Group trying to build support for museum
EVERETT - A group of volunteers behind the Everett Museum of History want to tug on City Council members’ ears later this year to get support for its project to find space for a museum.
The museum group has a large collection, but nowhere to show it.
The museum’s items are currently sitting in a 6,000-square-foot storage space at the Everett Mall.
The group wants to engage City Council members later this year to get moral support for the project, museum president Gene Fosheim said. He said he doesn’t plan to ask for money, even though that is what the group needs most to get the collection out of storage.
The collection includes former Gov. Roland Hartley’s old desk, bar tokens from Everett’s wild pioneer days and much more.
These items were displayed at the Snohomish County Museum of History on Hewitt Avenue from the 1950s until a few years ago when the group lost funding. The items were then put in storage at a location in north Everett and survived a 2007 fire.
The Everett Museum of History gathered steam last year to resurrect the museum and hired a curator to catalog every piece. This year the group is trying to generate visibility for the project.
The group planned to ramp up a capital campaign fundraising effort last summer. The business plan called for $3.75 million to buy space downtown and open a new museum by 2014, according to a business plan from last summer.
The museum would need 20,000 square feet to house everything and $250,000 to $350,000 a year to operate, museum executive director Barbara George said last month.
“A thing that hurts me as an Everett resident is a lot of people are looking to donate things, and we have to put them in a box,” Fosheim said.
In the meantime, the museum has tried putting a small sliver of its collection in store windows downtown, such as a recent display of typewriters near Colby and Everett avenues.
“A lot of people say it’s a disgrace the city has its history in storage,” Fosheim said.
Historical commission board member Jim Staniford suggested the group contact Comcast Arena for space, which Fosheim said was a good idea but an old one. The museum was supposed to have space there when the arena was promoted to Everett residents in the early 2000s, but that never happened, Fosheim said.
The group thought it had a solid home at the Snohomish County-owned Carnegie building, but it was forced to vacate last year when members couldn’t come to terms with the county. Volunteers presumed it had a long-term lease for $1 a year when the county inexplicably decided to charge a much higher rent, group members said.
The Everett Museum of History is the same group that ran the Snohomish County Museum of History.
The group can be found at www.everett-museum.org and is looking for members.
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