Issaquah History Museums

Issaquah Valley Trolley to Cease Operations

IHM to cease Trolley operations due to an increase in program expenses.

The Issaquah History Museums would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your past support of our organization, and to share a recent change in our programming. As you may have heard, the Issaquah History Museums Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to close the Issaquah Valley Trolley program as part of our organization. The trolley will remain in Issaquah for at least a year, to give other project partners the opportunity to step forward and take over operations. Leadership is also ready to assist potential project partners in developing future plans for the trolley.

Projected expenses for the trolley program are slated to double this year due to an increase in the insurance we are required to carry. Originally intended as a source of earned income for the organization, the trolley program, if continued, would operate at a deficit unless we made significant increases in rider rates and running season.

The Issaquah History Museums have experienced significant cuts in revenue this year because we have not been able to open the museums or offer much of our traditional programming. Staff hours have also been cut across the board.

Despite limited staff hours and resources, in 2020 we continued building our virtual programming, launched a new oral history program, and began plans to provide virtual tours to district school children. In 2021, we plan to reopen the museums to the public under COVID-19 safe conditions, launch a virtual exhibit program, and continue the ongoing preservation of more than 36,000 artifacts and photographs representing Issaquah’s past. We are also working to expand our collections to preserve modern history and to fill gaps in coverage, including Issaquah Latinx, Black, and LGBTQ history.

To ensure we can continue our mission to discover, preserve, and share the history and heritage of Issaquah, we need your help. Since our museums are closed, we’re bringing the museum to you with our fall fundraising campaign, “Collecting History, Connecting Community.” Check out our campaign page for more information, and the back story on some of the community’s artifacts.

Thank you again for your support of our work.