Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Eals stepping down from SWSHS leadership
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The Southwest Seattle Historical Society will soon be seeking a new executive director after the recent announcement that Clay Eals will be stepping down after four-plus years of leadership.

In a letter to the organization’s board, Eals wrote that his decision to step down stems from “a desire to spend more time focusing on other aspects of my life.” His departure will be effective in mid-July. The board plans to begin advertising for the executive-director position later this month and hopes to fill the position in time for the successor to overlap with Eals, who has been involved with the historical society since its founding in 1984.

Eals became the historical society’s first executive director in January 2013. He expressed gratitude for the opportunity, adding that he is confident that the organization’s mission, track record and board leadership will result in continued organizational success.
The author, historian and ex-journalist wrote in his resignation letter that the timing of the transition would be “as good as it gets” for the organization.
“We just finished a huge phase of our Junction landmark campaign, and between now and mid-July several manageable events (including the Sea View Hall home tour) can be pulled off while attention is devoted to a hiring process,” he wrote. “Most important is that there is enough time to get a new executive director on board to become immersed in the planning and execution of our 2017 Champagne Gala Brunch.”

During Eals’ time at the SWSHS helm, the group has attained landmark status for iconic buildings, assembled Group Hug photo events featuring school children and others at key sites, championed programs and collections of the organization’s “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum, deepened relations with the Duwamish Tribe, created and sustained two monthly speaker series, revived the historical society’s annual “If These Walls Could Talk” home tours, broadened the organization’s visibility and deepened its financial viability.
Primary responsibilities of the position are fundraising, outreach, volunteer recruitment, staff supervision and overall management. In addition to the full-time position of executive director, the historical society has two paid part-time staff positions of curator and museum operations coordinator.

For more information on the search for a new executive director, please contact SWSHS board president Karen Sisson at 206-579-0126.


Access for All proponents testify after all
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 Despite King County Council budget chair Dave Upthegrove’s announcement late Tuesday (April 11) that he was the pulling the Access for All tax measure from consideration by his committee, and his statement later on that the Access for All tax measure was “the wrong proposal at the wrong time,” supporters of the measure showed up to testify before the Budget and Fiscal Management Committee meeting the following day and were allowed to do so. 

Following the Committee meeting on Wednesday, Council Chair Joe McDermott was joined by Councilmembers Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Claudia Balducci in praising the about-face. “By conducting a hearing on the measure in the Budget Committee this morning, the council was able to  have an open and honest discussion about priorities, opportunities, challenges and concerns,” they said in a statement.

The Committee did not take immediate action, but McDermott, Kohl-Welles and Balducci said that they hoped to continue refining the proposal in time to gain the support of their colleagues on the Council and place it on the August ballot. The measure, backed by King County Executive Dow Constantine, would seek an increase of .01 percent in the County sales tax. Regional leaders have been working for a decade on this proposal, and Kohl-Welles had been serving in the Washington State Senate and was one of the key proponents of the Cultural Access Program  when it was approved by the State Legislature in 2015.



Home for free – historic Eddy House
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Eddy House

Quadrant Homes is offering the Eddy House, located in Sammamish, for relocation free of charge to qualified parties. Qualified party is responsible for all costs to move the home to an alternate location in Sammamish.   Quadrant will contribute up to $50,000 towards the cost of relocating the home. Relocation is subject to time limitations.  The house will be demolished if no receiving site is found. Interested qualified parties should contact Moira Haughian with The Blueline Group for details, or 425-250-7226.



AKCHO meeting – back on track this month
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Brandon Claycomb facilitates a discussion on volunteers

After a late winter snowstorm confounded AKCHO’s plans to hold its February membership meeting at the Northwest Railway Museum’s new Railway Education Center, the Museum graciously agreed to let us reschedule the entire program for March.

So, on March 28, more than 30 AKCHO members from around King County drove up I-90 to congregate at the Railway Education Center in Snoqulamie and participate in some lively give-and-take on the topic of volunteer engagement and retention. The discussion was facilitated by Brandon Claycomb, PhD, whom our regular readers will recognize as the Thinking Things Through columnist for Heritage Advisor. He is also the founder of Refined Ideas Consulting.

