Archive for the ‘News’ Category

AKCHO Board report – October 2017
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AKCHO Board members spent a considerable amount of time at their October board meeting discussing the needs of their members and plans for 2018.

In addition to covering upcoming programs, including the AKCHO annual meeting, which will be held on January 30 at the Museum of Flight, the Board also revisited some of the findings in 4Culture’s Heritage Report, which was presented by 4Culture’s Chieko Phillips at the September AKCHO membership meeting.

The Board reviewed the 2017 budget in preparation for 2018 budget discussions at the November meeting. By a unanimous vote among those present, the Board has agreed to raise its membership dues for 2018 and institute a tiered system for organizational members. More details will be made available next month.

AKCHO Secretary Sarah Frederick will represent AKCHO at the upcoming University of Washington Museology Internship Fair on October 27, and AKCHO encourages its members in need of interns to reserve a space at the Fair – click here, or contact Dylan High, the Museology Graduate Program’s Student Experience Coordinator, for details. 

The board is also pleased to co-sponsor the upcoming WESTPAS workshop for collections protection – pre-registration is required, and independent viewing of online webinars is required before the in-person workshop on November 16. News of weather-related calamities throughout the United States this autumn has made everyone more aware of the vulnerabilities of their collections and of the necessity to safeguard them, so sign-ups for this workshop have been brisk, but at last report there are still some spaces available.

AKCHO President Alice Winship announced that she will be out on medical leave for the next few weeks, so she is handing over her day-to-day responsibilities to AKCHO Vice President Alice Stenstrom, who can be contacted at

The next Board meeting will be held Monday, November 6, at 9:30 AM at the Puget Sound Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives, Bellevue College.


First come, first served – does your historical org need a printer?
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An HP LaserJet 5SiMx printer is available for donation to a King County historical organization. It prints letter, legal and tabloid sized paper and has a seperate envelope feeder. Its additional specifications may be found here. The printer is heavy (~100 pounds), and will need to be picked up in Normandy Park. If interested, contact Richard Kennedy at


What went into “Making the Cut”
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Captain Vince and the Argonotes

At AKCHO’s membership meeting on September 26, AKCHO members who had gathered at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, along with a few unsuspecting tourists, were treated to an opening concert by five singer-songwriters and their accompanying acts. The musicians were among those who are featured on the new “Making the Cut” CD produced by Maritime Folknet to commemorate the centennial of the opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Mikala Woodward “Drawing the Line”

In fact, the gist of the meeting was a review of the whole endeavor behind “Making the Cut,” a multi-year effort to commemorate the centennial, and explore the changes that that feat of engineering had wrought, for better and for worse. The two historians who sparked this whole effort, Susan Connole and Mikala Woodward, were on hand for AKCHO’s September meeting, as was Eric Taylor, former 4Culture Heritage lead, whose early support gave additional impetus to many of the individual projects within the overall scheme.

Woodward showed an engaging video of her “Drawing the Line” project that used field chalk to mark the former, higher shoreline of Lake Washington prior to the opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

“Once you’ve torn a building down or washed away a hill, it’s really hard to even imagine what was there – and I feel like we humans do this periodically, and in this city we’ve done it a lot,” Woodward said.

For her project, Woodward brought together mapping data the from the Waterlines project, videography by Vaun Raymond and Simon Kidde, resources from several local archives, aerial video by Corvus Eye Productions, still photography by Lorn Fant, and a whole squad of volunteers and government agencies who assisted along the way.

This and many other videos that detail other facets of the history of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the development of Centennial activities can be found on the Making the Cut website. 

Colleen Wagner, Discovery Modelers Education Center, discusses the S.S. Roosevelt’s history, including its use by Admiral Peary in getting to the North Pole.

Connole noted some of the additional activities and projects that sprang from Making the Cut: several new articles published on HistoryLink, as well as Waterway, a new book by David Williams and Jennifer Ott; a new 7th grade curriculum on the topic, produced by Eastside Heritage Center; several exhibits; the Lake Washington Ship Canal Centennial Boat Parade; and a model created by the Discovery Modelers Education Center of the historic S.S. Roosevelt, the ship that led that parade 100 years ago. 

