In November of 2015 Karen Keller and Pat Slosson spent an afternoon going through the TCSRA archives. Yes—we have archives, nearly two 4-drawer file cabinets-full, in fact! It’s not possible, nor practical, to keep everything, so many non-essential documents were sent to recycling. They found albums with photos from 10 to 20 years ago, newspaper articles, awards, minutes from meetings beginning in 1959, and copies of Bits & Pieces from the 1980s.
Then in April of 2017, we received an unexpected treasure. Friends and members of the Olympia Historical Society had helped to clean out Winnie Olsen’s house after she passed away. Winnie—local educator, historian, author, and civic volunteer—was a meticulous record-keeper and photographer of our unit events. She never, repeat never, threw away anything that might be important, and her collection was delivered to Karen Keller.
Mementos of our past tell of a unit that has grown from twenty or so retirees to a group of over 1,000 retired and not-yet-retired members. Legislative information from that past reveals the extraordinary work done by members to keep pensions funded for our current and future retirees. Newspaper articles show the astounding number of volunteer hours our members have donated to schools and community agencies.
The Lacey Museum has taken over the housing of our archives. We had amassed a large collection that needed to be preserved properly. We thank Erin Quinn Valcho, Museum Curator, for her assistance in transferring all the materials into her care. For now, everything is stored in a climate-controlled area of the Lacey City Hall, instead of in a member’s damp garage. We hope that someday many of our treasures will be on display in a brand-new museum building for all to enjoy. The history of our unit parallels the history and growth of Lacey from that place “far, far from town” where you could rent a cabin and boat to the thriving community it is today.
Ms. Quinn Valcho has organized and cataloged our materials. She also included an article about our organization in the Spring 2019 issue of Museum Musings. You can access a copy of each of those publications by clicking on the following links:
Facebook is a quick way for us to keep you informed with timely messages about events, such as meetings and webinars. Photos of our events, luncheons, and our history are also posted. Type Thurston County School Retirees’ in the search bar and ask to join. Yes, it’s a closed group. That way, we hope to avoid having unwelcome odd, misleading, or sketchy items pop up.