Appreciating our rich history | Editorial

We spend so much time thinking about the future – what could happen, what we’d like to have happen –  that it’s easy to overlook the rich history of those who came before us.

I’ve always been drawn to the past. As a child, I would look through my grandmother’s jewelry box every chance I got. I was fascinated with a heavy onyx ring and a pearl and ruby broach  – the only links to great-grandparents I had never met. If I closed my eyes, I smelled eucalyptus in the air and sat with them in their Hollywood Hills home decades before it would burn to the ground in a terrible fire.

The same mystical feeling overcame me when I put the needle on one of my mom’s many LPs or scoured our old photo albums. For a child with a romantic perspective on the world, sifting through your family’s forgotten memories is thrilling.

For those who feel a similar kinship with their community’s history, the Orcas Museum has a lot to offer.

An exhibit celebrating the 100th Year Anniversary of the Washington State Parks, featuring Moran State Park is on display in the museum foyer.

The “Every Picture Tells a Story: 1914-1941” exhibit features the photography of James T. Geoghegan, a local artist. His beautiful photographs are from the museum’s collection and will be on display now through July 25.

“Salish Bounty,” an exhibit on Coast Salish food, presented in collaboration with the Burke Museum, will be up July 20 to Sept. 20. Focusing on the revival of native foods, Salish Bounty is co-curated by the Orcas Island Historical Museum and focuses on cultural transition in Eastsound, with focus on apparent changes in lifestyle when settlers began to populate the island.

The museum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., May through Sept. Find out more at

Let your imagination run free and take a little time to contemplate the lives of islanders who came before us.