Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Need Storage Cabinets?

Washington State Jewish Historical Society is moving and they have 2 storage cabinets that will not be making the move to the new location.  The storage units shown here are 5’ wide, 68” height and 29” depth.   They need to be moved be December 14th.  They can go as a pair or individually.  If you’re interested, please contact Lisa Kranseler, Executive Director Washington State Jewish Historical Society at  or 206-774-2277.


How to mine history with hikes
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AKCHO President Alice Stenstrom opens the AKCHO membership meeting at the Issaquah Depot.

The Issaquah History Museums, one of the historical organizations that had received recognition earlier this year at the 2018 AKCHO Awards Program for its mining history hikes, hosted the June AKCHO membership meeting at its restored Issaquah Depot facility.

Doug Bristol, a docent at the IHM since 2012, regaled nearly 20 AKCHO members with stories from Issaquah’s mining history before leading the group on a short tour to the entrance of a Squak Mountain mine. 

Bristol noted that the “Issaquah Alps” range is 50 million years old – older than the Cascade Mountains by several million years. This cluster of foothills (comprised of Cougar Mountain, Squak Mountain, Tiger Mountain, Taylor Mountain, Rattlesnake Ridge and Rattlesnake Mountain) is one of only two east-west trending mountain ranges on the West Coast – the other is the Siskiyous. 

Doug Bristol leads AKCHO members on a hike through Issaquah to an historic mine entrance.

By 1862, settlers were aware that coal was plentiful in the local foothills, but it wasn’t until the railroad arrived in 1888 that it became financially feasible to convey the coal to Seattle. Over the next several years, Issaquah went from boom to bust and back to boom again. Mining ceased after World War II, but the opening of the Lacey V. Murrow floating bridge across Lake Washington in 1940 helped turned Issaquah into a bedroom community to Seattle.

As the town grew, it was built over mines that had been dug tens of hundreds of feet below the surface. Bristol said that because the mines were built with rot- and insect-resistant cedar beams, the mines have held up well for a century or more, but the recent appearance of a few sinkholes around town suggests that even cedar has its limits.

As AKCHO members headed out into the cool but sunny June morning to thread their way through the streets of downtown Issaquah and past the salmon fishery on their short hike to the mine entrance, Bristol paused periodically to point out areas such as the library parking garage which had to engage in special mitigation in order to avoid slumping caused by the mines deep below. 

This is just one of several popular hikes offered by the Issaquah History Museums throughout the year. For more information on the hikes, visit


From board vision to vibrant building – CWB’s new Wagner Education Center
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Sketch of the Wagner Education Center by S. Bower

Adding a new building to your site can be a long journey, Brandt Faatz, Executive Director of The Center for Wooden Boats told those gathered for AKCHO’s May membership meeting. He described how CWB’s new Wagner Education Center grew from their Board’s new goals, set in the early 2000s, to the expected opening this summer.

He noted the highs and lows of the dozen years since the Capital Campaign Cabinet secured its first leadership donation. He praised the many donors, both public and private, whose contributions made the building possible and he also noted the efforts of volunteers, one of whom has overseen the entire project.

There still is a bit of work – lighting, painting, flooring and more – to do in the interior before the opening of the building, which is named for CWB’s co-founders, the late Dick Wagner and Colleen Wagner. AKCHO members were treated to a pre-opening tour, including a look at the recently-installed main stairway treads, crafted from wood salvaged from the historic schooner Wawona. Members praised the new classroom space for kids and adults, the special area for volunteers and the environmentally-friendly solar-powered building.

The meeting began with a welcome by AKCHO Board member Judie Romeo, a 30-year CWB volunteer, who pointed out the 4Culture-funded exhibit on the room walls, showcasing small boats designed and built in King County.

AKCHO President Alice Stenstrom reviewed AKCHO’s three areas of focus: Advocacy, which includes writing letters in support of historic preservation; Centralized Resources, including a new redesign of the AKCHO website as a forum for sharing more information electronically, and Professional Development through meeting programs and new workshops. She encouraged members to become involved in these activities.

Chieko Phillips of 4Culture reminded members that applications for Collections Care grants are due June 27 and discussed nominations for Seattle’s Arts and Culture Awards. More information is available on


Kelly gets retirement send-off – an AKCHO Board Award
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With AKCHO President Alice Stenstrom looking on, Jim Kelly reacts to a standing ovation from the audience at the AKCHO Awards – photo credit Tyler Ray

by Pat Filer – AKCHO Awards Selection Committee Chair

The AKCHO Board wanted Jim Kelly, one of King County’s most beloved and respected cultural leaders in King County’s thriving cultural community, to know how much the heritage community has appreciated his tireless efforts, by bestowing upon him their highest honor, an AKCHO Board Award. Kelly retired as 4Culture’s Executive Director as of March 31, 2018 after 25 years of advocacy for public investment in arts and culture.  Under Kelly’s leadership, 4Culture has become the largest cultural funder in Washington State. During his tenure, over $130 million has been distributed into the sector to 2,800 individuals and groups.

