Maple Valley Historical Society

a) Our Mission

The mission of the organization is to collect, preserve, educate and promote the history of the Greater Maple Valley area.  And to provide for everyone a greater understanding of the role people have played in that history. 

b) How do we do that

The Maple Valley Historical Society provides a means for people to do research their heritage, and to showcase the history of the area through maintaining three (3) museums with displays of the past.  The Society has a paid membership of over 300 people and organizations.  The Maple Valley Historical Society is an Incorporated Organization within the State of Washington and is classified as a 501-C(3) organization by the Internal Revenue Service of the Federal Government. The organization is an all-volunteer organization formed over 35 years ago. 

The three (3) museums are 1) located within the King County Landmarked original Maple Valley School and 2) and 3) are located on property owned by the City of Maple Valley.  The original museum in the original Maple Valley High School houses the main photo collection of the Society as well as the primary offices of the Society.  There are also displays set up in this museum that depict the early lives of the residents of the Greater Maple Valley area, as well as a room almost solely dedicated to the history of Tahoma School District.  The other two museums are located next to the Maple Valley Community Center in the heart of the City of Maple Valley and are the Gibbon-Mezzavilla General Store and the Fire Engine museum.  The Gibbon-Mezzavilla General Store is the restored original store in the Greater Maple Valley area that was frequented by the early residents.  The Fire Engine museum houses the restored 1926 Howard Cooper fire engine which was the original Fire Engine used by Fire District 43 Volunteers.  In addition to the Howard Cooper, there are displays depicting the early years of the Fire District. 

c) Our Accomplishments


The Society provides a History Treasure Box curriculum for the Tahoma School District third graders.  The curriculum provides for guided class tours of all of our museums for the students, teachers and chaperones.  Since the program’s inception, we have had more than 1200 students participate in this program.  In addition, the Society conducted a lecture on the History of Maple Valley for 180 6th Grade students at Cedar River Middle School in 2007.  This will become an annual program.


The Society’s volunteers also provide free public programs five (5) times each year.  The programs are held at various facilities around the Greater Maple Valley area to allow for handicap accessibility and to generate the most interest by the groups that the programs are geared too.  In particular, the programs are geared to the History of Maple Valley, History of Hobart,  annual Tahoma Alumni Picnic and participate in and open the museums during Maple Valley Days each June. Every 3 months, the Society publishes the Bugle which provides the membership with information about the goings on within the society and historical facts about the Greater Maple Valley area.


d) Our Community


The Historical Society serves the population of the “Greater Maple Valley Area” which has been roughly defined as the boundary of the Tahoma School District.  This area encompases the City of Maple Valley (with a population of over 25,000) and unincorporated King County to include the Hobart, Ravensdale and rural areas in between.  The Society has developed a great working relationship with the City of Maple Valley.  Since the City’s incorporation in 1997, the City of Maple Valley has strived to keep the area’s Historical roots in perspective while still growing and changing.  The City’s vision statement specifically states that “maintaining historic connections with the area’s rural past” is necessary.  To that end, the City has provided financial support for the ongoing utility costs and insurance for the Gibbon-Mezzavilla General Store and the Fire Engine museum that reside on their property.  The museums are open the first Saturday of each month from 10:00am to 2:00pm or by appointment.

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