LOSCHO Snocoheritage

League of Snohomish County Heritage Organizations

Snohomish County, Washington

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Malstrom Awards: 1985 – 2009  

Nomination Forms for 2010 are available  Click here for Word Document download 

The Malstrom Award was created by the League, in honor of a charter member, and has been given annually since 1985 for the most outstanding heritage project  in Snohomish  County. A framed printed Award is given to the winner at the League’s Annual Meeting and Banquet in January. There is no monetary award.  Certificates of Commendation are given to the other applicants. Awards have been given for historical publications, the rebuilding of an historic structure, the creation of new museums and various special exhibits.  The Malstrom Award was established in 1983 when Helmer Malstrom, who, with others, conceived the idea of form a League of Historical Societies.  He was an author and historian specializing in Everett history and devoted to the cause of sharing history with others.  The League was formed in the same year that Mr. Malstrom died. 

1985 – Marysville Historical Society’s Gehl House: this pioneer home was dismantled log by log, the pieces numbered, and then reconstructed in its new location at Jennings Park in Marysville 

1986 – Index Historical Society for the creation of the Pickett Museum in a former bootlegger’s cabin 

1987 – Donna Chase for the Everett Historical Commission exhibit, "What’s Left – Everett’s Historical Properties" 

1988 – Snohomish Historical Society for establishment of its Pioneer Village (now called Old Snohomish Village) at the site of the abandoned pioneer cemetery.

1989 – Dual awards to the Lake Stevens Historical Society for opening its Museum, and to the Everett Mountaineers for restoration of the Mt. Pilchuck Lookout 

1990 – Edmonds Museum for a new permanent exhibit on the lower level of the museum:  "The Changing Face of Edmonds" 1

1991 – Stanwood Historical Society for its new two-story Stanwood Area Centennial Museum, built adjoining the Pearson House Museum 

1992 – City of Everett Museum Board for the opening of the Everett Museum on Hewitt Avenue 

1993 – Monroe Historical Society for its Photograph Collection Project 

1994 – Lowell Civic Association and Steve Heinzen for the book, The Barns and Outbuildings of the Lowell Neighborhood 

1995 – Dual awards:  Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society for the publication, Loyal Heights Cemetery Obituaries and to Alderwood Manor Heritage Assoc. for the exhibit, "The Roots of Alderwood Manor."

1996 – Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Association for the construction of the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum 

1997 – Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society’s publication, Our Pioneer Ancestors of the Stillaguamish Valley and of Snohomish County, Washington, Vol. I, chosen because of the magnitude of the 6-year project and its long-term impact on research for county history. 

1998 – Dual awards: Monroe Historical Society for expansion and re-opening of its Museum in the former City Hall, a project which saved that historic building from possible demolition and, Edmond’s Historical Museum for its publication, Kid’s Activity Book, designed to promote children’s interest and awareness of Snohomish County history. 

1999 – Grace Kirwan for the Monroe Historical Society publication Historic Homes and Buildings of Monroe, Washington 

2000 – Lake Stevens Museum for the building of a new wing, the Gayle Whitsell Memorial Reading Room, which offers a wide variety of research material. 

2001 - The Mukilteo Historical Society for the restoration and rededication of the Mukilteo Pioneer Cemetery.

2002 - Nellie Robertson for her books Monroe: The First 50 Years 1860-1910 and Monroe: The Next 30 Years 1911-1940.  Nellie is a professional writer, having written three novels and been a columnist for the Monroe Monitor off and on from 1973 to 1992, as well as writing the two volumes above. She is also a certified teacher of parliamentary law and taught parliamentary procedure at the University of Alaska. This skill has gotten her elected as presiding officers of various organizations 14 times. While in Alaska, she served in 1981 as the Mayor of Dillingham. When she moved back to Monroe, she took up her duties at the Monitor again, writing columns regarding health issues and "Nellie’s Knock-Knacks". Certificates of Commendation were given to the Marysville Historical Society’s restoration of its water tower and the "Maritime Discovery" exhibit at the Children’s Museum in Everett. 

2003 - Mukilteo Historical Society for their exhibit : Mukilteo & World War II. It features authentic official notices of war in Mukilteo and a model of the observation tower used to identify aircraft for the war effort, photographs and other objects to portray the impact of the war on the small community of Mukilteo.
Certificate winners were Stillaguamish Genealogical Society for their book: Arlington Centennial 1903-2003 - A Pictorial History & the Monroe Historical Society for the First Twenty Five Local History Series Booklets compiled by Bill Wojciechowski.

2004 - This year two of the projects were so extensive and excellent it was impossible to make a decision which was truly "better" - so there was a tie between the move and restoration of the 1903 Grimm House by the Lake Stevens Historical Society and the rehabilitation of the former Stanwood Odd Fellows Public Hall as the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center. A Certificate of Commendation was awarded to Historic Everett for its Favorite Places 2005 Calendar. .

 2005 - Granite Falls Historical Society received the award for 2005 for their amazing  "Historical Museum Collection Modernization Project" that involved cataloging and digitizing all of their photos and maps, making them available to museum visitors via Past Perfect Museum Software.  Certificates of Commendation were received by the Museum of Snohomish County History for its exhibit, "Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future" and the Marysville Historical Society for its "Historic Photo Calendar on Marysville Logging"

 2006 - Both the Mukilteo Historical Society and the Alderwood Manor Heritage Association (AMHA) won Malstrom Awards for their projects completed during 2006. Mukilteo had completed many events and projects under one program to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Lighthouse. Alderwood Manor Heritage successfully restored the Alderwood Demonstration Farm's Superintendent's Cottage now in Heritage Park, Lynnwood and opened it to the public as their new AMH headquarters. Certificates of Commendation were given to the Marysville Historical Society for its newsletter and to Monroe Historical Society for its highschool education project.