Kelly was hired in 1993 to provide funding and technical assistance to the King County Arts Commission and the Landmarks and Heritage Commission, then a small division of the Parks Department. Forging partnerships with elected officials, Kelly advocated successfully for increased cultural investment throughout the region and managed the County’s first wave of investment in cultural facilities. The Office of Cultural Resources was elevated to a department of the Executive’s Office in 1997 and Kelly was appointed Executive Director in 1999.

During the 2001 Dotcom crash, Kelly was asked to restructure and downsize. Instead, he seized the opportunity to propose a plan to transition the department to an independent public agency—known as a public development authority, or PDA—with an independent board, budget, and self-governance. Once approved, Kelly led the transition with grace and earned the confidence of the cultural community. The agency was moved to the newly renovated Tashiro Kaplan Building in Pioneer Square and was rebranded as 4Culture to represent the four program areas it supports: arts, heritage, preservation, and public art.

In 2007, realizing that 4Culture’s revenues would be insufficient to keep pace with the needs of a growing region, Kelly organized what would become a 7-year effort at the state legislature to extend the lodging tax to support arts and culture in King County.  With Kelly at the helm, King County was able to renew its commitment to support a thriving cultural community.

Recently, Kelly worked with Executive Dow Constantine and the King County Council to leverage funds to create Building for Culture, a $28 million initiative that funded the development of cultural facilities county-wide, including KEXP and the Federal Way Performing Arts Center.

As King County’s population continues to grow and diversify, Kelly has pushed for equity and access to funding for communities that have been underrepresented during 4Culture’s history. Kelly is passionate about making it possible for everyone in King County to experience and participate in our rich cultural heritage.

According to Joe McDermott, King County Council Chair, “Under Jim Kelly’s leadership, 4Culture has become a trusted and respected resource, supporting the vibrant arts and cultural community that is a hallmark of King County.”


Susan Connole, Mikala Woodward and Eleanor Boba – Board Awards
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Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles presented Eleanor Boba, Mikala Woodward, and Susan Connole with Board Awards – and they are joined here by AKCHO President Alice Stenstrom – photo credit Tyler Ray

by Pat Filer, AKCHO Awards Selection Committee Chair

Making the Cut was the brainchild of Susan Connole and Mikala Woodward who first met in November 2011 – the 100th anniversary of the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Locks. They reunited in 2015 and began recruiting others to their shared vision of a regional centennial commemoration of the construction of the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Eleanor Boba led the Making the Cut Project when Woodward stepped down.

Mikala Woodward served as the initial administrative lead of Making the Cut, convening meetings, identifying key steps and recruiting individuals and organizations. Woodward has had a long career serving the cultural and heritage communities of the Pacific Northwest including a stint on the AKCHO Board and work with the Rainier Valley Historical Society. Now she serves as an Exhibit Developer and the Oral History Manager at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience.

As one of the founders of The Friends of the Ballard Locks, Susan Cannole has dedicated herself to salvaging and preserving many historical records, photos and other historic artifacts at the Ballard Locks. She has been an interpretive guide there for 13 years. Her enthusiasm for the Locks and its centennial served as the magnet for the many groups which eventually participated in Making the Cut. She led with Woodward the first meetings held at 4Culture and coordinated the event and activities with the Army Corps of Engineers. Connole plans to develop historical displays and events for the Chittenden Locks and share them through research and regional presentations.

Eleanor Boba took the administrative baton for Making the Cut from Mikala Woodward making sure the projects underway received undivided coordination especially through the website and social media. Boba has worked with historical societies across the country including the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society and the Rainier Valley Historical Society. Her work includes collections management, exhibit development and articles on a variety of local history topics. She is well regarded as a public historian who values the details of industrial and neighborhood change. She is currently leading an oral history project for the Renton History Museum and writing for several historical blogs.

Making the Cut organizations, institutions, and individuals began meeting in the summer of 2015 with the goal of commemorating the legacy of the Lake Washington Ship Canal a century after it was completed.  The construction of the Locks, the Ship Canal, and the lowering of Lake Washington created enormous economic, ecological and social changes that shaped our region’s development.

The Making the Cut project sought to foster and promote a series of events, exhibits, installations, and other projects highlighting local stories about this moment in our region’s history. The centennial projects explored both negative and positive effects of the massive engineering project. The wide variety of activities addressed not only engineering challenges, but also the devastating impact of the massive changes to our waterways on Native American populations and over time to all the flora, fauna and people whose lives depended on them.




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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