2023 Annual Meeting

Join us for our Annual meeting on Sunday, November 12, 2023 at 1pm! This year it will be held in the Northwest Railway Museum’s Train Shed Exhibit Hall at 9320 Stone Quarry Rd in Snoqualmie.

In addition to board elections, this year’s meeting will feature a series of talks on Trains, Planes and Boats in the Snoqualmie Valley!

Strategic Plan Update

Additionally, there will be a brief Strategic Plan update. The Museum has gone through several eras: its founding period with Ada Hill with the Museum in the school, the founding of the Historical Society moved into its first home and then its current location, and our most recent era with many members serving for the last 30 years. We knew we were in a transition period a few years ago, and the board began laying a foundation for a new generation to take over the Museum. As part of this transition, plans were created to recruit new voices to the board and to begin creating a Strategic Plan to guide the changes that would need to come.

This spring, the Museum began creating that plan with assistance from Glick Davis & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in nonprofit management. This summer work included:

  • A review of key organizational documents, including financial, directional, policy, and program.
  • Personal interviews conducted with 8 board members, 1 board emeritus, and the sole staff member
  • A 20-minute, 33-question community survey completed by over 350 valley residents
  • A 90-minute focus group with other local museums, many of which seek to expand existing relationships with SVHM to partner with, including Tolt, Duvall, and Fall City historical societies, NW Railway Museum, PSE Hydroelectric Museum, Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and 4Culture,
  • 4 benchmarking interviews with other local historical museums + 4 document reviews of other local historical museums
  • Facilitated discussions with the Strategic Planning Committee and Board of the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society.

Additional partner meetings are underway this fall, with government leaders from the Snoqualmie Tribe, the cities of Snoqualmie and North Bend, and the Si View Parks District before the final plan is created.

Key Takeaways so far include:

The Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum has been small and insufficiently resourced for decades.  Its physical capacity is too small for growth/displays, and it stands a greater risk of collection loss from fire, climate control, moisture, and other factors than a more modern facility with safeguards and protections (including climate control vault space).

There is significant interest, however, in growth toward a vision that addresses and, to a large extent, satisfies stakeholder interest and, indeed, pent-up demand for the many elements included in the Plan.  This interest has been evident in the responses to a community survey and at a focus group participated in by 19 potential partners that have collection storage/interpretive needs and who are desiring a coordinated approach to strengthen all – Snoqualmie Tribe, other historical societies, topically focused museums, Mountains-to-Sound Greenway, along with discussions with current and past Board and staff members.

The Museum holds many Tribal artifacts.  Ethically and practically, developing a stronger working partnership with the Snoqualmie Tribe is important.

The demographics of Snoqualmie/North Bend/Fall City mean that by partnering with the adjacent communities of Duvall and Carnation/Tolt and unincorporated areas, the project has the potential for approximately 7 times the population base.

The Draft Plan envisions and lays out an initial approach for:

  • Growing Museum capacity to enable the resources for future growth
  • A target annual operating budget in the $400,000 range with a small number of full-time and part-time paid professional staff, by 2029
  • Five phases of planning and implementation to achieve these goals, with the immediate next phase allowing the opportunity to refine the vision based on a realistic assessment of SVHS capacity and make a well-informed decision as to whether to launch a full-scale campaign.
  • A capital facility in the 10,000 square foot range and a capital cost of up to $10M. 
  • A framework for interpretive and operational plans for post 2028