Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe celebrates library opening

Chairman/CEO: New facility is ‘second to none’

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe council leaders celebrate the opening of the tribe’s new library at its Blyn campus on Saturday. Pictured, from left, are treasurer Theresa Lehman, vice chair Loni Grinnell-Greninger, chair/CEO Ron Allen and secretary Rochelle Blankenship. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe council leaders celebrate the opening of the tribe’s new library at its Blyn campus on Saturday. Pictured, from left, are treasurer Theresa Lehman, vice chair Loni Grinnell-Greninger, chair/CEO Ron Allen and secretary Rochelle Blankenship. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

BLYN — The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s remodeled and expanded library owes much to grants and effort from the tribe citizens and partners in recent years, but Chairman/CEO W. Ron Allen said it really dates back more than 40 years.

Around the time the tribe gained federal recognition in 1981, its leaders and citizens began gathering pieces of its history — packed away in boxes and in attics and even in trunks of cars.

“Back in the day, we didn’t have a library; we had to figure out where we could share with our community,” Allen said, welcoming community members to the grand opening of Heron Hall on Saturday.

“There’s just lots here to share ... that we’re quite proud about.”

Allen and other tribal leaders and citizens hosted a pair of opening receptions Saturday — the first, for Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe elders, citizens and descendants of families, and the second for the community at large.

Allen and Luke Strong-Cvetic, the tribe’s director of planning, detailed a bit of the history of the library’s founding and funding, and spent time thanking the myriad partners and staff who helped shape the 4,000-square-foot library that has been under construction at 10170 Old Blyn Road since January 2022.

They also honored soon-to-be-retired Bonnie Roos and introduced incoming librarian Cheryl Martin.

Books, exhibits, movies

The revamped library, Allen said, is not just about Jamestown people but about all Northwest indigenous people.

It features books for the “old school” learners, he said, and some higher technology for others.

The library has expanded to include museum-style exhibits and also features a theater with more than a dozen seats that show films about Tribal history and its projects.

“This library is about learning, what was and what will be,” Allen said.

He detailed a series of grants from 2001 that helped fund the original library, also called Heron Hall, as well as a number of national honors, including it being one of 10 recipients (and the only tribal library) to receive a 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service — the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries making “significant and exceptional contributions to their communities,” according to the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

When it came to developing exhibits for the new library, Strong-Cvetic said the tribe turned to Andrew Whiteman, a Seattle-based exhibit designer who had worked with a number of tribes, including the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe in Port Angeles.

“Telling the tribe’s story in exhibits is difficult,” Strong-Cvetic said, but added that Whiteman was able to complete his work despite a number of COVID-related delays.

“We get lots of international guests [on the Peninsula],” Allen said. “This is another destination where people can come to ... where we can share our history.”

Allen said in his travels across Indian Country to see other tribal libraries, the Heron Hall is among the best.

“Now we have a facility that’s second to none,” he said. “I think we did it right.”

For more about the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, visit jamestowntribe.org.

________

Michael Dashiell is the editor of the Sequim Gazette of the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which also is composed of other newspapers Peninsula News and Forks Forum. Reach him at editor@sequimgazette.com.

More in News

Port Angeles School Superintendent Marty Brewer, second from right, speaks with members of the Port Angeles Parents for Education, on Friday about the Port Angeles Paraeducation Association strike. Assistant Superintendent Michele Olsen stands at right. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula News)
District, PAPEA to pick up bargaining Sunday

Parent group presses officials for answers on strike

Instructor Josh Taylor, left, points out the workings of an electric vehicle on Wednesday at the Auto Technology Certification Program at Peninsula College. Nick Schommer, center, and Brian Selk get ready to do some testing on the electric auto’s parts from underneath the vehicle. (Dave Logan/for Peninsula News)
College's automotive technology program gets a reboot

Students can earn a certificate separate from two-year degree

Port Townsend transportation tax dollars to be put to work

Benefits district to raise $400,000 to $600,000 in first year

KEITH THORPE/PENINSULA DAILY NEWS
Retired teacher Nancy McCaleb speaks in support of striking paraeducators in the Port Angeles School District as Port Angeles Paraeducators Association President Rebecca Winters listens during a rally on Thursday at Shane Park.
About 130 rally in support of paras

District officials say funding is statewide problem

Mark Nichols.
Proposed changes to public defender caseloads could hurt rural counties

Annual limits starting in 2025 may create staffing issues

Fernando Cruz of Auburn, an employee of Specialized Pavement Marking in Pacific, cleans off a sign he used to paint a bicycle lane on Sims Way and Kearney Street, the site of the new roundabout. The workers needed at least two days of 47 degrees or above in order to paint the pedestrian crosswalks and other necessary markings. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula News)
New bike lane in Port Townsend

Fernando Cruz of Auburn, an employee of Specialized Pavement Marking in Pacific,… Continue reading

Two-lane bypass to be installed Monday

Contractor crews working for the state Department of Transportation will… Continue reading

Twice daily bridge inspections start next week

Bridge preservation engineers from the state Department of Transportation will… Continue reading

Funding farm-to-school programs

In the 2021-2023 state budget, Washington set aside money specifically for the… Continue reading

Gus Griffin, 11, second from left, and classmates dig up weeds in one of Port Townsend’s three gardens on March 28. (Grace Deng/Washington State Standard)
Farm-to-school programs flourish in Washington

Demand from school districts outpacing state funding

Jefferson enacts 1-year moratorium on STRs

County wants to consider possible regulations for rentals