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Remembering leaders from the past | Tukwila's Story
Helen Nelsen lived in Tukwila from 1906 to 1996 and was a huge influence on history and preservation in Tukwila and King County. The Nelsen Family Trust is one of her legacies which is working to preserve the Nelsen family home. She was quoted as saying “When someone says ‘you can’t do that,’ it becomes a challenge to do it.” The December 2012 meeting of the Tukwila Historical Society was held at the Nelsen House with more than 35 people attending, many of whom had never been inside the 1905 farmhouse. We were treated to the same hospitality that one can imagine would have been offered by Ms. Helen herself. John Strander and Stan Minkler both had involvement in the development of “South Center” shopping mall. A.G. “Arlie” Radford was a local building contractor and built many of the homes in Tukwila.
It is also recorded the Tukwila Historical Society which was formed in 1975 had influence from several people who had been part of the Tukwila government. The original society board members included Rudolph Regel as president former Tukwila councilman, Helen Nelsen, financial secretary, also a former Tukwila councilwoman) and Louise Strander, wife of the former Mayor John B. Strander.
We are hoping that stories and photographs about other Tukwila residents and representatives can be brought to the Tukwila Historical Society so that we can archive these memories for the future. Of special interest would be any photos or personal stories about the former mayors and council members who helped shape our city and local history.
The Tukwila Historical Society is located at the Tukwila Heritage and Cultural Center 14475 59th Ave S in Tukwila. The center phone number is 206/244-HIST and email is firstname.lastname@example.org. The Center is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or by appointment. Louise Jones-Brown is the acting director.