Good News Abounds at Orcas Historical Museums’ Annual Dinner

— by Carol Kulminski —

Brittney Maruska, Leith Templin, Edrie Vinson, Spencer Clark, Jim Biddick

There were so many good reports coming from Board President Jim Biddick, and the new museum director Brittney Maruska, at the Annual Membership Dinner on Saturday, it was hard to keep up.

In 2016, the mortgage was paid off, all events showed an increase in revenue, donations for the Oral History project increased and the summer Spooky Tales program featuring Antoinette Botsford was very successful! A generous legacy giving from Virginia Jensen, with an additional giving by Robert and Malva Jensen is allowing the construction of the agricultural exhibit barn to proceed. A previous donation from Margaret Englehartson is making this wonderful addition possible. The Pioneer Museum now has heat (docents were smiling), Crow Valley School got a final coat of paint on windows and doors, and the museum store, under Linda Peth’s supervision, is flourishing.

The feature program, presented by Dan Larson, was the fascinating story of App Applegate and the building of the Aproximada at Obstruction Pass. This short video will be placed on OIHM webite for those who missed it or would like to see it again. It was of great delight since most of the members recognized the persons interviewed in this important local history documentary. Dan answered questions and family members were there for questions, as well.

Then it was time for awards. With 75 members looking on, Edrie Vinson came up to receive the Volunteer of the Year award for her tireless efforts at reproducing photos and her work with the Oral History Project which will be next year’s exhibit. For the Jane Barfoot-Hodde Historian of the Year, Spencer Clark was selected for the huge amount of research he has shared with the museums. The last award, and no surprise to anyone, was the Island Market for the Business Sponsor of the Year accepted by Leith Templin. The Island Market has provided goods and support to the museum for years and it is so appreciated!

Door prizes were awarded throughout the program. The quilt raffle was a tough one to win. So many people bought raffle tickets that the odds were high. This amazing quilt by Gail Mikuchonis, daughter of Betty Marcum, was won by Robyn Lowe. Congratulations, Robyn! Thank you to all the generous people who bought tickets which helps support the museums.

The night ended with Board member Susan Fletcher thanking Jim Biddick for all his work on behalf of the Board members. With Jim continuing as Board President, Brittney as a new enthusiastic Director, and the hiring of Artha Kass part-time as Administrative Assistant, this is going to be another fantastic year with good things happening at the Pioneer and Crow Valley Schoolhouse Museums!

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Good News Abounds at Orcas Historical Museums’ Annual Dinner — 1 Comment

  1. Thanks, Carol for the great report…and it’s all true! You left out one thing: the banquet. Jay’s (Senior Center’s chef) perfectly prepared salmon & roast beef, and the myriad of offerings from the attendees rounded out a great evening.

    To encourage all Islanders to become members of the Orcas Island Historical Society, I repeat my belief that, even though you live here for only one day, or one hundred, you become part of Orcas Island history, and should support the only organization that preserves that history…orcasmuseums.org.