WA Secretary of State Blogs

Glory of Trees

November 25th, 2015 Rand Simmons Posted in Articles, Federal and State Publications, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.”

John Muir

James Ellenwood and his co-authors have created a magnificent book, The National individual tree species atlas (Fort Collins, CO: United States Forest Service, Forest Health Protection, Forest Health Technology Enterprise Team, [2015])

This reference volume covers each tree species in the United States and precisely where each species is likely to grow and not grow.National Individual Tree Species Atlas

According to the GPO Bookstore “this illustrated work will benefit silviculturists, foresters, geneticists, researchers, botanists, wildlife habitat biologists, landscape ecologists—essentially anyone involved in natural resources management, monitoring impacts of climate change or visiting America’s forests and landscapes.” (Description from GPO Bookstore.)

But what about people who simply love the beauty of trees or being out and among them? You will be rewarded with wonderful photographs and fascinating maps.

Would you like to look at this book? You are in luck! It is available at the Washington State Library (did I mention it is a rather large book?). Its call number is OVERSIZ A 13.110/18:15-01. You need to call ahead before coming to the library (360-704-5200). It’s at our storage facility.

Can’t get to Tumwater? Ask your local public library to borrow it from us.

You can also view it online at http://1.usa.gov/1LrmQ7H. This is a large file so have patience while it downloads.

If you must have your own copy, the GPO Bookstore will be happy to sell it to you:  .

Federal publications. They are for everyday living!

Rand Simmons is the Federal Collection Executive Manager at the Washington State Library, Office of the Secretary of State.

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Dispatches from the Newport Miner, 1907-08

November 16th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized No Comments »

From the Desk of Marlys Rudeen – Former Washington Deputy State Librarian

Let’s take a look at Newport in the early part of the 20th century through the lens of the local newspaper.  Front page news articles focus on the shipping, mining and lumber industries that provide the life blood for Newport and its surrounding areas, and on the railroads that allow that lifeblood to flow freely.

The lives of the residents are usually chronicled further back in the paper.  From the local news sections we can see that Newport residents were great travelers, both for business and pleasure, and their comings and goings were recorded in the local news section “Just Among Ourselves.”  In fact, the section begins each day with the train schedule for both passengers and freight trains between Newport and Spokane.  Social notes about lodge meetings, church schedules and social events are included.  Businesses and services are advertised.  Lost and found items are publicized.  Work place injuries and illnesses are reported.

You can explore the Newport Miner from 1907-1912 at the Chronicling America web site.  Choose the Browse Issues link, select a year from the drop down box, and then choose an issue from the calendar display.  I’ve listed some of the dates and pages below for some interesting tidbits. lady

Nov. 9, 1907

p. 1 “Criminal Element Busy During Past Week.”

Loot taken during a burglary at the Reid Hardware Company included “four revolvers, about fifty pocket knives, a razor, magnifying glass and other small articles…”  On Monday evening Ralph Kennedy was returning home through the lumber yards when he was accosted and robbed of $2.80.  “The holdup man compelled Ralph to walk back into the yards about a block with him and then bade him good night with a ‘much obliged.’”

p. 5 “The Silver Birch Dairy Wagon, which was smashed in a runaway about three weeks ago, has been rebuilt and painted and is in commission again.”

“Ralph Kennedy says that the gun that held him up the other night was of a new-sized caliber.  He would judge it to be about the size of a stove pipe.”

Nov. 16, 1907, p. 1

“Tough Element Busy – Burglaries and Hold-ups Becoming Frequent – City Jail Full Wednesday”

George Edge, local architect was relieved of 80 cents cash by a “big burly bum.” On Wed. evening men steal flour from a railcar and attempt to sell it to a local restaurant.

p. 5 “One of our south town bachelors has a large sign, “Wife Wanted,” over his door. Won’t some old maid take pity on the poor fellow.”

