After being closed for many months because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Stilly Valley Pioneer Museum plans to reopen on May 1.
The museum at 20722 67th Ave. NE, in Arlington, houses exhibits and history about early Arlington and the surrounding area and about the pioneers who came to the Stillaguamish Valley.
“Basically we’re going to be open the same hours as we had before,” said Myrtle Rausch, president of the Stilly Valley Pioneers. “We’re going to try to open up the museum and see if we get some visitors."
The neighboring Pioneer Hall will also be open for rental for events.
“We’re keeping with the normal COVID protections,” said Rausch, who added they are following Washington state guidelines for safely reopening facilities.
“Making sure people wear masks, cleaning everything and making sure people keep distance,” she said.
The rental hall is following similar guidelines and the Stilly Valley Pioneers are performing due diligence to make sure those renting the hall are following capacity guidelines as well.
The Pioneer Hall and museum have had to close for the past year, said Rausch.
“Mainly because many of our volunteers our elderly,” she said, and therefore particularly at-risk to the COVID-19 virus.
Because of that they would not have enough people to keep the museum open, said Rausch.
“We’ve all got our vaccinations now,” she said.
Because of the vaccinations and because reopening of these types of facilities is allowed under Phase 3 of the state's reopening plan, Rausch said the organization wanted to open this May.
Their community events are not likely to return anytime soon though.
“We’re not having Pioneer Days this year,” said Rausch, who added there is simply too much physical interaction and touching for the event to be feasible now.
The Pioneer Picnic was not held this year and may not be held this year either.
Rausch said members of the organization have begun to see each other again though at socially distanced meetings.
Financially, Rausch said she expects the Pioneers to weather the pandemic.
“We’re not real healthy, but we’re making it,” she said. “We were lucky we had some funds saved up, but we have had to dip into it.”
The finances may have to be a little tighter after the coronavirus pandemic is over though, she said.
“That’s why we’d like to get more rentals for the hall if possible, because it helps pay our bills and utilities,” she said.
More information about the organization can be found at stillymuseum.org.