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Indian Census Records

2018-03-20T00:00:00

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Natives playing a stick game in front of onlookers on the Colville Reservation, approximately 1900. Indian Census records are another source of information on reservation life in this time period. Source: Spokane City Historic Preservation Office collection.

Here at the Washington State Archives we love our census records, and they are some of the most popular records with the public. The word census is often taken to refer to the federal census, conducted once every ten years as mandated by the Constitution of the United States. There are other censuses in our holdings however, including territorial censuses and even some recorded at the county level during the territorial period.




Treasures of the Archives: Tracing Pioneer Families through the Territorial Censuses

2017-12-06T00:00:00

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1889 engraving of the California Hotel, where Parker plied his trade as a barber. The building was lost a few months later in Spokane’s Great Fire, but the Parker family endured. Image from Spokane Falls Illustrated (1889).

Sometime before 1885, J. Bryson Parker, a barber by trade, moved from Nevada to set up shop in the booming frontier community of Spokane Falls in the Washington Territory. Parker was African American, listed in the 1885 census as “mulatto,” a term which in those days meant someone whose ancestors were both black and white.




Treasures of the Archives: McNeil Island: Charles Manson’s Home in the Pacific Northwest

2017-09-26T00:00:00

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Guard in front of painted pentagram, 1985-2008, Department of Corrections, McNeil Island Corrections Center Photograph Collection, 1855-2010, Digital Archives, https://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/.

In 1971 Charles Manson was convicted of murder and conspiracy to commit murder of seven people that were part of a cult he led in southern California. It was a gruesome crime that garnered national attention but it was not Manson’s first contact with the courts.




Treasures of the Archives: Minutes and Meeting Records: Local Response to Japanese Relocation

2017-09-08T00:00:00

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Japanese Americans evacuating from their homes in Bainbridge Island, 1942. Image courtesy of the Museum of History and Industry.

On December 7, 1941 Japanese aircraft executed a surprise attack on Pearl Harbor, a U.S. naval base in Hawaii. Just three months later, in March 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9102, which established the War Relocation Authority. The agency was tasked with removing and interning Japanese Americans in the coastal areas of the West Coast, where they were perceived by the government to be the greatest threat for acts of espionage. One of the first removals occurred in the Bainbridge Island area, just outside of Seattle.




Treasures of the Archives: Digital Archives Upgrade: The Power of Histograms

2017-08-09T00:00:00

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Histogram of the Chelan County Auditor, Miscellaneous Recordings illustrates the rapid increase in this record series since 1974, and also a gap in the records in 2009, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, https://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/.

By the time government records get to the Washington State Archives, they are not always complete. Months or years of a given records series may have disappeared in a flood or fire or simply have been disposed of by the originating agency. These gaps in a record series can frustrate researchers, who logically assume that if we have the records for 1960 and 1962 that was also have them for 1961--which is not always the case.




Treasures of the Archives: Minutes and Meeting Records: The Eclipse

2017-07-20T00:00:00

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Image Courtesy of the Associated Press, San Bernardino County Sun, February 14, 1979.

On Monday August 21st, 2017 the moon will pass between the sun and the earth casting a wide shadow over parts of the contiguous United States for the first time in nearly four decades. Skywatchers and armchair astronomers in the Pacific Northwest and beyond will flock to central Oregon in hopes that Mother Nature will offer a clear sky to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event.




Treasures of the Archives: Denny Hall is the oldest building of the University of Washington

2017-06-05T00:00:00

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Although Denny Hall has undergone major renovations as recently as 2015, the exterior remains virtually unchanged to this day, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, https://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/.

Built in 1895, Denny Hall is the oldest building of the University of Washington. It was designed by Charles Saunders in the style of the French Renaissance Revival and built with brick and sandstone. The University prioritized the building in their "Restore the Core" initiative, which aimed to restore fifteen historic buildings on the campus.




Treasures of the Archives: Spokane County Records Survey

2017-05-15T00:00:00

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Spokane County Courthouse, 1895-1905, General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, https://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/.

The Great Depressions eliminated jobs across the country in every field from coal mining to journalism, leaving a quarter of the workforce unemployed. In an effort to rebuild the economy, President Franklin Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration, a part of the New Deal, to put folks back to work. One WPA initiative was the Federal Writers Project, which employed researchers and writers to collect oral histories, write travel guides, and inventory archival repositories.




Treasures of the Archives: Murder in the Archives: The Case of Marie Jeanette DePape

2017-04-28T00:00:00

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Marie Jeanette DePape’s cause of death is listed as “wounds (by murder).” Her death set off a scandal that rocked Spokane in 1898. Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, Spokane County Auditor, Death Returns, 1888-1907, Marie - Depape - J.

In 2015, Archivist Allie Honican received what seemed an ordinary reference request. A researcher in France wanted more information about his great-great aunt. All the man knew was that the woman had died in Spokane in 1898, could Honican tell him anything more?




Treasures of the Archives: How Do You Like Them Apples?

2017-03-17T00:00:00

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Climb a tree in heels? Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Spring is in the air! Soon it will be that time of year when we put on swimsuits and high heels and climb an apple tree, as seen in this 1940s photograph of Wenatchee Apple Blossom Festival court attendants. (Don’t judge us.)




Treasures of the Archives: Women in the Washington State Legislature

2017-02-15T00:00:00

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Senator Barbara Granlund, photographed here in 1979, is one of the interviewees in this collection. Photograph courtesy of the Washington State Legislature.

Women in the Washington State Legislature, Oral History Project, 1980-1983 is one of the valuable oral history collections here at the Digital Archives. Between 1980 and 1983, oral historian Kathryn Hinsch conducted 38 interviews with female members of the state legislature.




Treasures of the Archives: Edith Boyd Recalls the Indians of Early Spokane

2017-01-09T00:00:00

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Spokane pioneer and educator Edith Boyd, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Edith Boyd (1874-1972) came to Spokane in 1894. In this 1970 interview (completed when Boyd was 96 years old), she recalls many colorful stories about the presence of Native Americans on the streets of Spokane in the 1890s and 1900s, when “blanket-draped figures walked the town streets”. Her memories are evocative and very specific, including the location of Indian camps, and the work Indians performed in town. Have a listen.




Treasures of the Archives: Kettle Falls: Moving on Up

2016-12-13T00:00:00

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Truck Towing House on Trailer, 1900-1940, unknown photographer, scpa00800001032, Kettle Falls History Center Photographs, Crossroads on the Columbia Collection, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Link to photo: http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov/Record/View/92F2AB61318ACA3B9E87FFDE0FD16482

This house moved slowly up the hill to avoid the flooding waters of Lake Roosevelt. In mid-1941 the waters of the Columbia River began to rise behind the Grand Coulee Dam, covering the arid landscape with hundreds of feet of water. The filling of the reservoir behind the 550 foot Grand Coulee Dam forced every animal, plant, and human that called the river banks home to relocate and change their way of life.




Treasures of the Archives: Census Record Highlights Diversity of Early Washington

2016-11-30T00:00:00

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Detail of the 1850 Clark County Census shows a household inhabited by HBC Chief Factor Peter Skene Ogden, the mixed-raced children he had with his native wife, and two Hawaiian employees of the Hudson’s Bay Company. 1850 Clark County Census, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

One of the older digitized records we have here at the archives is the 1850 Clark County Census. The federal census is mandated by the U.S. Constitution and takes place every ten years. In many cases it is the most complete record we have of past communities. The 1850 Clark County Census vividly illustrates a diverse community of peoples from all over the world, and can serve as a model of how historians tease information out of census records.




Treasures of the Archives: A 100-Year-Old Voters’ Guide

2016-11-07T00:00:00

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This Voters’ Pamphlet from 1916 finds Washingtonians voting on some very familiar issues. Publications, State Government Agencies, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Everyone have their ballots? Items like this 1916 pamphlet are a reminder that voters in Washington have been shaping state policies for more than a century. 100 years ago this November, Senator Mike Poindexter was elected. The 17th Amendment, allowing the direct election of Senators, had been passed only a few years before, so this was, only the second time Washington citizens had directly elected a senator.




