One thing I have found amazing about visiting Seattle, Washington is the fact that almost everywhere you look in this city, there is something of historical significance very nearby. I find it amazing that a city that has become a beacon of promise for the future has such strong ties to its past. Of course, this is the way it should be, but seldom is.
Seattle, Washington not only celebrates its past that is very rich indeed, it invites those who visit to share in that celebration as well. With many museums dedicated to lifting up the great people who helped build this city. A city that remembers its past is a city well worth getting to know better.
In and around Seattle there are several museums that study the past of this part of the country and the profound effect that that past has on the present society in this area. The first one I will tell you about is not a museum but rather a national park. This would be the Klondike Gold Rush National Park. Some of the more interesting things to do and see here are the walking tours that are conducted each morning during summer months (these tours last about an hour and take you through the historic district while explaining the role the neighborhood played in the development of Seattle as we have come to know it and the Klondike Gold Rush). Another interesting thing to do is attend a gold panning demonstration or watch one of the many audiovisual programs that tells stories of this historic period.
Next, there is the Log House Museum of Seattle. This museum is actually a renovated log home that has a rich history in and of itself. The museum was created as a base for sharing information about the history of the community both oral and written in addition to educating students, researchers, and educators about the history of this region. The museum provides special exhibits, events, and lectures that accomplish these goals. Admission is by donation and is recommended at $2 per adult and $1 per child.
Next, for every little boy or every little boy that is all grown up, this next museum is near and dear to most of their hearts whether they are willing to admit it or not. This would be the Issaquah Depot Museum. Not only do you get to walk along the tracks of history, but also you get to take a look at a vintage caboose and other train cars that are on display here. There is a beautiful mural in the Depot Freight Room that depicts the history of Issaquah. It was painted by Bill Haddon at the request of the King County Arts Commission and vividly depicts the colorful history of this area. Admission to this museum is recommended at $2 per adult and $1 per child or you can purchase a family pass for this and the Gillman Town Hall Museum for a total of $10.
The Gillman Town Hall Museum brings history to life by showing the minor details that are often overlooked and yet so vitally important reminders of that history. There is even an old two-cell jail behind the Town Hall Museum. The original steel bars are on the window and the total escape count from this jail was zero. Not only is this museum filled with artifacts, but it personalized with photographs of the people that played such a vital role in its past as well. This museum and the Depot museum are worth the drive from Seattle, especially at such low prices for both.
If nothing else, you have to hand it to the people of this part of the country. They hold onto their pasts and learn from them rather than burying them and trying to pretend they didn’t happen. I find it comforting to see that the past of this area has had such a profound effect on what it has become today and hope to see even better things in the future as a result. If nothing else, the stories are wonderful to hear and even better to experience.