We’re very fortunate here on Bainbridge Island to have an amazing historical museum, filled to the brim with an extensive research library, a curatorial collection, which houses a treasure-trove of historical records, maps, memorabilia, archaeological materials, oral and written histories, newspapers, and more. In addition, the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum (BIHM) offers a variety of online programs, which have become essential in sharing Island history during our current crisis.
The museum is free to visitors, and for the most part, survives on the generosity of the community through its annual fundraisers and donations.
Welcome to Day 1 of Hats Off To History! This virtual fundraiser for the Historical Museum was developed in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, when it became clear they wouldn’t be able to gather together in-person for their annual fundraising gala.
The Museum is excited to bring the fundraiser back again this year as they continue to navigate through the fallout and lingering effects of the pandemic. This time, they’ll take you with them as they explore who they are and what really goes into managing the Museum.
Head to their website every day this week to uncover a new aspect of their mission and learn more about their work. Today, they’re focusing on the Historical Museum’s role in our community. From today’s webpage, you can:
- Hear from their Executive Director, Brianna Kosowitz
- Read an inspiring historical quote
- Take a look back at their 2020 Annual Report
- Checkout a new infographic that outlines their role in the community
With your support, we know the Museum will continue to survive and thrive as they work through these challenging times and look to the future.
Board Members and Friends of the Museum have come together to offer a total of $26,000 in matching funds for the fundraiser. This means that all donations made up to this amount will have double the impact!
By donating at any level, you’ll help keep our history alive for generations to come. Click here to make an online donation.
Check your email or visit their website tomorrow to learn about more about how they care for their Museum collection.
Preserve and share the stories of Bainbridge Island to promote a greater understanding of our community and the world in which we live.
Spark curiosity and inspire people to connect, explore different perspectives, reflect, and celebrate the diverse stories of our community.
Integrity. Our programs are intellectually responsible and encourage visitors to think about history from different viewpoints.
Visitor-Centered. We encourage visitors to think for themselves—to imagine and reflect on their own experiences and connect to our local history. We encourage two-way conversation and strive to design exhibits for social learning.
Collaboration. We are always working to develop strong partnerships with other museums, institutions, and local communities to share collections, expertise and resources. We believe that together, we can achieve far more than we can accomplish alone.
Curiosity. We strive to create programming and exhibits that provoke visitors of all ages to ask questions, touch, explore, and discover.
Experimentation. We think BIG. We are flexible and open to out-of-the-box thinking. We accept that sometimes we fail, but we jump at the chance to solve problems creatively.
The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum began as an informal Society in the 1930s, and in 1949 they joined with the Kitsap County Historical Society, Bainbridge Island Branch. In 1971, the Island Center schoolhouse (the schoolhouse was built in 1908, and one of the last one-room schools in operation on the island until 1923, when it closed), was donated by the school district to the Society to be used as a museum and moved to Strawberry Hill Park (site of a former U.S. Army Nike missile base). As the museum grew, and the community donated materials, they soon found themselves full to capacity, and through the generosity of the McCracken family, a new building was added onto the rear of the schoolhouse in 1997. Though Strawberry Hill was a beautiful setting for the museum, it wasn’t easily accessible and a new site was located on Ericksen Avenue, just one block north of Winslow Way and a short walk from the Seattle-Bainbridge Island ferry terminal. Both museum buildings were moved to the new site in 2004.
They also launched their very first blog last year (click here to view the blog), which provides an inside perspective on the work they are doing. You can also sign up for their weekly email updates on fun collection finds, blog posts, videos from their curator, and exclusive updates, or follow them on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about the island history.
*Images, content and logos provided by and used with permission from BIHM