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50 Year History of the Organization

Maple Valley Historical Society Timeline


Vinemaplevalley got its name from George Ames, C.O. Russell, and Henry Sidebotham in 1879. The name was changed to Maplevalley about 1885. The railroad made it easier for homesteaders to access the land and then the population started to increase. A store was built in 1891 and sold to W.D. Gibbon. The name “Maple Valley” covered a large area in unincorporated King County in 1972. It included Maple Valley, Hobart, Ravensdale, Lake Retreat, Lake Wilderness, Lake Lucerne, Pipe Lake, Spring Lake, Shadow Lake, part of Lake Sawyer, Lake Francis, and Cedar River from Landsburg to almost Renton.


The following is the timeline for the formation of the Maple Valley Historical Society:

8/23/1972 Need exists for forming of active historical group in Valley area – article Voice of the Valley 9/13/1972 Valley citizens express interest in forming historical society – article Voice of the Valley

9/27/1972 Historical group to be formed here – article Voice of the Valley

10/11/1972 Historical group to be launched soon – article Voice of the Valley

10/23/1972 Formation meeting at Maple Valley Library. Miss Dusalina Cavaletto, Renton Historical Society, explained the do’s and dont’s of acquiring historical materials. Discussed establishing geographical boundaries and finding an old building for a museum – article “Greater Maple Valley Historical Society (GMVHS) holds formation meeting” Voice of the Valley

11/14/1972 Historical group chooses officers – article Voice of the Valley

11/22/1972. Verna G. Norris, president; Ruth Knadle, vice-president; Marian Short, treasurer; Elaine Hansen, recording secretary; Madeleine Gesell, corresponding secretary. Sixteen attendees. Dues established at $2.00 per year.

1/16/1973 Meeting at Maple Valley Library. Identified faces in donated pictures. Prepared a historical sketch for the library’s Feb. 12th meeting for King County Librarian recitation group, the King’s Fools. The display case at the library had historical items and pioneer photos – article Voice of the Valley

11/24/1973. 2/28/1973 GMVHS voted to support the King County Park Department to take over the vacated Maple Valley Grade School in hopes of using some of the space for historical materials – article Voice of the Valley 2/28/1973.

9/18/1974 GMVHS finds home for Maple Valley’s first fire engine, sold in 1955 and repurchased in 1968 for restoration. It was stored at Bob Soushek’s residence and moved to Fred Brunton’s residence. 1926 Howard Cooper fire engine – article Voice of the Valley. 1975 “Historical Sketch of the Greater Maple Valley Area” compiled by Laura Lorenz, historical society member – article Voice of the Valley

7/28/1982 1/1976 GMVHS dropped the Greater from its name. Changed to the Maple Valley Historical Society (MVHS). 1979 Museum moved to one room in the “Old Maple Valley Grade School”, known as Tahoma School Administration Building, 23015 SE 216th Place, Maple Valley WA 98038 on a ten (10) year lease.

6/22/1981 MVHS incorporated in Washington State as a non-profit corporation. 1

2/1981 The first Maple Valley Historical Society Newsletter was published.

7/28/1982 MVHS seeks items for donations and new volunteers and members meet at the Greater Maple Valley Community Center (GMVCC).

2/21/1983 Meeting at GMVCC. Show and Tell Time.

3/20/1983 Kjris Lund, King County Preservation Officer. Slide show “A Measure of Time. Landmarks of King County and other tells of early days.

6/29/1983 MVHS collected histories of families to gather info for Washington State 1989 Centennial. From this info a book called Greater Maple Valley Family Record Book will be printed. 1984 MVHS printed a booklet called, “Maple Valley Family Histories.”

3/17/1985 Gala to celebrate progress toward the building of the Maple Valley Museum at 2 p.m. at the Maple Valley Community Center, 22010 SE 248th, Maple Valley. Architect’s drawings were shown of the proposed development of the “Maple Valley Village” for the Maple Valley Historical Society site near the GMVCC – article in Voice of the Valley.

7/10/1985 Expanded from a One Room Museum to the Third Floor Museum at the old Maple Valley Grade School – Tahoma School Administration Building – article in Voice of the Valley.

6/1/1985 The newsletter was renamed to the Maple Valley Bugle. 8/29/1987 Old Village Festival sponsored by MVHS - Afghan raffle, 1926 Howard Cooper, arts and crafts displays, Cornucopia Band and German Brass Band, and bow and arrow games. 1989 Puget Power markers dedicated set in quarry rock (granite).

7/22/1989 at 10 a.m. for Maple Valley on the Maxwell Road near Spencer’s Store.

