by Brian Zylstra | October 2nd, 2012
If you’re into horse thievery, prison mug shots, bootlegging and finding out more about Washington’s rich and interesting history, this month is for you.
For the sixth straight year, the State Archives is celebrating Archives Month throughout October in Washington.
This year’s official theme is, “LAW & ORDER IN THE ARCHIVES: Crooks, Cops and Courts.”
There’s a cool new Archives Month poster that ties in with this year’s theme. The posters are available for pickup, thanks to a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The posters will be available by the second week of October in the Office of Secretary of State, located on the second floor of the Legislative Building in Olympia, and at the State Archives Building, located at 1129 Washington St. SE in Olympia. The posters also will be found in the Regional Archives branches in Bellevue, Bellingham, Cheney and Ellensburg. Supplies are limited, so if you want one, don’t delay.
The State Archives and its branches throughout Washington are planning various workshops, open houses and other free events. Go here to learn more about these Archives Month events, and to view the Archives Month poster online.
And who are some of Washington’s more notable or famous criminals and events?
• Roy Olmstead was one of the most successful and best-known bootleggers in the Pacific Northwest region during the Prohibition Era.
• Aberdeen union official Billy Gohl was suspected of killing more than 40 men between 1905 and 1910.
• Harry Ferguson earned the alias “The Flying Dutchman” as he smuggled goods between Canada and the San Juan Islands.
• After escaping the Oregon State Penitentiary in 1902, Harry Tracy terrorized Washingtonians, killing six men and became the last desperado of the Old West.
• Gary Leon Ridgway, known as the Green River Killer, was convicted of 48 separate murders and confessed to nearly double that number.
• The elaborately planned Mahoney Trunk Murder occurred in Seattle in 1921. James E. Mahoney was later convicted and executed for the crime.
• The first criminal trial in future Washington Territory convened on October 2, 1849, at Fort Steilacoom.
• Colton Harris-Moore is a criminal and former fugitive from Camano Island and is popularly known as “The Barefoot Bandit.”
• In 1887, 10 convicts were transported from the Seatco Prison and become the first prisoners at the new penitentiary at Walla Walla.
• Zenon “James” Champoux was hanged at the State Penitentiary at Walla Walla in 1904, becoming the first man executed by the state.
Archives Month is co-sponsored by the Washington State Archives, a division of the Office of Secretary of State.