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Museum looks back at 1930s

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NORTH BEND - The 1930s have made a comeback at the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum. This year, there are several new exhibits featuring items from the Valley dating back to that time.

One of the exhibits is a sports-themed showcase that was inspired by the 1932 Snoqualmie High School Bulldogs, who went to the state "B" basketball championships. They lost to Castlerock and finished second that year. The case has relics such as a leather football helmet, an actual lettermen's sweater that belonged to Art Lee, who went to North Bend High School, and a school letter that belonged to Wayne Terhune.

A North Bend High School class of 1931 picture board of students also sits inside the case. John and Mary McKibben are also featured in a picture from 1932. They are dressed for Scouting activities.

"Scouting was huge in the Valley," museum board member Gardiner Vinnedge said.

Directly behind the sports-themed exhibit is a tall and expansive installation of another popular pastime - dancing. The exhibit is called "A Good Time Was Had By All - After Work and After School In The 1930s." Not only is there an old phonograph, accompanied with Glenn Miller and Benny Goodman records, but three prom dresses hang inside the display that used to belong to Josephine Kelley.

Next to that display is a cream, satin damask wedding dress that was worn by Miss Jane Vinnedge. Pictured also is a wedding photo of Vinnedge and her husband, Dr. M. A. Tennant. They were married on March 26, 1936. Inside the exhibit are the original crystal punch bowl, cups and silver teapot that were used at the wedding.

Also new to the museum is the small display telling about the city's former theaters. During the 1930s, the area had three movie theaters, all owned by Cochrane Moving Picture Co. There was the Brook Theater in Meadowbrook, the Sunset in Snoqualmie and the Pictureland in North Bend.

Vinnedge said the Brook competed with the Pictureland, which was located in the McClellan Hotel. In 1940 and 1941, Mr. and Mrs. Jay Tew and Emmett Jackson built the current theater we know today, the North Bend Theatre. In this exhibit there is a Valley Record article from Feb. 2, 1932, announcing the movie "Emma," which was showing at the Brook and featured comedienne Marie Dressler. Also included are the movie advertisement posters, about one-fourth the size we see today at our theaters.

Another new exhibit has a picture of William Henry Taylor, one of the founders of North Bend. He is standing next to one of the many large trees he logged during his time here.

He came to Fall City in 1870 or so at the age of 19 with some cousins. Vinnedge described him as a "quirky, hard worker; an outdoor person."

Vinnedge said Taylor spent at least an hour a day clearing wood from what we know today as Main Street to Fourth, and from Sydney to Ballarat, which eventually became the town of North Bend. And then he "conspicuously" chose not to live in his town. Instead, he built a house outside of town and lived there.

Taylor thought that Fall City was the place to settle because of the river, and because the railroad didn't yet extend into North Bend. But in 1889 the railroad finally went through North Bend, and Taylor began to consider what later became North Bend as a settling place. In 1939, 50 years after he founded it, the plat was named after him in what is known today as William Henry Taylor's Park addition.

In the kitchen, the locally canned vegetables on the shelves are labeled, "Carnation Valley Canning Company Yellow-Cut Wax Beans," or "Tokul Beans, by the Meadowbrook Canning Company." The kitchen is still largely the same as has been displayed in the museum before, but a few things have been added to look more like the 1930s.

Outside the main museum is a barn that will soon be remodeled into a display that will tell the basic story of the Valley from its logging days, to farming, to the building of Interstate 90. It will also contain other artifacts, including an 1890s canoe built by members of the Snoqualmie Tribe.

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