The Association of King County Historical Organizations – AKCHO – is a leading proponent of King County’s history and heritage activities.  We provide a meeting place of ideas and a forum for the issues that confront museums and heritage organizations. We appreciate your interest and welcome your participation!


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AKCHO June Membership Meeting

Date: Tuesday, June 25, 10 AM – Noon
Host: Hiram M. Chittenden Ballard Locks
Location: Ballard Locks Visitor Center
3015 NW 54th Street
Seattle, WA 98107
Phone: (206) 783-7059

Program: Community Feedback and Feasibility Studies
Rich Deline, representative for the Corps Foundation, has been involved in the renovation project at the Fish Ladder from the ground up. He will discuss the history of the Locks and the complexities of working with the Corps of Engineers, the Corps Foundation, Friends of the Ballard Locks, and others. He’ll talk about why non-government funding was needed for the renovation, about the community impact and feasibility studies they conducted to help guide the renovation, and about how they used those studies to support their capital campaign. After telling us about their planning stages, Rich will take us over to the Fish Ladder to give us a look at the progress they’ve made on the renovation project.

Driving Directions:
From I-5 to North side of Locks:
Take the NE 50th Street Exit
Head West on NE 50th St.
Turn left on Phinney Ave N
Turn right at the 1st cross street onto N 49th St.
Continue straight through traffic circle
Turn right onto NW Market St.
Stay slight right to stay on NW Market St.
Turn left onto 32nd Ave NW
Turn left onto 54th St.
The Parking lot for the Visitor Center will be on the left.

Parking: You can park on either the North or South side of the Locks. If you approach from the South you will need to cross the Locks to reach the Visitor Center.

There is free unlimited parking is available in the neighborhoods nearby. You can walk across the Lock chambers from either side. City of Seattle metered parking is available at the North main entrance.

Public Transportation:
Buses: 33 and 44 stop nearby the locks.


Advocacy in Action: Camp Kilworth
Posted on:
Categories: Advocacy

AKCHO has been viewing with concern the uncertain future of Camp Kilworth, a 30-acre site on the shore of Puget Sound, near Federal Way.  In 2018, the Washington Trust for Historic Places added Camp Kilworth to their list of most endangered places.  The buildings, including the iconic Rotary Lodge, are vacant and in danger of demolition by neglect.  Since the Boy Scouts ceased operations there in 2016, the buildings are not heated or maintained.  Camp Kilworth is just one of many properties that the Boy Scouts of America have vacated across the country, as the numbers enrolled in scouting have declined.

Because of a stipulation in the original 1934 deed, if the property is not used for scouting, ownership reverts to the Kilworth Family Foundations.  On April 11, the Tacoma Council of the Boy Scouts of America formally relinquished control of the property to the two foundations who will jointly own the site.

It is uncertain what the foundations will do with the site.  The Friends of Camp Kilworth & Alumni Association hope to see the site remain as open space for the education of youth.  The formation of a non-profit organization is in progress.  The Washington Trust for Historic Preservation mentions finding the right stewardship arrangement as key to the preservation of Camp Kilworth.

In January 2019, the City of Federal Way issued a proclamation naming the camp as an important part of Federal Way’s history and encouraging the foundations to remember the original donors’ vision to serve the youth of South King County.  It remains to be seen if the city is willing, or able, to give aid of a more tangible nature.

As the population increases and becomes more urbanized and densely packed, the need for a place for youth to experience the outdoors becomes even more important.  But, at the same time, population growth makes the property more valuable for other uses.  This surge in property values endangers many historic sites in King County.

This could be an opportunity for Camp Kilworth to transition from a site for boys only to a site for the education of youth of all genders and backgrounds.  Want to make a difference? Indicate how you’d like to be involved on the Camp Kilworth website,


Advocacy In Action: Update on the Garden House

On February 20, the Seattle Landmark Board voted unanimously to nominate the Garden House (officially known as the Turner-Koepf House) and its grounds for preservation.  The Garden House is believed to be the first house built on Beacon Hill.  It was sold on October 10, 2018 to a private party. 
This step is only midway through the landmark designation process. The City of Seattle has supplied this handy flow chart (in which all the cartoon figures are smiling) to describe the process.

At a meeting on April 3, the Landmarks Preservation Board will review the designation and decide what will be covered.  It might be the building with its grounds, only the building, only the exterior, or only certain parts of the building.  Then, the board will vote whether to approve the nomination.

The details of the April 3 meeting have not yet been posted.  For information about the meeting and comment deadlines, please check either the list of meetings on the Landmarks Preservation Board website or the Save the Garden House website. What you can do to help is attend the meeting, send in your comments, and write the City to request a public meeting on the proposed plans to build five townhouses at the site, which would mean removing the pear orchard.


Preservation Advocacy

Want to learn how to be an effective preservation advocate? 

Historic Seattle is offering a series of three workshops designed to build your grassroots preservation advocacy toolkit.

February 23rd 10 am – noon Tools and Strategies

March 9th 10 am – noon Landmark Nomination

April 6th 10 am – noon Researching Historic Properties

Sign up for one, two, or the whole series! To learn more and register click this link –


Historic Preservation – North Bend Timber Company Building

The AKCHO board of trustees supports the restoration of a historic building which housed the offices and workshop of the North Bend Timber Company.  It is a vital reminder of the logging and railroad history of the Snoqualmie Valley.  The Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum has also expressed approval of the project.

The 2,400 square foot building was located at 44711 East North Bend Way in North Bend; where it was scheduled to be torn down to make way for a new substation of the Tanner Electric Cooperative.  A group of preservationists dismantled the building in November and moved the building parts to a 2-acre property about a mile away from the original site, along the same railroad tracks. 

The owners, North Bend Art and Industry, hope to raise about $100,000 to re-assemble the building at this new location and convert it to an arts center.  They would welcome letters of support to use in fundraising.  If you would like to write a letter of support, the contact is Beth Burrows at the North Bend Theatre. Contact information is below.

North Bend Theatre

Attn: Beth Burrows

 249 Main Ave. S.

 Suite 107/#307

 North Bend, WA 98045



For more information:



Heritage Advisor is published by the Association of King County Historical Organizations as a service to members and those who support its mission. We update our website continually throughout the month, and on the first of every month we e-mail a condensed version of Heritage Advisor to our mailing list – you can subscribe to this service by filling out the requested information in the right sidebar on this page.

AKCHO was established in 1977 to encourage cooperation among historical organizations; promote and encourage the study and preservation of the history and heritage of King County through member organizations, individual members, and the community they serve; and support such preservation efforts through public awareness and understanding of legislative issues.

The Heritage Advisor welcomes submissions of news items, calendar items, and opinion columns from AKCHO members, HA subscribers, and readers. Articles are limited to 300 words and they should have a strong relevance to historic preservation and heritage issues in King County, Washington. Submission of an article does not guarantee publication. AKCHO does not pay for published submissions. All articles are subject to review by AKCHO staff. Please send your article within the body of an email (no attachments, please) to

AKCHO welcomes new members year round. Individual memberships are $25, and we have a three-tiered system for organizational memberships, with dues dependent on budget size. For more information and an application form, visit

More than 150 individuals and organizations support heritage work and historic preservation in King County, thanks to their membership in AKCHO. Please join us!




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AKCHO was established to encourage cooperation among historical organizations and to promote and encourage the study and preservation of the history and heritage of King County through member organizations, individual members, and the community they serve, and to support such preservation efforts through public awareness and understanding of legislative issues.

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Association of King County
Historical Organizations
P.O. Box 3257
Seattle, WA 98114

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