kitsap county historical society
Kitsap Historical Society & Museum
Mission

 

 

Mission


The mission of the Kitsap County Historical Society is to collect, preserve, and exhibit the diverse culture, heritage, and history of Kitsap County for the education and enjoyment of the public.

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Staff

 

 Executive Director dotted line Patricia Drolet
     
 Executive Assistant dotted line Robin Barnes
     
Program Coordinator dotted line Megan Bradley
     


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Board of Trustees

Kathleen Cahall

Kathleen moved to Kitsap County from Ohio in 1987.  She has worked for over 30 years in the water field, the last 20 as Bremerton’s Water Resources Manager, and has a Master of Public Health degree from the University of Washington.  She previously served on the board of the Partnership for Water Conservation, as chair of Water Purveyors Association of Kitsap, and is a graduate of Leadership Kitsap.  Kathleen is a member of Soroptimists and is active in her son’s school programs.

 

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kchs Susan Daniel

Susan, an attorney retired from private practice, has lived in Kitsap County over 30 years. She has previously served as president of the board of directors for the Kitsap Community Foundation and Leadership Kitsap. She is a founding board member of the Dispute Resolution Center and Kitsap Legal Services and has been a KCHS volunteer for several years.


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kchs Sara Nell Davis

Sara Nell previously coordinated visitor information for the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of the Bremerton Symphony. Before moving to the Kitsap area in 1995, she worked with a theater archive at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. 


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Don DeMers

Don DeMers has a Master of Arts degree in Museum Administration. After serving as a museum director and historic site manager in New York and California, he changed careers and became a police officer in his native California, where he served three terms as president of the San Jose Police Officers’ Association. After retiring from the police force, he obtained a private investigator’s license and began his own business, which he continues to practice in Washington State. Don is an active member of the Port Orchard Rotary and Bremerton Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife, Karen, enjoy exploring Washington’s historic sites.


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kchs Nina Hallett

Born in Britain and having a lifelong interest in history, Nina holds a certificate of Museum Studies from the University of Washington. She served as a docent for the Burke Museum for ten years. Serving as the KCHS volunteer curator, she has mostly recently created exhibits: Boy Scouts, 100 Years of Scouting and History in Print. She is the curator for the pole barn exhibits at the Kitsap County Fair. In addition, she is the editor of the reprinting of the KCHS book: Kitsap County: A History.

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kchs Claudia Hunt

Claudia’s family came to Bremerton in 1918. She attended school in South Kitsap and Bremerton. She has previously been a volunteer with KCHS, serving on the Historic Sites Committee and recently designed the Old Town Silverdale Historic Sites Tour to benefit the Clear Creek Trail organization. She serves as that organization’s historian. Besides being a long time KCHS member, Claudia is a member of the Bremerton Symphony, Pacific Northwest Cornish Society, Cornish American Heritage Society and the Cornwall Family History Society. She has a passion for history and, since her retirement from PSNS in December 2010, is looking forward to having time to contribute to the Kitsap County Historical Society and Museum.

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kchs Bonnie Isaacs

Bonnie has been actively involved in many community activities since moving to Hansville in 1990. After retiring from a career as secretary and accountant in the fields of real estate development and property management, Bonnie developed and taught classes on computer use for senior citizens. She co-chaired the Home Arts Center at the County Fair for two years and the Hansville Rummage Sale for three years. She currently serves as secretary of the Greater Hansville Area Advisory Council.


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Michael Koch

J. Michael Koch

J. Michael Koch is a personal injury attorney who has been in private practice in Silverdale since 1973.   Mike graduated from Western Washington University and the University of Washington Law School.  He has offices in Silverdale and Bremerton.  Mike and his wife, Sharon, have been active in the Magic Lantern Society for many years and have an abiding interest in local history.


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Annamarie Lavieri


A native of Connecticut, Annamarie brings a background in teaching and school librarianship to her position as a trustee. Her community involvement includes arts organizations and the North Kitsap School District. She served on the board of Bainbridge Performing Arts for six years and currently serves on the board of the Rachel Royston foundation, a non-profit that provides scholarships to women educators working on advanced degrees.

 

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kchs Alan Lowe

Alan worked for the South Kitsap School District from 1969 through 1998. He taught grades 3-6, was a Library Media Specialist, District Coordinator of Educational Technology and Head Teacher at South Colby. After retirement, he became Executive Director of Sylvan Way Christian School. He has served as adjunct faculty for Western Washington University since 1999.


