Skagit River Journal
(1900 S-W Fire)
July 1911 photo of 700 block of Metcalf street after the downtown Sedro-Woolley fire. The view is to the southwest. At the top is the location of the present U.S. Post Office. That location was then the site of the original Sedro-Woolley city hall.
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Founders Days Sedro-Woolley
20th Annual Celebration Sept. 14-15, 2013

(Founders 1994)
During the first Founders Day in July 1994, the late Stan Nelson, second to the right (Nelson Chevrolet across the street), was the reigning King Neptune of Seattle's Seafair Days. While the Sedro-Woolley Museum honored the Cook descendants, King Stan honored Sedro-Woolley residents (l. to r.) as Knight William Stendal, who was mayor at the time; and as ladies, Carolyn Freeman, one of the founders of the museum; and Paula Cook Budlong Cronin — great-granddaughter of Sedro/Bug founder Mortimer Cook. That first Founders Day was held during Loggerodeo after we tracked down Cook's relatives and visited them across the country. But the Museum chose to select a month and date separate from the busy Loggerodeo week. Thus the festival is scheduled annually on the second week of September. Carolyn Freeman has overseen all 20 events, many years with her late husband, Kerry.

      Update for 2013: Sept. 14-15. Sedro-Woolley Founders Days began in 1994, celebrating the Mortimer Cook family. This 20th celebration in 2013 honors the Mills family, most famous for their ice cream shop on old-time Metcalf street. The family will be represented by Dale and Marilyn Thompson, longtime history volunteers. Marilyn is also a descendant of the Hyldahl family, pioneer grocers. Presentation and Open House is from 12:30-3:30 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Sedro-Woolley Museum. The Saturday celebration begins with a Founders Days breakfast at the Senior Center on State street from 8-11 a.m. A reenactment of the 1914 Bank Robbery will be staged in front of the Museum on Murdock street from Noon to 12:30.
      The JJ's Cruisers classic car show will be staged at Riverfront Park, at the Skagit river, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15; The community picnic will also be staged at the park, from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Activities for kids are also staged at the park that day from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. For an excellent bit of background on the famous bank robbery, period photos and details, see the video that will be shown at the Museum from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday.
      For complete details, see the Sedro-Woolley Museum home page

1994, The beginning
      A fire truck and a police car took them from Three Rivers Inn to the Sedro-Woolley Museum with sirens blaring on the Fourth of July, 1994. The Cook family returned to Sedro-Woolley, 94 years after the last member of Mortimer Cook's family moved, from the old town of Sedro by the river, to Rockford, Illinois.
      A decade later, Paula Cook Budlong Cronin returned with her granddaughter to donate the wedding dress of Paula's grandmother, Nina Cook Budlong, to the museum. She brought her nine-year-old granddaughter with her to actually hand the dress over to the museum, where it is now housed in a special wooden case in the Mortimer Cook room, which was dedicated to the town founder back in 1994. Cook first appeared on the Skagit river in June 1884 and initially named his town, Bug. The town was renamed Sedro on Dec. 7, 1885, when Cook obtained a post office for his general store at the old wharf. His daughter, Nina, married Standish Budlong at the Cook home near the store on Oct. 30, 1895. They were both descendants of Mayflower passengers.

Regular Museum Hours as of 2013:
      Wed., noon to 4 p.m.; Thurs. 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sun. 1-4 p.m. 725 Murdock St. Sedro Woolley, Washington 98284-1457; Phone: (360) 855-2390 to request appointments at other times

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Story posted Aug. 1, 2001, last updated Aug. 16, 2013
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