Nov. 22, 1907

p. 1 “News of Old Town” – “Spot Emery has gone to Medial Lake to boil out, so he says. The general impression is, however, that he has gone there for other treatment, and his friends do not expect him to return until the doctors are through with him”

Dec. 12, 1907

p. 1 “Chapter of Accidents” – Ted Shoemaker of Cusick shot by accident; George Terpenning, broken leg while skidding logs; Sam Higginson falls off a train car cutting his head; Franks Staley hit by flying rock from a blast; and the daughter of Rev. R. C. Moore injured when her horse falls and rolls over her.

p. 5 “’As Told in the Hills,’ a western melo-drama, is booked for the Opera House Tuesday evening, Jan. 31st.” Sincerity Clothes

Jan. 9, 1908, p. 5

’Billy’ Heffron is arranging a wrestling match between “Earl Rusho, a farmer residing between Newport and Spirit Lake, and Heinrich, the well-known professional from Spokane.”  The match was scheduled for the Opera House.

p. 5 “Poor old Spokane has had to bow to the inevitable, and beginning next Sunday the lid will be jammed down so hard that visitors will hardly recognize the town. Mayor Moore has issued an order calling for the closing of all saloons on Sunday and abolishing the notorious cribs and concert halls.”

Feb. 13, 1908, p. 1

“News of the Old Town” – An altercation is reported –  “One of the milkmen ran up against a rounder who thought he owned the town.  The rounder was flattened out by a couple of swift hard blows; so also was a showcase.  Damages about $3.  No arrests.”

Feb. 29, 1908

p. 3 “Neighborhood News” – “The work of crusading against disorderly houses and their inmates goes merrily on in Bonner county.”

p. 5 “Just Among Ourselves” “The new Stevens county jail at Colville does not seem to be entirely proof against breaking out of the detained.”  A prisoner escaped on Monday but was recaptured on Tuesday near Chewelah.

“The council has granted a license for a moving picture show, which will occupy the Opera House for an extended period…”

corsetp. 6 “Tiger Talk” – “The next meeting of the Bachelor’s Club will be at their air castle on Poverty Flat, located on Pitfall avenue, some time in the near future, to consider ways and means in which to encourage spinsters to make use of the privilege granted to them once every four years.  The club is in a healthy financial condition, with a cash capital of $0,000.01 in the treasury and all dues paid up to date.”

“Usk Items” – “Ole Olson was perambulating the streets of Usk this week.”

Feb. 27, 1908

p. 3 “News from the Metalines” – “Several strangers are in town today. Some of them are looking up a location for a saloon, a good sign that the town is on the boom.”

“Tiger Talk” – “Frank Schultz brought a sled load of people down from Yocum to the Socialist meeting at Renshaw’s hall.

And finally, an excerpt from some tongue in cheek poetry – “An invitation to the ‘Utterly Lost.’”

“Come and visit ‘mong us,

Bring your things and stay;

You’ll find no growth of fungus

Adown the Pon de Ray.”  (3rd stanza)

“Note [from the poet] – As the construction of the above may not meet the approval of a critical public,

My name is not appended,

For my muse has gone astray…”

The Newport Miner was digitized through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under the National Digital Newspaper Program.  The Miner and many other American newspapers can be found online at Chronicling America at the Library of Congress.

Additional newspapers for Washington can be found at Historic Newspapers at the Washington State Library’s web site.  The State Library is a Division of the Office of the Secretary of State.


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Washington State’s Letters About Literature Contest for 2016 is underway.

November 8th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Letters About Literature No Comments »

“I truly believe that without your book, I wouldn’t be here writing this letter to you today.”

Teresa Zhan 2014 Level 3 winner

“The moment I started reading your books it changed me! “

Emily Cordero, 2014 Level 2 winner

“Pastwatch showed me that to be the person I want to be, I must face my fears and voice my beliefs – even if they are different from the beliefs of people around me.”

Owen Bernstein, 2013 Level 2 winner

Every year powerful statements such as these are written by students from all over Washington State.  The Letters About Literature contest encourages young readers in grades 4-12 to read a book and write a letter to the author about how the book changed their view of the world or themselves.  2016 marks the eleventh year that the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, has sponsored the contest as part of Washington Reads.  Washington is a strong state in the contest routinely receiving over 3000 entries every year.

The contest has a tremendous impact on students and their appreciation for the books they read.  Here’s what last year’s winners had to say about the contest.


Would you like to learn more about the contest or read letters of past winners?  Here’s where to find the information.

The 23rd annual writing contest for young readers is made possible by a generous grant from the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, with additional support from gifts to the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, which promotes the contest through its affiliate Centers for the Book, state libraries and other organizations.