Treasures of the Archives: Glimpses of Washington in the 30s and 40s

2016-10-19T00:00:00

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Feeding a raccoon, circa 1940. The Washington State Archives would like to remind you not to feed the raccoons. Progress Commission Photographs, 1937-1945; Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Now here is a fun collection! The Washington State Progress Commission was created in 1937 to promote tourism and economic development in the state. The 500 black and white images in this series date from 1937 to 1945, and were used to promote tourism in Washington. These charming retro images show happy Washingtonians across that state--




Treasures of the Archives: “Earthquake in Washington State on April 29, 1965”

2016-09-16T00:00:00

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Construction workers repairing the legislative building after it was damaged in an earthquake on April 29, 1965. Legislative building, earthquake damage, exterior, 1965, Susan Parish Photograph Collection, 1889-1990, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

On April 29, 1965 at 8:29 a.m. the ground shook in the southern Puget Sound. A magnitude 6.7 earthquake sent tremors across the area frightening commuters, damaging buildings, and taking three lives. It cost twelve and a half million dollars to repair damages from the first substantial earthquake to affect the region in over twenty-five years.




Treasures of the Archives: What Treasures Have You Found in the Digital Archives?

2016-08-18T00:00:00

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This 1913 marriage certificate for “King Corn” and “Queen Alfalfa” is just one unexpected find in the archives. Spokane County Auditor, Marriage Records, 1880-Present, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Dear Friends and Researchers,

Help us out. What buried treasures have you uncovered here on the Digital Archives?

For three years now, the staff of the Washington State Archives, Digital Archives has used this space to highlight some of the treasures we have in our digital collections. From early photographs of the state parks to escaped prisoners from the penitentiary, we have shared some of our favorite discoveries. With over 60 million searchable items online, however, we don’t pretend that we have uncovered every interesting item in our collections. So we turn to you--what have you found? Is there some chilling death certificate, unique photograph, or fascinating record series that you have come across?

Send us your favorite finds and we will feature your discovery in this space or on the Digital Archives Twitter feed. Email a link and a brief note about what you find interesting to the Assistant Digital Archivist, Larry Cebula, at larry.cebula@sos.wa.gov. We look forward to seeing what you have found!

Cordially,

The Digital Archives Team




Treasures of the Archives: “Living in the Space Age: The Century 21 Exposition and the Space Needle”

2016-08-08T00:00:00

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The Space Needle and the Alweg Monorail were symbols of modernity and “the Space Age.” Seattle Monorail and the Seattle Space Needle, 1964, General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Since 1962, the Space Needle has been a towering presence looking over Washington State’s largest city. In the late 1950’s, the city of Seattle realized how a world’s fair could bring infrastructure development and economic benefits to the city. City Councilman Al Rochester pioneered the idea and quickly gained support from lawmakers and the people of Seattle. Named the Century 21 Exposition, the fair was conceived as an international exhibition on the ways that humans were “living in the space age.”




Treasures of the Archives: Asahel Curtis Photographs at the State Archives

2016-07-28T00:00:00

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Dairy herd and dairy barn in the Yakima Valley by Asahel Curtis. Conservation Department, Planning and Development Division, Lantern Slide Shows, 1908-1939, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Washington State photographer Asahel Curtis (1874–1941) has long been overshadowed by his older and more famous brother, Edward. Recently, however, Asahel (which the family pronounced A-shul) is getting his due. A new biography, Developing the Pacific Northwest: The Life and Work of Asahel Curtis by William H. Wilson reveals Asahel Curtis as an important artist in his own right, as well as an advocate of national parks and better roads.




Treasures of the Archives: New Collection--ESD 105, Kittitas County Schools, Teachers Certificates

2016-06-22T00:00:00

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This 1920s detail from the register of teachers’ certificates shows that Kittitas County teachers were drawn from a wide variety of educational institutions. ESD 105, Kittitas County Schools, Teachers Certificates, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

The Washington State Archives, Digital Archives is pleased to share a new collection, ESD 105, Kittitas County Schools, Teachers Certificates. This collection consists of a register of teachers' certificates issued by Educational Service District 105 in Kittitas County from the 1890s to 1955. Information includes type of certificate, date registered, teacher's name, post office address, date certificate issued, expiration date, institution certificate received from, and renewals and remarks.




Treasures of the Archives: 100-Year-Old Death Return Hints at a Sad Story

2016-06-03T00:00:00

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The 1903 Death Return for Carolyn Merrill hints at the tragedy that ended her short life. Death Records, Adams County Death Return, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

In 1903, it was not uncommon for people to die at a young age, even in the peaceful farming community of Lind, Washington. Yet something about this death return, for 21-year-old Carolyn Merrill, caught the eye of the archivists at the Washington State Archives, Digital Archives. Take a moment and look closely--can you spot it?




Treasures of the Archives: North Head Lighthouse

2016-04-20T00:00:00

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North Head Lighthouse, General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

The Columbia River is one of the largest in the United States in terms of both length and volume of water. The river provides an inland port some 300 miles from the Pacific Coast at Lewiston, Idaho. While the Columbia River is incredibly valuable for cargo transportation it can be a sailor’s nightmare. The most dangerous portion of the river is the mouth at the Pacific Ocean. Many ships have sunk here earning this location the title “Graveyard of the Pacific.”




Treasures of the Archives: Wanted: Maud Johnson: “Queen of Fakirs”

2016-03-21T00:00:00

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Walla Walla State Penitentiary, Wanted: Escaped Prisoners from the State Penitentiary, 1913, Penitentiary, Washington State Collection, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

In a recent treasure, “Wanted: Escaped Prisoners from the State Penitentiary, 1913” we showcased a state-issued publication that catalogued escaped prisoners. One of the escaped prisoners on page 95 caught our attention: Maud Johnson, the sole female escapee. We did a little digging into Maud’s story, and found a colorful character who lived outside the law.




Treasures of the Archives: Impeachment of Insurance Commissioner John H. Schively

2016-02-18T00:00:00

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Clockwise from left: Letter to Governor Hay from W.D. Church, partner at Baumeister-Paxton, Walla Walla, asking what he can do to "aid in ousting Schively from office", August 28, 1909, Governor Marion E. Hay Papers, 1909-1913, Washington State Archives. Governor Marion E. Hay, ca 1909, Susan Parish Photograph Collection, 1889-1990, Washington State Archives. Insurance Commissioner John H. Schively, 1909, General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005, Washington State Archives.

With impeachment in the news lately, Archives has received inquiries regarding this subject in Washington State. We’re reminded of the seldom heard story of Washington’s first impeachment trial in 1909; against Insurance Commissioner John H. Schively. Even today, the Schively story provides insight into impeachment, insurance law, and the evolution of Washington’s political climate.




Treasures of the Archives: Wanted: Escaped Prisoners from the State Penitentiary, 1913

2016-02-04T00:00:00

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Michael O’Donell had a hard life, according to this record. Walla Walla State Penitentiary, Wanted: Escaped Prisoners from the State Penitentiary, 1913, Penitentiary, Washington State Collection, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Today, criminals rarely escape from prison and when they do apprehension is normally swift and certain. With instantaneous communication, photographs, fingerprints, and vital statistics there is nowhere to hide.




Treasures of the Archives: Map of Spokane

2015-12-22T00:00:00

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AR-270-B-001096, Spokane, Washington, Emil H. Ortman, General Map Collection, 1851-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

This beautiful 1922 map of Spokane provides a wealth of information about the city in the early years of the twentieth century. All of the typical information is provided including street names and the general city layout, but what makes this map special is the inclusion of so many additional points of interest. Fire stations, schools, and parks are noted throughout the city. So are bridges, railroad lines, streetcar lines, paved streets, sewers, and addition names.




Treasures of the Archives: Clara McCarty Wilt

2015-11-16T00:00:00

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King County federal census record of McCarty family in 1870, Census Records, 1870 King County Federal Census, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

The University of Washington is older than the state itself. UW opened in 1861 under the territorial government. Though forced to close three times between 1863 and 1876 due to deficient financial and enrollment numbers, residents in Territorial Washington were committed to building a strong institution of higher learning. One woman, Clara McCarty Wilt, took advantage of all the University had to offer and became its first graduate—of either sex.




Treasures of the Archives: Writing contest on World War II under way

2015-10-19T00:00:00

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Bob Hart, Eddie Meingasher, and John Bonner. Texas Twibell in window. (Photo courtesy of Legacy Washington), Writing contest on World War II under way.

To help mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, Washington students in grades 8 through 11 are invited to take part in an essay and letter-writing contest.

