Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Maritime Folknet – Technology Award
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Categories: News

Maritime Folknet members receives congratulations from Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles – photo credit Tyler Ray

by Pat Filer, AKCHO Awards Selection Committee Chair

The Technology Award is presented to an organization for an outstanding project that pairs technology with local history and provides an inspiration or a model for the heritage community. 

Songs make history come alive. In the hundred years since they were constructed, the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Ballard Locks have made changes for the people of King County both positive and negative.  The effects were widespread, changing the landscape and lakes. Populations and industry shifted, There are many vivid images and dramatic events that made for good song material.  As part of the 100th anniversary of the Ship Canal,  Maritime Folknet unveiled a unique opportunity for song writers to write a song about the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Ballard Locks and record it for posterity.

The songs could be about historical events or the effects on people and places to the present day.  All musical genres were encouraged, and range from acoustic to soft rock, from swing jazz to folk.  Fifteen songs were selected by a panel of judges and were recorded at Jack Straw Cultural Center. CDs were produced and are available for purchase. They are being distributed at no charge to King County libraries, schools and heritage organizations. Free concerts were held at the Ballard Locks and the Northwest Folklife Festival.


Japanese Cultural and Community Center – Exhibit Award
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Curator Elisa Law accepts the Exhibit Award on behalf of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center – photo credit Tyler Ray

by Pat Filer, AKCHO Awards Selection Committee Chair

“Unsettled-Resettled: Seattle’s Hunt Hotel” is the first permanent exhibition to be developed and housed within the historic Seattle Japanese Language School buildings, a designated National Historic Site and Seattle Landmark and the current home of the Japanese Cultural and Community Center.

Through generous grants from 4Culture and the National Park Service Japanese American Confinement Sites program, the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington (JCCCW) began a multi-year endeavor to conduct original research into the post-war history of the Language School when it served as a temporary hostel for Japanese Americans returning to the Seattle area from incarceration camps without homes or jobs.

The resulting exhibition and book sheds light on the resettlement struggles of Japanese Americans, a topic often left out of the larger World War II Japanese American incarceration story, and recalls the experiences of Washington families and individuals who lived through it. Piecing together archival footage and records, family photographs and oral histories the exhibition unearths unsung community heroes who assisted residents getting back on their feet, confirms the strength and resilience of Seattle’s Japanese American community and mourns the great losses of our Issei pioneers.

In the absence of historic photographs from this time in the Japanese Language School’s history, ten paper-cut artworks from local Japanese artist Aki Sogabe were based on oral histories of former residents who lived at what was then called the Hunt Hotel. These works are now traveling to institutions throughout Washington. This exhibition recognizes local understanding and appreciation of the long term effects of Executive Order 9066 as well as for its historic research accomplishments and creative design.


Centennial Boat Parade – Single Impact Award
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Categories: News

From l to r – Jennifer Ott, Judie Romeo, Jim Adams, Susan Connole, John Shrader, Colleen Wagner and Brian Westerman were summoned to the stage for their work on the Centennial Boat Parade – photo credit Tyler Ray

by Pat Filer, AKCHO Awards Selection Committee Chair

On July 4, 1917, Seattle celebrated the official opening of the Hiram S. Chittenden Locks and the Ship Canal with great fanfare. On that day the SS Roosevelt, Admiral Peary’s flagship on his historic 1909 trip to the Arctic, passed through the Locks and led a marine parade of some 200 commercial and pleasure craft through the Ship Canal to Lake Union and Lake Washington. A carnival and fireworks attracted an estimated 50,000 celebrants.

On July 9, 2017, the Greater Seattle community commemorated the event by re-enacting the boat parade. A flotilla of 47 vessels, led by the historic schooner Adventuress standing in for the Roosevelt, sailed from Salmon Bay into Lake Union and down to Lake Union Park at the south end of the lake. The fireboat Chief Seattle ended the event with celebratory water fountains in the middle of the lake.

Of course, the Centennial Boat Parade was not an exact recreation. Much has changed in 100 years, including vessel traffic, vessel types, and shipping routes. However, the Centennial Boat Parade did draw great enthusiasm from spectators on the shoreline, the bridges, houseboats, and vessels crowding Salmon Bay, the Fremont Cut, and Lake Union.

