Islander Profile: Carol Pellett

Today’s Guemes Island Library began with a camping trip taken by the Pellett family. Charley’s Resort {currently Guemes Island Resort} was Carol’s introduction to Guemes in 1978. She asked a neighbor in Bothell where would be a good place to go camping with her family. The neighbor suggested Guemes. They rented a cabin during the summer and fell in love with the island. After spending subsequent summers and holidays on Guemes the family began looking for property. While on an island bike ride one of her five sons found the property on North Beach.

Carol Pellett thought a library was needed and single handedly spearheaded the campaign to build a Guemes Island Library. Initially her husband, Howard, had his doubts, since then he is one of the library’s staunch supporters. Carol was not to be deterred.

In 1995 Carol approached the Community Center board and asked if a corner of the community center hall could be used to start a small library. She also asked if any of the CC members would be willing to be on the Library board. The CC was amenable to setting aside space for a library and Dixon Elder, Alice Hein, and Jackie Hartwich were interested in being on the board. Now the library had its founders.

The library had varying supporters both on and off Guemes Island. Watermark Books loaned rolling bookshelves. The newly established library board asked for monetary donations and when there was enough money the purchase of two bookcases was made. Soon there was a donated computer and printer. Dixon Elder set up the computer for library use. Within a year the library had its non-profit status {501c3}. Soon the library became incorporated and bylaws were written.

Before long the founders realized the library had outgrown the allocated space in the hall. Now, the question was whether or not to build an addition to the hall, specifically for the library. The answer was a resounding yes! Once again the support was overwhelming.

Terry Ebersole was instrumental in doing a mailing campaign to solicit donations to pay for the addition. $30,000 was raised. The library you see now, was designed by Dick Hein and built by Dave Davelar Construction. The shelves and tables and chairs were purchased from the Mt. Vernon Library.

Carol, personally, started the volunteer scheduling program that evolved to the one now in place. She was also treasurer and is now president of the Guemes Island Library Board.

Carol wrestles the King Crab.

The only annual fund raiser is the Dog Island Run. This was, then board member, Dr. Tim Wittman’s {runner} idea and Carol and founders followed Tim’s lead. This year is the 8th DIR. Carol is the only one of the founding members still on the board. The library is staffed by volunteers, and circulation increases every year. The Guemes community is very supportive of the library. Islanders donate books, volunteer work hours and make generous financial contributions.

Life (and moose) in Alaska.

It was not a straight line from Washington DC, where she was born, to Guemes Island. She grew up in Southern California, where she met and married Howard. They lived in Bellingham, Alaska, Bothell, and finally Guemes. She admits that Alaska was quite an adventure, although she found Juneau, Alaska claustrophobic with only 35 miles of road. The family had a weekend get-away in Seward, Alaska {while living in Anchorage}where she enjoyed cooking on a woodstove[for her husband Howard and their five sons} and a quiet solitude that she had never experienced before.

Carol is very active, She is Vice Pres of the Guemes Island Women’s Club, Treasurer of the Guemes Island Community Center, President of the Guemes Island Library Board, Secretary to Guemes Island Fire Commissioners, Alverson Tract Owner’s Association secretary, and GIPOA Trustee, These are Guemes activities She also belongs to two book clubs, The long-standing Brown Baggers and the Library book club. Her favorite book is James Herriot’s All Creatures Great and Small.

Just a few of the many, many hats Carol wears.

In her spare time she manages to knit about 100 hats a year for the Guemes Island Church Women’s Fellowship. These are distributed in Christmas baskets by the Salvation Army. Carol, along with Gail Nicolls, also puts together the Guemes Guide.

Carol is a proponent of education and literacy. She advises young people to get actively involved, and to be aware of the world around them. She definitely practices what she preaches.

Carol Pellett is a quintessential Guemeian.

by MJ Andrak

Lineup: Who would you like to see profiled? Send Mary Jo ( your suggestions along with a few words about the person.

Profiles of Allen Moe, Victor Garcia, Janice Veal, Dorothy Bird, Tim Wittman and Joost Businger

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