The Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum came into being as the result of the initial work of one woman, Ada Snyder Hill. She came into the Valley in 1910 to teach school and early on began collecting the historic items that made up the exhibit she arranged for the 1939 celebration of the platting of North Bend. They were the nucleus for the present day collection that includes cherished artifacts and anecdotes from all corners of the Snoqualmie Valley.
The first home for the items was a room in the North Bend High School where Mrs. Hill was a teacher. There, for nearly the next decade, she continued to add items as they were donated and, without help, catalogued them, arranged the displays and took visitors on tours. Mrs. Hill also interviewed and wrote down the stories and histories of those families who settled in the Valley in those early days.
In 1960 the school needed the museum room for classroom space, so the community rallied to the need for a home for the now large collection, and the Snoqualmie Valley Historical Society was formed. Funds were sought to put up a small building and memberships invited to help support the infant organization. A small piece of ground adjacent to the library was made available by the City of North Bend, and a concrete block building 16’x30’ was ready for occupancy and moved into by that fall. Five years later the need was urgent for more space. The community again contributed sufficient funds, and the building was doubled in length.
In 1975 the Board of Trustees investigated the possibility of obtaining this present building, as it had been declared surplus property by the State Department of Highways. The size, location, and concrete construction made it ideal for the continually enlarging collection. After two years of negotiations with the State and the City of North Bend, and two more years of fund‑raising and volunteer help to remodel it suitable for museum purposes, the collection was packed up and moved and the museum reopened April 27, 1979.
Each progressive step has been generously supported by the whole community, demonstrating their interest, recognition and approval of the preservation of the history of this Valley.
It is presently housed at 320 Bendigo Blvd S in North Bend in the Gardiner Weeks Memorial Park. The collection includes the ledger from the Meadowbrook Hotel, William Taylor’s hat and gun, the Fall City Study Club scrapbooks and memorabilia; among many amazing photographs and artifacts. A visit will give you a unique prospective on the evolving Snoqualmie Valley history.