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Events & Meetings

The Historical Society holds multiple meetings throughout the year. All are welcome to attend. We also publish a semi-annual newsletter.

Coming Events:

Ms. Alan in costume
(credit: livinghistorylectures.com)

Soldiers in Petticoats: The Struggles of the Suffragettes

Presented by: Tames Alan
To Be Determined

The current freedom of modern women began with the Suffragette movement and grew to encompass both Women’s Liberation and the Civil Rights movement. It took seven decades of ceaseless, fearless agitation by three generations of women activists in more than nine hundred local, state, and national campaigns to win the vote. These women were often ostracized by their families and churches for their suffrage stance; they were pelted with rotten eggs and pilloried in the press; they were imprisoned and force fed and beaten. In the process of challenging political norms and cultural taboos and gender stereotypes, the suffragists became adept politicians and great orators and extraordinary leaders.

Dressed as a Suffragette, actress, historian Tames Alan talks about the struggle of American women to gain the right to vote and the impact the Suffragettes had on child labor laws and other major issues of the era.


Washington's Undiscovered Feminists

Presented by Mayumi Tsutakawa
To Be Determined*

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, we will remember some of the remarkable, but often unsung, women of the Pacific Northwest. Meet five “woman warriors” in the arts and journalism from the past century whose stories inspire: pioneering photographer Imogen Cunningham, Black American jazz musician Ruby Bishop, Chinese American artist Priscilla Chong Jue, leftist journalist Anna Louise Strong, and Native American linguist Vi Hilbert.

Drawing on her own experience as an activist and writer, Mayumi Tsutakawa explores how these women inspired others and changed our state and our society.

This program is a partnership with Friends of the Mercer Island Library.

*Unfortunately we have had to cancel our spring programs. We are currently working with the two previously scheduled speakers, Tames Alan and Mayumi Tsutakawa, to find dates in the fall for their presentations. As previously planned, John Hughes, Chief Historian for the Washington Secretary of State's office will be speaking on September 30th, 7 PM at the Mercer Island Community Center. He is the author of Ahead of the Curve, profiles of 11 Washington women who have been blazing the trails since women in the Evergreen State gained the right to vote.

Some Past Events


  • November 24-- Tales of the Alchemysts Theatre presented three stories exploring the Jewish immigration experience of the early 1900's.

  • December 7-- Dorothy Wilhelm spoke of Puget Sound lore as told in her latest book True Tales of Puget Sound --true or not?


  • January 26-- Shanna Stevenson informed us of the history of Women in Washington fighting to win the vote, succeeding for Washington State in 1910.

  • February 26 -- Elaine Weiss, author of The Woman's Hour, spoke about women winning the right to vote in this 100th Anniversary year.


  • February 11- David Buerge spoke to us about his new book Chief Seattle and the Town That Took His Name.

  • March 8 - Mayumi Tsutakawa discussed Japanese Americans in Washington, including her own 100 year family history

  • April 21 - Acoustic trio Trillium-239 shared stories and songs of working life in the Northwest, beginning with American settlement of the West and ending with modern high-tech industries.

  • December 1 - Paul Dorpat, Jean Sherrard and Clay Eals discuss Seattle history uncovered in the process of writing their new book.