After years of collecting and preserving the history of Carnation and the surrounding Valley, the Tolt Historical Society has moved into a new location and is preparing to open its doors to the public.
Formed in 1982, the Tolt Historical Society has worked to preserve as much of the history of the area as possible. Originally located at the Sno-Valley Senior Center, the historical society moved its collection displays into a barn at Carnation Farms in 2008. due to anticipated changes at Carnation Farms, the historical society has made the move to the historic Hjertoos House, a King County Historical Landmark.
Historical Society member Jackie Norris said The Hjertoos House was built in 1907 by historical society member Rogers Thorson’s great grandfather. Thorson, who owns the Carnation Tree Farm and the house, offered to host the museum as the new location when the search began.
Over the course of the last year, historical society members have been working to properly package and transfer the collection of artifacts to the new location. Jackie Norris, a member of the historical society, said the museum began packing in January and transferred most of the collection to the house in July. Since then, they have been working on setting up cabinets, organizing documents and files, and preparing to open the first floor of the house as a museum where the public can look at several pieces from the collection.
To prepare for the move, hundreds of items were systematically numbered and labeled. King County cultural funding agency 4Culture hired interns from the University of Washington’s Museology graduate program to help with physical inventory and research. Their help on location during the move made the process significantly easier, Norris said.
The historical society expects the Hjertoos House to be officially open in the spring of 2019.
Norris said the new location makes the historical society much more visible in the community as they are next to the Tolt McDonald Park and the tree farm. The historical society is excited to continue its work in the city.
“People like to talk about their history and families, see an artifact and it reminds them of home,” Norris said. “There is something about history that gives us depth, that gives us roots, that gives us comfort, that kind of completes us. (Visitors) love to show it to their children and love to say ‘this is what I had, this is what I played with when I was little.’”