7/22/1989 at 11 a.m. for Hobart at the Iverson Store (Hobart Store) near the post office entrance.

7/29/1989 at 10 a.m. for Ravensdale at the site of the last mine used.

7/29/1989 at 11 a.m. for Selleck at the old schoolhouse. 1992 Fire Engine Museum sheetrock and painting completed. This museum was originally going to be named, “Fire Equipment Museum.”

11/1999 Program for veterans, first one. Released the MVHS publication “Uncle Sam Wants You”. 2/21/2000 MVHS antiques evaluations by Joe Lawson & Frank Hamilton of Auction House – Tacoma.

6/9/2000 MVHS Fire Engine Museum dedication and reopening. Mona Pickering, president. Display 1926 Howard Cooper Fire Engine.

7/18/2000 King County Council – Ron Sims approved $50,000 for restoration of Gibbon/Mezzavilla Store.

10/15/2000 Started school 3rd grade tours at Fire Engine Museum.

10/17/2000 MVHS program – The Vanishing Town of Taylor.

1/16/2001 Monthly program “Old Postcards”.

2/7/2001 City of Maple Valley recognized as Millennium City for their support in restoration of Gibbon/Mezzavilla Store.

6/6/2001 Orders for historical tiles to be etched were placed to be installed in the Memorial Walk between the Gibbon and Fire Engine Museum.

8/5/2001 Annual picnic first Sunday in August, every year.

9/16/2001 Annual Ravensdale reunion at private museum, Melby’s Museum of Mechanical Art.

9/30/2001 Joint Development & Cooperative Use Agreement with King County expired. It stated that King County owned the Park and the Fire Engine Museum.

1/1/2002 Dick Peacock takes reins as president of MVHS.

5/8/2002 Accepted into Crossing Boundaries program in King County enabling MVHS to submit 400 photos to MOHAI and UW online records.

6/19/2002 King County Landmarks & Heritage Commission Grant $5000 to upgrade cataloging system. Purchased Past Perfect III software.

8/4/2002 MVHS Annual Picnic – books for sale – Family Recollections, One Hundred Years Along the Cedar River, Uncle Sam Wants You, Wood & Iverson Loggers of Tiger Mountain.

9/15/2002 Ravensdale Reunion at GMVCC.

8/16/2003 All 3 museums open on 1st & 3rd Saturdays.

4/15/2007 Hobart Reunion featuring the families of Hobart pioneers, Rudolph and Julie (Gradishnick) Grady and Olga (Grady) and Rudy Petchnick.

3/20/2013 10-year agreement between the MVHS and City of Maple Valley signed. The city owns the Fire Engine Museum and the Gibbon/Mezzavilla Store and the property they reside on.

9/2014 Created a Facebook account.

8/2014 Building project plan submitted to build storage building in the Lake Wilderness Park to house the contents of the Third Floor Museum at the Old Maple Valley School. Phase One – Summer 2014-Summer 2015. Phase Two – Summer 2015-Fall/Winter 201y. Phase Three – Summer/Fall 2019-TBD. 30’ x 60’ one level $67,872.00

7/3/2018 Trees removed from new site where storage building was built.

8/7/2018 New storage building is underway – article Voice of the Valley

7/21/2018 Last Look Open House at the old Maple Valley Grade School built in 1920 on the third floor. 23015 SE 216th Way, Maple Valley WA 98038

9/15/2018 Speaker program – Gary Tarbox Pacific NW Railroad Archives

10/2018 Storage building painted Row House with trim Gray Hills.

11/10/2018 The move of the museum contents on the Third Floor of the old Maple Valley Grade School to the new storage building next to the Fire Engine Museum. Office files, including accessioned artifacts and accessioned photos were moved into the office at the back of the Fire Engine Museum. Board members, volunteer members, and several members of Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints helped with the move.

1/21/2019 Ribbon cutting ceremony for the new storage building and recognition of members who had helped throughout 2018.

12/2020 WD Gibbon Store Landmark Designation by King County Historic Preservation Program and Landmarks Commission.

7/24/2022 Pop up tent for Tahoma High School Alumni Picnic at Mud Mountain Dam, Enumclaw WA.

8/6/2022 Maple Valley Historical Society 50th Anniversary at the Gibbon/Mezzavilla Store and Fire Engine Museum. Programs Maple Valley Speaker Series in conjunction with GMVCC; Hobart Reunion, Maple Valley Days; Annual Alumni Picnic; Ravensdale Reunion; Third Grade Tahoma School District class tours and scavenger hunt; Truck or Treat; Santa pictures; van tours, video. Tiles for the Memorial Walkway.

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