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Scott Nelson

Scott Nelson


Scott Nelson, a native of the state of Washington, has lived in Kitsap County for 12 years; enjoying the people, the beautiful area, and the great history.  He is a graduate of WSU (GO COUGS!!) and has successfully started and operated several businesses throughout his career, with a primary focus on sales and marketing.  With a minor in history from WSU Scott has always found it interesting how we can learn so much about the future by looking into the past.  Being a woodworking enthusiast, he is excited to help in the restoration of many of the “well used pieces of history” that have been placed in the trust of the Kitsap County Historical Society.   



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kchs Dave Peterson

A resident of Kitsap County for almost 50 years, Dave has served as the Kitsap County Clerk for nine years. He is a former teacher, librarian, and administrator for the Central Kitsap School District. Dave is a former member of the CK Community Council and has served on the boards of directors of United Way, Kitsap Legal Services and the Dispute Resolution Center.

 

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kchs Anita Williams

Anita serves as the Museum’s hardworking, imaginative, and very capable Chair of the Development Committee, organizing the Eat Your Way through Kitsap County; Step Back in Time galas, and the Old-Fashioned Mill Town Family Christmas events. Anita has served on the Boards of the Bremerton Symphony and the Literary Council, and is a YWCA Woman of Achievement.

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Advisory Board
Helen Langer Smith
Edward Wolfe
Suzy Callison Dicks
Paul Middents
Ralph Munro
Roger Horne

 

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KCHS History

History of Kitsap County Historical Society: A Story of Vision and Dedication

 

Through the efforts of a small coterie of determined Kitsap County Citizens, the Kitsap County Historical Society was incorporated in Washington State in 1948. Efforts began immediately to preserve Kitsap County’s heritage and make knowledge of its past available to the public. Chloe Sutton, a local elementary school teacher, was elected the organization’s first president of the Board of Trustees. A room in the Kitsap County Courthouse in Port Orchard was made available to the Society. The beginnings of our now extensive archives and artifacts were displayed to school children and interested adults.

The early determination shown by the founders has continued through the years, as the population in the county and the KCHS membership increased. KCHS operations have been located in several locations over the years: in an old telephone building on 4th Street in Bremerton, in a portion of the Bremerton Ferry Terminal, and in 1976 in the 3,300 square foot former Silverdale Bank Building, which the Society was able to purchase thanks to a legacy left to the historical society by one of its members. Displays and exhibits were created by knowledgeable and dedicated volunteers.

In 1978, KCHS built an 1800 square foot pole barn at the County Fairgrounds in Central Kitsap. Inside the pole barn are displayed logging, farming and homesteading artifacts. At County Fair time each August, the pole barn is open to the public. Thousands of fair goers enjoy learning first-hand how the Kitsap pioneers lived and worked.

In 1995, with help from Kitsap County, KCHS purchased its current home, the former Seattle National Bank Building at 280 Fourth Street, Bremerton. A major volunteer effort converted the 12,000 square feet of empty space into a museum with permanent exhibits, offices and a museum store. With much thought, creative ideas, and many hours of hard work, the museum took shape. Visitors were able to enjoy the Kitsap Timeline exhibit, beginning from the geology, Native American life, the logging years, homesteading, farming and the arrival of the US Navy. A second permanent exhibit, Main Street, depicts early shops, schools, and professions. In addition to these permanent exhibits spaces, an interactive hands-on area for kids of all ages is on the main floor. Upstairs on the mezzanine is the area for new and temporary exhibits.

Visitors to the Kitsap History Museum come from all over the world as well as the Kitsap community, local schools, and military ships and bases nearby.

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KCHS founder Chloe Sutton would be pleased to see the current extent of KCHS’s collections, the amount of volunteer work still being contributed, and the high quality of the exhibits. In addition to paid staff, the Executive Director, Curator, and Executive Assistant/receptionist, KCHS is fortunate to have a core of dedicated volunteer staff that provides historic research, archivist expertise, and process archives and artifact donations.

The future is bright and full for the Kitsap County Historical Society as it continues to collect, protect and share the history of Kitsap County.

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Thank you to our generous sponsors

 

City of Bremerton
The Nakata Family
Richard Eskridge
Donald DeMers

Annamarie Lavieri

& Al Gunther

 

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