The competition, sponsored by the Office of Secretary of State’s Legacy Washington program, asks students to either write a letter to a veteran (living or deceased) or an essay describing what World War II means to them.




Treasures of the Archives: China Day Parade

2015-09-04T00:00:00

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China Day Parade, Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle, Photographs, State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Theatrical Mechanics Association Day, National Funeral Directors Association Day, Washington Rural Letter Carriers’ Day, even Cactus Day. These were just a few of the commemorative days at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition held in Seattle from June through October, 1909. The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition (or AYP) was the 1909 World’s Fair, highlighting Seattle as the gateway to Alaska, Canada, and the Pacific Rim. Washington’s first World’s Fair, the AYP was held on the University of Washington’s campus in Seattle. The famous Olmsted Brothers designed the fairgrounds that attracted 3.7 million people from across the country and the world. Many of the buildings were built to be temporary but there is still evidence of the fair on the University’s campus. The Geyser Basin, now known as Drumheller Fountain is a survivor of the 1909 fair.




Treasures of the Archives: Gasoline at 41c a gallon?

2015-08-19T00:00:00

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“UTOCO Gas Station,” A.M. Kendrick Photographic Collection, ca. 1890-1976, Photographs, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

America’s love affair with the automobile has often been tempered by the cost of gasoline – the fluctuating prices driven by politics as much as production. In this photograph of a gas service station in Ritzville, a proud attendant stands next to his pump. A closer look reveals the cost for three gallons of gasoline was just $1.23 – that’s about 40c per gallon. In the background you’ll also see Coca-Cola sold for just 10c a bottle in one of the dispensing machines patented by the Coke Company.




Treasures of the Archives: Black Panthers on the steps of the Legislative Building.

2015-07-17T00:00:00

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“Black Panthers on steps of Legislative Building, Olympia,” State Governors’ Negative Collection 1949-1975, Photographs, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

This striking photograph, “Black Panthers on steps of Legislative Building, Olympia” is a snapshot of a larger story. In February, 1969 the state legislature was reviewing a law that restricted individual’s right to carry unconcealed weapons. The Black Panther Party of Seattle informed the public of their intent to protest the law, and in response Governor Evans called out the National Guard.




Treasures of the Archives: The Loss of Kettle Falls

2015-06-04T00:00:00

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“Fishing for Salmon at the Kettle Falls,” 1910-1940, Kettle Falls History Center Photographs, Crossroads on the Columbia, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

When the gates of the newly constructed Grand Coulee Dam closed in 1939, the waters of the mighty Columbia River began to back up behind the dam. As the waters rose, farms, historic sites, and ten small agricultural towns were lost to the rising floodwaters forming behind the colossal dam.

Perhaps the most important site lost was Kettle Falls. Shaped by enormous quartzite blocks, the impressive falls were an important part of regional native culture. As spawning salmon migrated up the Columbia River to their summer breeding grounds, they would leap up the falls. For thousands of years American Indians from all over the region travelled to Kettle Falls to fish and engage in trade and social reunions. Thousands of fish could be caught in a single day by the many Indians who shored the fishing camps beside Kettle Falls.




Treasures of the Archives: Gordon Hirabayashi’s Quaker Wedding

2015-05-14T00:00:00

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Spokane County marriage certificate of Gordon Hirabayashi and Esther Schmoe who married July 29, 1944, Marriage Records, Spokane County Auditor, Marriage Records, 1880-2013, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

“Japanese-American and White Girl Wed” proclaimed the newspapers after receiving word that activist Gordon Hirabayashi married his college sweetheart, Esther Schmoe, in a small Quaker ceremony on July 29, 1944. This wasn’t Hirabayashi’s first time in the news, nor would it be his last.

When America and Japan went to war in December of 1941, Japanese-Americans found themselves subject to special restrictions, including curfews and even forced relocation to internment camps. Some resisted. In 1943, Hirabayashi, an American citizen born in Seattle, intentionally broke curfew and refused to register for relocation to an internment camp, hoping to become a Supreme Court test case. Awaiting the outcome of his case, Hirabayashi moved to Spokane, taking up work with the Quaker-run American Friends Service Committee.




Treasures of the Archives: Cox v. Cox: A Case of Frontier Justice Divorce

2015-04-30T00:00:00

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Page 1 of Frontier Justice Divorce Case Cox v. Cox, WAL-719, Frontier Justice, Walla Walla Frontier Justice, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Life in Washington Territory could be rough. As Americans moved west, they brought with them problems that only the legal system could settle. The court cases that pertain to these territorial legal matters are indexed in our Frontier Justice Collection at the Digital Archives.

Marriage on the frontier could be as tumultuous as anything you see on reality television today. In the case of Catherine and William Cox, an affair caused their break-up. According to the court records, Catherine Cox was an “affectionate and obedient wife and did what was in her power to promote his happiness and interests.” When she discovered her husband was having an affair with an Indian woman, she tried her best to be a dutiful wife.




Treasures of the Archives: Horseless Carriage, 1901-1904

2015-04-10T00:00:00

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George W. Fox in front of Fox House, Photographs, Spokane City Historic Preservation Office, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

The first automobiles were often called “horseless carriages,” and you can see why in this Spokane photograph from about 1903. In those days owners could choose steam, gasoline, or electricity to power their newfangled vehicles. There was little infrastructure to provide gasoline, and steam engines were slow to warm up, so many people with access to electricity chose electric cars. The availability of electric cars was due to Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison’s work with alternating and direct current electricity, and Gaston Plante’s work on rechargeable batteries. By 1911 almost 30% of all the cars on the road were electric.




Treasures of the Archives: Looking for historic NW images? State Library has ‘em!

2015-02-23T00:00:00

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“Hidden from Sight” collection includes this image of Mount Rainier from the Puyallup River. (Image courtesy of Washington State Library)

Don’t see the photo you are looking for here, try our partner the Washington State Library! One of the great things about the Washington State Library is that many of its historic photos, newspapers and maps are available digitally, for free.

One example is the State Library’s Flickr page, which on some days receives thousands of hits to individual photos. The State Library’s Flickr page now has a collection of images that show life in the early Northwest. This new collection is called “Hidden from Sight.”




Treasures of the Archives: George Washington Bush, Washington Pioneer

2015-01-14T00:00:00

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Lewis County census record of Bush and family in 1850, Census Records, 1850 Lewis County Census, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

George Washington Bush left a lasting legacy in Washington. Born in Philadelphia in 1779 to an African American father and Irish mother, Bush was raised a Quaker. He fought in the Battle of New Orleans during the war of 1812, and eventually made his way out west, marrying the daughter of a Missouri minister in 1831. When his friend Michael Simmons and four other families decided to make the journey west in 1844, Bush and his family decided to join them in the journey.




Treasures of the Archives: The Trademarks Collection

2014-12-24T00:00:00

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Shasta Water Trademark Sample from 1891, Trademark Records, Secretary of State, Corporations Division, Trademarks, 1888 to 2011, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Did you know that the Washington State Archives has over 68,000 trademark applications from corporations registered in Washington?

In 1891, the Mount Shasta Mineral Spring Company applied for a trademark. Formed in 1889, the company distributed naturally carbonated water from the springs of Mt. Shasta in northern California. In the mid-twentieth century the company expanded into the soda business. You can still find the brand, “Shasta” on many store shelves. This trademark from 1891 is one of the earliest trademarks in the Digital Archives.




Treasures of the Archives: May Arkwright Hutton and the Women’s Suffrage Movement

2014-11-17T00:00:00

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May Arkwright Hutton, Photographs, Spokane City Historic Preservation Office, 1878-1979, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Born in 1862, May Arkwright was orphaned at a young age. Raised by her paternal grandfather, Arkwright was exposed to politics early on, attending many political rallies with her grandfather. In 1883 she moved to the Silver Valley of Idaho, where she set up a boarding house and quickly gained a reputation for her cooking. In 1887, she married Levi Hutton and the two moved to Wallace, ID and invested in a local mine. The couple was known for their politics, focusing on labor rights and women’s suffrage.




Treasures of the Archives: Gov. Elisha P. Ferry’s Oath of Office, Oaths of Office Series, 1889

2014-10-14T00:00:00

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Gov. Elisha P. Ferry’s Oath of Office, Oaths of Office Series, 1854-2009, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

With another election year come and gone, it is good to reflect on the men and women who have taken up the reins of office in our state’s history. Elisha P. Ferry was sworn in on November 18th 1889 as the first Governor of the brand-new state of Washington, and above is his hand-written oath of office. A careful eye may notice subtle differences between the official constitutional oath of office and the one written by Ferry.




