Highline Heritage Museum now open
The ribbons were cut Friday, June 14 to open the Highline Heritage Museum twenty-five years after Cyndi Upthegrove envisioned a special place to honor the Highline area's rich history.
The museum, on the corner of 152nd Street and Ambaum Boulevard in Burien, began in 1994 when Cyndi Upthegrove attended a meeting of the Highline Historical Society with a handful of board members hoping to find a way to preserve the school district data along with other historical records including previous work by Melba Eyler & Evelyn Yeager called "The Many Roads to Highline". Cyndi had the work of Esther Balzarini "Our Burien" for reference as well.
Over time Cyndi rose in the ranks of board members to become the flag bearer for the fledgling organization. Many prominent business leaders contributed time, money and ideas to move the project towards the goal of having a permanent home.
That home is the former Tradewell/Bartell Drug/name the business entity before the Society eventually garnered enough funds to purchase it in 2002. The next 17 years was about securing added funding to basically tear down the existing structure and also work at keeping the "collection" of the archives intact and protected. That job fell to Nancy Salguero McKay and a host of volunteers.
Moving is hell, nearly everyone who has moved anything would tell you. Only this was no pizza party for friends. It is serious control of boxes of important documents, photographs and nearly the entire bound volumes of the Highline Times from the 1940s through the early '90's, a coup for Cyndi who recognized the importance of this printed record and saved them from being lost when Jerry Robinson sold the newspaper in the late '80s. The newspaper was owned by the Seattle Times from 1993 to 1998 when a decision was made to cease publishing. The bound volume history was up for grabs and Cyndi was there to provide the hands and arms to acquire them. Subsequently, Jerry Robinson, Society board member, re-started the newspaper in 1998 to continue to build on the legacy he helped create from 1952.
Today the museum features an entire wall of photographs and memorabilia from the Highline School District. There's a spot for the Port of Seattle and the infamous, parachuting D.B. Cooper in one corner. One section is dedicated to historical photos of Angle Lake and another to the many books written about the area. There is old and new at this museum with a 12,600-year-old Giant Sloth found during an airport construction project in 1961 and an interactive panel kids and technically adept users can create their own art within the panel.
The museum recently appointed Nancy Salguero McKay as executive director. She had been the manager of the collection since 2006. She stepped in at the right time while Cyndi recovered from some health issues. Cyndi continues to support the museum's efforts to obtain grant funding and donations while also running the online auction. The museum is online at www.highlinehistory.org
Hours of operation for the museum are:
Tuesday thru Sunday Noon to 5 p.m.
First Friday of each month Noon to 9 p.m.