About the Issaquah History Museums


About the Museums

The Issaquah History Museums (IHM) is a nonprofit organization that operates the Gilman Town Hall Museum and the Issaquah Depot Museum, 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.

The Issaquah History Museums receives annual support from the following organizations and has received COVID-19 relief funds from Humanities Washington and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Meet the Staff

Kayla Boland, Communications Coordinator
Kayla joined IHM in March of 2020, a few months after receiving an MA in Art History from the University of York. Most recently, she curated our virtual exhibit, “‘Poetry in Motion:’ Remembering the Issaquah Skyport.” Kayla creates and posts all of our social media content; builds the Behind The Scenes newsletters; researches and writes blogs; and conducts oral history interviews. She also helps photograph and catalog our collections. Kayla has a heart for local community engagement and a love of storytelling in all its forms. In her spare time, she is a portrait photographer and enjoys reading and hiking. Kayla grew up in the South Sound and now lives in Redmond.

Karen Gath, Volunteer & Programs Manager
Karen joined IHM as a collections volunteer and intern in 2017, before becoming staff in 2019. Karen has a Masters of Library and Information Science degree, with a specialization in Museum Studies, from Kent State University, and has prior experience recruiting and coordinating volunteers from her role as the Theatre Director for Bellevue School District. If you think you might like to volunteer, Karen is the person to call! Karen has two grown children, Katie and James. She lives in Issaquah with her son and her darling puppy Lily.

Julie Hunter, Collections Manager
Formerly the Registrar at the Maine State Museum, Julie joined 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 furry feline, Melon.

Erica Maniez, Executive 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, speaker’s presentations, and kids’ tours. Erica also has a soft spot for chickens, and for Issaquah’s poultry-farming past. She lives in Seattle with a husband, two cats, one dog, and children Dylan and Conrad.

Want to join us? Click to see opportunities >

You don’t have to be a board members to contribute time to the Issaquah History Museums. We encourage community members to serve on our committees and task forces. Use the contact form below to get in touch if you’d like to serve on one of the following.


Deaccessions: responsible for decisions concerning de-accessioned objects, and for making sure the IHM is following the Collection Management Policy. Items to be deaccessioned must be approved by the Board.

Executive Committee: composed of the four officers of the Board and a Board member-at-large appointed by the Board. Duties shall be to discuss and make decisions on critical matters occurring between Board meetings, to review the performance of the Museum Director, and to make recommendations to the Board regarding personnel issues such as hiring, compensation and benefits. The Executive Committee is also responsible for board cultivation and recruitment.

Ways and Means: strategizes how to fund the organization’s annual activities, and plans the organization’s annual fundraising calendar.

Working Groups

Events: organizes the annual fundraiser.

Facilities: responsible for improvements to and maintenance of the Town Hall and Depot in accordance with the Corporation’s contract with the City of Issaquah, and maintenance of the Auto Freight Building.

Meet the Board

Julia Belgrave

Katie Brookshire

Benton Coblentz

Brenda DeVore

Dawn Harper

Rebecca Lawrence

Emily Lee

Don Robertson

Organizational Values

  • Intentionality
  • Community
  • Authenticity
  • Delight

IHM Values Statement

Statement of Anti-Racism

Organizational Governance

The Issaquah History Museums are a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, tax identification #23-7425589.

Organizational Bylaws

Board Meeting Schedule

The Board of Directors nominates new members on an annual basis. If you’re interested in volunteering as a board member, take a look at Board Expectations, and complete the contact form below.

Board Member Inquiry

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