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Showing posts from May, 2019

Memorial Day

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While unofficially marking the start of summer, Memorial Day is a national holiday devoted to honoring American war dead in all conflicts.  Many of us will remember and honor other loved ones.  What could be a more important day for genealogists?

I had the privilege of visiting Arlington National Cemetery last weekend.  Nearly 5000 people are expected to visit on Memorial Day.   American flags will decorate the graves and niches of the 400,000 fallen heroes and their family members resting there. 

Local ceremonies will be held on Monday at Tahoma National Cemetery at 1 pm, at Renton Memorial Park at 1 pm, and at the Auburn Veteran’s Memorial at 11 am. The Kent Historical Society will be open 12:00 – 4:00 pm Monday for a special observance of Memorial Day.

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Reminder:  Military records on My Heritage.com and Fold 3 are free to research today.

I am pleased to announce that MaryLynn Strickland has accepted the position of SKCGS Blog Editor effective June 1.

The …

A New Museum is Opening in South King County!

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By Cheri Sayer
The Highline Historical Society has a well-established presence in South King County, and soon it will have a new home and it’s very own Museum!  Founded as the Burien Heritage Society in 1994, it soon merged with the Friends of the Highline School District and became the Highline Historical Society.  They have been an active society, with a small exhibit space at the SeaTac City Hall for quite a few years.  The Highline community has been the largest area in the State of Washington without a local history museum, so this effort has been a long-time goal of the Society.

The community of Highline is not a governmental entity, but a school district, known locally as “401” or the Highline School District.  The Society defines Highline as being bounded on the north by Seattle city limits, on the west by Puget Sound, and on the south at 252nd Street, just at Salt Water State Park.  Hwy 5 forms most of the eastern boundary.  It covers White Center, Burien, Normandy Park, SeaT…

Earth Day 2019

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By Barbara Boye Mattoon Trees
1 The longer I live on this planet we call Earth, the more concerned I become about how we are treating it.  I have always been aware of Earth Day but have never participated in activities surrounding it.  This year I began to think about how Earth Day relates to genealogy, and that train of thought led me to trees.

Why are trees important to the inhabitants of planet Earth?  Here are just a few of the reasons:

Trees take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen for us to breathe.Trees take in dust and other pollutants.Wood was the first fuel and is still used by about half the world’s population for heat and cooking.2Trees provide wood for building, furniture, sports equipment, and wood pulp for making paper.Quinine, aspirin and other drugs are derived from tree bark.Oranges, apples, nuts and a myriad of other foods are provided by trees.The USDA, Forest Service states that trees properly placed around a building can reduce air conditioning costs by up to 30% …

Franklin Mine Gem #3

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Can you identify the men in this photo?

This photograph was taken sometime in the 1920’s or 1930’s in Franklin, King County, Washington. It is of two men who are probably not miners, due to the style of their dress. The standing man is simply in trousers and no particular footwear, meaning he and probably the second man were visitors to the mine.

Perhaps they were businessmen or engineers come to visit to see if the mine was worth keeping open.


The mine entrance is to the “Gem Mine #3”, the third mine of this name. The first one was the biggest and was on the Green River. The second was a bit further down river and this one, the third, was the smallest and was above the river, between it and the railroad tracks, below the present-day track to the Franklin Cemetery.

This photo is part of a larger photo, the rest of which is trees and background, and which hangs in the Black Diamond Historical Museum. The “gas” sign was often posted even if there was no danger of gas as it scared people…

Hunting WWII Gold Star Families

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by Joy Etienne, sole niece of a KIA radio operator
This is dedicated to WWII families left in the dark, abandoned in joyous victory, still wondering what happened to their loved ones; to the unsung heroic men of the 8th AA 2nd AD 445th BG 701st BS like cooks, riggers, mechanics, crew chiefs, nose artists, doctors and chaplains; and, to good French citizens who never forget American’s sons.

2/3/19 Update

We found Schum.  No Nazi slit his throat. 

It’s S/Sgt Walter Boyd Schum, Sunon Square Dance’s 20-year-old left waist gunner.  Altoona’s native son goes back generations from an early settler, a civil war veteran, great grandson of Henry Schum, founder of Altoona’s Evangelical United Brethren/Methodist Church, the same church Walter attended from his home at 120 E 5th Avenue. He’s a proficient marksman trained stateside for other bomber weapons, a gunner on 4 different bombers, and an English crash landing survivor with one other Sunon Square Dance airman.

Walter’s the son of a WWI vet…