Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Two meetings for August

The internship is coming to an end this month. I'm working on the last paper now. But that doesn't mean that our project at the Locks is slowing down at all. Last month our volunteer group has decided to use the proper name of the facility, so we are now the "Friends of the Hiram Chittenden Locks." We've also had some new volunteers join our group since last months meeting. We will have two meetings this month, August 6th and August 27th, both at 6:30 pm. On one of those meetings we'll have a tour of our artifacts stored in the Administrative Building, and on the other we'll tour the displays at the Visitor's Center. Of course we are working on the business of setting up a new historical society, so we will also be discussing bylaws and new project goals for the group. Anyone interested in volunteer and joining our group is welcome to attend. For more information, contact our new President, Susan Connole at susanatthelocks@gmail.com. Here's our new mission statement, adopted at the last meeting:

The Friends of the Chittenden Locks endeavors to identify, preserve, and make available records and papers, images, film and artifacts of enduring historical value concerning the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Carl S. English, Jr. Botanical Garden, and the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The Friends perform this mission as individual volunteers for the Seattle District of the US Army Corps of Engineers with the common bonds of a desire to document the history of these sites and serve the local community.
The Hiram Chittenden Locks, known locally as the Ballard Locks, has been an institution in the area since it's inception. So much so that it has made it's way into the local pop culture many times. Here's an example found by one of our members on YouTube. Back in the 80s and 90s there was a local sketch comedy show on Seattle television called Almost Live. This was a very funny show, in my humble opinion, and they took turns poking fun at each of Seattle's unique neighborhoods. Here is a segment of the show that has a go at Ballard's Nordic Heritage, and reputation (at the time) for a lack of sophistication. There are several scenes in this short clip of the Locks and a couple of USACE employees even get to make a cameo appearance. Click here to watch it on YouTube.

So far since the start of this project last spring, we have scanned approximately 1200 photos and 2500 slides! Thank you to all our volunteers who have come in to do some scanning. We still have a long way to go, we're not even at the halfway point yet. I thought I would share a couple of images from our slide collection this month. The first image is of the rhodies in bloom to remind you that the Hiram Chittenden Locks is also home to the Carl English Garden. Our second image might come under the category of "strange things seen going through the Locks." It's a house being moved by barge. Both images are provided courtesy of the US Army Corps of Engineers and were scanned by Friends of the Hiram Chittenden Locks.