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Federal Documents for Everyday Living: Thanksgiving

November 6th, 2015 Rand Simmons Posted in Articles, Federal and State Publications, For Libraries, For the Public, Government Publication No Comments »

Federal Documents for Everyday Living:Thanksgiving pumkin fruit
Vol. 1 no 2 November 5, 2015.

Thanksgiving Resources


Federal publications and web sites

Civil War: Thanksgiving Foods. Terrell, E. (2013) Library of Congress.
Available at WSL! http://blogs.loc.gov/inside_adams/2013/11/civil-war-thanksgiving-foods/

Congress Establishes Thanksgiving. (n.d.). National Archives. https://www.archives.gov/legislative/features/thanksgiving/ Note: If this link does not work copy the link and enter it into your browser.

Countdown to the Thanksgiving holiday United States. Food Safety and Inspection Service. (2010). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service. Available at WSL! Online: http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/gpo19074/Countdown-to-Thanksgiving-Holiday.pdf; Print: A 110.29:T 32

Family guide: The winter holidays: National Gallery of Art (U.S.). (1993). Washington: The Gallery. Available at WSL! Print: SI 8.8:W 73

MyPlate holiday makeover: United States. Department of Agriculture. (2013). Visit www.choosemyplate.gov and search “holidays” for healthier options during the holidays.

Prepare a Safe and Healthy Thanksgiving Meal. (2013). USDA. http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentidonly=true&contentid=2009/11/0561.xml

Preparing for a Safe and Easy Thanksgiving Dinner – One Day at a Time. (2013). USDA. Food Safety and Inspection Service. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education/get-answers/food-safety-fact-sheets/seasonal-food-safety/thanksgiving-recipes

Teacher’s Guide to Thanksgiving. (n.d.). http://www.loc.gov/teachers/classroommaterials/primarysourcesets/thanksgiving/pdf/teacher_guide.pdf

USDA Invites You to ‘Ask Karen’ to Your Thanksgiving Meal. (2013). USDA. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/newsroom/news-releases-statements-transcripts/news-release-archives-by-year/archive/2013/nr-11182013-01

State Publications

Teaching about Thanksgiving. Ross, Cathy. (1986). Superintendent of Public Instruction. Available at WSL! Call No. 370 Ed8tea a 1986

Thanksgiving Proclamation. Semple, Governor, E. (1888). Available at WSL! http://www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/publicationsviewer/?title=Thanksgiving%20proclamation&ID=326

Thanksgiving dinner: serve it safely. Spindler, E. B. (n.d.). Washington State University. Available at WSL!
Call No. 378 e Ex8emz 4076

Other Resources

Proclamation of Thanksgiving Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, A. (1863). Abraham Lincoln Online. http://www.abrahamlincolnonline.org/lincoln/speeches/thanks.htm

How to search the online catalog: Set your browser to: http://www.sos.wa.gov/library/catalog.aspx (1) set “search by” to keyword, (2) enter a search term, e.g., bullying, in the “search words box,” (3) set “additional options/search in” to “federal publications” (4) then click on the search button.
You should get a list of federal publications about bullying. Documents may be online, in print or in a variety of other medium. Entries indicating “call ahead” mean you should call us and ask that the document be retrieved from storage and brought to the central library for your use.

Your local library can send us an “interlibrary loan” request and borrow materials on your behalf. In many circumstances, our librarians also are able to scan and send you electronic copies. Contact Ask a Librarian to inquire about specific titles and availability. Our Ask a Librarian service is available at 360-704-5221 (Monday – Friday noon to 5:00 p.m.) or use our chat box at http://1.usa.gov/1OoGTct. It’s easy.

This publication was prepared by Rand Simmons, Federal Collection Executive Manager, with the assistance of Staci Phillips. For more information contact Rand at rand.simmons@sos.wa.gov.


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Two attend Federal Depository Library conference

November 2nd, 2015 Rand Simmons Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, Government Publication No Comments »


Pentagon in Arlington, Va. View from the SkyDome, Double Tree Hotel (Arlington), FDL Conference, October 18, 2015. Photo: Rand Simmons

Crystal Lentz and Rand Simmons attended the Federal Depository Library Conference in Arlington, VA, October 19-21, 2015. Crystal manages the Central Library of the Washington State Library (WSL) and also is the Coordinator of the library’s Regional Federal Depository (Regional Library) for the states of Washington and Alaska.

