GIHS minutes - February 10, 2020


Guemes Island Historical Society

February 10, 2020


Present: Barb Ohms, Tom Deach, Rob Schroder, Ian Woofenden, Sue O’Donnell

Kathy Whitman, Phyllis Woolworth, Janice Veal, Randy Schnabel, Libby Boucher, Win Anderson, Julie Pingree, Jacquie Prescott, Bob Prescott, Morna McEachern, Emma Schroder, Bill Van Vlack, Barbara Schnabel, Stephanie Kavanaugh; guest, Clay Eals


Show and Tell: Tom brought a photo of many, many Guemians in the yard at Anderson’s Store in March of 2013, arranged in the shape of a heart!  This was a special tribute to the life of Justin James (1983-2013), an enthusiastic volunteer on Guemes from 2008 to 2011.  Sadly, he died of cancer in 2013 after heading back home to Georgia.


Program:  Tom introduced Clay Eals, an historian of West Seattle and south to Burien.  He is one of the founders of the “SW Seattle Historical Society”, started in 1989.  Clay is also a columnist for the Seattle Times.  Following in the footsteps of Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard (Seattle documentarians/photographers since 1982), he now contributes to the “Now & Then” column in the “Pacific NW” Sunday magazine.  Clay is a real “booster” when it comes to promoting his hometown.


Clay showed many historic photos of places that used to be, focusing on buildings which have been saved from demolition, sometimes moved to other locations and preserved for future generations.

1980 was the beginning of the Restoration Age in the Seattle area.  Before then, old places were torn down for the new.  Clay gave examples of restored structures, including school buildings, movie theaters and swimming pools.  Some of the attendees had memories of trips to West Seattle on the old trolley line.


Clay is very enthusiastic when it comes to community participation.  He especially likes to involve classes of school children to get them interested in the preservation of their communities.


Before the program, he spoke to members attending the GIHS board (Tom Deach, Barb Ohms, Janice Veal, Win Anderson, Ian Woofenden & Sue O’Donnell) about ways to encourage more involvement by the community.  He says we need new blood and younger members . . .

And that board members should be “ambassadors” for the society rather than the ones who do all the work . . .


Treasurer’s Report – Janice reported net profit of $1161 from the Holiday Bazaar.  Our treasury has ~ $26,000 + the amount in CDs.  We have had recent, generous donations from the Schnabels, the James family and Joan Palmer.



Old Business – Carl Cady has donated copies of the Historical Society minutes from 2003 and years beyond when the Society was just getting going with interviews of the old timers, programs about properties, families, etc.


Sue is making copies of minutes of the meetings from the “thumb drive” given to the society by Carl Cady, one of the founders of G.I.H.S.


Sally Peyou (local computer expert) has examined the GIHS computer and says it is adequate and has plenty of room.  She says “Techsoup” is a good place to buy software.


Win has contracted with the Anacortes Museum to trade the actual scrapbooks made by Henrietta “Bubbles” Blaisdell Finley for complete copies of all the pages and pictures.  GIHS has the contract (Deed of Gift) signed by Win and Bret Lunsford, director of the Anacortes Museum, for our records.  This scrapbook – Vol. II - was given to Earl Cahail by Henrietta “Bubbles” Blaisdell Finley and donated to Win Anderson.


Win brought a photo of the old bridge (circa 18??) which used to cross Cayou Creek.  He brought files of old letters, clippings and Guemes memorabilia.


New Business – Tom brought a possible example of an interpretive sign made by MiterCraft, describing the property where Tom now lives, “Relation Row”.  He suggests we might use the same design to mark historic places on Guemes.  Each sign would have a map of Guemes with a locating star on the map.  Very attractive.


Clive and Dianne Humble are in the process of donating 1.26 acres of land to Guemes Island Community Center Association (GICCA), north of and adjacent to the existing Community Center parking area.  The parcel could be used for the future expansion of facilities at the Community Center, including much needed parking and other amenities.  The Humbles are asking GICCA to pay for the associated costs of the transfer.  The transfer costs are estimated to be $10,000.  The GICCA board has agreed to these terms and approved this expenditure. Since this acquisition would be a first step toward a future Guemes Island Historical Society (GIHS) museum and display space, Tom asked for a pledge by GIHS to provide additional funding of up to $3000 to insure the transfer of the property.  These funds could be drawn from money earmarked for future museum space or the GIHS general funds.  For example, a portion of the profits from the Dog Island Dog Show for the past six years might be tapped for this use. This pledge of funds would only be available for use if the budgetary estimate of $10,000 was exceeded.  A motion was made from the floor, seconded and following discussion, was passed by those present.


Coming Attractions - Wednesday, April 29 will be a trip to the new Burke Museum on campus of the University of Washington.  10 attendees will have a private “back stage” tour of the museum and have a chance to see the woolly blanket, purported to have been made of dog hair.


March meeting – Barbara Spaeth on the Cahail family

April meeting – Tom Wooten on his ancestors


Recent Guemes Losses:


Anne Passerelli (193 -2020)


Marvin Louis Shoultz (1926-2020)




Respectfully submitted,

Sue O’Donnell (secretary)