The Museum of History and Industry -

Hands-on Seattle History


The Museum of History and Industry presents the history of the Pacific Northwest, and Seattle history in particular, in a fun, interesting way that appeals to children and adults alike.

Update: On November 17, 2012, MOHAI will be moving to their new home at Lake Union Park. They are renovating the historic Naval Reserve Building (the Armory), which will give them lots more exhibition space.  There will be free admission during opening weekend.


One of the first things I always notice when I walk in is what a lively place MOHAI is! This little museum is a nice place to take your kids on cool or rainy afternoons. There are interactive activities and touchable items woven through the exhibits to keep them busy.

MOHAI Boomtown

Older patrons enjoy it, too. On a recent visit, it was fun to hear some of them reminiscing about what it was like to live here in Seattle during the events portrayed in the display. "I remember that!" or "My parents used to..." or "We had one just like that!"


The Museum of History and Industry's core history exhibit is "Essential Seattle." It is divided into four general groupings:

  • This Native Land - 1792-1859
  • Little Town on Elliott Bay - 1859-1889
  • Boom Times, Hard Times - 1889-1940
  • Homefront - 1941-1945
  • Our Own City - 1946-Present

Look for:

Lincoln Toe Truck

Lincoln Toe Truck - a local landmark that used to sit outside Lincoln Towing.

Boeing's first plane - the famous B-1 flying boat from 1919. It was used for the first "international mail service" between Seattle and Victoria, B.C.

Slo-mo-shun IV hydroplane - started a summer tradition of hydroplane races in Seattle after setting the water speed record on Lake Washington and winning the coveted Gold Cup in Detroit in 1950.

Bobo the Gorilla - a Woodland Park Zoo celebrity who appeared in LIFE magazine, newsreels, and a Bill Cosby record. He died in 1968.

More MOHAI stuff to see...

Arboretum Waterfront Trail

MOHAI sits on the shore of Lake Washington right next to the Highway 520 bridge. There is an entrance to the Arboretum Waterfront Trail next to the parking lot. You can walk along the waterfront and enjoy a fabulous view of the water. The University of Washington Husky football stadium sits right next door. You might see the UW rowing team practicing on the water.

UW Husky stadium 520 bridge


You can sometimes see a great blue heron in the water near the bridge and there are usually ducks swimming around near the trail. I was able to watch these two ducks preening and bathing from two feet away!

If you are an educator, the Museum of History and Industry is a good place for a field trip especially if your students are studying Washington state history. They offer "museum in a classroom" collections that you can rent as well. Each one contains artifacts, maps, slide show, documents and a teacher's manual. You can also have a Museum Educator bring it to your classroom and do a presentation to get you started.


For more information about the collections, exhibitions, member news, programs, events, and store at Museum of History and Industry:
2700 24th Ave. E

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