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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
1999 Maple Falls Grade School class
1999 Maple Falls Grade School Photo courtesy Donette Studio

Reflections from the Heart of a Small Community

Prompted by the closing of Maple Falls School in the spring of 1999, Laura Jacoby, a Mount Baker School District mother, wanted to capture the memories of the historic school and its community as a legacy mainly for her son Nicholas, but also for all the other citizens of the small Washington town of Maple Falls. The result was the book Reflections from the Heart of a Small Community: Mount Baker Foothills and Maple Falls Schools 1889-1999, researched and written with the aid of Maple Falls friends Dawn Buckenmeyer, Cindy Brown, Gayle Landreth, Danna Beech, and Becky Raney. Inspiration for the effort was Jacoby's historian/photographer grandfather, Galen Biery, who took photos in the Bellingham area between 1940-1990 which are now part of the collections of the Whatcom Museum of History and Art. Jacoby gathered photos, stories and remembrances of other community members which make up the "memory book."

In the late 1800s, Maple Falls was a thriving community based on local lumber and mining industries; its population of 2,000 enjoyed a railroad depot, several saloons, and had their own electric and phone companies. The book comprises historical eyewitness accounts of Maple Falls events, class photos and memorabilia, and photographs portraying the essence of each decade of the area schools' history. Local history teachers have enhanced their curriculum with Jacoby's slides depicting the old Mount Baker Marathon, the logging industry and gold mining in the Mount Baker foothills.

The project is documented by two copies of the book and local newspaper articles highlighting its production.

Originally submitted by: Patty Murray, Senator.

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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