“It is an enormously generous community of people here in Seattle,” Connole said. “You just ask and people will come.”

Others who were important to the project, but who were unable to attend the September 27 meeting included Eleanor Boba, Jim Adams of Discover Your Northwest, and Brian Carter, current Heritage lead at 4Culture.

The meeting also included a presentation by 4Culture’s Heritage Support Specialist Chieko Phillips on a newly-released assessment of the heritage field from 4Culture’s Heritage department. The presentation of data was summed up in eight key findings:

1. Issues of diversity, equity and inclusion are not considered top priorities for the local field, but are increasingly important to the larger heritage community.

2. King County’s heritage field needs assistance improving its visibility to wider audiences. There is opportunity for 4Culture to provide more support specifically to marketing and/or PR efforts for individual heritage organizations and the field as a whole.

3. Financial stability is perceived by heritage organizations as their most pressing challenge.

4. The economic impact of King County’s heritage field is currently unknown. There is opportunity to better assess, track, and communicate the economic impact of King County’s heritage field.

5. The employment pipeline of staff and interns to King County’s heritage field is not functioning in a way that ensures longevity for its organizations.

6. Passive forms of audience evaluation are the most common form of audience research. Organizations use it to track exhib it and program attendance as well as membership. Most do not evaluate demographic information about their visitors.

7. Volunteers support nearly every organization in King County’s heritage field. Their continued recruitment, retention, training, and appropriate tracking is vital to the success of the field.

8. In the heritage field, there exists a need for: 1) trained collections staff/volunteers; and 2) capacity for existing staff/volunteers to undertake collections related duties.

The report includes a prefatory letter from 4Culture Heritage Lead Brian Carter. Borrowing a phrase from the late Dr. John Henrik Clarke, a pioneer in African-American studies, Carter notes that 4Culture will be using these survey results “to guide 4Culture, and the heritage field, as we continue to help people understand ‘where they still must go, and what they still must be,’ through exploration of our shared past.”





MOHAI’s On the Spot photo contest
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The Museum of History & Industry is sponsoring a photo contest in conjunction with its upcoming feature exhibit Seattle on the Spot: The Photographs of Al Smith.

Al Smith used his camera to document community life in his beloved Central District. Take a photo of what’s special about your community and tag it with #SpotOnMOHAI via Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter by October 31 to enter the contest. A panel of exhibit curators will choose three winning photographs to be displayed in the exhibit! 

Visit MOHAI’s website for further information and ideas on how to get started.


Northwest Railway Museum takes in more big artifacts
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The Northwest Railway Museum acquired two major new artifacts in September. 

Long a fixture near the shoreline of Lake Whatcom, the H.K. Porter steam locomotive was relocated in mid-September from Bloedel-Donovan Park in Bellingham to the Northwest Railway Museum, where it will be restored and eventually placed on display. 

The Permanente Cement Company purchased the #9 Porter locomotive from the U.S. Navy and eventually donated it to the City of Bellingham in 1960. But over the last 57 years the engine has fallen into disrepair, with some of its components vandalized or stolen.

After the City of Bellingham solicited and received three Letters of Interest from railroad organizations in Washington and Oregon, it selected the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie as the locomotive’s next home and completed a Surplus Property Agreement with the Museum, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.

Also in September, the Museum acquired a piece of Puget Sound Electric Railway history when it accepted the donation of PSER car 523, the last known surviving Seattle-Tacoma electric interurban car, which had been stored in California for the last couple of decades.  This 1907 car will be used to interpret the story of early 20th Century electric railroading in King County, a particularly interesting contrast with the modern investment in light rail now taking place in the region.



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 $15. Organization memberships are $35. Join more than 150 individuals and organizations supporting heritage work and historic preservation in King County. For more information and an application form, visit


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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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Here's a blast from the pioneer past for Fashion Friday - the Woodin family, founders of Woodinville, circa 1900. We especially like Susan Woodin's dramatic blouse with the ruffled collar. And look at all those smiles! Rather atypical for photographic portraits of that era. This photo, provided by the Woodinville Historical Society, is part of the King County Collects online collection. ... See MoreSee Less

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P.O. Box 3257
Seattle, WA 98114

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