In 1996, following his retirement from the Cle Elum-Roslyn School District, Frederick E. Krueger worked on behalf of Trend West Resort to collect and preserve the cultural and mining history of Kittitas County, Washington. With Krueger’s assistance, Trend West Resort had intended to construct an interpretive center with historical information for guests. However, the project was not fully realized until 2003, when Suncadia Resort, LLC (descendent of Trend West), began constructing its Inn at Suncadia and revisited Frederick Krueger’s invaluable primary resource material that included: interviews with local coal miners (particularly those who worked in and around the Northwestern Improvement Company (NWI) #9 Mine, which is now the site of Suncadia Resort), as well as family members and persons who shared their personal life stories and experiences.
The materials gathered by Krueger now comprise Suncadia Legacy, a collection divided into two series: Roslyn, Cle Elum, and Ronald Oral Histories, which consists of full-length audio and video interviews; and Suncadia Photographs, which document the visual history of the #9 Mine and locale of Roslyn, Cle Elum, and Ronald. While the majority of Suncadia Legacy’s audio and video interviews were conducted 1995-2003, some audio interviews date as early as 1972, and others—added by several of Krueger’s students through class oral history and family history projects at the Cle Elum-Roslyn High School—date to the 1980s and 1990s.
Due to increased preservation and access concerns, Paul Eisenberg and his staff at Suncadia Resort consulted with Frederick Krueger and the Dr. James E. Brooks Library, Archives and Special Collections Department, in the fall of 2013 to arrange for the transfer of Suncadia Legacy materials to an appropriate repository and for suitable media reformatting. The materials at this stage were neither accessible, nor formatted for wide-spread use. George Blood, L.P., Audio/Video/Film Preservation, provided much needed assistance in transferring and reformatting the video collections, as well as counsel regarding metadata best practices. Suncadia Resort generously provided funding for digitization while the Suncadia Fund for Community Enhancement provided support for the ScholarWorks platform, where these materials have been made accessible to the general public.
In creating Suncadia Legacy, CWU’s Dr. James E. Brooks Library and Suncadia Resort, LLC, partnered to preserve nearly 500 hours of video and audio oral history interviews and numerous photographic images and supporting materials documenting northern Kittitas County (Ronald, Roslyn, Cle Elum, and surrounding areas) from the period 1892-2004. As a result, over 100 years of local history has been preserved and made accessible through collective digitization efforts.
As a result of the commitment and collaborative efforts of the following organizations and individuals, Suncadia Legacy is now viewable online:
Mr. Frederick E. Krueger, Retired Teacher and Local Historian
Mr. Paul Eisenberg, Senior Vice President, Development, Suncadia, LLC
George Blood, L.P., Audio/Video/Film Preservation
Ms. Patricia Cutright, Dean of Dr. James E. Brooks Library
Mr. Stephen Hussman, Central Washington University Archivist and Faculty Chair
Ms. Talea Anderson, Archives and Reference Librarian at Brooks Library