Judy Reandeau Stipe

Judy Stipe at Sequim's Museum entrance
Judy Stipe and Mastodon exhibit at Sequim Museum and Arts
Judy Stipe and Autocar Exhibit
Behind the Scenes Video on History of the Dungeness Schoolhouse

Judy Reandeau Stipe
 Sequim Museum & Arts Executive Director

The Sequim Museum & Arts facility is located at 544 N Sequim Avenue.  Currently the museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and during the First Friday of each month from 5 to 8 p.m.   Admission is free. To sign up for the newsletter, send an email to sequimmuseum@olypen.com and request an e-version or hard copy by snail mail.

“I am the executive director of Sequim Museum and Arts, but mostly I consider myself a Sequim pioneer,” Judy Reandeau Stipe states.

“My great grandparents arrived on the peninsula in 1898.  I was born in Port Angeles but relocated to Sequim at an early age with my family.  My dad was a logger and he worked in the Carlsborg mill. My husband Bob and I both graduated from Sequim High School, and then we left because we didn’t want to be dairy farmers or loggers, the two main professional choices in the 1960s.   We traveled the world with the military and raised our family, but every summer we returned to Sequim to experience the beaches, fishing, raspberry picking, and to reconnect with our family.   And then we moved back to live in Sequim.  Our kids are grown and have children of their own.  Now our grandkids are returning to do the same thing.

“I am a retired AT&T operations manager, where I learned how to see programs through.  When I joined the museum, I said let’s make this an attraction that people from out of town will want to see.

“Ours is a small-town museum that has the actual bones of a Manis Mastodon on display. We have a rotating exhibit of natural history artifacts, as well as exhibits from local artists.   Also, The Boys in the Boat exhibit about Joe Rantz and the Gold Medalist rowing team of the 1936 Olympics. We have something for everyone. “

“We received the Blue Star Museum award from the National Endowment for the Arts eight years ago, and this award opened us up to world-wide media, and more and more people are aware of us now.  

“We don’t charge because we want everyone to be able to come in and have a look.  We depend on donations and grants---I am working on two huge grants right now.  We have a very strong business plan.  In recent years we built three buildings without a new revenue stream.  

“The people who worked so hard to bring water to a semi-dry prairie--- they had a hard work ethic.  So many new people who come in have that same ethic and that’s what attracts them to Sequim.

“Seeing what those loggers and farmers went through to make their living---it wasn’t easy.  Farmers had two years to “proof it up” ---raise a crop, build a house for the family and a barn for the animals---families had to be their own community.

“The families that built those old irrigation ditches in the 1890s, and the Dungeness Schoolhouse (see below) built in 1892---beautiful, such bones.”

“This is my passion --- we inherited this history, and we need to respect it by sharing it.  You learn a lot for your future by learning about your past.  We learn about the good things we did and the mistakes we made.  

“I encourage people to trace their history and see what strong roots they come from.  We look back and see who we are, and we say, well, it is the land that brought this out in us.  We must protect it.

“I still have lots of ties in Port Angeles and Port Townsend.  I am discovering lots of ties in Forks as well through genealogy studies.   There are Reandeau family members everywhere, and I am very proud of that.

“The center of the world’s beauty is right here.  Our weather is a draw, too. Times may have changed but there’s still a lot of love, kindness and caring in this town.  There’s not one person who won’t help you change a tire.  That’s the Sequim way---we do what we can to make you happy.

“We talk with our visitors and tell them to be sure to visit our beaches, organic farms, the Olympic Game Farm, and other places.  

“Don’t plan just one day to stop in Sequim---you’ll want to see more of it than you can see in one day. You can quote me on that.”

The Dungeness Schoolhouse, a two-story structure with the original bell hanging in the belfry, served as a school until 1955.  In 1971 it was designated a Washington State Historic Place and listed on the national Register of Historic Places in 1988.  Sequim Museum and Arts manages and maintains the building with all volunteers dedicated in the preservation of the Schoolhouse. To view a visual presentation on its history, to schedule a tour, or to rent the facility, go to https://www.sequimmuseum.com/.