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The Original IHM History Hero: Greg Spranger

Updated: Dec 30, 2023

Neither the train Depot nor IHM itself may exist as we know them today if not for the passion for preservation and the gift of persuasion of the first recipient of the IHM History Hero Award.


The comments left on the social media post about the award say it all:

"Wonderful and well-deserved honor" -Barb "Congratulations Greg . we may not have a museum if not for you. Good job my friend" -Susan "The man! The myth! The legend! Good onya Greg!" - Bob "Well deserved 👏 Long overdue 🥰" - Marilyn

At the Open House on November 16th we took a moment to recognize the lifetime of achievements of Greg Spranger, and thus was born the IHM History Hero Award.


This was not the first time Greg received recognition for his contributions to preserving cultural heritage. WA State honored him by inviting him to be on the Centennial Commission. King County recognized his gifts and made him a member of the Landmarks Commission. The City of Issaquah induced him into their Hall of Fame. But what Greg hadn't received was recognition from the very organization that he saved from extinction in 1983 and blessed with his unmatched ability to find and collect treasures.


Greg became the leader of the Issaquah Historical Society in 1983 and quickly began work on two of his most noteworthy accomplishments--the rescuing and restoration of the historic train Depot and the Alexander House--whose relocation from the shores of Lake Sammamish to its current location on Gilman Blvd. Greg also oversaw. For the Depot, Greg lead the campaign for the City to acquire the building in 1984 to save it from further deterioration, and then spend the next 12 years as a leader in the building's restoration, leaving us with the wonderful landmark that today is the center of the City's historical district.


Photo of IHM History Hero Award winner Greg Spranger
Greg Spranger (center), receiving the IHM History Hero Award, with Paul Winterstein (l.) and Bonnie Tyler (r.)

In 2021, Greg sat down with Erica Maniez for his Oral History recording. Those that know him won't be surprised to hear that the transcript of this one session is 40 pages long. To read Greg's stories about the Alexander House, the Depot and more, click here to access his Oral History on the IHM website.


About the IHM History Hero Award

Many generous and talented people have made, and will continue to make significant contributions to preserving and sharing Issaquah's history. The purpose of this yearly award is to recognize and reward those heroes whose efforts to capture and interpret our history help us better understand today and empower us to make choices for a better tomorrow.

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