WA Secretary of State Blogs

WSL Updates for January 21, 2016

January 21st, 2016 Shirley Lewis Posted in Digital Collections, For Libraries, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 12, January 21, 2016 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) NEW DIGITAL COLLECTION — A CENTURY OF STEWARDSHIP: THE NESSET FAMILY FARM

2) CREATING A MOBILE MAKERSPACE PROGRAM

3) GAINING STEAM WITH LEGO MINDSTORMS EV3®

4) HACK THE CLASSROOM DIGITAL EVENT

5) NN/LM PNR CONTINUING EDUCATION

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

Read the rest of this entry »

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The Arbuckle Scandal in the Seattle Star

January 20th, 2016 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

From the desk of Marlys Rudeen – Former Deputy State Librarian

The scandal surrounding Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle and the death of Virginia Rappe played into many of the anxieties of the general public in the early 1920’s.  Changing morals, the role of alcohol in American life, the growth of the movie industry and its effect on modern youth were all hot buttons that were pushed in the various inquiries and trials engendered by Miss Rappe’s death.  A movie actor beloved by all became one of the most excoriated men in America.  While many were genuinely scandalized by the glimpses of high life in the movie colony, they were also titillated by reading the sordid details, and enjoyed doing so in a proper morally indignant manner.  The Seattle Star joined in the circus with great enthusiasm. fatty 2

You can follow the story yourself at the Chronicling America web site at the Library of Congress.  Use the drop-down to choose 1921 or 1922 and then choose the issue using the calendar display.  I’ve tried to find citations to illustrate the growth of the story and have identified the issue dates and page numbers below.

Sept. 10, 1921

  1. p.14 “Movie Actress Dies Suddenly in Hotel!” The basic story is reported, and despite the exclamation point in the title, the tone is very civil, almost dry.  Arbuckle’s remarks are quoted straightforwardly, “At no time was I alone with Miss Rappe.  There were half a dozen people in the room all the time.”

Sept. 12, 1921

p. 1 By the 12th, the story has moved to the front page, as Arbuckle is charged with murder. A witness is named and we begin to see the common trappings of journalistic scandal as the witness, Mrs. Bambina Maude Delmont, collapses in court after swearing to the complaint.

Sept. 13, 1921

p.1 By the 13th, the case rates the main headline complete with a photo montage of Miss Rappe and Arbuckle captioned “Died after Wild Party”. The story reports the results of the inquest where the prosecutor refused to indict Arbuckle due to inconsistencies in witness testimony.

p. 14 Moral disapproval of movie people in general begins to come into the story as the article continues on the back page, with the news that “new evidence will be coming from Los Angeles where the public morals commission is said to be investigating alleged orgies in the motion picture community.”

Sept. 14, 1921

p.1 The 14th is a day of mixed messages. One the one hand the paper reports that Arbuckle is likely to be tried on the lesser charge of manslaughter though no firm decision has been reached.  On the other hand the paper can express its shock and dismay at the attention the case is getting and indulge in the rampant sentimentality of the time, “Women Pray, Drop Flowers by Coffin of Girl who dies in Orgy.”  It’s the traditional joining of titillation with finger wagging, and continues on p. 16 where it is reported, “The fact that two doctors were scheduled to give testimony of a nature which may be unprintable had not deterred probably a score of women and girls from taking seats among the spectators.”

Sept. 15, 1921

p. 16 “Women will aid prosecution” – In a puzzling move, the “San Francisco women’s vigilance committee has appointed a committee of 13 prominent club women to assist the district attorney in prosecuting Arbuckle.” The district attorney’s response is not reported.

Sept. 16, 1921

p.1 By the 16th the headline screams “Fatty Facing Murder Trial” and traces the steps in the legal process. Another article consists of an interview with his stepmother who remembers him as a lazy, irresponsible child who has never wanted any further contact with his family after leaving home. In yet another article, the comedian’s wife is described as speeding to his side to support him in proving his innocence.

p. 18 Articles begin to appear on the efforts to “clean up” Hollywood by refusing to employee actors who behave badly.

p.6 Also on the 16th, a popular feature writef, Fred Boalt weighs in with an opinion piece, mourning the fact that whatever happens to Arbuckle, he will never laugh at one of his pictures again – “It is much better that we – and the theatres – should consider Fatty Arbuckle actually and permanently dead.”