Claycomb reminded attendees that the mission always come first, and when it comes to volunteer engagement issues, the first step is to decide what the problem is. He invited the audience to chime in with their chief needs concerning volunteers, and then broke the group up into smaller conversation cells where people with similar issues could discuss their strategies and their setbacks. 

Take-aways from the meeting included the importance of working your networks rather than waiting for people to come to you, and deputizing members of your organization to help broaden the pool of potential volunteers. Claycomb also stressed the importance of appreciation. “There are many ways to express it,” he said, “just make sure you do it.”

Following the discussion session, the Museum’s deputy director Jessie Cunningham and registrar Cristy Lake gave a tour of the Railway Education Center, which is opening to the public later this spring. The 4990-square-foot facility includes a large classroom space, enough offices to house the entire program staff, plenty of restrooms, and a spacious temperature- and humidity-controlled archival vault for storage of books, documents and small artifacts. The vault is located on the second floor, because Snoqualmie is situated on a plain notorious for flooding.

Adjacent to this new facility is the Train Shed Exhibit Building, which houses several of the Museum’s larger holdings — railroad cars from locomotives to cabooses. AKCHO members were particularly delighted to see the restored 1901-era Chapel Car. When we held a membership meeting here several years ago, the restoration was just getting underway. Just look at the Chapel Car now — nearly all that’s left to be done is installation of the pews!

Chapel Car – photo courtesy of Carol Davis



Rejuvenated advocacy committee recaps first year
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AKCHO’s Advocacy Committee has been focusing on an assortment of heritage issues since its reformation a year ago at a strategic planning retreat of the association’s Board of Trustees.

On behalf of the Trustees and AKCHO members, the committee has:

  • Partnered with the Kenmore Heritage Society in backing the historical-restoration of the St. Edward Seminary in Kenmore.
  • Assisted the Metro Employees Historic Vehicle Association (MEHVA) in dealing with an issue concerning possible loss of historic artifacts.
  • Joined the Historical Society of Federal Way in urging the City of Federal Way to take steps assuring preservation of the former Weyerhaeuser headquarters.
  • Supported Historic Seattle’s proposal for a “legacy business program” in Seattle.
  • Endorsed a proposed King County ballot measure which, with voter approval, would extend the outreach of arts, science, and heritage programs by increasing the sales tax by .01 percent.
  • Joined with the Woodinville Heritage Society to urge the City of Woodinville to adopt a preservation plan for the historic Woodinville School.
  • Begun contacting the King County delegation to the Washington Legislature seeking support for a bill creating a state tourism-marketing agency.
  • Begun contacting members of Congress urging continued federal support for arts and humanities programs in the face of proposed funding cutbacks by the Trump administration.

Members of the Advocacy Committee are: Brooke Best, Historic Seattle; past AKCHO presidents John Chaney and Joe Follansbee; Jennifer Mortensen of the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation; Kent Sturgis, Kenmore Heritage Society; Alice Winship, AKCHO president; Dick Wagner, AKCHO Board member and founder of The Center for Wooden Boats; Virginia Wright, Rainier Valley Historical Society; and Eugenia Woo, Historic Seattle. Sturgis and Wagner co-chair the committee.

To bring issues to the committee’s attention, e-mail

Founded 40 years ago, AKCHO’s membership is comprised of heritage societies, history museums, and individuals, nonprofits, and public and private agencies involved in heritage and historic preservation.



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


2017 Awards Program

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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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We're awaiting the photos from the professional photog of AKCHO's Annual Awards event on Tuesday, but here are just a couple of pix from AKCHO's administrator in the meantime (pictured Richard Anderson, Northwest Railway Museum; Frederick Brown; Tom Ikeda, Densho). We had a great time, our host (Northwest African American Museum) was wonderful, our sponsors were generous, King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert was a terrific emcee, and our Award recipients... well, mere words can't begin to describe their importance to our community. But we'll be posting lots of words on our website over the next couple of weeks anyway, so you can read all about our honorees. That'll be at
Thanks, everyone! Let's do it again next year!
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Whew! Just got done printing out the nametags for all of the guests who'll be attending the AKCHO Awards Program tomorrow night and - thanks to the support of our friends at 14 Hands Winery - clinking glasses in celebration of the achievements in King County heritage over the past year! ... See MoreSee Less

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

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