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Kids experience pioneer life


September 20, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher Andersson

Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers volunteer Renee Miller, left, helps Kinza Finck grind some wheat at the annual Pioneer Days on Sept. 16.

Kids and families got to play as pioneers and learn about history at the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers' annual Pioneer Days on Sept. 16.

The local historical organization brings out artifacts like a clothes press, a wheat grinder and a butter churner, among other old technology, for local children to play with during the free event at the Pioneer Hall.

The free event allows kids the opportunity to experience what pioneer life was like with hands-on demonstrations of the tools.

"We put it on for the kids so that they can learn how things used to be done," said Myrtle Rausch, president of the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers.

The hands-on demonstrations included activities like pumping water, spinning wool and washing clothes.

Volunteers from the Pioneers helped local kids with the old tools used for basic chores and necessities.

"We usually have tons of kids who want to wash clothes, they think that's great fun," said Joann Gray, a volunteer with the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers.

"One year we had a kid take off his T-shirt to wash it and put it back on. It was a hot day," she said.

Some of the activities came with finished products as well, such as sawing a log with assistance from volunteers or churning butter. Kids get to take home their piece of wood or try some of their butter on a cracker after they were done with the activity.

Many of the kids learned about the difficulties of pioneer life at the event through the demonstrations, and how much modern technology has made life easier, said Rausch.

They also enjoyed the variety of tools available for them to play with.

Christopher Andersson

Ava Town washes clothes with a vintage washing machine at the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneers' annual Pioneer Days on Sept. 16.

"I like just seeing all the kids having a good time doing everything," said Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer volunteer Renee Miller.

Local parents also enjoyed seeing all of the old artifacts on display during the Pioneer Days event.

"So far it's great, it's really neat," said local parent Anna Finck. "It's just nice to see how things were done."

Rausch said that more and more people do not understand how chores were done in the past and the event also helps shows younger adults how those basic necessities were accomplished in Pioneer Days.

This year's event was marked with lower turnout than usual, although Gray said that other events going on during this year's Pioneer Days were likely drawing a lot of families elsewhere.

The Pioneers also run the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum. More information about the organization is available at


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