Sept. 17, 1921

p. 1 “Fatty’s Film Burned by Mob!” The Sept. 17th headline calls forth visions of mobs rampaging through Times Square perhaps. Actually a mob of “hundreds of persons” did attack a movie theatre and burn one of Arbuckle’s films – in Thermopolis, Wyoming.  No other mobs are reported.  There is also a photo montage of the “Women Witnesses in Arbuckle Case”, all looking mysterious and fashionable. fatty

The coverage continues on a daily basis with everyone putting forth a theory on Arbuckle’s actions:

Sept. 17, 1921

p. 14 “Liquor is to blame for it all.” Says comedian Charles Murphy.

Sept. 19, 1921

p. 1 “Arbuckle was poisoned by Freudian theory.” Theorizes Winona Wilcox (author of “Confessions of a War Bride”.)

Sept. 20, 1921

p. 5 “He’s just an overgrown boy,” from Minta Durfee, Arbuckle’s estranged wife who has rushed to his side in support.

The Arbuckle stories are bumped out of headlines for several days by the equally famous (in Seattle) Mahoney murder trial.  But they carry on reporting on the preliminary hearing.

Sept. 23, 1921

p.1 The committee of club women bent on assisting the district attorney have front-row seats reserved for them.

Sept. 27, 1921

p.1 Headlines are back on the 27th “Showgirl Hurls Charges at Arbuckle” as “pretty show girl,” Zey Pyvron accuses Fatty of torturing Miss Rappe with a piece of ice, saying “That will make her come to.”

Nov. 28, 1921

Arbuckle’s actual murder trial begins in Nov. 1921, and Arbuckle’s testimony is reported extensively.

Dec. 2, 1921

p. 1 “Arbuckle soon to hear fate!” The crowds continue to attend and the final arguments and one of the defense witnesses is poisoned by a middle-aged man thought to be a crank.

Dec. 5, 1921

p.1 The trial ends with a hung jury and charges of attempted jury intimidation will be investigated.

Roscoe Arbuckle will go through two more trials as a result of Miss Rappe’s death.  The second trial runs from Jan. 11 to Feb. 3, 1922 and again ends in a hung jury.  Coverage is fairly perfunctory.

Jan. 27, 1922

p.7 The defense has rested their case without calling Arbuckle to the stand, evidently feeling they had a strong case.

Feb. 3, 1922

p.1 But again the trial ends with a hung jury, with 10 jurors arguing for conviction.

The third trial runs from Mar. 13 through April 12, 1922 and it’s difficult to find much coverage at all.  There are mostly small articles on p. 7 or 8.

Mar. 22, 1922

p. 8 A brief article notes that Arbuckle’s attorney have adopted a much more aggressive stance in the courtroom.

Apr. 13, 1922

p. 7 The third trial ends in a definitive acquittal – “Edward Brown, foreman of the jury, issued a statement asserting that a great injustice had been done Arbuckle, and wishing him success.” Unfortunately the vindication comes much too late to salvage his film career.

Given that Seattle is an urban environment, I was curious to see if a rural community would demonstrate the same level of interest in the case.  I searched mightily thru the Pullman Herald for any comparable coverage – nothing.  Other than movie ads printed prior to the scandal, the only mention of Arbuckle was the reprinting of a small editorial from the Moscow Star-Mirror on Dec. 29, 1922 after Arbuckle’s acquittal in his third trial.  It basically took the stance that he might have been acquitted, but no one wanted him around anymore, and that his screen persona was too far removed from his personal life to be attractive to audiences. (Pullman herald., December 29, 1922, Page 6)

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 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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A Century of Stewardship — the Nesset Family Farm Collection

December 31st, 2015 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

aliceNessetThe Washington Rural Heritage Program is pleased to announce a new digital collection from the Deming Library (Whatcom County Library System). The Nesset Family Farm Collection tells the story of a Norwegian immigrant homesteaders who settled on the South Fork Nooksack River in 1902, and for decades worked tirelessly to coax a living from the land, raise five children, and run a small dairy. In the meantime, they documented the many pleasures of settler life in the South Fork, including hiking and skiing on Mount Baker, and fishing on the Nooksack River.