As a Regional Depository Library, WSL receives and houses all publications distributed by the Government Publishing Office (GPO) through its Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP). Federal publications are published in many mediums including print, digital, microform, video and audio.

There is only one Regional Depository in the states of Washington and Alaska — the Washington State Library. As a Regional Depository WSL selects and retains all FDLP publications indefinitely (unless otherwise allowed by GPO) for use by the residents of Washington and Alaska.  All others are known as “selective depositories” and are less restricted under GPO requirements.

Crystal observed,”The Federal Depository Library conference is my yearly opportunity to network face to face with my colleagues from all states and territories, to learn what they are doing and glean best practices.”

GPO, as a conference teaser, said they had some very good news for participants. “We have been eagerly awaiting news about the regulation on discarding materials and we were hoping this would be the good news,” Crystal stated.

Her wish was granted when Davita Vance-Cooks, Director of the Government Publishing Office and Mary Alice Baish, Superintendent of Documents, announced the congressional Joint Committee on Printing had accepted GPO’s proposal that Regional Libraries be allowed to discard federal publications after seven years when a digital copy exists. The applause was deafening! But, there are “as long as” stipulations. GPO will conduct pilot tests with six Regional Libraries around the nation in 2016 before allowing all Regional Libraries to participate.

“This is wonderful news for us,” Rand noted. “We want to shrink our footprint for federal documents. We cannot house all of our federal collection in our current building. For many years we have leased space from the Department of Printing to house lesser used publications but we are near capacity. Something needs to be done soon. Going digital is desirable because it makes our federal publications available to many more people but the new policy will help us address the storage issue. That’s the good news. The other side of the coin is that with more than a million items and few staff progress in digitizing will be slow.”

Washington, Oregon and Alaska depository librarians, Federal Depository Library conference, Arlington, VA.

Washington, Oregon and Alaska depository librarians enjoy lunch during the Federal Depository Library conference in Arlington, VA. Featured above, left to right, Cass Hartnett, University of Washington; Aimee Quinn, Central Washington University; Oregon Librarian; Crystal Lentz, Washington State Library; Oregon Librarian; Daniel Cornwall, Alaska State Library; Peggy Jarrett, University of Washington Law; Rand Simmons, Washington State Library. Not shown, Barb Massey, King County Library System.

Depository librarians from Washington and Alaska attended the conference. Along with two Oregon, one Alaskan and one Boston depository librarian the group met for lunch to network over pizza. “It was a great opportunity to meet colleagues,” Rand said. “That is crucial if I am to be successful in my new assignment.”

As the Executive Manager of the Federal Collection Rand works collaboratively with Crystal on specific assignments that include focusing on increasing the amount of federal publications available online and implementing a Regional Depository Library model that is shared among selective depositories. WSL will remain the official Regional Library.






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Federal Documents for Everyday Living: Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

October 19th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections No Comments »

Federal Documents for Everyday Living:
Vol. 1 no 1 October 19, 2015.

Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

October is Bullying Prevention Awareness Month and it’s a perfect opportunity to talk about federal publications, web sites and blogs.bully-655660_1920

Did you know that the Washington State Library has a comprehensive collection of federal and state publications going way back into the 1880s? We are the Regional Federal Depository Library for Washington and Alaska. Most government publications can be located through the State Library’s online catalog (indicated below as At WSL).

Stop Bullying.Gov is a great place to learn about Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. There are materials for parents, teachers, and kids (http://www.stopbullying.gov/resources). You can also find the policies and laws of various states. Here’s a link to the Washington State page: http://www.stopbullying.gov/laws/washington.html. In Washington State harassment, intimidation or bullying are terms used in anti-bullying laws. The laws also cover cyberbullying.

