The newsletter of the Association of King County Historical Organizations

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Kelly gets retirement send-off – an AKCHO Board Award
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Categories: News

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. (more…)


Susan Connole, Mikala Woodward and Eleanor Boba – Board Awards
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Categories: News

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. (more…)


Barbara J. Nilson – AKCHO Legacy Award
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Categories: News

Barbara J. Nilson accepts her Legacy Award – photo credit Tyler Ray

Barbara Nilson is celebrating her 90th birthday in August.  Last year she completed her 4th local history book – one exploring the history of Allied Arts of Renton. Two of her earlier books have received the AKCHO Virginia Marie Folkins Award in past years. “Uncle Sam Wants You” featured stories about veterans from Maple Valley and Renton who served during World War II and “Ravensdale Reflections” explores the history of a small Washington state mining town. Other books include “Renton High School Centennial” and one celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Maple Valley Rotary. (more…)


Discovery Modelers Education Center – Long Term Project Award
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Categories: News

Clayton Naset and Colleen Wagner (center) of Discovery Modelers accept congratulations from King County Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles and AKCHO President Alice Stenstrom – photo credit Tyler Ray

by Pat Filer, AKCHO Awards Selection Committee Chair

On July 4, 1917, 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 out to celebrate the opening of the new waterway.

One hundred years later Discovery Modelers committed to creating a scale model of the two-masted steamship for display during the Ship Canal centennial celebrations. Model maker Clayton Naset was recruited to carry out the work with his funding coming from King County 4Culture and others.

A reception was held May 7, 2017 at the Locks to honor Naset. Interpretive signage and brochures, funded by King County 4Culture, tell the tale of this storied vessel. The six-foot model is on long-term loan to the Corps of Engineers and on display in the Locks Administration Building. 


Long Term Project Award goes to three historical organizations that conduct mine hikes
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Categories: News

Keith Watson of Black Diamond Historical Society, Doug Bristol with Issaquah History Museums, and Russ Senger of Newcastle Historical Society show off their Long Term Project Awards – photo credit Tyler Ray

by Pat Filer, AKCHO Awards Selection Committee Chair

For those who appreciate communing with the Great Outdoors – as well as history — historic mine tours provide a personal view of the halcyon days of the King County Coal Belt.   Presented by the Black Diamond, Newcastle and Issaquah Historical Societies, residents of all ages from throughout King County and beyond participate in these enlightening and picturesque journeys into a noteworthy aspect of King County’s past.  

Although the lumber industry receives the lion’s share of attention, coal was once King County’s largest industry, supplying local markets as well as the rapidly growing town of San Francisco.   These areas are a vast source of labor and ethnic history, where many of the miners were recruited from Southern Europe.

The Issaquah Historical Society presents annual Historic Mine Hikes covering mining districts throughout the area.   These include Tiger Mountain as well as the Olde Towne neighborhood, Mine Hill and areas near the Issaquah Creek Dam. (more…)



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!


2018 Awards Program

AKCHO 2018 Annual Awards Invitation



Event Calendar

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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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Association of King County
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P.O. Box 3257
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