The collection, along with an interactive timeline, can be viewed at: http://www.washingtonruralheritage.org/cdm/landingpage/collection/mtbaker

The Nesset homestead is no longer a working farm, but the land and many of its historical buildings have been preserved by successive generations of Nessets as well as the Nesset Farm Trust. Today, the farm is considered one of the best remaining examples of an intact agricultural homestead in Western Washington. Many of the original buildings, including the farmhouse and barn, are being renovated as of this writing (2015) and will be open to the public when Whatcom County’s newly established South Fork Park is completed.

Tom_Nesset_in_cedar_dugout_canoe_South_Fork_Nooksack_River_circa_1920The Nesset Family Farm Collection is just one part of the Deming Library’s Mount Baker Foothills Collection—a locally-managed digital initiative which promises to bring together a wealth of unique historical materials and make them freely available online.

Digitization in 2014-2015 was accomplished with a grant award from the Washington State Library, funded by the Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) through the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Washington public and tribal libraries will be eligible for our next round of digitization grants to be announced in early 2016. Questions about the grant opportunity should be directed to Evan Robb, Digital Repository Librarian, evan.robb@sos.wa.gov, (360) 704-5228.

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Fashion Forward in Early Washington

December 28th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »


If you are like many of us here at the State Library, you are waiting in breathless anticipation for the debut of Season 6 of Downton Abbey.   While the wait is almost over (January 3rd) it got me thinking about why we love it so much.  I’m not sure about the rest of you but for me the costumes are a large part of the enjoyment.  As the show has taken place over several decades we’ve seen those fashions change from season to season.  Have you ever wondered about how closely Washington fashions paralleled those of England?  Well wonder no more.  We thought it would be fun to have a timeline of fashion featuring images from Washington newspapers hosted on the Chronicling America Website.

Chronicling America newspapers are a great way to learn about early America history from a primary source.  For example, fellow Downton Abbey fans are familiar with the character of Cora, the American heiress Lord Grantham married to bolster the family fortunes.  Did you know that this was such a “thing” that these privileged young brides were given a name, “Dollar Princesses?”  “These Gilded Age heiresses married more than a third of the titles represented in the House of Lords, and announcements of these transatlantic marriages were pervasive in the newspapers of the day

Meanwhile to help you countdown the final days leading up to Season 6 we hope you’ll have fun clicking your way through three decades of fashion in Washington.

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Winter Travel in early Washington

December 21st, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections No Comments »

Keeping_the_automobile_warm

This is the time of year where our thoughts turn to family and celebration.  As we ask our neighbor to feed the cat, stop the mail for a week, pack our cars for a trip over the mountains, or head towards the airport it’s easy to forget the challenges of travel in the early days of our state’s history.

With winter travel in mind we’ve compiled photographs from the collection; pictures of snowy travel by sleigh, train and automobile.  So if you get caught up in traffic snarls or flight delays on your travels remember how comparatively easy you have it.

Washington Rural Heritage  is a collection of historic photographs from around the state.  The Washington Rural Heritage Program helps small libraries and museums digitize their historic photo and archival collections. It is also a digital archive for Washingtonians, with more than 300 family photo collections included in the website/database.  Each picture in the collection tells a unique story.  Think about taking time over the holidays to explore and lose yourself in these images of early Washington.

Pictures in this slide show are from: Ellensburg Heritage, Roslyn Heritage, Skamania County Heritage, Orcas Island Heritage and Whitman County Heritage.

 

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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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Two attend Federal Depository Library conference

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

Pentagon

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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Washington Rural Heritage Volunteer Recognized for Excellence

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

whitmanWandaAldermanPattiCammack

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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New Digital Collection: Medical Lake Heritage

September 3rd, 2015 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections No Comments »

Large format photography, Medical Lake Library, 2015. Scanning a men's wool bathing suit.A new digital collection from our Washington Rural Heritage program tells the story of Medical Lake—the inland Northwest’s first destination resort and spa community.  This collection of historical documents, photos, and cultural objects was digitized in 2014-2015 by the Medical Lake Library (Spokane County Library District) in partnership with the Medical Lake Historical Society.

Located 15 miles southwest of Spokane, Washington, Medical Lake was once lauded for its curative properties. The lake’s mineral waters were said to provide a cure for everything from “rheumatism” to “kidney complaints” to “skin diseases.” In the late 1800s and early 1900s, a bustling enterprise developed around the lake. Visitors came from far and wide, and an electric train connected the town to Spokane for a period. Medical Lake boasted several hotels, lakeside resorts, and a sanitarium that pumped lake water directly into its baths. In addition, the lake’s minerals were extracted and sold throughout the United States in the form of salts, tablets, soap, an ointment, and even a porous plaster. The water itself was bottled for export.

While the lake’s heyday was relatively brief, it helped firmly establish the town of Medical Lake, and its legacy and local historical interest endures.

Learn more about the history of Medical Lake at HistoryLink: Medical Lake: The Inland Empire’s First Spa.

Highlights from the collectionblog_boom include:

  • The Story of Medical Lake, a 1972 souvenir edition of the Cheney Free Press celebrating 100 years of Medical Lake history. This special edition constitutes an excellent local history of the area, providing profiles of early citizens, businesses, organizations, and community events.
  • Early newspapers from Medical Lake, including the Medical Lake Ledger and Medical Lake Enterprise.
  • Objects and artifacts from the Medical Lake Historical Society, including products incorporating mineral salts and extracts.

Congratulations to the Spokane County Library District for making this unique collection widely accessible for researchers, students, and the general public!

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

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Visit the San Juan Islands – Winter and Spring 1907!

August 26th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public No Comments »

From the desk of Marlys Rudeen – Deputy State Librarian

Traipsing through issues of the San Juan Islander for January-April 1907 is serious business.  For the islanders are a litigious lot and there seems to be a fair amount of news regarding lawyers, courts, suits and arrests in what we think of today as an idyllic vacation spot.  I’ve picked out a few events that struck me as interesting, but there is far more to be explored.

Feel free to browse through the issues for 1898-1914 on your own at the Chronicling America site,

(http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88085190/) at the Library of Congress.  Choose the link to ‘Browse’, then use the drop down to choose a year, and the calendar display to choose an issue.

boy-shoe
Jan. 5, 1907

  1. 1 The first electric street light in Friday Harbor lights up the intersection of Spring and Main streets. Voluntary contributions from citizens will be necessary to purchase additional lights.  The paper takes the stance that incorporation is advisable in order to fund such civic improvements.

Jan. 12, 1907

  1. 1 The danger working in lumber mills is underlined by the report of the accident suffered by Dutton McNallie, a 19-year old, who lost his left arm to the planer at the Friday Harbor Mill.
  2. 3 Under the heading “No Women Politicians”, the paper quotes Pope Pius X where he exhorts women to do everything they can to care for the poor and uplift civilization, including education. “They should study everything, with, of course, the exception of theology.”  He continues that women should be lawyers, doctors and teacher, but should not enter politics.  “Women in Parliament!  The idea is preposterous.  Men there make blunders sufficient.”

Jan. 26, 1907

  1. 1 Former San Juan Co. resident, W. C. Boone, is in jail in Salem, OR, charged with bigamy. Also it seems his name is actually D. M. Richards.  He married a Miss McFadden in Salem on Sept. 15, 1906, failing to mention that he already had a wife in the Bellingham area (and several children) from whom he had never obtained a divorce.  It is also charged that when he married the wife in Bellingham, he already had a wife in Ohio.