Here are some federal publications at WSL that may be of interest:
Bullying is not a fact of life (HE 20.427:B 87/2/2008). (n.d.). [Rockville, Md.] : U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services [Rockville, Md.] : U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services. At WSL: Print: HE 20.427:B 87/2008

Ending the school-to-prison pipeline :. (2012). At WSL: Print: WSL Fed Docs Annex (Call Ahead) Y 4.J 89/2:S.HRG.112-848; Microfiche: WSL Fed Doc Fiche Annex (Call Ahead) MICRO Y 4.J 89/2:S.HRG.112-848; Online http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-112shrg86166/pdf/CHRG-112shrg86166.pdf

Lumsden, L. (2002). Preventing Bullying. ERIC Digest. At WSL: Online: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/ERIC-ED463563/pdf/ERIC-ED463563.pdf.; Print: ED 1.310/2:463563; Microfiche: MICRO ED 1.310/2:463563

School bullying : extent of legal protections for vulnerable groups needs to be more fully assessed : report to congressional requesters (eBook, 2012) [WorldCat.org]. (n.d.). At WSL: Online: http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/591202.pdf.; Print: GA 1.13:GAO-12-349

Stop bullying now! [videorecording] : take a stand, lend a hand. (n.d.). [Rockville, Md.] : U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration ; [Washington, D.C.] : Dept. of Education, [2006?]. At WSL: Video: WSL Fed Doc CDROM Annex (Call Ahead): CDROM HE 1.60:B 87/DVD

United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, author. (2014). Bullying-free schools: How local, state and federal efforts can help : field hearing … June 8, 2012 (Des Moines, IA). At WSL: Online: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CHRG-112shrg91970/pdf/CHRG-112shrg91970.pdf; Print: Y 4.L 11/4:S.HRG.112-913

State Documents

Dept. of Labor and Industries. (2006). Workplace bullying [electronic resource] : what everyone needs to know. At WSL: Online: http://digitalarchives.wa.gov/WA.Media/do/323B27DC85A0F8D224E101E22BE60FF1.pdf

Office of the attorney general. (2006). Bullying is not okay [electronic resource] : when your child is the victim, the bully, or a bystander. At WSL: Online: http://digitalarchives.wa.gov/WA.Media/do/1489D5AC5546CA3205A0D9367BDD7FB1.pdf

Washington (State). Office of the Education Ombudsman. (2007). Bullying at school: What a family can do. Olympia, WA: Office of the Education Ombudsman. At WSL: Online: digitalarchives.wa.gov/WA.Media/do/C84C22CEF3AA7AC529363CE419E88AD3.pdf; Print: Wa 379 Ed82 Bul S 2007

Other Resources

How Libraries Help Kids Stand Up to Bullying


To find federal publications available at the Washington State Library go to the online catalog at www.sos.wa.gov/library/catalog.aspx.

How to search the online catalog:  (1) set “search by” to keyword, (2) enter a search term, e.g., bullying, in the “search words box,” (3) set “additional options/search in” to “federal publications” (4) then click on the search button.
You should get a list of federal publications about bullying. Documents may be online, in print or in a variety of other medium. Entries indicating “call ahead” mean you should call us and ask that the document be retrieved from storage and brought to the central library for your use.

Your local library can send us an “interlibrary loan” request and borrow materials on your behalf. In many circumstances, our librarians also are able to scan and send you electronic copies. Contact Ask a Librarian to inquire about specific titles and availability. Our Ask a Librarian service is available  at 360-704-5221 (Monday – Friday noon to 5:00 p.m.) or use our chat box at http://1.usa.gov/1OoGTct. It’s easy.


This publication was prepared by Rand Simmons, Federal Collection Executive Manager, with the assistance of Staci Phillips. For more information contact Rand at rand.simmons@sos.wa.gov.


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Seattle Public Librarians Wow Teens in SE Washington.

October 8th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

Ask WABelieving that a good way to reach teenagers is through that tool they all so dearly love (their phone), in late September, Ask WA Coordinator Nono Burling headed to SE Washington.  With the start of the new school year she hoped to spread the word about Washington State’s Virtual Reference Cooperative and how it could help them.

But wait, step back!  What is Ask WA you ask?  Ask WA is a cooperative of public and academic libraries around the state that work together to provide 24/7 help from a librarian to Washington residents.  Almost 60 libraries and library systems belong to the cooperative and any library in Washington is eligible to join.  Washington State is one of the “pioneers” for this program.  We have many librarians who have been doing chat reference for many years and are highly skilled.

But back to the road show… Knowing that some of the smaller libraries in our cooperative are hard pressed for time, Nono offered to visit their High School students to tell them about the program.  Asotin County library and The Denny Ashby library in Pomeroy readily accepted the offer and made arrangements with their local high schools.

