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Military heirloom mystery solved; historic book headed home from Marysville

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Jeannette Polk receives her family's book.

MARYSVILLE, Wash. — A mystery more than 15 years in the making has been put to rest.

The owner of a U.S. Coast Guard logbook found at a Marysville school picked up her family’s treasure Thursday.

“It’s just amazing, you know,” Jeannette Polk told Q13 News when she picked up the logbook. “I’m just very thankful that you got it and didn’t get rid of it.”

Teachers at Cedarcrest Middle School first tried to find the heirloom’s owner in September. The book had sat on a secretary’s desk for about 15 years. It wasn’t until the secretary brought the logbook to Cedarcrest librarian Sandi Brock that everyone realized how special the book could be.

Data pix.

“It’s filled with just absolutely wonderful pictures of Puget Sound and the Coast Guard,” Brock told Q13 News.

The book contains black-and-white pictures of the Puget Sound and Coast Guard sailors from the 1930s to the ’50s. The pictures are rare, Brock suggests, and give a fun glimpse into a long-past period of Washington and military history.

But no one knew who owned the book. Administrators surmised a student brought it to class and forgot about it. It was likely given to the secretary later for safekeeping.

A picture of the book was posted on the school's Facebook page in September, and administrators started to hunt down possible owners.

Polk's sister received a call. Turns out, Polk's nephew brought the book to Cedarcrest in the early 2000s  for show-and-tell and forgot about it.

Polk  said as soon as she heard the school had the book, she knew she had to get it back. The book was made by her father, in order to commemorate her grandfather's time in the U.S. Coast Guard. Polk's grandfather is in most of the book's pictures, and it traced his life's early years.

Polk said her dad, who was too sick to come pick up the book himself, will be thrilled.

"I can't wait to show my dad," she said.

Polk said after her family gets a chance to copy the pictures from the book, they plan to donate it to a nautical museum in Port Townsend.

"When we first realized it was missing, he wanted it back to do that," Polk said.

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