We are an all-volunteer, non-profit organization whose mission includes nurturing an awareness and appreciation of the history of Kenmore; building a spirit of community; honoring Kenmore citizens who have made significant contributions to the betterment of our community; sponsoring events to help make our city a more interesting and fun place to live; and collecting and preserving historical memorabilia while working toward a long-term goal of housing the collection in a physical museum.
Who are we?
The Kenmore Heritage Society was founded in 1998 by a group of volunteers seeking to fill a need in the new city (incorporated the same year) for research, preservation, and promotion of the colorful history of the community settled in 1901 near a shingle mill at the head of Lake Washington.
More than 50 people turned out for the society’s organizational meeting. Officers were elected: Tom Traeger, president; Priscilla Droge, vice president; Patsy Telquist, treasurer; Jeanie McBee, secretary; and trustees Bob Bannister, Cliff Foster, Char Crawford, Cindy Rowley, Ed Straw, and Roy Telquist.
The new organization’s first project was to publish a book about the history of Kenmore. It also identified as a long-range goal the establishment of a museum and interpretive center. The book, Kenmore by the Lake, was published in 2003 and won two national book awards for best community history. Also published were three editions of The History of Kenmore for Kids, written by Jack Crawford, Kenmore’s first mayor.
- Installation of a series of interpretive history signs at Log Boom Park;
- Sponsorship of the McMaster Heritage Award annually recognizing a Kenmore resident who had made significant contributions to the betterment of the community;
- Organization of the annual “A Day in the Life of Kenmore” Fun Photo Contest, co-sponsored by Kenmore Camera.
- Scheduling of eight public programs per year focusing mostly on the history of Kenmore and the surrounding area.
- Advising the City of Kenmore regarding important historical assets in the city.
- Advocating for historic-preservation and redevelopment projects at the St. Edward Seminary and elsewhere.
The society receives income from membership dues. New members are welcome. Financial support also comes from the City of Kenmore and 4Culture, an agency that disperses funds for historical-preservation and other cultural programs from revenue generated from King County’s lodging tax revenue.