Treasures of the Archives: Archives Open House in Cheney!

2014-10-09T00:00:00

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Photograph image courtesy of Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Did you know that the world's first built-from-the-ground-up digital archive is in Cheney? It is true, and this Saturday, October 11 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. you can get special behind-the-scenes tours to see where the magic happens.

Our facility is home to both the Digital Archives and the Eastern Region Branch of the Washington State Archives. This state-of-the-art facility opened its doors in 2004. Downstairs, the Eastern Region Branch preserves precious physical historical records--everything from court transcripts of frontier-era divorces and murder trials to glass plate photographs of turn-of-the-century Spokane parks. We also have maps and marriage licenses and property record cards and naturalization papers and city council meeting minutes and--well, you get the picture. Archivist Lee Pierce will take visitors into the deep storage to show off some of the treasures that we protect.




Treasures of the Archives: Bird’s Eye Maps

2014-09-16T00:00:00

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Bird's-eye view of the city of Olympia, Record Series, Map Records, General Map Collection, 1851-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Bird’s-eye maps of growing western towns were very popular in the late 19th-early 20th centuries. They offer an interesting perspective on the evolving landscape of the American West. They were not always accurate however. The artist would sometimes include interpretations of planned future developments in the map. This makes them a somewhat troublesome and untrustworthy source for those doing serious historical research. Those issues aside, they are a valuable and often aesthetically pleasing addition to any map collection. They offer a unique look into how the citizens of these cities and towns saw themselves and their future.




Treasures of the Archives: The Pioneer Square Totem Pole

2014-08-13T00:00:00

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Totem pole, Pioneer Place, Seattle, Photographs, State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990 Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

In the summer of 1899 a group of businessmen boarded the steamship City of Seattle for what was to be a sight-seeing and “good-will tour” sponsored by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. The party went ashore near a Tlingit village. Finding hundreds of totem poles, they selected what they considered to be the best, and started cutting it down with axes as they would a tree. One of the men, James Clise, claimed that the “two decrepit Indians” present at the site of the totem “made no objection to our taking the pole to Seattle.” The totem the men stole that day was a memorial pole, which was made in honor of a female elder named Chief-of-all-Women after her death in 1870.




Treasures of the Archives: Asotin County Frontier Justice Records

2014-07-24T00:00:00

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Criminal Horse Theft, Frontier Justice Series, Asotin Frontier Justice, 1887, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

In 1887, a Nez Perce man named William Stingy charged another man called “Indian George” with horse theft. Above is the warrant issued for his arrest in Asotin County, Washington. The case is curious in a few ways. Why did Stingy use the white justice system and not tribal remedies? Is this “Indian George” the same one who General Oliver Howard used in an attempted peace negotiation with Chief Joseph during the Nez Perce War? Perhaps you could be the intrepid researcher who provides an answer to these questions.




Treasures of the Archives: Oyster Bed Maps

2014-06-30T00:00:00

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Map showing natural oyster beds, Map Records, General Map Collection, 1851-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

The abundant natural resources of Washington State are recorded in many ways in the archives. This curious item is a map of natural oyster beds in Kitsap County, across Puget Sound from Seattle.




Treasures of the Archives: USAF Boeing Bombers in Flight over Washington

2014-06-02T00:00:00

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Boeing Bombers, Photographs, State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Boeing has a long and storied history in Washington State. Founded in 1917 in Seattle, the company made its first planes out of the readily available spruce wood of the Pacific Northwest. Achieving great success with flying boat designs, the company by 1930 had built some of the first commercial airliners in the world.




Treasures of the Archives: Midnight Murder, Spokane County Death Records

2014-05-09T00:00:00

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Unknown Death Certificate, Spokane County, 1888, Spokane County Death Return Collection, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

This death certificate is part of a 120 year old murder mystery. The deceased is listed simply as “man unknown.” He was shot three times on Oct 1st 1888 by an “unknown party.” The online Google News Archive provides another piece of the puzzle. In an October 4th 1888 article entitled “Midnight Murder,” the gruesome details of the crime are reported.




Treasures of the Archives: Ritzville Rodeo, A.M. Kendrick Collection

2014-04-18T00:00:00

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Ritzville Rodeo, Record Series, Photographs, A.M. Kendrick Collection, 1920, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

When A.M. Kendrick returned to Washington following WWI, he tried his hand at many different professions. He worked as a lumberjack, miner, farmer, and salesman before settling on country photographer. He set up shop in Ritzville, and over the next 50 years amassed one of the largest and most impressive collections of photographs in the Washington State Archives. The collection effectively documents the evolution of a small town from the 1920s to the 1970s.




Treasures of the Archives: Governor Clarence D. Martin’s House

2014-03-26T00:00:00

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Clarence D. Martin Alumni House, Eastern Washington University. The Real Property Record Cards Collection, bulk dates: 1940 through 2004. Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Clarence D. Martin was one of Washington State’s most remarkable and influential governors. He was born in the small town of Cheney, Washington, and was serving as Mayor of Cheney when he won his bid to become Governor of the State, serving 1933 -1941. He continued to serve both as Mayor of Cheney and as the Governor from 1933 to 1936, commuting back to Cheney from Olympia at the end of each legislative session. After his time as Governor, Martin was appointed as a State Representative representing the 5th Legislative District in 1944, and later returning to the position of Cheney City Council Member, 1950-1952.




Treasures of the Archives: Tooth Pullers of Early Washington

2014-02-26T00:00:00

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George Barnett, Professional License Records, Department of Licensing, Business and Professions Division, Dental License Applications, 1888, 1909-1936, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

In 1888, the Legislature of Washington Territory passed an act to create the Territorial Board of Dental Examiners. Until that time, it was simply a matter of hoping for the best when going under the dentist's drill. Many dental practitioners of the 19th century, such as Walla Walla resident George E. Barnett seen above, practiced without a license or any formal education. Barnett lists an apprenticeship of one year at the University of Pennsylvania as his official training. As proof that he had been in practice for two years, Barnett provides witnesses, including one L.H. Barnett, very likely a close relative. The Dental License Applications, 1888, 1909-1936 collection is a fascinating little piece of early Washington history, useful for genealogy or general interest.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: World War I History at the Digital Archives

2014-01-15T00:00:00

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Soldiers of the Great War, Washington, Vol. 3, page 375, Soldiers of the Great War Casualty List, Military Records, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

It was November 1918, and Harry E. Requa of Seattle, along with the rest of the 361st infantry regiment, 91st division, moved from building to building in the Belgian town of Audenarde capturing German troops and weapons stockpiles. The 91st was tasked with assisting King Albert of Belgium in freeing the northwest of his country from a long German Occupation in what would later be known as the Ypres-Lys campaign. Requa’s unit faced artillery and snipers as it carried out its mission, and at some point on November 2nd 1918, he was killed in action. The Armistice which ended the war occurred a mere nine days later, making Requa one of the last casualties of WWI.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Mountaineering

2013-12-16T00:00:00

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A Mountaineer Rappels, Photographs, General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

This amazing photo shows Walter Gonnason (ca. 1950), explorer and mountaineer, rappelling from Pinnacle Peak with Mt. Rainer framed perfectly in the background. Gonnason, a Seattle native, made many expeditions to peaks and glaciers around North America. He also played a small role in a long-fought controversy over the credibility of one of America’s most famous explorers.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Highway Maps of Washington

2013-11-22T00:00:00

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Highway Map of Washington, Record Series, Map Records, General Map Collection, 1851-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Much has changed since the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, which created the interstate highway system. Before then, drivers made do with smaller roads, many of which still exist today with different names. Highways, exploding in size following the decline of passenger train travel, had the ability to make or break towns and cities. The above image shows the highways of Washington c. 1927. Note the lack of the now ubiquitous I-5 and I-90 corridors. It is hard to imagine Washington today without them. Yet this snapshot is preserved in the digital archives. The Washington State Archives has a large collection of highway maps. Search “highways” on the Digital Archives main page to find more.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: The Walla Walla Flood Control Commission Photographs, 1931

2013-10-31T00:00:00

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Flood Waters Rising in Residential Area of Walla Walla, Walla Walla Flood Control Commission Photographs, 1931, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

For three harrowing days in 1931, Walla Walla’s streets turned into rivers, alleys into streams, and curbs into waterfalls. The image above is one of a series of photos taken by the Walla Walla Flood Control Commission and collected by the Washington State Archives. The flood began on March 31st and was caused by nearby Mill Creek overflowing into the city. It damaged roads, bridges and many automobiles. Damage was estimated at around one million dollars. Mercifully, only one fatality was reported. Following the disaster, the Army Corps of Engineers dammed Mill Creek, preventing future flooding. The Walla Walla Flood Control Commission Collection is a testament to the power of nature and a reminder to always be vigilant.




