Bainbridge Island Historical Museum in Seattle, WA
The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum is a fascinating place to visit if you are interested in the history of Seattle. Located on an island just off of Seattle’s shore, this museum contains artifacts from the city’s past and gives insights into life at the turn of the century. The most exciting thing about this museum? It was built on top of a former garbage dump!
History of Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum was established in 1988 to preserve the history of one of Seattle’s original pioneer communities. Today, several historic buildings and homes still stand on the island, located right across from downtown Seattle. It hosts several guided walking tours through its small town center. Visitors can participate in activities like apple-picking at the orchard during the fall months; it also has an annual summertime Heritage Days festival each August. One popular attraction for children visiting this museum: ghost hunting! The kids love hearing about all these ghosts who used to live here and now supposedly haunt some of the houses around town (like Mary Ann Nichols!) So many people have reported catching glimpses of apparitions peeking out from behind beds and showers that one man even decided to hold a seance to try to contact the spirits! So far, no luck. However, with Halloween right around the corner, there’s always a chance that someone will be successful.
The Bainbridge Island Historical Museum was originally called the “Bainbridge Park’s Pioneer Farmstead.” It opened in 1967. The museum is a two-acre farm that features an 1890s pioneer home, outbuildings, and barnyard animals. Visitors can tour this site to learn about life in Bainbridge from the late 1800s until the 1950s. The museum also hosts several events and special programs, such as holiday celebrations in December and May Day picnics in May.
They feature exhibits focusing on 19th-century logging camp life, local shipbuilding history, and the Duwamish River tidal flats before they were reclaimed to form Harbor Island Park (now part of Terminal 46), where cargo ships dock today for unloading their goods—most notably airplanes made by Boeing–before being trucked or shipped across the country via railroads and waterways.
The museum is in the process of partnering with other organizations in Seattle that focus on early 20th-century logging and manufacturing, including City University’s Nordic Heritage Museum and MOHAI, The Museum of History & Industry. They have several historic photos from the early 20th century showing how the Duwamish River estuary was transformed into industrial land by 1903.
Facts about the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
The most exciting thing about this museum? It was built on top of a former garbage dump! Bainbridge Island Historical Museum in Seattle, WA, is located on a small island just south of the city’s downtown district. The museum was chartered by the Washington State Legislature and opened its doors to visitors for a grand opening celebration in May 2004. It currently houses over 40 collections, including pieces from several Native American tribes and objects from settlers who were among the city’s original inhabitants.
The museum has a unique collection of artifacts and special exhibits that tell the stories of this region’s people, places, and events. They also host many community activities related to local history throughout the year, including lectures, storytelling sessions for children, living history demonstrations such as 19th-century logging camp life, and holiday celebrations like Christmas in July.
In the summertime, visitors can participate in a heritage festival each August or visit during the apple-picking season to pick fruit from the orchard.
Ghost history tours are also top-rated around Halloween. Visitors are given ghost hunting equipment to help them determine whether any ghosts are haunting the area around the town. The museum staff even hosts seances at various times during the year. They invite people to bring objects associated with ghost sightings to see whether any spirits will communicate through these items.
What to see on Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
There are many more things to see at Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, including a model ship, weapons used during WWII, and Native American items.
The first thing you will notice about this museum is that it has a fascinating background. It started in 1969 when a retired Navy man bought an abandoned schoolhouse and turned it into the museum you see today.
- The first thing to do on Bainbridge Island Historical Museum has checked out the model ship, which was built by one of the men who worked for Boeing.
- The second thing to do at Bainbridge Island Historical Museum has seen an old locomotive known as “Old Number One.” This train was the first one that traveled through Snoqualmie Pass.
- The third and final stop on Bainbridge Island Historical Museum is a room filled with artifacts from Seattle’s 1962 World Fair. There are many more things to see in this museum, and it is a great place to visit when you are in Seattle.
- The next stop on Bainbridge Island Historical Museum is a room filled with artifacts from Seattle’s 1962 World Fair.
Things to avoid on Bainbridge Island Historical Museum
Do not touch the museum exhibits
Do not take pictures without permission from a staff member.
And do NOT, under any circumstances, call up the ghosts that haunt the island!
Also, do not make any sudden moves or loud sounds as you will scare the ghosts away.
And lastly, do not even THINK about asking for a ghost tour!
Location and Admission
Bainbridge Island Historical Museum is located at 215 Ericksen Ave NE, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110, United States. The museum is open Friday through Sunday, from 10 am to about 4 pm. Admission is free.
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