SILVERDALE — The “Eat Your Way through Kitsap History” program gives participants “an opportunity to explore other aspects of Kitsap County history what we’re not able to put on exhibit here in the (Kitsap History) museum,” executive director Dean Tingey said.
“As a nonprofit, we’re always trying to figure out different ways to interest people and raise funds,” he said.
With the “Eat Your Way” program, which has been running for 16-17 years, they have a popular way to do that.
“Eat Your Way” is a program that has participants meet at a local, historical site for an informational tour or talk, then adjourn to a local restaurant for food; often, that restaurant will have some sort of tie to the history the group is learning about that day.
“Anytime that we can get some type of tie-in somehow with the thing, that’s what we go with,” Tingey said.
At 10 a.m. June 17, a group of people will gather for a tour of the Central Valley Church and community hall, followed by lunch at Our Place Pub, which is located in a log building that was originally occupied by the Central Valley Church, according to Tingey.
“We’ve got some people who are long-time residents of that area, a person whose grandmother founded Central Valley Church,” he said of the June 17 event.
Central Valley Church was founded in 1910 by Anna Dahl, who came to Central Valley from Norway in 1901. She was the grand-aunt of Harold Dahl, who will share stories and photos of the church and his pioneer family.
Adjacent to the community hall is “the expansive 30-acre Swanson/Allpress farm and home,” according to the event press release, “which Aggie Swanson’s daughter will tell us about.”
In July, the program will feature a walk down Clear Creek Trail in Silverdale. In August, the program features a visit to Jarstad Park and Gold Mountain. The last event in this year’s program in September will involve a boat tour along the shores of Port Orchard and Blake Island.
“The cost of operating the museum is substantially higher than what we’re able to collect from membership fees or admissions,” Tingey said. “(‘Eat Your Way’ has) been a very popular program, year after year.”
Planning for the program usually begins around November, where the Kitsap County Historical Society volunteers will start with around a dozen different ideas, which they will discuss, until they’re able to whittle it down to seven sites per year.
“They keep a list of what sites we’ve already been to, then throughout the year, they’re just looking around at other potential sites,” Tingey said. “Sometimes, people who are participating will suggest a site.”
Registration for “Eat Your Way” is $40 per person, or $35 for Kitsap County Historical Society members. Reservations can be made by calling 360-479-6226. The registration deadline for the June 17 event is June 9-10, depending, Tingey said. There are usually about 35 spots for participants.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to introduce people to a lot of different, interesting sites or events they may not have been aware of,” Tingey said. “It’s a very popular program for us.”
— Michelle Beahm is an editor with the Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.