Treasures of the Archives: Eastern Region Branch and Digital Archives host Open House

2013-10-25T00:00:00

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Photograph image courtesy of Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

The Digital Archives and Eastern Region Branch of the Washington State Archives will celebrate Archives Month with an open house event on Saturday, October 26, 2013. This year’s theme, Hearing History: Preserving Washington Voices, highlights the preservation of Washington oral histories in collections such as Women in the Washington State Legislature and Spokane Voices of the Pioneers. The event will start at 9:30 am with a two-hour genealogical workshop (limited seating is available, so contact the branch at 509-235-7508 to reserve a spot). At 11:30 the archives will open to the general public. Dr. Laura Phillips, historian and professor of history at Eastern Washington University, will conduct one-hour oral history workshops at 11:45, 1:00, and 2:30. Archives staff will offer guided tours of the Digital Archives and the Eastern Region Branch throughout the day as well. Don’t miss this opportunity to see how Washington State Archives serves the citizens of Washington every day!




Treasures of the Archives: Digital Archives Adds Snohomish County Superior Court Records

2013-09-13T00:00:00

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Photograph of a drawing of the Snohomish County Courthouse ca. 1920, artist unknown, General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Over 14 million new Snohomish County superior court case files are now available through the Digital Archives. The Snohomish County Clerk transferred the records to the Digital Archives the first week of March, and staff spent the rest of the month processing them. This massive effort enabled them to publish the cases (14,598,722 in all) to the website on August 20, 2013. Users can search the records by case number, keyword, and case year.




Treasures of the Archives: Seattle, Port of, Ray Bishop Sea-Tac Scrapbook, 1942-1976

2013-08-22T00:00:00

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Ray Bishop Sea-Tac Scrapbook, page 28, Record Series, Photographs, Seattle, Port of, Ray Bishop Sea-Tac Scrapbook, 1942-1976, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

A new acquisition to the Washington State Digital Archives is the Ray Bishop Sea-Tac Scrapbook Collection. The scrapbook, created by an engineer who worked on the Sea-Tac project in the 1960 and 70s, contains photographs, newspaper clippings, project plans, and more, including a fascinating series of articles about one of Washington’s most infamous criminals.




Welcome to Scribe

2013-07-16T00:00:00

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Big news at the Washington State Archives! In an effort to expand public access to our rapidly growing collection and to draft some of our users as honorary archivists, we have launched Scribe, a digital tool for adding metadata to our collections.

Metadata is what helps users find digital records. When you search our marriage records for “Smith” for example, the search tool goes through and pulls those for brides and grooms named Smith. That metadata was largely entered by hand, by employees and volunteers at the Washington State Archives reading documents one at a time and adding names, dates, and other data into a spreadsheet.

Scribe opens up this process to the world. Check out this introductory tutorial video, then click on this link to get started.




Treasures of the Archives: Spokane City Parks, Lantern Slides, 1900-1930

2013-06-21T00:00:00

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Woman on top of Basalt/Frank Palmer, Photographs, Spokane City Parks, Lantern Slides, 1900-1930, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

This image of a woman standing proud atop a basalt cliff at Downriver Park is part of a series of images from the 1910s to the 1930s highlighting the natural beauty of Spokane’s parks.




Treasures of the Archives: Japanese Internment

2013-05-23T00:00:00

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Junko Shigio, Record Series, Miscellaneous Family History, Public Welfare/Social Security Department, (Japanese Internment) Assistance Cases, Evacuee Referrals for Resettlement and Assistance, 1945-1946, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

In 1942, four-year-old Washington resident Junko Shigio was considered a threat to national security and sent with her family to the Minidoka War Relocation Center in Idaho for the duration of the Second World War. Executive Order 9066, signed by President Roosevelt on February 19th 1942, authorized the rounding up of all persons of Japanese ancestry living along the west coast of the United States. Throughout California, Oregon, and Washington State, Japanese Americans were given days or sometimes mere hours to prepare for their long-term stay in the camps. Some did not pack warm clothing for the Idaho winters, or even have time to secure the personal property they left behind.




Treasures of the Archives: Spokane City Planning Department EXPO'74 Photographic Collection

2013-05-09T00:00:00

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Crowds gathering at Red Gate entrance, Record Series, Photographs, Spokane City Planning Department EXPO'74 Photographic Collection, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov

In 1974, Spokane became the smallest city to ever host a World's Fair. The community used the opportunity to re-vitalize the depressed downtown district. The Great Northern Railroad Depot, which had occupied the centrally located Havermale Island for the better part of a century, was torn down. In its place, Spokanites erected many buildings and planned outdoor spaces, the seeds of which would later become Riverfront Park.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Women of Territorial Washington

2013-04-16T00:00:00

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Washington Legislature: House, 1883, Photographs, House of Representatives Group Photos, 1883-1981, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov

Looking through the House of Representatives Group Photos, 1883-1981 collection, one might notice the curious presence of women in the 1883, 1885, and 1887 photos of the territorial house legislature. Were there women legislators in the territorial period?




Treasures of the Digital Archives: The Washington Street Bridge

2013-03-28T00:00:00

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Washington Street Bridge near completion, Photographs, City of Spokane Public Works Department, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov

This photo is from the City of Spokane Public Works Department, and harkens back to a time when horses and carriages still reigned supreme in the City of Spokane. In 1908, the Washington Street Bridge was constructed over the Spokane River to provide an avenue for the rapidly growing city’s population.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Corrections Department, Reformatory, Admissions Registers, 1908-1923

2013-03-14T00:00:00

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William Hoppy, Corrections Department, Reformatory, Admissions Registers, 1908-1923, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov

Meet William Hoppy. Born in November 1903, Hoppy was convicted of Grand Larceny and sentenced to 2-15 years in the State Reformatory. Hoppy was 25 years old at the time of sentencing and worked in Grays Harbor as a hoist, or crane, engineer. In the metadata on his page at the archives, we also see that he was not a Washington native, but was born in Missouri. The Washington State Parole Board released Hoppy a little less than two years into his sentence, which apparently was a mistake, as a search on the archives main page for “William Hoppy” shows he was arrested again in 1930. By then, Hoppy had moved from Grays Harbor to Yakima, and was charged with Burglary. For William Hoppy, reform did not take.

The Corrections Department, Reformatory, Admissions Registers, 1908-1923 contains many stories about individuals such as Hoppy. These criminal records, in many cases, provide a glimpse into the lives of citizens and family members from the past. They are perfect for research and general interest. Do your own search today. Grandpa may surprise you!




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Trademark Records

2013-02-15T00:00:00

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State Seal, Secretary of State, Corporations Division, Trademarks, 1895, Office of the Secretary of State, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov, accessed 2/4/2013.

The Digital Archives recently added Trademark Records to its online collections thanks to the efforts of the Corporations Division of the Office of the Secretary of State. A trademark, according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, is a brand name, unique word, name, symbol, device, or any combination that identifies and distinguishes a product or service from other products or services. The records include applications and samples of the trademark like the image included above for State Seal Cigars manufactured in Tacoma, Washington. Other documents in this collection include reservations, assignments, amendments, and renewals.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Spokane businessmen on the Mount Spokane Road

2013-01-25T00:00:00

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Spokane businessmen on the Mount Spokane Road, Photograph, Conservation Department, Planning and Development Division, Lantern Slide Shows, 1908-1939, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov

Hotel magnate Louis Davenport was a seminal figure in early Spokane’s history. This photo, shows the man himself leading a group of businessmen up the Mt. Spokane Toll road to the summit. The road was constructed by Spokan Times publisher Francis H. Cook. After losing his initial fortune during the crash of 1893, Cook sold his farmlands to buy a tract of land leading to the summit. Working long hours by hand with the help of his son Silas, he constructed a road all the way up the mountainside. In 1920, Cook put the land under the control of Davenport and died soon after. The photo above shows a group of businessmen looking to make improvements to the mountain. In 1927, the land was given over to the protection of the Washington State Parks Commission, and became part of the first state park in Eastern Washington. Do a search for “Davenport” on the Washington State Archives Main Page to find much more about the man and his legacy.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Collections Search

2012-12-05T00:00:00

We have a new search feature on the Digital Archives. This new feature is under the Collections Tab. Click on the word Collections in yellow from our webpage and the current list of collections available to search on the Digital Archives will appear.

