Hats off to History – Bainbridge Island Historical Museum Virtual Fundraiser – September 14th through 18th

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. However, like the majority of our non-profit organizations on the island, those essential fundraisers have been put on hold or cancelled all together.

Please join their virtual fundraiser, “Hats off to History”, which is a five-day event, sharing the island’s history from 1940 through 1980—the event begins on September 14th, and runs until September 18th. Each day will feature a different decade with videos showcasing material, links to oral history, music playlists and recipes from the day’s featured decade, as well as a link to fun family activities. There is no set time to tune into each day’s featured decade, as the content will run on the website for the entirety of the day.

Click here for the link to the fundraiser.

The fundraising goal is $50,000.00; however, Board Members and Friends of the Museum have come together to offer a total of $25,000.00 in matching funds—meaning all donations made up to this amount will have double the impact. With our community’s support, BIHM will not only survive, but it will thrive, and support and donations will keep our island history alive for generations to come.

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.

BIHM is now partially reopened to the public. They are operating with a reduced schedule, Fri-Sun 10am-4pm. Please visit their website for the most current updates and information, or click this link to view a short video by Executive Director, Brianna Kosowitz.

They also launched their very first blog (click here to view the blog), which provides an inside perspective on the work they are doing. In addition, they’ve increased the frequency with which they release historical content via email and social media. You can sign up for their twice 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 and logos used with permission from BIHM

Scroll to Top