Day one: Clarkston High School.  Asotin County Library has adopted the Library Now app which WSL developed a few years ago.  This was a boon as there is a live webpage where she could demo just how it would look on a student’s smartphone.  The teachers allowed the kids to get out their phones and install the app right then and there.  In each class Nono talked about the service, showed how to find the download app on the Asotin County Library’s webpage and then connected with a librarian.  During the early morning classes we chatted with librarians on the east coast but later in the day it was all Washington librarians.  The kids asked great questions and were very excited to be chatting live with a librarian.  Best story from Clarkston … the sophomores.  After the first “normal” question a hand was raised.  “Ask her ‘Why did the plane crash?’” “Hmmm…Can you give me a bit more information?”  “Oh it’s a joke.” So the question was typed in clarifying that it was a joke.  While the librarian was searching the answer was requested.  “Because the pilot was a loaf of bread!”  ??? The whole class looked dumbfounded; this made no sense.  Then up on the screen, an answer from the librarian, “Because the pilot was a loaf of bread!”  The class erupted!  Point and Match to Jen from Seattle Public Library!

Day two: Was a repeat performance in Pomeroy.  The school had set up a schedule so that over the course of the day Nono would see every 7th-12th grader in Pomeroy.  Bouncing back and forth between two classrooms she chatted with librarians from as far away as Maine and Minnesota. But then a Seattle Public Librarian named Becky stepped in.  Apparently she enjoyed herself because she picked up class after class.  “Hello 7th grade!”  She completely WOWed the kids fielding questions from “How tall is Mount Everest?” (29,029 feet) to “How many bones does a dog have?” (It depends on the breed, tail bones you know!), to “How many strands of hair does the average person have?” (Every half square inch of the human skin has about 10 hairs.) “Ewwwww!”  One Reader’s Advisory question had the kids scrambling for a pencil to write down the recommended books. The kids were very impressed and excited enough to return often over the next few weeks.

All in all it was a successful visit, and the students of SE Washington now have a new place to find answers when they are stuck on an assignment.  Are you an Ask WA member that is interested in having Nono visit your school? Are you not currently a member library but would like to know more about the program?  Either way please contact Nono Burling.

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Con Artists take note, you’ve got nothing on J. A. Fallgatter!

September 22nd, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Random News from the Newspapers on Microfilm Collection No Comments »

From the desk of Steve Willis, Former Central Library Services Program Manager of the Washington State Library:

Stories about con artists were a regular feature of early Washington newspapers. Some, like this article from the August 22, 1902 issue of The Lind Leader, are more amusing than others:


 Proved to be a Grafter from Graftersville.– He Left Debts Galore.

 J.A. Fallgatter, erstwhile proprietor of the Lind Art Studio, is gone– whither deponent saith not. He boarded a train at two o’clock last Friday morning and has not been heard of since.  Lind art Studio

 Fallgatter proved himself to be an artist in more than one line. As a photographer he was nothing extra, but he was a past master in the art of grafting and he worked not only Lind, but the adjacent country, right. He worked it to a finish, to a fare-you-well. For thoroughness his job of doing up the country would be hard to beat.

 He owes nearly everybody from Paha on the east to Hatton on the west. North and south hill stretch from the Odessa neighborhood to Washtucna.

 All he left to satisfy his creditors is a cheap building covered by a lumbermen’s lien and a fourth class photograph gallery outfit that is mortgaged for more than it is worth.

 Fallgatter came here a few months ago with a camera, rented a room of Sam Armstrong and commenced taking pictures. As soon as he became acquainted he asked the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber company for lumber, on credit, to put up a gallery. As he seemed to be a good rustler and stuck strictly to business he got it.

 In the meantime he had, by securing a few small loans, raised money enough to buy a new camera and other things needed to start a gallery. He told the Bruster brothers, the carpenters who put up his building, that he could not pay them for their work until fall and gave them a note for the amount owed them, secured by a mortgage on the outfit.

 It has been about two months since he put up the building. He has been doing some business right along but the “enormous expense” of starting up left him so short of money that he bought everything on credit that he could. Occasionally some creditor– generally an imaginary one– would press him for money and he would work the “rush act” on some acquaintance for a small amount.