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The search feature allows you to keyword search the titles and title level descriptions of our collections. For example, you can search Okanogan and any record series title or title level description that contains the word Okanogan will appear. Searches may also include the words and and or. For example, search “Spokane and County” and anything in our collections with Spokane County will appear.

This type of search is especially helpful for quickly finding the different county records we hold. We are in the process of updating and enhancing our descriptions of titles to give you a better idea of what is contained in each collection.

We hope you enjoy using our website and the many search functions that we provide. We are constantly looking for ways to make records more accessible to you through the website. If you have any questions please contact us at digitalarchives@sos.wa.gov or 509-235-7500 x200.


 



Treasures of the Digital Archives: Prisoners at Play

2012-11-20T00:00:00

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Wrestling, 1950-1970, Unknown, Department of Corrections, McNeil Island Corrections Center Photograph Collection, 1855-2010, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Inmates at the McNeil Island Corrections Center were exposed to a host of activities to help pass the time. These activities are highlighted in one of our photograph collections, Department of Corrections, McNeil Island Corrections Center Photograph Collection, 1855-2010. To find these records, run a keyword search for the word “Prisoners.” Clicking on the Photographs results will show you the activities available to inmates. Some of these activities included inmate jobs, classes, and sports.




Treasures of the Digital Archives How a Record Becomes Digitized

2012-10-31T00:00:00

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We would like to share with you how we make the paper collections from the Archives available online. Currently, there are over 36 million searchable digitized records on the Digital Archives, but a very small percent of them are from the paper archives. Please take a few moments to read about how a paper record becomes available on our website.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: State Parks and Recreation Commission, Photographs of Park Development, 1933-1938

2012-09-21T00:00:00

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Bridge at Cascade Falls, Moran State Park, 1934, State Parks and Recreation Commission, Photographs of Park Development, 1933-1938, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Moran State Park was founded on Orcas Island by Robert Moran in 1921. In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps, or CCC, part of Roosevelt’s New Deal, worked at improving the park. The CCC aimed to employ unemployed workers while teaching them skills to succeed in the job force. During their time working at the park, they used local natural resources to make improvements in the park for the public. Pictured above you can see an example of how they used logs to build a bridge at Cascade Falls. Explore 205 more photos of the CCC and their impact on Moran State Park, including their mascot “Billie the Buck,” by searching for the term ‘Moran’ in the Keyword search or by clicking here.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Photographs – General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005

2012-09-05T00:00:00

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Water skiing on Lake Chelan, 1965, Scaylea, Josef, General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Are you enjoying the summer weather? I know this guy was. Back in 1965 these folks were waterskiing on Lake Chelan, enjoying the summer and relaxing on the lake. This photo was taken from the General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005. Since this collection offers great variety of photographs and a large span of time, it is a great way to browse through Washington’s history. The easiest way to access these photographs is to click on Collections, then the Photographs Collection and then select the General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005. If you intend to browse simply click Browse this series.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Audio Records – Local Records Committee Meetings

2012-08-08T00:00:00

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The Local Records Committee works to protect your records held at local governmental agencies. Here is a link to the Identity Theft Brochure, E-Publications, Office of the Attorney General, 2006.

Have you ever wondered how long government agencies keep public records? Who decides which records can be destroyed and which to preserve? These are the types of questions addressed by the Local Records Committee, made up of the State Archivist, and representatives from both the State Auditor’s office and the Attorney General’s office. They decide the schedule and procedures for records retention, preservation, and destruction of public records produced and held at the various local government agencies. Click here to listen to the recordings of their meetings from 2007 to present.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Roslyn Cemeteries

2012-07-25T00:00:00

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Photo Credit: Maggie Rail; donated to the Washington Historical Records Project, August 2009. Cemetery Records Collection.

Looking for something to do this summer? Roslyn was a late 19th-Century mining town with a striking ethnic diversity, well represented in the town’s 26 cemeteries. These cemeteries have gained historic status, and are a great place to learn about Washington’s fraternal and ethnic histories. Here is the link to the Roslyn Cemeteries Map that list the following Cemeteries: Cacciatori D'Africa Cemetery, Croatian Cemetery #2, Dr. Starcevic Cemetery #1, Druid Cemetery, Eagles Cemetery, Foresters Cemetery, IOOF Cemetery, Lithuanian Cemetery, Masonic Cemetery, Moose Cemetery, Mount Olivet Cemetery, New City Cemetery, New Knights of Pythias Cemetery, Old City Cemetery, Old Knights of Pythias Cemetery, Polish Cemetery, Red Men Lodge Cemetery, Roslyn Memorial Gardens, Santa Barbara #39 Cemetery, Serbian Cemetery, Silvio Pellico Cemetery, Slovak Cemetery, Sokol Cemetery, Veterans Cemetery, and Veterans Cemetery #2 (County Cemetery). These cemeteries can be found in the Cemetery Records Collection. The titles listed include general information about each cemetery, their geo-location, how many people were indexed, when and how the surveys were conducted, and a total of 71 photographs of the Roslyn cemeteries.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Grand Coulee Dam

2012-07-12T00:00:00

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Grand Coulee Dam Construction, BLM 3000 Series, State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990.

Grand Coulee Dam was the center of the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project. Built between 1933 and 1942 as a public works project of the New Deal, it provided irrigation to approximately 700,000 acres in Eastern Washington, making the desert bloom via the Banks Lake reservoir. Grand Coulee Dam also produces 21 billion kilowatts of electricity each year, and recreational opportunities abound on Lake Roosevelt, which lies behind the dam. There were costs as well: 77 people died during construction, small communities and hunting grounds disappeared beneath the new lake, and the dam brought an end to the great salmon migrations to the rivers and streams above.

The Digital Archives holds other records containing information on the dam. A “Keyword” search of Grand Coulee Dam on our home page retrieves 477 minutes, ordinances, and resolutions, 93 photos, 74 corporation records, 34 audio files, and a few maps and state publications. The photo above can be found here.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Columbia Basin Irrigation Project

2012-06-14T00:00:00

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Map of the physical features and geographic provinces within the Columbia Basin Irrigation Project area. Digital-Model Study of Ground-Water Hydrology, Columbia Basin Irrigation Project Area, Washington; 1974 Department of Ecology report. E-Publications Collection.

The Columbia Basin Irrigation Project was authorized by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s as part of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s effort to water the west. The project area covers over 1 million acres, of which nearly 700,000 are currently supplied with irrigation water from the reservoir (Banks Lake) near Grand Coulee Dam. The Washington State Archives has the following records about the project online at the Digital Archives: 1,391 minutes, ordinances, and resolutions, 145 audio records, 5 maps, 4 photographs, and 1 e-pub. Do a keyword search on “Columbia Basin Irrigation Project” to find them; and watch for the upcoming treasure on Grand Coulee Dam.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Archaeology & Historic Preservation E-Pubs

2012-06-01T00:00:00

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Columbia County Court House in Dayton, Constructed in 1887. Washington State Historic County Courthouse Assessment, 2003. E-Publications: Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation.

The Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation electronic publications are just one set of the many and varied series found in the E-Publications Collection. There are records and general information available from several boards, commissions, and various governmental offices. Articles from these agencies range from studies and reports, to advertisements, old college catalogs, class schedules, and so much more. Many of the reports by these government entities provide historical background on the places, cultures, and economics of Washington State – an excellent source of information for historians and genealogists.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Thurston County – First Record Book

2012-05-17T00:00:00

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Thurston County’s First Record Book, 1852-1857, Miscellaneous Family History Collection.

