Everett’s antique bookmobile, Pegasus, will finally be seen again
EVERETT — The city has just approved the long-term loan of Pegasus, the state’s first bookmobile, to the Everett Museum of History for it to soon begin its next chapter.
For 90 years the Everett Public Library provided a bookmobile service, delivering books directly to readers.
Pegasus hasn’t been seen publicly in recent years.
It will soon find its long-term home on display at 2939 Colby Ave., inside the Everett Museum of History’s Community Perspective Gallery, which is poised to open for guided tours in the coming months of 2020. The museum is planning its grand opening in 2021.
“Pegasus is sitting in a shed over by Silver Lake,” said Barbara George, the museum’s director. “It’s protected from the elements for now, but over winter that is not where the city would like it to be and that isn’t where we would like it to be, either.”
Abigail Cooley, the director of the Everett Public Library, believes loaning Pegasus to the museum will be a great opportunity to highlight the bookmobile’s history and the city’s libraries.
From humble beginnings as a Model T Ford in 1924, Pegasus was later upgraded in 1929 by removing the custom bookmobile coachwork from the Model T and fitted to the chassis of a Model AA Ford.
After two decades of serving the community, bringing books to children and adults alike, Pegasus was no longer serviceable and was sold at auction in 1950.
Pegasus was purchased for $250 by the owner of the Everett Boat House and was used to haul sand and gravel.
In 1992, the Rotary Club of Everett purchased the bookmobile under a restoration plan led by Mark Nesse, the former longtime library director. Following an extensive year of donated community time, funds and labor, “Peggy” was reborn and instantly became a fixture in local parades. It is currently appraised at a value of approximately $30,000.
Due to city budget cuts in 2014, the library’s outreach department was closed, ending its modern bookmobile program. Pegasus has been in various storage facilities ever since.
“Although the Library no longer has the resources to maintain or house the bookmobile, it is important that Pegasus be made available for future generations,” said Kimberley Cline, spokeswoman for the City of Everett. “This is the best possible outcome for the bookmobile, Pegasus has earned its place in history.”
“Pegasus is a treasured historical resource,” Cline said. “This arrangement ensures that this piece of local history will be preserved and displayed for many years to come.”
“Peggy” will soon start another chapter in its historic life as an exhibit in the Everett Museum of History, on a 20 year, long-term loan with an option to extend at the end of the term.
Despite the fact the Everett Museum of History is set for the grand opening in 2021, the community will not have to wait much longer to enjoy the nearly 65,000 artifacts the museum holds.
The museum’s Community Perspectives Gallery will be open in the near future, George said. The gallery is located in the basement of the museum. Walking down the hallway, visitors will have a behind-the-scenes look at museum curators prepping artifacts for the main exhibition floor, as well as a chance to see artifacts in storage on display.
In addition to rotating artifacts, the walls of the gallery will be covered with art from local students and artists.
“We want (the museum) to be a gathering place,” George said. ”Instead of going to an old fashioned museum where you see the artifact in a case, we don’t want that to be the case here. We want it to be a place where people come for workshops, lectures, maybe even a book club, but to be able to gather here and talk about our history.”
For more information on Pegasus or the Everett Museum of History, visit www.epls.org or www.everett-museum.org.
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