Recognized for their work in educating the public about Fall City’s history, the Fall City Historical Society’s board, from left, Donna Driver-Kummen, Paula Spence, Anne Neilson, Ruth Pickering and Cindy Parks accept the Spellman award from King County Executive Dow Constantine. Leanne Adcox, not pictured, is also on the board. (King County photo by Ned Ahrens)

Saving Valley history: Two Valley efforts recognized with John D. Spellman awards for historic preservation

  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017 7:47pm
  • Life

King County’s History Preservation program recognized two parties from the Snoqualmie Valley, the Fall City Historical Society and Valley resident Diana Keller, for their efforts in historic education and rehabilitation Oct. 18 in Kirkland, at the annual presentation of the county’s John D. Spellman Awards for Achievement in Historic Preservation.

Presenting the awards were King County Executive Dow Constantine and Historic Preservation Officer Jennifer Meisner.

The all-volunteer Fall City Historical Society received the award for education, for its work in educating the public about Fall City’s heritage and historic resources.

Fall City got its start in 1869 as a trading post known as The Landing, which could be reached only by flatboat up the Snoqualmie River. The rich history that unfolds from that modest beginning is attentively documented and shared by the Fall City Historical Society.

Established in 2006 under the umbrella of the Fall City Community Association, the Fall City Historical Society became an independent non-profit organization in 2009. Since that time, its active board has implemented an ambitious program of educational activities, events, and projects.

The society publishes a monthly history column in the Fall City Neighbors Newsletter, manages a reference library, presents historical displays at community events, and produces an annual calendar full of interesting historical information.

The society’s popular interpretative signage program lets visitors to Fall City get a glimpse into its past. As the primary steward of the 1886 Fall City Hop Shed, the society ensures this landmark structure is stabilized and appropriately interpreted.

Agricultural landmarks

Keller received the award for rehabilitation, for her work in saving and rehabilitating the 1910 Hill Crest Barn in Carnation, used for draft horses and equipment storage.

Preserving the Snoqualmie Valley’s iconic barns is a way of helping the larger community connect to agriculture and to sustain farms through tourism activities. However, changes in farming technology and the high cost of maintaining these structures has made it increasingly challenging for property owners to preserve them.

As a result, many of these cherished community landmarks are threatened or have been lost.

When Diana Keller returned home from college three years ago, she was determined not to let that happen to the Hill Crest Barn, which has been in her family since the early 1970s.

In 2016, Diana was awarded a King County “Barn Again” grant to lift the barn and install a new foundation and floor slab. Completing this project in record time, Diana received a second grant to replace siding and repaint the barn its current barn red. Contributing both cash match and much of the labor herself, Diana has restored this important community asset and visual landmark in the Snoqualmie Valley.

Awards were presented in four categories, preservation planning, restoration, education, and rehabilitation.

The City of Kirkland was recognized for preservation planning, for its work in identifying and planning for the protection of Kirkland’s historic resources.

Stacey Kroeze was recognized for restoration, for her work in restoring the historic Barton House in Kent.Learn more about King County History Preservation program at

Diana Keller, center, received the Spellman Award for Rehabilitation from King County Executive Dow Constantine, left, and King County Historic Preservation OfficerJennifer Meisner. (King County photo by Ned Ahrens)

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