 JA Fallgatter has skipped outWhen the Lindites got to comparing notes after his departure it was found that by borrowing money, making purchases on credit and “standing off” people who had worked for him he owed nearly every man in town and several of the women. The majority of these bills are small ones, ranging from a few cents to $5 or $10.

 Besides the stunts referred to above he had another one for connecting with cash and this one he worked on the country people. As soon as harvest commenced he traveled through the country taking farm views. Wherever he was given work he collected all he could on the pictures ordered as a guarantee of good faith and very few of these pictures were ever finished. He had been working that little graft for two or three weeks before making his sneak and is said to have made a nice little clean-up by it.

 It is very evident that Mr. Fallgatter did well here. He landed in Lind dead broke and is supposed to have left with not less than $500 in his jeans.

 Besides his numerous little bills he owed a few larger ones. He stuck Fred Irwin for $51, Jacob Koch for $28, N.B. Rathbone for $21, Dr. Smith for $30 and Riley Fry for $14.

 He owed Misses Ella Sturdivan $20 and Una Scott $15 for work in the gallery.

 When a later con artist showed up in Lind and relieved some suckers of money, the newspaper said the victims had been “Fallgattered.”

John A. Fallgatter’s biography is, as you might expect, somewhat murky and contains conflicting data. Born in Wisconsin ca. 1850, he was married twice, apparently fathered several children, and moved around a lot. He is on record as having lived in Afton, Iowa (1870), Buckeye, Kansas (1880), Lakin, Kansas (1900), Milton, Oregon (1908), Dufur, Oregon (1910), Redmond, Oregon (1911), Lynden, Washington (1920), and Everson, Washington (early 1920s).

In addition to working as a photographer, he was also a minister, a farmer, and a carpenter. He died in Northern State Hospital in Sedro -Woolley, May 29, 1924.








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My Sister’s Grave by Robert Dugoni

September 9th, 2015 WSL NW & Special Collections Posted in Articles, Washington Reads No Comments »


My Sister’s Grave. By Robert Dugoni. (Seattle: Thomas & Mercer, 2014. 410 pp.)

Recommendation by Carolyn Petersen, Assistant Program Manager, Library Development

Tracey Crosswhite became a detective with the Seattle Police Department as a result of her younger sister’s murder. Tracey never was convinced that the man convicted and serving time for her sister’s murder was the true perpetrator. When Sarah’s remains are at last discovered, Tracey thought justice would be served at last.  Instead the repercussions for the small town in the Cascade Mountains where Tracey and Sarah grew up are not at all what Tracey expected.   This title is an engrossing cross between a murder mystery and a legal thriller. If you like books by Scott Turow and Nelson DeMille, then author Robert Dugoni is an author you should investigate.

ISBN-13: 978-1477825570

Available in the Pacific Northwest Collection at NW 813.6 DUGONI 2014
Braille and Digital Book editions available for Washington residents unable to read standard print through WTBBL.
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Washington Rural Heritage Volunteer Recognized for Excellence

September 9th, 2015 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections No Comments »


Wanda Alderman (right), standing with Whitman County Library’s Patti Cammack.

Wanda Alderman, Friend and volunteer for Whitman County Library recently received an Outstanding Volunteer Award from The Washington State Genealogical Society recognizing her efforts to preserve important historic images and records for a number of agencies and projects including Washington Rural Heritage, the State Library’s  local history digitization program.

Volunteering for the library for nearly 7 years, Wanda has been the public face of the local project, tracking down hidden collections, interviewing contributors, documenting critical cataloging information, and providing community programs. Thanks in large part to Wanda’s efforts, Whitman County’s Rural Heritage collection contains nearly 4000 images and averages 4000 site visits per month.

Additionally, Wanda has volunteered for Find a Grave for 14 years, served as Bethel Cemetery secretary/treasurer for 10 years, transcribes records for Washington State Digital Archives, donates time and resources to the St. John Historical Society, and keeps scrapbooks for her alma mater Steptoe school.

Wanda is shown here, with Whitman County Library’s Rural Heritage project manager, Patti Cammack at a public program and open house this July promoting the digital collection. These two are truly leaders in the community digitization field, having digitized materials from more than a dozen partner institutions in Eastern Washington and more than 100 previously inaccessible family collections.  Thank you Wanda and Patti for championing our common heritage!

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