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The Island County Historical Society is a steward of the past of Island County, Washington. History is always being created. The Society prides itself on caring for the vulunerable cultural history of our community. Tourists and the Island County residents enjoy experiences the history that the Society works to preserve and share. The Society is comprised of both a museum and an archives.
The Historical Society opened the doors to our first museum in 1963. The General Telephone Company donated their exchange building in Coupeville. The Island County Historical Museum has an extensive collection of Island County, WA history. Artifacts, photographs and materials in our collection span many thousands of years. Our museum is informative and evolving. We continue to work on improvements and updates to our collections. Our staff and volunteers strive to be good stewards of history and to provide the public with valuable information and education.
We are constantly striving to create innovative and interactive exhibits to highlight Island County history and culture.
In addition to museum operations, ICHS is active in historic preservation projects, including the Camano Island Schoolhouse, the Ebey's Prairie "Sheepherders House", the 1855 Alexander Blockhouse fortress (on museum grounds), and is working to gather a comprehensive historic farm building inventory for Whidbey and Camano Islands.
ICHS hosts regular historical programming and special events, including school tours and outreach, oral history gathering, and other interpretive activities. History is constantly being created and we are on the front lines, provided and preserving vital information for the community.
The Janet Enzmann Archives and Research Library has an extensive collection of Island County, WA history. Materials entrusted to our care span hundreds of years and include photographs, newspapers, journals, maps and oral histories. Our team is currently working on improvements and updates to our collections. Our team of volunteers and archivists strive to be good stewards of history and to provide the public with access to their history.
We continue to strive for an organized and accessible database for the public to use and appreciate. We are working to digitize over 16,000 photographs and growing. We are the contact point for many researchers searching for a greater knowledge of Island County History. We have been working to organize our collection in order to create a digital database and in future a digital archives. We have come so far but we still have some distance to go.
Without our volunteers we would not be the thriving archive we are today. Our volunteers have done more than we ever thought was possible. We appreciate all they have done and continue to do.