New underwater exhibits online

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Categories: Exhibits

Lake Union Virtual Museum

Shipwrecks, shipbuilding and waterborne police are the topics of three new exhibits in the Lake Union Virtual Museum, a multi-media website about Lake Union’s history. Funded by King County 4Culture, and two years in the works, these exhibits use videos, photos, maps and text to tell stories about Seattle’s urban lake.

SHIPWRECKS: Did you know that there are hundreds of wrecked ships and boats on the bottom of Lake Union? Join wreck diver Dan Warter in two videos as he takes us beneath the surface to visit several of these wrecks. The 16-page exhibit also includes an interactive wreck map, galleries of underwater photos and histories of individual wrecks.

HARBOR PATROL : The Seattle Harbor Patrol has been keeping people safe on the water since the 1870s, and has been headquartered on Lake Union since the 1960s. In a 10-minute video, Sgt. Kevin Haistings traces the history of the Harbor Patrol and takes us out for rides on police patrol boats.

LAKE UNION DRYDOCK COMPANY: Hidden behind quaint old buildings and shady trees on Fairview Avenue East, one of the giants in Seattle’s maritime history is still very much alive. Join Jim Francis in a 14-minute video, as we scramble underneath ships in a giant drydock and learn the story of one of Seattle’s oldest businesses.

These additions to the Lake Union Virtual Museum join seven older exhibits on topics including Houseboats, Gasworks Park, Seaplanes, Rowing, Boatshops, First People and the lake’s role in the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909. The virtual museum was founded in 2009 as a thesis project for the UW Department of Communication by Seattle filmmaker Vaun Raymond. Raymond continues to build the museum, with help from 4Culture and the Center for Wooden Boats, but mostly as a personal, self-financed project.

Visitors to the museum come from all over the world, and ideas for new exhibits often come from visitors. If you have an idea for a new topic, Raymond welcomes your suggestions and input at


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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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