge, and the North Fork Skykomish River valley spread out beneath. He had climbed up to Lookout Point on the Town Wall and carefully taken forty separate photos, then seamlessly linked them together on his computer to make a single distortion-free panorama. Larry Yocum and Greg Kucera of Gallery Frames in Seattle then professionally framed the work for mounting in the museum, where it is on view. Thank you all for your creative donations! Recently Sue Cross and Sue Susor of the Friends of HeybrookRidge brought it along to show the dramatic view and illustrate why Snohomish County should allocate a Conservation Futures grant for purchasing property to construct a trailhead and public parking area for people to access this new county park. We believe loan of this “visual aid” helped since they were successful in that effort.
First Society Historic Preservation Fund Grant Awarded
In 2012 we established a fund to encourage owners of historic Index buildings to preserve and restore their original character. Eligible properties must be listed on a local, state, or national historic register, with the monies going toward structural needs rather than for financing or operations. All donations to the fund are tax deductible. Our first grant was made to the Bush House hotel to help defray the cost of windows, part of their overall renovation. We hope to make these awards twice a year on a regular basis as donations are received. If you would like to be a part of our program, please note when you send in your check that it is for the historic preservation fund so that we can acknowledge your gift with a receipt letter for the IRS. The society is a certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
This Month’s Trivia Question: What do the museum house, bootlegger’s cabin, Town Hall, and Old Fire Hall share in common? Answer below.
Canote Brothers Fundraiser Saturday April 20
The fifth in our series of fund raising concerts and performances sponsored through Northwest Heritage Resources will feature popular old time and swing musicians Greg and Jere Canote on the fiddle and guitar. Live at The River House in Index, 7:00 p.m. Suggested donation $5.00, with proceeds to help the society, NWR, and The Bush House rehabilitation. No advance ticket sales. Check the Canote Brothers out on their website. We were fortunate to get them!
Museum Opening Saturday May 25
Our regular hours resume weekends from noon until three p.m. until the end of September, with special tours by request. We also will be open on the Fourth of July, which this year will include the parade, potluck in the park, and evening fireworks, all part of the Skyfest “happening” celebrating our relationship with the river and our beautiful natural setting, July 4-7.
Arts Festival on Saturday August 3
The tenth annual Index Arts Festival will feature arts and crafts, poetry readings, children’s activities, live music until 10 p.m., and extended museum hours as we help host this popular summer community event.
We are in the process of sorting, photographing, recording, and transporting a large number of mining-related artifacts courtesy of Forrest Johanson. An expert in late 19th and early 20th century mining and milling technology, he is allowing us to have these on long-term loan, the better for us to tell the story of the Index and Silver Creek Mining Districts. These were major factors in our early history, when by 1902 Index was being touted as the “future Butte” of Washington for its copper and silver deposits.
To make storage and future display room we are repairing and improving our “bootlegger’s cabin” next to the museum, our original home donated for that purpose by Dorothy Pickett. When she passed away her bequest allowed us to remodel the small home she and her husband Lee had lived in and then use that for a more suitable location for our collection. In the intervening years the cabin has been rented out for an artists’ gallery and antique business, but that left us short of storage and expanded exhibit space. Now it has restored siding and a new roof, full insulation, and a coat of paint similar to the golden yellow color found on the original wood. Inside also is charred evidence of an old chimney fire which easily might have burned it down.
If all goes well and we have enough helping hands, we hope to have the mining artifacts on display in the cabin for the 2014 season.
Website Back Up
Operating with the help of Kathy and Blair Corson, our long-dormant web presence slowly is returning. A good webmaster is hard to find, as someone once paraphrased. You can find us at www.indexhistoricalsociety.org. As time permits, more will be added. Councilman Ed Boress operates his semi-official town blog at www.indexwa.org. for his views and news on the local scene, while “The Town Wall” monthly newspaper features a number of the old “Index Eagle” writers and more in their attractively designed monthly. For a subscription contact them at P.O. Box 121Index, WA98256, or theindexwall@gmailcom. The “Everett Herald” website carries Ed’s blog and is featuring a gallery of Index area photos, including some of the museum.
Around the Museum
In January Bill Cross was term limited as our treasurer after six years of much appreciated service and succeeded by Louise Lindgren. Each of our officers and board members is eligible to serve for two three-year terms and then must sit out for at least 10 months before allowed to hold office again. Bill also retired from his job as town maintenance supervisor, giving him time for a much needed vacation and then taking out the old bathtub, toilet, and cabinet in the Pickett house museum building. Next will come repairs to the bathroom for better utilization and a new toilet, while the claw footed tub may end up being restored and usable in the Bush House.
Continuing officers for 2013 are President David Cameron, Secretary Bob Hubbard, and board members David Meier and Sandy Gordon.
Answer to the trivia question: They all were moved from their original locations and now face each other on the 500 block of Avenue A. Around 1939 Lee Pickett moved the museum buildings. His house and others were endangered by late 1930s river erosion in the 900 block. The two town ones were moved in 1952 to make a place for the new Index School on the corner of 5th and Index Avenue.