EVERETT, Wash. -- It's not easy to get to. The room is tucked into a corner of the Everett Mall with no signs and several locked doors in the way. Two flights of stairs take the place of a broken elevator for access.
But it is above a gym and next to a clothing outlet the Everett Museum of History keeps most of its thousands of artifacts. The room is lined with historical items and shelves filled with boxes and books. Staff compare it to the warehouse in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".
"The saddest thing in the world," said Kim David, part of the museum's volunteer staff, "It's such a vital history. It really needs to be out there.
"People need to remember."
In 2012, the museum had to leave its last home for a variety of reasons, chiefly a lack of funding. The collection has been hampered by constant moving and water damage from a fire in a nearby business several years ago.
Still, museum staff said the collection is 50,000 artifacts strong.
"There is history of the entire county in this building," said Executive Director Barbara George, "It's amazing the things we have.
"We have a lot of the tools we need," she continued, "We just need to get a few more to pull it all together."
Millions of dollars are likely needed for a permanent home, but so far only thousands have been raised. In the meantime, exhibits are on display in a variety of places around the city.
Staff are also in the process of digitizing and cataloging its photograph collection.
A capital campaign to raise money for a new, permanent home is expected to start soon, said George.
"We have to take care of history," said David, "Even though nobody gets to see it right now."
Copyright 2016 KING