2018 marks a coming of age for the Kenmore Heritage Society Inc. At 20 years our organization has weathered two economic bubbles, one of which was characterized by Senator Maralyn Chase as “comparing this to the depression of the ’30s.” For all but the first three years of our relatively short existence, our nation has been at war in multiple theaters overseas. I find it somewhat ironic to realize that KHS is actually a millennial. It is clear we are struggling with many of the same issues that challenge that stereotypical generation, much like we who have come before, baby boomers, gen X, Y, and Z. KHS currently resides out of a P.O.Box, online, and in the attic of Kenmore’s grandfathered community club. To find the financial and organizational means to get a place of our own seems an almost unattainable dream.
Yet, through all the struggle, what was modest grass roots at the beginning, has begun to truly flourish and bloom. We see the investment in time and energy begin to pay off in both access and prestige. The good works of generations volunteering their time selflessly can not be under appreciated by those of us who so casually click away with ease. To understand the force of will to render image from light using chemicals in darkened rooms prior to the advent of digital cameras doesn’t dawn on most to a large degree. The treasure of silver, mercury and gold used in early photography is not gone, but echoes onto our screens. Most often bought and paid for with a simple love for humanity and nostalgia, that must be communicated no matter the media, through art or photography.
We as the keepers of the pledge, to honor our dead, to pay tribute to those who mark the very best, and document for perpetuity all the rest, it is not something to be taken lightly or in jest. It is all ours to wave the flag of Kenmore. Armed with a brand new website, a new partnership with Google Cultural Institute, a revitalized and strengthened relationship with the City of Kenmore and 4Culture, and the prospect that we are on the rise and only our will and desire limit the possibilities. Prepared to meet the challenge with a full frontal assault on capturing the historic treasures in Kenmore’s attics, basements, garages, and our reported back alley speakeasies. We are determined to tell our humble history.
Mathew C. Martin
Acting President Kenmore Heritage Society