History & Heritage Committee
The History and Heritage Committee of the Seattle Section is interested obtaining information about the Section, particularly prior to 1940. Our Section records are archived at the Washington State Historical Museum Research Center/Library, but are missing Section history from 1913 up to the World War II era. We would appreciate hearing about possible contact names or sources of early meeting minutes or memorabilia. If you have this type if information to share, or if you know anyone we should speak with, please contact Cindy Hirsch.
About the Committee
The Seattle Section History & Heritage Committee’s charge is to fulfill the goal of ASCE’s History and Heritage Committee (HHC), which is to enhance the knowledge and appreciation of the history and heritage of civil engineering for professionals and the public alike. The committee does this in the following ways.
- Prepares and updates an inventory of historic civil engineering works 50 years or older within the Pacific Northwest, primarily within the Seattle Section boundaries. A copy of this inventory is available from the committee chair.
- Nominates national, local, and state projects for designation as Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks. Committee members will often write or edit the documentation that is required by ASCE guidelines to support the nomination, and submit this work to HHC for their approval. This program educates the public on the significance of these civil engineering works by means of informational plaques mounted on-site, and allows ASCE to promote the profession during the well-publicized dedication ceremonies. The group regularly inspects the plaques to assure their integrity.
- Develops and maintains the history of the Seattle Section.
- Develops and maintains relationships with other organizations and agencies that are interested in similar areas of history. Supports their efforts by participating in activities they offer. Addresses questions from these organizations and the public on civil engineering history issues. An example of this is the committee’s ongoing relationship with the Volunteers for Outdoor Washington, who maintain the Iron Goat Trail in the Stevens Pass area. The area is rich in railroad history and is designated a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. Designation plaques are on the trail at two locations.
- Presents historical programs and arrange for programs as called for. The posters prepared by the committee documenting the National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks (NHCELs) in the area, and those illustrating the history of the ASCE Seattle Section, are two examples of this outreach effort. These posters are available for use by ASCE members or the public by contacting the committee chair. See "Historic Civil Engineering Landmark" section of this web page to view NHCEL posters
- Assists members in recording Oral Histories. These are kept on file with HHC in the ASCE Washington office Archives.
- Assists members in the nomination of ASCE Honorary Members.
- Assists the Section Archivist with the duties of maintaining the Section’s long-term files. The Section Secretary and Treasurer retire their files at regular intervals, and the Washington State Historical Society in Tacoma holds these. These files are available to the public. Refer to the "archives" section below.
Interactive Landmark Map
Link to a nationwide map of ASCE National and International Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks and associated plaque locations, here:
The group welcomes new members to its regular meetings, and is also actively looking for people who are willing to work independently to document historic landmarks in the area. Please contact the chair if you are interested in participating or have an idea for a candidate landmark.
Shortlist of potential landmark candidates:
- Stampede Pass Tunnel
- McMillin Bridge, Orting, WA
- Great Northern Tunnel Downtown Seattle
- US-Canada Boundary Survey
Please contact Cindy Hirsch for more information.
File listings of the Section archives are as follows:
The archived materials are available for use by section members and the public at: