WA Secretary of State Blogs

The Lives and Times of Bookmobile Librarians – A piece of our library history.

July 28th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public 1 Comment »

bookmobile “Never were maidens more ardently pursued than we were by the elements in the pioneer days of rural bookmobiles in the great Pacific Northwest.”

Thus begins the December 1947 issue of the Library News Bulletin (LNB). The LNB was a publication of the Washington State Library from 1932 – 1975, and one that we have recently decided to digitize.  It contains the early history of the libraries of Washington State.  They have been silently lurking on a shelf near my desk and have only today made themselves known to me.  What a treasure trove they are for those of you interested in Library history.  In the spirit of Steve Willis I pulled the aforementioned issue off the shelf and discovered an entire “Bulletin” dedicated to Bookmobiles. In 1947 bookmobiles were apparently the hot ticket in Washington.  These staunch librarians ventured out all over the state, bringing books to their most remote patrons.  Here are a series of quotes from the issue, including stories that they reported from their rounds.

“’I have an emergency request,’ Declared a ten year old bookmobile patron.  “My penguin is sick.  Have you a book telling what to do for a sick penguin?” – Snohomish County Library.

When the cranberry growers on the Burrows Road were too busy to come to the bookmobile in the midst of harvest this fall, driver Charles Jackson and librarian Mary Botten walked out on the bogs and helped with the harvesting.” – Grays Harbor County Library

“’My wife wants this book renewed.’ “I’m sorry sir but I have another reservation for that book.  I shall have to keep it for the next reader.’ “Good enough for her, serves her right.  I told her she should be reading her books instead of moving the furniture around the house to some new place where nobody can find anything.’” – Snohomish County Library

“At one stop, a woman and her two children always arrive in the family ‘jeep.’  She was absent one day, and the bookmobile had traveled several miles when the driver heard a queer sound and looked back to discover that we were being chased by a jeep!” – Whatcom County Library.

“Along a lonely country road a lady, scarcely middle-aged, flagged the bookmobile. ‘Could I have library books?  I can’t get to any of the scheduled stops and I am so ill that there is nothing left for me to do but read.’  Dropsy, from which she is suffering has already developed to such an extent that boarding the bookmobile is physical impossibility.  Our schedule was already crowded.  An added stop threw off the whole day’s program.  So what?  There were always the few minutes assigned to lunch. We found a way.” – Snohomish County Library

“The traveling library again reaches the flats and there stands ‘Grandpap,” one-eyed and 90 years old, with his book-filled suitcase ready for exchange, A woman, nearly out of breath, hurries into the library gasping, ‘I was in Vancouver and I almost didn’t get back in time to meet you here and I just don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have anything to read.” – Clark County Library

“One of our patrons had trouble remembering when he should go to the bookmobile and always arrived just as we were pulling away from the stop.  One day he arrived exactly on time and someone asked him how it happened.  ‘Oh,’ he replied, ‘my wife sets the alarm for me now, so I’ll know when to leave the house.’” – Whatcom county Library

“At one of our stops the patrons rate only second in our affections.  A little golden cocker spaniel is always there to greet us.  He barks his welcome and wags his tail impatiently until the door is opened, and in he jumps to receive our words of greeting.  After a quick inspection to be sure everything is ship-shape and the librarian and driver on deck, he skips out, quite satisfied that he has exercised true community spirit by recognizing and appreciating the new bookmobile and its staff.” – Snohomish County Library. 

Now a days we reach our patrons on bicycles, at festivals, by email, through electronic chat, and on and on.  These bookmobile stories are just an early example of what we did and what we still do as librarians. We go where our patrons are.  Have a good story to share of going that “extra mile” for your patrons?  Tell us in the comments.

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Horrible Murder!! – The Case of the Aged Bride

July 24th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections, Technology and Resources, Uncategorized No Comments »

From the desk of Marlys Rudeen
I will admit to a weakness for a murder mystery – but one from the early 1920’s with shady characters, a missing trunk, divers in Lake Union, forgery, fraud and general unsavoriness?  Well, that’s irresistible.  And all done up in purple prose by the Seattle Star?  Even better!

Feel free to follow the story yourself by looking at the Seattle Star in Chronicling America (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87093407/issues/1921/).  I’ve listed the dates and pages below.

Mahoney

May 25, 1921, p. 1

Meet James and Kate Mahoney.  James is 37, an ex-convict, paroled from Walla Walla in December of the previous year after assault and robbery charges in Spokane, and a former train conductor before that.  He is being held on forgery charges at the time the story breaks.  He marries Kate Mooers on Feb. 19, 1921.  Kate is 72 and quite well off, owning several buildings in Seattle.   Kate Mooers is the former Kate Keeler “whose dance hall and allied activities at Butte in the late 80s were celebrated thruout the Northwest.”  (Hard to see what could go wrong.)

A few months after the wedding the “aged and wealthy bride” is missing.  Her husband insists she is traveling… in Cuba.  The Captain of Detectives is planning on dragging Lake Union for a mysterious trunk. And James Mahoney “the ex-convict bridegroom” is held in the city jail on charges of forging various documents that allow him access to his wife’s resources.

Mahoney insists that they went to St. Paul, MN for their honeymoon, where they quarreled (coincidentally after Mrs. Mahoney signed papers allowing her husband power-of-attorney and access to her safety deposit box.)  The bride then departed to travel to Havana via New York.  The forgery charge arose after he used the papers to gain access to the safety deposit box.

In the weeks and months to come there are rumors, mysterious witnesses, blind alleys of inquiry, charges and countercharges, dueling lawyers and a cast of peculiar characters.  I’ve tried to list some of the more significant points on the timeline below.

May 26, 1921, p.1

A trunk lid and hair found in Lake Union by a houseboat resident near the Lake Union auxiliary power plant!  (Not the right trunk.)

A floating body seen in the bay at Edmonds! (Later determined to be a logger – May 27, 1921)

Mahoney sends a telegram to his wife care of the  N.Y. hotel where they had reportedly arranged to meet after her travels!  (No one has seen her there.)

May 27, 1921, p. 1

The female friend of one of the witnesses against Mahoney goes missing.  Rumors spread that Mahoney’s first wife also disappeared on a trip east.  Officials continue to drag Lake Union. 

May 28, 1921 p. 1

When grappling hooks fail to produce a body, divers (looking like something out of Jules Verne) are brought in to search Lake Union.  They fail to find a body.  Due to testimony of witnesses seeing someone like Mahoney rowing about Lake Union in the dead of night in a small white boat with some sort of large object in the stern, Capt. Tennant of the police remains convinced the body will be found in the Lake.

Mrs. Mahoney’s niece insists a letter, purportedly from her aunt, is a forgery.

May 30, 1921, p. 1

Stories and counterstories continue.  Mahoney’s first wife is located alive! (Score for Mahoney.) But says she left him because he was smuggling opium and tried to kill her! (Score for the police.)

May 31, 1921, p. 1

Mystery witness claims to have heard Mahoney jest about his wife’s death.  Divers still searching.  Police assert the Mahoneys did not board the train for St. Paul as claimed.

June 2, 1921, p. 1

A submarine or U-boat sled is brought in to be used in search.  Forgery hearing set for June 14.

As the days and weeks go by, the story occupies less and less space in the paper.  The County Commissioners offer a reward for information about Mrs. Mahoney’s whereabouts (June 2).  The search for the trunk goes on, but one can imagine that Capt. Tennant of the police is beginning to get some odd looks around headquarters.

July 30, 1921

Headlines again when a trunk (empty) is found in Lake Union.

And finally – Aug. 9, 1921, p. 1

The trunk is found with a badly decomposed body! Mahoney is back in jail.  The body is identified as Kate Mahoney by the wedding ring and false teeth.

Aug. 10, 1921, p. 1

Mahoney announces he will make a fight of it at his trial, and five people attempt to claim the reward for finding the trunk. Police search for a hammer which they believe was the murder weapon, along with poison, and sightseers from all walks of life visit the morgue to observe the remains.

There are then several days of reporting on various facets of the case leading up to trial.

Aug. 13, 1921, p. 1

This piece concentrates on the expected testimony of the expressmen that conveyed the trunk from the Mahoney apartment to Lake Union at Mahoney’s request.

Aug. 16, 1921, p. 1

There are reports of Mahoney’s increasingly odd behavior in jail and how his possible insanity would affect the trial.

Aug. 17, 1921, p.1

Mahoney is brought before a board of physicians to evaluate his mental ability to understand trial procedures and the charges against him.

Aug. 18, 1921, p. 1

Mahoney is declared sane, and doctors remark that he overplayed his role.  His mother and sister in an effort to help ”admitted that insanity was rampant in their family tree.”

(Probably not as helpful as they might have wished.)

Various legal maneuvers take up several weeks and are boring enough not to make the front page.  Plus the escape and pursuit of a convict from McNeil Island provides enough thrill for the reporters.

Sept. 19, 1921, p. 1

The case is back on the front page just before trial, with fellow prisoners charging that Mahoney plans to shoot up the courtroom.  Sightings of Mrs. Mahoney – alive – are also reported.  (But never verified.)

Sept. 20, 1921, p. 1

At the beginning of the trial process, one reporter interviews Mahoney and remarks, “Jim Mahoney ‘went insane’ in his cell again at 3 o’clock yesterday afternoon…”  A history of the case is printed to assist folks in following the trial, and a lengthy jury selection begins.

Sept. 22, 1921 and following

Actual arguments and testimony begin and continue over several days with both prosecutor and defense attorney scoring points, shaking witnesses, and building their cases.  Mahoney gives an interview every few days.

Oct. 3, 1921, p. 1

Verdict of guilty is returned on Oct. 3.  Mahoney’s lawyer announces plans to appeal. 

Dec. 1, 1922, p. 1

More than a year later, James Mahoney is executed on Dec. 1, 1922, at the State Penitentiary in Walla Walla.  His demeanor is described (stoic), as is his smile (sour).  One side article describes the reaction of his mother to the notification of his death.  Another describes how his 13-year-old niece, Margaret, led him “back to the faith in which he had been raised.”

The Seattle Star was digitized through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under the National Digital Newspaper Program.  The Star and many other American newspapers can be found online at Chronicling America (chroniclingamerica.loc.gov) at the Library of Congress.

Additional newspapers for Washington can be found at Historic Newspapers (www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/newspapers.aspx) 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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Poetry and Community at the Washington Corrections Center

July 20th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Institutional Library Services No Comments »

From the desk of Jessica Aws, Library Associate at the Washington Corrections Center.

Poetry Workshop 4-7-15(6)During April, the Washington Corrections Center Branch of the Washington State Library was a gathering place of poets. In celebration of National Poetry Month, the WCC library hosted a series of events aimed at encouraging artistic expression and building community bridges.

The events of the month kicked off with a poetry workshop that was facilitated by Suzanne Simons, a professor of Writing, Journalism, and Social Sciences at The Evergreen State College. Ms. Simons began the workshop by asking each of the 22 men who participated to introduce themselves and share what poetry means to them. Their words were powerful:

“Poetry is like breath. When I’m drowning in emotion…when I feel like I’ve dived down into a deep lake of it…when I start writing it feels like the first breath you take after being underwater for a long time.”

“Before, I had trouble expressing myself. I didn’t talk much. But then I started putting pen to pad and it gave me power. It gave me a voice.”

“I didn’t read much before I went to the hole awhile back, but when I was there I read a lot. I became a lover of words and a seeker of knowledge. When I write poetry, I try to capture the moment and bottle it up on paper.”

Over the course of two hours, as the men completed generative writing exercises and shared their work, the energy in the library was overwhelmingly positive and supportive. Every time one of the participants shared their poetry or gave a particularly insightful response, their words were greeting by a chorus of snapping fingers and murmurs of encouragement.

This atmosphere continued over the next several weeks, through two spoken word workshops taught by Christina St. Charles, a former theater student from The Evergreen State College. She has since begun a successful theater group at WCC. I don’t think the library has ever seen so much laughter, as the men good naturedly participated in voice exercises and tongue twisters. At the same time, I also don’t think that the library has ever seen so much raw emotion. At one point, one of the offenders read a poem that he had written while spending 27 months in solitary confinement. When he was finished, there were very few dry eyes in the group. “Most of us here can relate to those words,” one man said, “we’ve all been there. We’ve felt those emotions, and it takes a lot of courage to put that on paper, and even more to stand up in front of us all and say those words out loud.”

While every workshop was a resounding success, the real highlight of National Poetry Month at WCC was the Poet’s Open Mic event held on May 2nd, 2015. It was truly a community event, in which over 30 offenders, plus students and faculty from Suzanne Simon’s Poetry in Community class and DOC staff from several departments came together to share poetry in a positive and uplifting event that was “scandalous good” according to one audience member. 

Throughout these events, what struck both staff and offenders alike was the ability for these men to be vulnerable. To be raw. To share things with each other that they never would have outside of these programs. “These events not only allowed us to open up for ourselves, but also made it possible for those of us who have lived such a segregated lifestyle to open up to others. Thank you for this source of freedom that many of us have not been able to experience in years!” 

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Digitization grants awarded for Washington Rural Heritage, 2015-2016

July 14th, 2015 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, Uncategorized No Comments »

nesset0059Congratulations to the latest group of public libraries and heritage organizations recently awarded digitization grant through the Washington Rural Heritage program!

Over the next year Washington State Library staff will be working with these organizations to digitize unique, historically significant materials held in their collections. Awardees will be trained in all aspects of digitization, and their collections will be publicly hosted and digitally preserved through the Washington Rural Heritage website and digital repository.

The statewide digital collection currently provides access to photographs, documents, audio and video recordings, and digitized cultural objects from more than 100 Washington institutions. In addition, the project includes more than 300 family photo collections, making these previously inaccessible materials available freely to the public.

Below are this year’s grant recipients. To read about the details of each project, go to: http://www.sos.wa.gov/q/2015WRHAwards.

  • $5,000 – Asotin County Library in partnership with the Asotin County Museum.
  • $2,141 – Ellensburg Public Library.
  • $4,259 – Kettle Falls Public Library, Libraries of Stevens County.
  • $5,000 – La Conner Regional Library District, in partnership with the Museum of Northwest Art (MoNA) and Western Washington University Libraries, Special Collections.
  • $5,000 – Port Angeles Public Library, North Olympic Library System, in partnership with the Clallam County Genealogical Society.
  • $3,600 – Whitman County Library, in partnership with the Colfax Fire Department, Town of Farmington, and Washington State University Manuscripts, Archives & Special Collections.

To learn more about participating in Washington Rural Heritage, contact Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian at evan.robb@sos.wa.gov.

imls-logo-2c.jpgWashington Rural Heritage is supported with Library Services and Technology Act funding provided by the federal Institute for Museum and Library Services.

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Washington State Library Co-hosts Pacific Northwest Digital Collections Summit

July 7th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections, Uncategorized No Comments »

In March 2015, the Oregon and Washington State Libraries co-hosted a summit of approximately 50 library, archives, and museum professionals to explore avenues for increased collaborative digitization throughout the region. The one-day meeting, held at the Oregon State Library in Salem, Oregon, featured presentations by collaborative projects at local, state, regional, and national levels and allowed participants to discuss topics ranging from leadership and funding of collaborative projects to metadata standards and shared infrastructure for digital projects.

WSL staff representing our Washington Rural Heritage and State Library Digital Collections were on hand to share their projects and experiences.

Learn more about the meeting and read the entire final report here: http://www.oregon.gov/osl/LD/Pages/NWDigSummit.aspx
 

Below: Explore the digital collections of cultural heritage organizations throughout the region.

Washington library, archives, and museum professionals interested in providing feedback on the report, or participating in future discussions regarding collaborative digitization should contact Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian, Washington State Library: evan.robb@sos.wa.gov

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Zinesters! Now’s Your Chance to make Washington History Come Alive!

July 4th, 2015 Judy Pitchford Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

1st Annual Zine ContestBeginning today and running through August 31, 2015, the Washington State Library, Washington State Archives (both divisions of the Office of the Secretary of State) and Timberland Regional Library are sponsoring the 1st Annual Historical Zine Contest!

What is a Zine (which, by the way, rhymes with bean)? Zines are basically self-published magazines that give the creator’s point of view on the subject.

All three sponsors have a multitude of resources that can provide fantastic material to use in the creations of participants.

  • Washington State Library has many online resources that include books, maps, newspapers and photos. You can also find featured images from these digital collections on their Pinterest and Flickr pages. And don’t forget that you can visit the library to see some resources in person!
  • Washington State Archives has an extensive print collection, as well as many images at the Digital Archives.
  • And you can visit the Timberland Libraries to explore their NW Reference Collection, Zine Collection and Zine Resource Collection.

Workshops will be held in July to learn how to make a zine :

  • Olympia Timberland Library – Saturday, July 11th from 2-8 pm
  • Yelm Timberland Library – Saturday, July 25th from 1-4 pm

This contest is open to 4th graders through adults of all ages that are Washington residents.

For more information, visit our Zine Contest webpage or download the Zine Contest Flyer/Entry Form.

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We have a budget! 2015-2017

July 1st, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

From the desk of Rand Simmons, Washington State Librarian.

Kim Wyman addresses the library staffMonday, June 29 the Legislature approved a compromise 2015-2017 Operating Budget.  Governor Inslee signed it Tuesday, June 30, the final day of the fiscal year.  This action avoided a government shutdown on Wednesday, July 1. Secretary of State Kim Wyman wrote, “This means no shutdown, no unpaid furloughs and no service interruptions.  I’m happy for the citizens of Washington and for all of our amazing OSOS staff!”

The budget news for the State Library is FANTASTIC!  The Legislature approved HB 2195, the proposed $1 recording fee increase that funds the Heritage Account to support State Library operations.  Not only does the increase provide the money to backfill the projected $2.4 million shortfall in revenue, it also creates a much more permanent solution to the problem of facing continued shortfalls in future biennia – an ongoing, more stable funding source.

Wyman noted that the legislators seemed to like the Library 21 notion of expanding access to collections and information in new and tech-based ways.

The Legislature also provided $1.5 million to continue the Microsoft IT Academy, the online technology training provide through Washington libraries at no cost to the people of Washington.  Wyman observed “It is a real Library 21 success story in bringing digital literacy to more library-users through free online IT course work that can provide needed skills for job placement and advancement.”

State Librarian Rand Simmons stated, “We believe much of the Microsoft IT Academy funding can be included in the required ‘maintenance of effort’ needed to receive full federal Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding. This will help repair the damage done by reductions in state funding for the Library.”  LSTA dollars support programs and services the library offers to local community libraries.

Having made this her top legislative priority, Secretary Wyman was actively engaged in the budget process, met with legislators, and worked with House and Senate leaders during final budget negotiations to generate support for HB 2195. Deputy Secretary of State Greg Lane observed, “Without her personal involvement, our success simply would not have happened.”

Lane praised the efforts of State Library supporters which combined with Secretary Wyman’s strategy brought about success. The State Library begins the 2015-2017 biennium with funding level to that of the 2013-2015 appropriation. It’s a good thing.

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Wilderness, by Lance Weller

June 23rd, 2015 WSL NW & Special Collections Posted in Articles, Washington Reads No Comments »

wildernesspaperbackcoverWilderness: A Novel. By Lance Weller. (New York: Bloomsbury, 2012. 293pp.)

Recommendation by PNW & Special Collections

April 9, 1865 was the day that General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Army of Northern Virginia at the McLean House in the village of Appomattox Court House. This is often cited as the official date of the end of the Civil War between the Confederate and Union States, but when Brigadier General Stand Watie of the Trans-Mississippi Department surrendered his Confederate Indian battalion, a mix of Creek, Seminole, Cherokee, and Osage Indians, on June 23 1865, at Doaksville in Indian Territory to Lieutenant Colonel Asa C. Matthews, the ground war was finished. A straggling and uninformed Shenandoah continued to wage an unwanted naval mission until surrendering in London, England on November 6.

As the commemoration of 150 years since the War of Secession winds down, it is important to note that many Union and Confederate veterans headed northwest at the end of their duties, returning to their homes and families or to new lives beyond that terrible time. Lance Weller‘s Wilderness is a fictional account of what one of those lives might look like. The story follows Abel Truman, a soldier badly wounded in the titular battle of 35 years prior, as he and his elderly dog travels inland from his beach homestead near the Quinault into and over the Olympic Mountains. In his travels he encounters natives, scattered settlers, and wanderers — people of both the generous and the violent sort. While there are moments of the pastoral, there are also moments where the reader is flung into the maelstrom.  The story flashes back and forth between Truman’s heroic trek of 1899 and through the Field of the Wilderness of 1864, bearing witness to Abel’s reckoning throughout the ordeal.

Weller’s descriptions are vivid, verging on purple prose at times, but beautifully evocative of the sensual charms of the Pacific Northwest coast. The story is hard-bitten, but specked with lovely and tender passages.

ISBN-13: 978-1608199372

Available in the Pacific Northwest Collection at NW 813.6 WELLER 2012

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Steve’s last post…

June 15th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, For Libraries, For the Public, Random News from the Newspapers on Microfilm Collection, Uncategorized 4 Comments »

Although this article was found at random in the January 23, 1914 issue of The Mason County Journal, the story actually concerns a man from Spokane, and one of the great unsolved missing persons cases in Washington State history. The subject in question had a perfect name for a Pacific Northwest character– F. Lewis Clark:

WEALTHY SPOKANE MAN DISAPPEARS

Wealthy Spokane Man DisappearsSanta Barbara, Cal.–F. Lewis Clark, one of the wealthiest residents of Spokane, Wash., heavily interested in mines, flour mills, real estate and other enterprises, has been missing ever since he attended his wife to the train last week. His disappearance is proving a deep mystery.

 Friends and the police believe Mr. Clark either was murdered or committed suicide. In support of one of these presumptions, Mr. Clark’s hat was found on the ocean beach, a mile north of the Santa Barbara wharf.

 Mr. Clark, who had been in this vicinity for the past three months, coming from Spokane for the benefit of his health, was staying at a hotel.

 It is said that Mrs. Clark does not believe her husband is dead and will institute a vigorous search for him on the theory that he merely wandered away. When Mrs. Clark left Santa Barbara Friday night for Spokane she left her husband in his usual good spirits. Immediately thereafter he dismissed his chauffeur at the depot and he has not been seen since.

 It was learned that the domestic life of the Clarks has not been entirely tranquil. Mr. Clark has been a sufferer for many years from a physical ailment.