Here is a fascinating new item—the very first records book of Washington Territory government in Thurston County. Beginning in 1852 as a county of Oregon Territory, Thurston encompassed all of present-day western Washington north of Lewis County. The First Record Book of Thurston County covers the years 1852–1857. As you can see from the cover, and looking through the pages, the book is quite old and delicate, but thanks to volunteers at the Archives, this valuable treasure is digitally available for all to see. In the book you will find 529 pages of official county business and transactions, such as deeds, probate records, marriage records, and more. One such example is this petition, on 06 September 1852, by William Packwood for a new school district:

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One transaction of 06 September 1852, page 15 in the book (page 19 of the digital record). Thurston County First Record Book, Miscellaneous Family History Collection.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Asotin County Frontier Justice Records

2012-05-02T00:00:00

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Asotin County Frontier Justice Criminal Case File: Charles Heiby Accused of Horse Theft. Click here to view all 38 pages.

The Frontier Justice Collection consists of valuable information about laws and justice throughout the Territory of Washington prior to statehood in 1889. One of the counties’ records in the collection, Asotin County, has been scanned so in addition to the general information about each case, you can see the actual court documents. Of the 277 items in the Asotin records, there are 8 probate, 21 criminal, and 73 civil court cases. The types of cases include: collections, foreclosures, deeds, divorce, custody, guardianship, estate administration, adultery, murder, fornication, horse and cattle theft, burglary, and illegal liquor sales. The criminal and divorce cases can provide quite an amusing read – Enjoy! Asotin Frontier Justice Records.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Indian Census Records

2012-04-19T00:00:00

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Colville Tribe – Colville Reservation Indian Census of 1891. Recorded by Hal J. Cole, United States Indian Agent.

Federal censuses between 1790 and 1840 did not include American Indians; 1860 was the first time they were included in the general population, provided they lived near a military fort. The census act of 1879 authorized the enumerations of all Indians within the United States. However, it wasn’t until the census act of July 4, 1884 that Indian agents/superintendants were required to include all Indians – those living on reservations and those living within the general population – on all censuses taken thereafter.

The Office of the Secretary of State’s Historic Records Project and the State Archives are in the process of making these records available online through indexing and digitizing the Indian Census rolls for Washington between 1884 and 1940. Not all reservations, nor groups, are included in the collection, but there are 29 tribes recorded in all. Three titles are currently available online: The Columbia Tribe (1887-1910), the Colville Tribe (1890-1907 & 1911-1914), and the Couer d’Alene Tribe (1887-1902), all of which are from the Colville Reservation census rolls.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Marriage Records

2012-04-06T00:00:00

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1913 Marriage Record, Spokane Marriage Records, Washington State Archives – Digital Archives. Original record held at the Washington State Archives – Eastern Regional Branch in Cheney, WA.

A scanning project at the Eastern Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives turned up this unusual marriage record from 1913 between King Corn & Queen Alfalfa. “King Corn” is entered as a resident of Spokane, age 17, race as “White Dent,” and occupation as “Building up the Community.” “Queen Alfalfa” was 16, a resident of Yakima, her race was “Green” and her occupation was “Helping King Corn.” Research by Lee Pierce, Archives Assistant, revealed that the marriage license was part of a publicity stunt for a local agricultural fair. Click here to explore thousands of Washington marriage records online at the Washington State Archives, or contact our State Archives research team at research@sos.wa.gov.




Thank You for Your Participation

2012-03-29T00:00:00

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Thanks to all who responded to our 1-minute survey. There was an overwhelming response and thanks to you we have learned several important points.

First, 95% of you supported an increase of $1.00 to the filing fee collected by county recorders, with the biggest group supporting an increase to $5.00.

Second, nearly 40% have used the Digital Archives at least 26 times a month. Amazing.

Third, more than one-third of you had visited or used other branches of the Archives, some more than 10 times a month.

Fourth, the ability to use the Digital Archives saved you money. Nearly 14% of you placed a value of more than $1,000 and yes, some even claimed the search was “priceless.”

And finally, 181 volunteered to follow up with the State Archivist to answer additional questions and provide us with more comments on what you would like to see. We sincerely appreciate the feedback and use this information to ensure we continue to meet your research need.

Thanks again for your help, and for describing our services as “invaluable”, “great”, “wonderful”, and “awesome.”

The State Archivist will be in touch with those who indicated a willingness to provide more details about their use of the Digital Archives.


 



Treasures of the Digital Archives: Share our records with your Facebook Friends

2012-03-09T00:00:00

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Image from the Olympia High School "Olympus," Volume 4, No. 1, Page 20 (November 4, 1904), found here. E-Publications.

Did you know that most records found on our website can be shared with your Facebook friends? Whenever you come across a record you particularly enjoy or find amusing, simply click the (image) button (next to the printer icon), to let all your Facebook friends in on your discovery.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: President Barack Obama’s Childhood Home in Seattle

2012-02-24T00:00:00

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Parcel Number 685170-0095, King County Real Property Record Cards, 1937-1972, Real Property Record Cards.

Few people know that the 44th President of the United States once lived in Seattle. Stanley Ann Obama lived with her infant son in a second-floor apartment in this Capitol Hill home while she took courses at the University of Washington during the 1961-1962 academic year. The house at 516 13th Avenue East has long since been razed to make way for an apartment building, but you can still view a photo of the building—and thousands of other King County properties—at the Washington State Digital Archives website. Click here to browse the King County Real Property Record Cards Collection, 1937-1972.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Follow Us on Twitter

2012-02-08T00:00:00

Looking for space food: Biochemistry at Boeing, 1959 (Tweet from 17 October 2011). State Library Photograph Collection. Did you know that you can also follow us on Twitter? Each week we highlight different collections, the most current accessions, or new happenings at the Washington State Archives. Our profile name is WADigitArchives, and here are a few previous tweets.Where is the Isle of Man? A farmer from there shows up on an 1877#WA Territory #Census http://bit.ly/jpYweP #Trivia #WA Taking oaths to prove: not an anarchist, 1945 http://bit.ly/lng2CJ able to read, write & speak English, 1960 http://bit.ly/j0vfJC #History #WA More #Mugshots from WaDigitArchives: Men & their big hair, 1919.http://bit.ly/ixPRzq #History #Hairstyle #Archives #Vintage #Hair #WA Click here to follow us on Twitter.[...]



Treasures of the Digital Archives: Cemetery Records

2012-01-24T00:00:00

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Photo Credit: Maggie Rail/Matt Morris, April 2000; Chief Joseph Cemetery in Okanogan County. Cemetery Records Collection.

Currently, the cemetery records series provides indexes to 347 cemeteries across the state. Each index was created by volunteers who put boots on the ground to gather information from each gravesite - not an easy undertaking (pun intended). These volunteers not only catalogued each gravesite for the indexes, but they also conducted research in order to provide some background on the cemeteries. For example, Maggie Rail writes of Greenwood Cemetery in Whitman County: "The first listed burial in the cemetery was in Oct 1878, which is when it was the Oregon Territory. This means the cemetery must have been established about that time. There are two other burials that year, one in November and another in December. After walking this cemetery and seeing so many vacant spaces in the older sections, I am convinced there are many unmarked graves, which I do not account for. I will continue to try however to see if I can find more early records." This is but one sample of the great effort put forth by the volunteers, many of whom are members of the Washington State Cemetery Association, in order for the public to have online access to this wealth of information.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Political Campaigns

2011-11-23T00:00:00

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Republican Campaign Memorabilia, 1960, by Merle Junk, Susan Parish Photograph Collection. Here’s the link to this photo.

The Washington State Archives maintains hundreds of documents and artifacts related to campaigns for elected positions, along with the products of those elected officials. For example, there are several online audio files, meeting minutes, ordinances, and resolutions showing our legislators in action. Additionally, the State Archives has a collection of campaign posters, pins, placards, and other paraphernalia. A quick way to find several of these online records is to enter “political campaigns” in the Search by Keyword section above, or contact our State Archives research team at research@sos.wa.gov.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Military Records

2011-11-17T00:00:00

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Korean War Era Veterans’ Bonus Claims Card, 1955-1960, Department of Veterans’ Affairs. To view this document, click here.

The Washington State Archives offers a wide array of military records including: muster rolls, casualty lists, service records, enlistment registers, bonus claims, and much much more. The records date back to the Territorial days through the Vietnam War. Many of the records have images available, however, even the non-image records provide fascinating details. Take a peek at our State’s military history at Military Records. For more information, contact the State Archives research team at research@sos.wa.gov.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Audio Files

2011-11-01T00:00:00

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Washington State’s House of Representatives photo from the House of Representatives Group Photos 1883-1981 Collection, Jeffers Studios. Click here to view this record, and here to hear an audio file of the House of Representatives from 1979, Education Committee.

