Two ways to support Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s present and future work ‘Navigating Our Past’

April 18, 2024 3:33 pm
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You might know the Southwest Seattle Historical Society best for its headquarters at the historic Log House Museum on Alki – but that’s just part of its work, as you can learn while supporting SWSHS via its gala and/or online auction in the weeks ahead. Here’s what to know:

2024 is shaping up to be a big year for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. It is also a year that coincides with significant anniversaries including its founding (1984), the building of the Fir Lodge/Alki Homestead (1904), and the ten-year anniversary of the installation of the Belvedere/Admiral Viewpoint replica Totem Pole at the Log House Museum at Alki Beach (2014).

As the historical society commemorates these anniversaries, and begins work on new strategic goals, it is branding the annual Spring Gala and Online Auction on May 3 as Navigating Our Past, Anew. The organization will announce new initiatives, including updating signage for the Totem Pole to provide more complete historical context (Totem Poles are not representative of Coast Salish art traditions and the one at the museum is in fact a replica of an earlier pole and was carved by non-indigenous artists).

The Historical Society will also be announcing a new project to develop an interactive, permanent exhibit on the history of the Duwamish Peninsula at the Log House Museum, made possible from a grant from the newly established Maritime Washington National Heritage Area. The exhibit timeline coincides with the organization’s three-year strategic plan adopted earlier this year.

Guest speakers for the event represent community partners that are integral to both projects and include Alex Gradwohl, Program Director, Maritime Washington National Heritage Area and Kristina Pearson, Director, Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center.

The event includes food, a cash bar, and an exciting live auction featuring priceless experiences, including a chance to custom paint a traffic signal box with Desmond Hansen Art, a private tour of the West Duwamish Greenbelt with Chief Sealth descendant Ken Workman, and more.

In addition to the May 3 Gala, the organization is hosting an online auction from April 29 through May 2. The auction includes unique West Seattle experiences, local services, art, and gift certificates to local businesses. This year, the historical society is also auctioning numerous unique vacation rentals including a three-night stay at a luxury ranch outside Yellowstone National Park in Paradise Valley, Montana.

Tickets for the event are $95 and can be purchased online at, which is also where you can register for the online auction, free.

The gala is happening at Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor).

P.S. You can also learn more about the SWSHS and its work right now in the spotlight display at HomeStreet Bank in The Junction (41st/Alaska; WSB sponsor) – visit before next Tuesday afternoon and you can register for a drawing for two tickets to the gala!

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