The Whatcom County Bar Association has instituted proceeding for the disbarment of E. J. Grover.  Specific charges include misappropriation of funds and soliciting a bribe.  Grover is known for “having been associated with Mr. Garrett in the trial of the Wold-Ziegler cow case.”

The case of the McCrary Liquor License – whether or not to issue a liquor license to W. H. McCrary becomes a burning question in San Juan County.  There will charges and countercharges, sworn affadavits, lawyers and county commissioners weighing in over several months.  See “Officials Clash on License Question.”

Feb. 2, 1907

  1. 1 “McCrary Liquor License Held Up.”

Feb. 9, 1907

  1. 1 “The ‘Pirates of Penzance’ would have to ‘go away back and sit down’ if they were to come into competition with the fruit and produce commission pirates of Seattle. Compared with them the ‘Forty Thieves’ of the Arabian Nights were mere novices in the art of robbing the public.”

What sort of tactics do fruit and produce pirates employ?  An Orcas Island orchardist shipped 70 boxes of choice apples to the commission, for which he expected payment of about $60 according to current fruit prices.  After considerable time and several letters he went to Seattle and confronted the owner of the shop which had sold the fruit.  The shop owner admitted he had received the fruit in good order and sold it at good prices, but instead of paying the grower he had used the money in his business and so didn’t have it to make payment, and “what are you going to do about it?”  (Pirates, indeed!)

Street lights  – It turns out the single street light was being donated free for a couple months by the local power company.  Now they announce that it will be shut off unless someone raises the money to pay the monthly fee.

Feb. 16, 1907

  1. 1 “Special Meeting of Commissioners” (McCrary Liquor License.)

Feb. 23, 1907

  1. 1 An argument between citizens, A. Stoliker and Fred Peasley became heated, with such florid language that Mr. Peasely went so far as to attempt to have Mr. Stoliker placed “under bonds to keep the peace.” There was a hearing before Justice Oscar Bergman of the Valley Precinct. “While the evidence showed that the language used by Stoliker wasn’t indicative of a feeling of brotherly love toward Peasley and that it would be somewhat out of place in a Christian Endeavor meeting or high class literary symposium, it did not impress the justice as being of such a character as to indicate that Stoliker was really thirsting for Peasley’s gore… and he was accordingly discharged.”

Mar. 2, 1907

  1. 1 “A repeated Misstatement Corrected” (McCrary Liquor License.)
  2. 6 The current serialized novel is “The Iron Pirate” by Max Pemberton.iron pirate

Mar. 16, 1907

  1. “A Statement from Commissioner Sandwith.” (McCrary Liquor License.)

Also a new physician settle in Friday Harbor, Dr. George H. Shrodes.

Mar. 23, 1907

  1. 1 “Mr. Frits Demands a Retraction.” (McCrary Liquor License.)

Apr. 6, 1907

  1. 1 Another saloonkeeper, Fred Lightheart is acquitted in a case involving gambling in his saloon. “While the fact of gambling in the saloon was clearly established, the evidence failed to show that it was done with his knowledge or consent.”  (Perhaps they limited their play to darkened corners?)

Apr. 27, 1907

  1. 1 A proposed tax on dogs ($1 for a male, $2 for a female) is said to be unconstitutional by the attorney general. The county attorney had consulted him after the county commissioners proposed the tax.

Ed Gilshenan who was thought to be drowned in the San Juan Channel, turned up safe and sound at his home on Waldron Island.  He did indeed capsize, but managed to reach Brush Island.  Once there it took several days to flag down a steamer that picked him up and allowed him to find his way home.

I’ll leave the islands now but hope you will visit and make the acquaintance of the early citizens.  And in case you’re wondering, Mr. McCrary does indeed get his license, though I would be hard put to identify exactly where and when it happened.

The San Juan Islander was digitized through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under the National Digital Newspaper Program.  The Islander 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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