An old adage goes: the more things change, the more things stay the same.
A little more than a century ago, people were coping with the 1917/18 flu pandemic – a deadlier virus than COVID-19, with a high death rate among young adults. Some of the same restrictions we face today were put into place then: masks, school and church closures, and cancellation of large public events.
Today, we are fortunate that vaccines have been developed and are being distributed over the next several months.
I look forward to re-opening our South Whidbey Historical Museum. I look forward to the day when we resume our popular Saturday Langley History Walks, our community presentations and exhibits, and our annual local historical bus tour fundraiser.
Even with pandemic closures, your South Whidbey Historical Society has been busily working to preserve and share our south end community’s unique history:
… Our volunteer curator continues to archive item donations for our collection;
…The next “Then & Now” newsletter will be mailed before year’s end;
… More than 3,300 people follow our Facebook page;
… We are accepting tax-deductible donations toward “A Tangled Web of History” research project (led by Kyle Walker) involving a south-end Snohomish village, a local mixed-race family, and lawmen fighting liquor and opium smuggling plus white slavery sex-trafficking covering a span from the 1880s to WWI (visit our website for more info);
… Our website ( is being redesigned;
… Digitization of Island County Fair scrapbooks is proceeding well;
… and we are meeting with the Henny family on their new Whidbey Telephone Museum.
GREAT NEWS: a $5,000 Matching Challenge Grant is being offered by local philanthropist Nancy Nordhoff. Will you help us meet this challenge by donating through our PayPal portal? (…)
If you prefer to mail a check, our mailing address is SWHS / PO Box 612 / Langley, WA 98260.
We also welcome your involvement as a docent, volunteer or Board member. Contact me via email at if you have questions or would like additional information.
May your holidays be bright and the new year filled with health and hope.
Bill Haroldson, President
South Whidbey Historical Society