2007 - Six Malstrom Award nominations were received this year and Shoreline Historical Museum Director, Vicki Stiles was appointed chair of the nominations judging committee.
The Projects were:
-Cemetery Mapping Project, IOOF Cemetery Record Book - Monroe Historical Society
-"Voices of the Past" a book about early Marysville History - Marysville Historical Society
-"The Place Where it All Began" DVD Project - Marysville Historical Society
-New Historical Museum Building - Granite Falls Historical Society
-Darrington Logger Model Railroad Project & DVD - Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum
-Carnegie's Library Legacy" - Exhibit Project - Edmonds-South Snohomish County Historical Museum

Vicki Stiles reported "All six endeavors are valuable to their respective communities and scored well for overall merit as historical projects."  The committee broke the awards into groupings and compared publication projects and exhibit projects and the overall Malstrom winner.

The winner of the Publications Projects Commendation went to "Voices of the Past" - a book about Marysville History by the Marysville Historical Society which was anthology of oral histories and photographs making primary research material available in a very accessible and inviting way.

The winner of the Exhibit Projects Commendation went to the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Museum for its "Darrington Logger Exhibit" that teaches the public about the development of the area through logging and transportation in a visual and entertaining way.  It is a long-term exhibit that uses historic documents and photos to recreate the route and illustrate community development aspects of logging, transportation.  Closed til March but special tours are available by appointment.

The Malstrom Award went to the Granite Falls Historical Society for its construction of new museum space for preservation and exhibition of Snohomish County history.  The exhibit provides an audio tour, the digitization of the collection, and was an exceptionally well organized volunteer community fundraising effort.

2008 - Four Malstrom Award nominations were received this year and Eric Taylor, Historic Preservation Director of 4 Culture (King County, WA) was the judge.
The Projects were
- Alderwood Manor Heritage Association Cookbook
- Stillaguamish Valley Genealogical Society - Reprinting and Indexing of "Snohomish County in the War"
- Marysville Historical Society - Museum Sign
- Stanwood Area Historical Society & Stanwood & Camano Branches of the Sno-Isle Libraries - Setting the Stage for "The Last Town on Earth" Panel Discussion Program
The 2008 Malstrom Award winner was "Setting the Stage for The Last Town on Earth"- Stanwood Camano Together We Read Historical Panel Book Discussion and Lecture Oct 23, 2008. The project included an exhibit, slide lectures and panel discussion on local historical background of the book "The Last Town on Earth" by Thomas Mullen held on Thursday evening October 23, 2008, 7 pm at the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center, Stanwood, Washington.  Panel discussion participants included Charles LeWarne, David Cameron, David Dilgard, Larry O'Donnell, Jack O'Donnell and Melinda Van Wingen.  The author, Thomas Mullen spoke as a continuation of this project on Nov. 12th.  The novel "The Last Town on Earth" was set 5 miles north of Seattle and incorporated real historical events into the novel.  The history component was planned to enhance the interpretation of the book and to inspire a better understanding of history on many levels relating to labor issues, fears of epidemic, anti-war activities, suffrage, political activism, and coming of age issues in contemporary times.  
Eric Taylor, Director of "4 Culture" a funding entity for heritage and the arts in King County agreed to review applications for the 2009 Malstrom Award and to recommend a winner. He wrote:
"Taking into account the description of the projects as detailed in the nominations and the accompanying support material, I determined that this year's Malstrom Award should go to "Setting the Stage for The Last Town on Earth,' a partnership project of the Stanwood Area Historical Society and the Sno-Isle Libraries Stanwood Camano 'Together We read' program.

"This project was unique in its approach, drawing a strong connection between historical fiction and historic fact. The project used themes from 'The Last Town on Earth' as gateways for historians to explore the real past of the place described in the novel. The collaboration between the local library system's reading program and the historical society's interpretive programming strengthened the impact and broadened the project's scope. This project is a terrific model for other heritage organizations' public programming and is a fine example of using a 'good read' to draw an audience into local history."


Winner (s) of the Malstrom Award for projects produced in 2009

Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Assn  with Larry & Helen Starr For Publishing “The Story of A Great Forest, 1888 – 1951” (Self published, SVPA, 2009) Will Verd’s 1954 personal account of the logging industry in the Puget Sound Area primarily in Snohomish County’s StillaguamishValley.  The account recalls special unique stories and memories of local logging camps and companies and oxen and horse logging that no one living today remembers in such detail and which will serve as an important primary resource for many years.

Malstrom Special Recognition Award - Everett Public Library Northwest Room Podcast Team For the adaptation of new technologies in interpreting local and regional history, producing exceptionally well documented, accessible and interesting new information beyond the traditional responsibilities of libraries and enhancing special skills of individuals with collaborative efforts.

Malstrom Special Recognition Award - Charles LeWarne, author of “The Love Israel Family”, Univ. of Washington Press, 2009 This special award was given for a book that is a unique well researched study of “intentional” or “experimental” Snohomish County community serving both as a primary source and analysis of popular culture.  The book builds on author’s earlier research of society testing freedoms of American independence, values and tolerance in utopian communities.

Other nominations include several projects that should be recognized for their unique accomplishments and contributions - These projects are not really comparable and represent significant efforts on the part of many many people in the County seeking to preserve and interpret County heritage.  Click here to see complete list