About the Issaquah History Museums and Staff
About the Museums
The Issaquah History Museums (IHM) is a nonprofit organization that operates the Gilman Town Hall Museum and the Issaquah Depot Museum, as well as the Issaquah Valley Trolley and numerous exhibits throughout the city. The organization’s mission is “to discover, preserve and share the history of Issaquah and its environs.”
IHM puts on events and history programs throughout the year, including interactive demonstrations, lectures and discussion, and local hikes and walking tours of historic Issaquah. IHM supports local and regional schools and student clubs through museum tours and history kits that cover a variety of topics pertinent to teachers in the classroom and beyond. A Family Activity Guide that promotes family interaction through education is available at the Depot Museum, where riding the Issaquah Valley Trolley is a popular activity.
Meet the Staff
Julia Belgrave, Archives Specialist
Julia joined the IHM as a volunteer in 2008 and became a staff member in 2010. Julia’s main project is building and maintaining the Digital Collections [link to Digital Collections], which includes in-depth cataloging of letters, diaries, and other documents in our collection. You can access more of this background material through our blog [link]. Julia would rather have a lunch date with Ferol Tibbetts than with Minnie Wilson. She lives in Sammamish with her husband and kids, Max & Sadie.
Polly Good, Administrative Coordinator
Polly joined the IHM as a volunteer in 2014 and became a staff members in 2015. Polly is a Renaissance Gal; she holds a PhD in history, and currently has a second life teaching match at Bellevue Community College. At the museums, Polly holds down the administrative fort, making it easier for everyone else to do their job. Polly also manages the our rental space at the Issaquah Depot [link to rental page]. She lives in downtown Issaquah with canine companion, Teddy.
Julie Hunter, Collections Manager
Formerly the Registrar at the Maine State Museum, Julie joined the IHM as a volunteer in 2006 and became a staff member in 2007. Julie cares for our artifacts and photographs from the moment they arrive at the museum. In addition to tracking what and where everything is, Julie follows museum best practices to ensure the long-term care of our collection. Julie lives in Newcastle, a former coal town on the other side of Cougar Mountain, with her husband and two furry feline wards, Melon and Cloud.
Erica Maniez, Museum Director
Erica was the first employee hired by the organization. She began her tenure in 1999, a few weeks after earning her Master’s in Museology. She has been chief cook and bottle-washer ever since. Erica’s favorite projects focus on telling stories about Issaquah’s past, something she gets to do on history hikes [link], speaker’s presentations [link], and kids’ tours [link]. Erica also has a soft spot for chickens, and for Issaquah’s poultry-farming past. She lives in Seattle with a husband, one cat, three chickens, and children Dylan and Conrad.
Dorota Rahn, Volunteer Manager
Dorota joined the staff in 2015. Prior to her work here, she served as the Volunteer Coordinator at the Renton History Museums for 11 years.. If you think you might like to volunteer [link to volunteer page], Dorota is the person to call! Dorota also coordinates our museum tour [link to Museum Tour] program. Dorota lives in Sammamish with her husband and three daughters, Natalie, Charlotte, and Sylvia.
Want to join us? Click to see opportunities >