The Centennial Boat Parade was the culmination of a year of planning. It was a key project of the Making the Cut effort which brought together historians, artists, and researchers from around the area to commemorate the centennial in both traditional and innovative ways. The Boat Parade was the result of collaboration between Friends of the Ballard Locks, the Center for Wooden Boats,, and many others. A request for participants brought an enthusiastic response from vessel owners. The parade itself include not only classic yachts, but also workboats, canoes, Pocock shells, the Seattle Fire Department fireboat Chief Seattle, and the Corps of Engineers snagboat Puget. Sea Scouts, Native Americans, the Husky Rowing Team, and descendants of Ship Canal engineer Hiram M. Chittenden came out to “represent.”


Brian Carter – Charles Payton Award for Heritage Advocacy
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Brian Carter’s sons joined their dad onstage as he accepted the Charles Payton Award from King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles and AKCHO President Alice Stenstrom – photo credit Tyler Ray

by Pat Filer, AKCHO Awards Selection Committee Chair

Like Charles Payton and Eric Taylor, his predecessors at 4Culture, Brian Carter understands profoundly the challenges facing historical societies in our community. He brings patience, compassion and a sharp mind to the job. As shown in his Carter’s efforts spearheading the King County Heritage Report: Understanding the Field in 2017, he recognizes how professionally gathered and interpreted data supports moving the heritage field forward.

The report identifies areas of opportunity within the heritage field and lays out a roadmap for how 4Culture heritage staff can strengthen, diversify, and better target the resources it provides to heritage organizations and practitioners through the county. Academic partners, heritage practitioners, umbrella organizations, and civic partners all helped process and shape the data into eight key findings: diversity, equity, and inclusion; economic impact; volunteer support; visibility; employment pipeline; collection staff; financial stability; and audience evaluation.

The King County Heritage Report has already helped 4Culture’s heritage staff create new programs such as a Rural Internship Program and a professional development mini-grant. The report was printed for organizations to use when making a case about strengths, needs or opportunities they may have. As such, it is a critical advocacy tool for the heritage field.

In March 2016, Brian J. Carter joined the 4Culture staff to lead the Heritage Program following the retirement of Eric Taylor. He is only the third person in 35 years to lead the program. Carter first came to the heritage community’s attention when he served as the Deputy Director and Head Curator at the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) in Seattle. He joined 4Culture’s Heritage Advisory Committee in 2008 and served on that body until offered the position of Museum Director of the Oregon Historical Society in 2012. Returning to Seattle in 2014, he became Director of Interpretation at the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. Brian holds an undergraduate degree in history from Stanford University and a master’s in museum studies from the University of Washington.

Within less than three years at 4Culture, Carter’s recognition of a need for a field-wide survey and how it could become an advocacy tool for the entire heritage community are signs of his dynamism and support for the field. He continues the strong tradition of field service work for which Charles Payton was so adamant.


Eastside Heritage Center and HistoryLink – Education Award
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King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles (l) and AKCHO President Alice Stenstrom (r) congratulate Josh Gannis, Eastside Heritage Center and Jennifer Ott, HistoryLink – photo credit Tyler Ray

by Pat Filer, AKCHO Awards Selection Committee Chair

Josh Gannis and Jennifer Ott accepted the 2018 AKCHO Education Award on behalf of Eastside Heritage Center and HistoryLink, respectively. “Change Over Time: The Lowering of Lake Washington” was a curriculum developed by the Eastside Heritage Center in collaboration with Bellevue School District to guide students in an exploration of the impacts of the lowering of Lake Washington in 1916 when the Lake Washington Ship Canal was opened. Activities introduce students to the study of maps and environmental history, and focus on specific people who lived in various places around Lake Washington, whose lives were affected by the lowering of the Lake.

Each person’s set of materials includes a brief biography, primary source documents, historical photography, a map showing the shoreline before and after the Lake was lowered, and suggested questions and activities aimed at 7th grade students. digitized the materials so this curriculum can be downloaded free of charge to students and teachers on the HistoryLink website.



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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