Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Highline Historical Society Gearing Up for Big Future

With (L to R) Nancy Salguero McKay, Carla Jackson, and Cyndi Upthegrove

You probably knew that Military Road runs the length of Highline, from near Hilltop Elementary to near Pacific Middle School. But did you know it was built under the leadership of well-known Civil War participants? (Grant, Pickett, Sheridan, and McClellan) Or did you know that a nearly intact dinosaur skeleton was found during excavation for the light towers at the north end of Sea-Tac Airport? These were two of many interesting factoids I learned while visiting the collections of the Highline Historical Society collections during Spring Break.

Championed by Cyndi Upthegrove, the Highline Historical Society has been collecting artifacts of the school district and Highline community since 1994. In fact, they have employed a professional curator, Nancy Salguero McKay, for the past six years. The organization accepts donations of items as folks clean out attics and Ms. McKay processes new items by cleaning, freezing (to eliminate bugs and odors), photographing, cataloguing, and storing each one for long-term preservation.

I saw the collection in its current storage facility, where it fills three plus rooms with aisles of meticulously organized containers. It really was fascinating to see Highline's history right before me, especially the donated collections of former superintendent and Highline Citizen of the Century Carl Jensen. To get a taste of the collection, take a look at sample of photos from twenty current and former Highline schools on the organization's website.

I needed a special tour to see the collections, but soon you won't have to. The Highline Historical Society is in a fundraising campaign to build a permanent home on land they have acquired at 152nd and Ambaum in Burien. The design is stunning, and you can support the project by becoming a member of the Highline Historical Society.

Deputy Supt. Carla Jackson with curator Nancy Salguero McKay in the stacks

This dinosaur, found near the airport, is now in the Burke Museum

Cyndi Upthegrove shows off one of her favorite newspapers from the collection

This chart from Sunnydale elementary dates to the 1880s

Wouldn't you like to know what treasures are in those boxes?

Superintendent Jensen donated a rich collection of artifacts to the Society 
These yearbooks will be filed with hundreds more like them

Renderings of the museum in Olde Burien that will someday hold these collections

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