Kent Chronicles, in essence, is a discussion based learning circle that meets on the first Thursday and the Saturday after the first Thursday of every month. We talk through a variety of topics that have effected the world, the nation, and the town of Kent. Often the focus is on a few years, for example 1960-1965, and the big events or ideas that had an impact. Occasionally, the topic will be more focused like the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, which had national significance but was also was hugely influential on our region and town. (Did you know that the City of Kent petitioned to host the World’s Fair in Kent? We have a copy of the document at the museum!)
The group is composed of anyone who is willing to come engage in the discussion. We encourage students over the 4th grade to come learn alongside older generations that lived through the events. The larger the pool of participants, the more perspectives, and the more interesting the conversation!
The Chronicles discussion is supplemented with a number of different items. Each month we create a PowerPoint that includes pictures and video clips that help to elicit responses and shape the dialogue. Additionally, we provide a Chronicles packet that includes more information, such as quotes, newspaper clippings, pictures, and political cartoons. The goal is to help participants develop a fuller understanding of events through seeing, reading, hearing, and discussing.
Kent Chronicles convenes on the first Thursday AND the Saturday after the first Thursday of every month around the dining room table of the Bereiter House at 855 East Smith Street from 11 am until 12:30.
In March, we will focus on the native population in the valley after first contact with Western explorers then colonizers. We will talk about the early trade relationships, the growing conflicts as settlers started moving into the region, the Point Elliot Treaty in 1855, and the aftermath. The conversation is not easy, but it is a very important piece of Northwest history that demands more attention. Chronicles will hopefully spurn your interest in the topic and open the door for further reading.
In April we will shift the focus to the early western settlers who moved into Kent. We will talk about the draws for these families and the early land claims which shaped the valley and town.
In May, we will celebrate Kent’s foundation by talking about the valley in 1890. We will talk about who was in town and what they were doing.