Northwest NEWS

March 8, 1999

Front Page

Mayor writes Kenmore history booklet for kids


The mayor reads his new book to a young literary critic, Beau Crawford Vintertun, who also happens to be his grandson. Beau, along with his brothers, Blake and Brett, gave a thumbs-up for their grandfather's booklet.

   by Tom Traeger, Kenmore reporter

   Kenmore Mayor Jack Crawford is a man of varied hobbies and interests, and now a new facet has emerged. He is the author of a booklet, The History of Kenmore for Kids. The first draft of the soon-to-be published booklet has just come off the press and is being readied for publication.

   The mayor readily attributes the idea for the publication to his wife, Char, who is a trustee for the Kenmore Heritage Society, sponsor of the project. She also heads up the Kenmore High School connection committee. After witnessing recent Kenmore flag presentations at elementary schools, she was impressed with the interest the students had in Kenmore's early history.

   Written in a folksy style, the booklet traces Kenmore history from how it got its name near the turn of the century to its incorporation as a city some 100 years later. In photos and words, it reminds children of the legacy the early pioneers have left for us to enjoy and appreciate today.

   Photos of mill workers at McMaster Shingle Mill and students at Kenmore's first one-room schoolhouse give a flavor of the people who lived in the community in the early 1900s.

   The mayor gives credit to others he relied on in writing the booklet. One is Priscilla Droge, who has been researching Kenmore history for years and is readying her own book for publication in the year 2000. The mayor worked closely with Droge and acknowledges on the book's cover her contributions of information and photos, as well as those of JoAnn Evans, who did layout, graphics, and editing.

   The reader should not be surprised that an early photo includes a Model A Ford parked near one of the shingle mill bunkhouses. The mayor has a keen interest in this vintage car as a member and past president of a Model A Ford club. He and Char take their restored Model A roadster to various shows around the state during the year.

   "Maybe my book will spark a sense of their community's history in kids," the mayor says, "as well as show how young people lived in this area years ago."

   With its stories about steamboats making their way up and down the slough, early residents driving the old brick road, camping near the lake, and enjoying five-cents-a-slice watermelon at Henry's Hamburgers, the booklet appeals to kids of all ages. And young readers will like finding out about early colorful names like Cat's Whiskers Road.

   The Northshore School District has endorsed the book and has supported an application for a grant through the King County Cultural Arts Office to provide necessary funding to publish enough books for all elementary students living within the city's limits.

   Lorna Dyer, grants and staff development coordinator for the district, said, "The superintendent enjoyed the booklet and appreciates its potential for kids' learning and leisure reading ... and we look forward to the time that we will have copies available."