Maine-native Francis Lewis Clark was 52 years old at the time he vanished. Starting in the 1880s he had established himself as one of the industrial giants of Spokane. He owned the largest flour mill in the Northwest. He was an executive with a railroad company. He was a yachtsman who was one of the founders of the America Cup race. He was a millionaire with two mansions: his main home in Spokane (by architect Kirtland Cutter) and his “summer home” on Hayden Lake, Idaho (called “Honeysuckle Lodge“), the latter of which was considered the most expensive home in Idaho when it was built in 1910.

At the time Clark vanished he left behind a wife, Winifred, and a son, Teddy, who was attending Harvard.

F. Lewis Clark’s disappearance has never been explained. Naturally many felt he had drowned himself, but Mrs. Clark initially suggested he had anonymously checked himself into a sanitarium. His valet told the press Mr. Clark was really in no physical shape to go anywhere unassisted. He was 135 pounds and believed to have been suffering from cancer.

The police dynamited the channel in hopes the blasts would dislodge his body, but to no effect. Some suggested that Clark faked his death.

The case grew murkier as police received a note from a purported group called the “Blackmailers” demanding $75,000 ransom for Clark. The kidnapping angle quickly fizzled. And ultimately the disappearance of F. Lewis Clark became one of the great missing persons mysteries in Pacific Northwest history.

Mrs. Clark had to sell off the estate by 1922 and died in 1940 under much more financially modest conditions. Both of the Clark mansions survive today as relics of an era of opulence. Just when I wondered why no one has dramatized this unsolved case, I discovered Northwest author Jamie Ford has used this mystery as a springboard for his latest story, Wish You Were Here at the Bottom of a Well.

F. Lewis Clark’s name can be found in our online Pacific Northwest card file!

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Baseball and Golf Not Similar

June 12th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

From the desk of Shawn Schollmeyer:

The Seattle star., July 26, 1919 http://1.usa.gov/1GnIPuP

The Seattle star., July 26, 1919 http://1.usa.gov/1GnIPuP

With the wrap of the 2015 U.S. Open on Father’s Day on Washington’s very own Chambers Bay golf course, Jordan Spieth walked away with the championship as the youngest player since Bobby Jones in 1923.  Golf tends to be a quieter, unassuming game and not quite the loud, cheering spectator sport that you’d see at a Mariners game, but there were thousands of viewers attending in person and millions via televisions across the globe. It has been one of the biggest sports events we have ever hosted in the great Pacific Northwest and it’s legacy stretches more than 110 years.

Considering that much of western settlement began with the homesteaders in the late 1880s-90s, golf was already popular recreation in Washington less than 20 years later. The Tacoma golf course had already been open since 1894. One hundred years before this years’ U.S. Open, the Tacoma Times was reporting on the 15th annual Pacific Northwestern Golf Association tournament on June 21st, 1915.

And is it a coincidence that there seems to be a “tie” in to the popularity of the sport and the fact that Father’s Day was first officially declared in Washington State in 1910, right around the same time as this popular golf tournament? However, the sport was not exclusive to men; women too were enjoying their own competitions on the Tacoma course, the same year as

The Tacoma times., June 21, 1915 http://1.usa.gov/1QOuS3v

The Tacoma times., June 21, 1915 http://1.usa.gov/1QOuS3v

finalizing their right to vote.

The same year Spokane was also taking the the sport seriously and watching with fascination if American heroes Walter Travis and J.D.Travers would beat the Brits who had dominated the games up to that point.

Eyes then were on the new American course just opening up in Long Island. Spokane Country Club later became the first course to hold the Women’s U.S. Open in 1946. Spokane also loves it’s baseball and in the June 11  “Night Pink Edition” of the Spokane Press that they devoted to baseball scores, they kept the stats and international happenings of golf tournaments and famous players on the front page.

The Spokane press., June 11, 1910 http://1.usa.gov/1Cretpz

The Spokane press., June 11, 1910 http://1.usa.gov/1Cretpz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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