GKHS Scholarship Awards

The Greater Kent Historical Society is pleased to announce this years recipients of the GKHS Scholarship, GKHS Scholarship honoring Harold Vickrey, and the Harold Vickrey Memorial Scholarship.

Gabriella (Ella) Johnson, the Greater Kent Historical Society Scholarship.

Justin Englund, the Greater Kent Historical Society Scholarship honoring Harold Vickrey .

Connor White, the Harold Vickrey Memorial Scholarship.

Natalie Neumeier, Honorable Mention for both the Greater Kent Historical Society and the Harold Vickrey Scholarship.

The Greater Kent Historical Society wishes all these graduates of the Kent School District much success in their chosen careers.

The start of their university years will be unanticipated challenge that all of them are prepared to face.

The museum is Closed!!

Due to the current outbreak of the Coronavirus, the museum will be closed to walk-in visitors until further notice. Phone messages may be left, and we will get back to you as soon as we can. There is a long road of uncertainty ahead for all of us. We greatly appreciate your support and patronage all these years. As a community, we will get through this trying time. The museum is taking this time to update or re-create our website. We will come back brighter and stronger, our community as well, in all aspects of our lives. Be strong, be safe and be kind to one another.

25th Anniversary Review

The Greater Kent Historical Society and Museum is proud to present the 25th Anniversary. It honored the early leaders of this organization. It will be held at the Kent Senior Activity Center on 600 East Smith St., Saturday December 1st, 2018 from 1:00p.m-4:00p.m. This event has been lead by; Chuck Simpson,  Nancy Simpson, Eileen Lamphere, Carla Lux and Tom Baines. Special guests were invited such as the Kent Government and the Mayor of Kent, Dana Ralph. Walking in, the guests were given a Holiday Stocking to thank them for their attendance. Refreshment were served such as; coffee, cake and punch. A sit down area allowed the guests to enjoy the presentations.  Materials presented included;  photos, videos, movies and slideshows.  There were 4 DVD Audio Visuals; The Reenactment of Saar Cemetery, Ray Wrightons first ever walking tour, Parades of the 1940’s, Looping photos of the 100th anniversary of the Bereiter House, and the Dedication of the Blue Star Marker.


Carla Loux (middle), Karen Meador (right.

2 rooms showcased the history of The Greater Kent Historical Society dating back 25 years. The exhibit room provided  information on the functions that were held.  Some examples of the exhibits were; The Saar Cemetery, Carnation, 100 years of churches, 100 years of Schools,  Diversity of Kent, Experience Historical Kent and The Bereiter house and his family. The display room had boards such subjects as;  The Walking Tours of Old Downtown Kent The Riverboat Landings, and Fort Thomas, the exhibit on Landing of the military stockade on the Greenriver.


Toni Troutner (left), Nancy Simpson (middle), Dana Ralph (right).


Kent’s founding history was presented.  Some examples are as follows. In 1889 Washington became a state. The City of Kent is the 2nd city that incorporated. In 1990, 7 friends got together to form the first Old Timers Reunion. These members were: Al & Audrey Sells, Dorice Wolfrum, Rae Wrighton, Jim Bigger, Jack Beckbar, Connie Epperly Their first meeting was on the first floor of City Hall, which is now Wild Wheat, a cafe that serves breads and pastries. By the end of 1992, this group accumulated 38 members. As of 2000, this group had over 400 members. In June 30th, 1992, Experience Historical Kent had its first official meeting. As of March 1993, The Old Timers group officially incorporated and continues today in their 29th reunion!

An article was written about the 25th anniversary by Cheri Sayer, the publicity director of the South King County Genealogy Society. You can view her article here. http://skcgs.org/blog.html

The Dream Theater

This is the Dream Theater from 1912 in Kent, WA.

Silent movies were a great source of entertainment for the community. Before this, The Magic Lantern was a light source device that would project images on the wall. Many were hand painted and photographs. With the use of live music, and constantly moving pictures, theaters became very popular. The Dream Theater used a pianola to add music to the movie. Also called a piano player, it had pre-programmed music recorded on metallic rolls. But, the trick is that there has to be a pianola player to push the pedals of the instrument. That became the main source of employment for musicians back in this time. But, the pianola player had to be careful. On the opening night of a thriller show, the scenes would be so terrifying that the pianola player would stop playing out of shock! Therefore, you would never want to go to the opening night of a thriller, because you knew the music would be unpredictable.