Three series of audio files are online at the Washington State Digital Archives: 1) House of Representatives Committee Meeting Recordings, 1973-2002; 2) Floor Recordings from the Office of Secretary of Senate, 1971-2010; and 3) Spokane Voices of the Pioneers Oral Histories. Legislative audio files include a broad range of topics: social, health, family, housing, utilities, energy, environment, agriculture, commerce, finance, labor, education, elections, and so much more. The oral history accounts cover topics such as homesteading and wheat farming, schools and hospitals, entertainment and social clubs, railroads and bridges, and stories of Spokane’s pioneers to mention a few. Enjoy these recordings from the Digital Archives: Audio Records.




Grant Project Adds 300,000 Pages to Local Government Minutes, Ordinances, and Resolutions Collections

2011-07-08T00:00:00

Vancouver School District No. 47 Minutes, May 5, 1877, Vancouver Public Schools, School Board Minutes, 1877-1999, Washington State Archives Southwest Region Branch. This document can be viewed online here. The cities we live in, the fire districts that protect us, the school districts that educate us, the health districts who heal us when we’re sick. They all have something in common: Minutes, Ordinances, and Resolutions passed by their governing bodies. Washington State Archives has awarded over $3.1 million to 266 local government agencies over the past ten years to preserve these types of public records and share them with our constituents, the public. This year, our staff scanned, indexed, and uploaded Minutes, Ordinances, and Resolutions from 37 different local government entities to our Digital Archives website. We added over 300,000 new pages—from as early as 1877, to as recent as 2010—to these collections. Take some time and see if your local government has records on our website, and while you’re searching, see if your name shows up in our collections. Washington State Archives has over 28 million searchable records online. [...]



Treasures of the Digital Archives: Boeing Clipper and Mt. Rainier

2011-05-19T00:00:00

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State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990, Washington State Archives, Olympia, WA.

Boeing has been an important part of the Washington State economy since its founding in Seattle in 1916. The Boeing Clipper pictured here debuted in 1941. The Washington State Digital Archives has a considerable collection of images related to Boeing in the State Library Photograph Collection.

Explore the State Library Photograph Collection. Here is a link to the record seen above.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Website of Governor Gary Locke

2011-02-23T00:00:00

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Office of the Governor, Website of Governor Gary Locke, 2004, Washington State Archives.

The Washington State Archives is responsible for the preservation of archival electronic records from the many state and local government agencies in Washington. Examples of these records are the official websites of Governor Gary Locke (1997-2005) and Governor Mike Lowry (1993-1997). Governor Locke’s website is an important historic document and includes 1,235 web pages and more than 3,200 files from the Locke Administration. Among the files are 1,605 press releases, 536 speeches, and 162 media events.

Explore the Website of Governor Gary Locke. Explore the Website of Governor Mike Lowry.
Read a press release about the preservation of Governor Locke’s website.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Record of Convicts, 1877-1888

2011-01-19T00:00:00

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Corrections Department, Penitentiary, Convict Record, 1877-1888, Washington State Archives

This collection contains the names of over 500 inmates housed in the Territorial Penitentiary – Seatco, near what is now the town of Bucoda. The privately-run prison operated from 1877 until 1888 when the new Penitentiary was opened in Walla Walla. The register shows name, alias, residence, place convicted, crime, sentence, physical condition, and date of discharge, parole or escape and is a fascinating glimpse into the social history of Washington at a key moment in our history.

Explore the Corrections Department, Penitentiary, Convict Record series. Here is a link to the record seen above.




Eastern Region Archives, Digital Archives open house set for October 12

2010-09-30T00:00:00

OLYMPIA…In honor of Archives Month, the Washington State Archives is offering an open house tour and demonstration of its Cheney facilities on Tuesday, October 12.

The event includes a 2:30 p.m. tour of the State Archives’ Eastern Region Branch conducted by Eastern Regional Branch Archives Assistant Lee Pierce. A demonstration and tour of the Digital Archives will take place at 3:30 p.m. Digital Archivist Kerry Barbour and Assistant Archivist Larry Cebula will demonstrate the Digital Archives’ website, and Network Administrator Harold Stoehr will lead a tour of its state-of-the-art facility.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Alhambra Cabins – Soap Lake

2010-06-10T00:00:00

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Alhambra Cabins—Soap Lake, Washington, Conservation Department, Planning and Development Division, Lantern Slide Shows, 1910-1939, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives. Original item held at Washington State Archives, Olympia, WA.

This charming image of tourist cabins at Soap Lake is one of a series of 265 hand-colored glass lantern slides taken between 1920 and 1930 to promote tourism in Washington. Images show the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam, the Columbia Basin Project, the benefits of irrigation and water projects to Washington State, building projects, hotels, garages, dams, fishing and recreational activities, transportation facilities, shipwrecks, and scenic views of forests and rivers. A set of postcards from these slides is available from the Office of the Secretary of State.

Explore the Conservation Department, Planning and Development Division, Lantern Slide Shows Collection.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Downriver Bridge - 1927

2010-04-02T00:00:00

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Falsework being erected for construction of the Downriver Bridge in 1927, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives. Original item held at Washington State Archives, Eastern Regional Branch, Cheney, WA.

The years 1907 through 1930 were years of rapid growth of the built infrastructure within the City of Spokane. Literally all major concrete arch bridges were constructed during this time period, and many, such as Monroe Street (1910) and Latah Creek (1911), still remain in their original form. The construction pictured here is of the Down River Bridge in 1927. Falsework is being put in place for eventual concrete construction. This photograph is part of the Spokane City Public Works Collection, which feature over 500 8 X 10 Black and White construction progress photos of nearly all Spokane bridges constructed between 1907 and 1930. This photograph is by long-time Spokane photographer T. W. Tolman.

Explore the Spokane City Public Works Collection.




Treasures of the Digital Archives: Seven O’clock

2010-03-24T00:00:00

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This atmospheric 1953 portrait of downtown Ritzville was taken by photographer A. M. “Burt” Kendrick. From 1935 until 1976, Kendrick was the town’s principal photographer, and the 40,000 or more pictures in his collection include images of early agriculture, school portraits, parades, accidents and other notable events. The Washington State Digital Archives currently has over 5,000 of Kendrick’s photographs online, offering an unparalleled view of life in a small-town America in the mid-20th century.

Explore the A M Kendrick Collection.

Ritzville State Bank, Downtown Ritzville, WA, 1953, A. M. Kendrick Collection, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives. Original item held at Washington State Archives, Eastern Regional Branch, Cheney, WA.




Top 5 questions from our visitors

2010-02-18T00:00:00

Here at the Digital Archives we have many dedicated viewers who often share their compliments, suggestions and questions for our website. Occasionally we like to share these questions and answers with our broader audience so that our other visitors can benefit from this knowledge. This month’s questions are:

  • What kinds of records do you have on your site?
  • I have records that may be of interest to the Archives. What should I do?
  • Why are some Social Security numbers displayed?
  • What are the copyright restrictions on using images on the Digital Archives website?
  • Why does Internet Explorer crash when I try to view images?

Click “MORE” to read the answers to these common questions.




Washington State Archives slashed prices on Archives Note Cards

2010-01-27T00:00:00

The new prices are:

  • Early Statehood - $3.00/package
  • Salmon Run - $4.00/package
  • Asahel Curtis - $5.00/package

The cards can be purchased through the Secretary of State Online Store or by dropping by the Archives.

For those not familiar with these beautiful note cards, a description and picture of each package is below:

Early Statehood note cards are scans of trademark designs submitted to the Secretary of State between 1892 and 1895, and includes eight note cards and envelopes.

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Salmon Run note cards are scans of trademark designs submitted to the Secretary of State between 1892 and 1897, and includes eight note cards and envelopes.

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Asahel Curtis note cards contain promotional lantern slides of Washington in 1925, and includes 12 note cards and envelopes.

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Out-of-State Social Security Death Index Records Going Offline

2009-11-06T00:00:00

In July of 2008, the Washington State Digital Archives decided to add the entire Social Security Death Index to our website as a service to our visitors. Since the Social Security Death Index is a paid subscription service, we wanted to give researchers access to the full index rather than hiding non-Washington State entries. Since then, we have received a lot of feedback asking us to remove these records.