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Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers gather for 105th annual picnic


August 23, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

photo BY CHRISTOPHER ANDERSSON Carl Moll, left, and Marty Rausch talk while eating at the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers' annual Pioneer Picnic on Aug. 20.

The Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers gathered on Aug. 20 for their 105th annual Pioneer Picnic

The Pioneers association was started by the original settlers of the valley and continues to the present with descendants of the original homesteaders and others just interested in the history and culture of the valley.

Each year they hold their picnic for members to get together.

"People like just getting together and they get to see their friends again. We have some older members who don't get around here that often," said Myrtle Rausch, president of the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers.

Members said they like the community of the Pioneers organization.

"It's been a great organization in this community where people get together," said member Carl Moll.

"We have a long association with the community and the valley," he said.

Member Bruce Grimm is the grandson of one of the valley's original homesteaders and said his family has always been involved with the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers.

"I like the connection with the pioneers," Grimm said.

He said it was a good community at the Pioneers and he is "trying to keep the future generations involved," to keep the organization going.

The Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers also hold their annual meeting at the end of the picnic, recognizing the oldest man and woman born in the valley and the oldest couple from the valley.

They also elect their officers for the next year.

Myrtle Rausch remains as the president of the organization this year and her vice-president will be Loren Kraetz.

The Pioneers also celebrated the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers Museum, which is now officially 20 years old.

The museum was built in 1997 and has received about 1,000 visitors each year , according to Rausch.

She said more than 20,000 visitors have come to the museum since it's opening.

"A lot of those were tours from schools, scouts or senior citizen groups," said Rausch.

The museum took a lot of work to put up originally, she said.

Christopher Andersson

President of the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers Myrtle Rausch, right, presents Loren Kraetz with an award for oldest man at the picnic who was born in the valley. The award was presented during the organization's Pioneer Picnic on Aug. 20.

"Everybody who worked on it are still happy with it," she said. "It's still going strong thanks to a lot of the volunteers who come to give tours and keep things going throughout the museum," she said.

The museum also stores a lot of the items that the organization hopes to preserve for future generations.

"We have lots of pioneer and historic artifacts in there that have been donated to us," said Rausch. "We are still getting artifacts in as people bring them in and want to donate them to our museum."

The organization is always looking for extra help as well.

"As I always say each year, I always need volunteers. If anyone wants to show up and volunteer for three hours a month, not a very long time," said Rausch.

In addition to owning and operating the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum, the Pioneers own the nearby Pioneer Hall and run the Pioneer Days event each year.

For more information on the organization go to


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