Museum History

The History of the Shoreline Historical Museum

The non-profit Shoreline Historical Museum was begun in 1975 as a Bicentennial Project for the community that was encompassed by the Shoreline School District. At that time, the United States government charged every community across the US with accomplishing a commemorative project that would be a permanent reminder of the birth our country.  Many communities chose to start local historical institutions where the history that makes up this great nation could be both preserved and used by the public for educational purposes.

Shoreline School District Superintendent Bill Stevenson, teacher Kay Bartholomew, and preservationist and historian Barbara Monks were three of the key players in getting the Museum started. Another local organization, The Shoreline Historical Society, contributed greatly to the project, as did countless teachers and community members.  Bill Stevenson and the school board authorized the use of the historic 1912 Ronald School at 749 North 175th Street as the home of the new museum. This building, which had been slated for demolition, was given a new life as the Museum, and eventually was sold to the museum to keep in trust for the community.

The Museum refurbished the building, adding ADA restrooms and an elevator to make the building completely accessible, and began to restore the building to its former historical beauty. In 2008 the Ronald School became an official King County/City of Shoreline Landmark, a proud touchstone for the community.

After 35 years, the school district purchased the Ronald School building back from the Museum for re-purposing as part of a high school, and the Museum moved to its current location at 18501 Linden Avenue North, just ten blocks from its original site. Today, the Museum is poised to take its mission to the next phase, creating something new for the community. Click here to see what’s in store for the new Museum!