WA Secretary of State Blogs

Medical Lake Heritage project featured in Cheney Free Press

July 1st, 2015 Evan Posted in Digital Collections No Comments »

A June 18, 2015 article in the Cheney Free Press highlights the exciting new digitization project from the Medical Lake Library, Spokane County Library District. View the article here.

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Baseball and Golf Not Similar

June 24th, 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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Zinesters! Now’s Your Chance to make Washington History Come Alive!

June 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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Great news for Washington Digital Newspapers!

April 22nd, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, Uncategorized No Comments »

StateofWashington1897

The Washington State Library has been awarded a Veridian Newspaper Conversion Grant to process and present up to 10,000 newspaper images from our Historic Newspapers Collection.  In March we competed against other national and international academic, public and special libraries with digital collections for the opportunity to have the Veridian software company convert our metadata and cloud-host a full-text searchable collection for two years.

We will have new features to explore, such as advanced search techniques, improved search results, comment opportunities and personal search lists! By converting our keyword, subject-based collection of historic newspapers to METS/ALTO metadata standards, a standard approved by Library of Congress for newspapers in their Chronicling America program, this grant will enable us to capture the text from news articles in a form that allows researchers to use advanced search techniques such as proximity search, exact phrases and date ranges to find their favorite topics. It also encourages users to help improve search results with crowd-sourced correction features when poor Optical Character Recognition (OCR) resultKeepLightBurning_Stars occur from smudged or blurry originals.

 The Washington Digital Newspapers program has the largest collection of Washington state and territorial newspapers in the world, but we are still quite shy of having as extensive a digital collection as we have on microfilm. There are also plenty of community newspapers ready to be digitized across the state. This grant will help us compare the best online software features available for newspapers and we will use this experience to determine the future growth of our online newspapers collection for the residents and researchers of Washington.

Progress for Digital Newspapers!!

pioneer-and-democrat

DL Consulting provides Veridian Software

Here are some examples of their work:

Newspaper collections from our NDNP partners

Library of Virginia

California Digital Newspaper Collection

Non-newspaper collections

Princeton University

 

 

 

From the desk of Shawn Schollmeyer- Washington Digital Newspapers Coordinator

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New Digital Collection: Colville National Forest

April 15th, 2015 Evan Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, Grants and Funding No Comments »

The Washington Rural Heritage project recently went live with a new digital collection from the northeast corner of our state. The Colville National Forest Collection provides access to a sampling of the archival photos, maps, and documents held by the Heritage Department at Colville National Forest Headquarters in Stevens County.

Of particular note are the photos of fire lookouts that once dotted the mountaintops of the Kettle River and Selkirk Mountain Ranges. These photos have been geo-referenced and placed on a “Story Map” so that users can fly from peak to peak, getting a glimpse of the varied lookout tower styles  as well as truly stunning panoramic photographs taken from the lookouts themselves—once important tools to the fire spotters that occupied the lookouts. Because most of these photos were produced by the U.S. Federal Government, they are in the public domain.

The collection represents a collaborative digitization project undertaken in 2014-2015 by the Colville National Forest and Libraries of Stevens County. According to Colville National Forest spokesman, Franklin Pemberton, “We love the idea of people having access to [the documents] – for research or for student projects. They capture the heritage of Northeast Washington before photos were widely available to average citizens.”

The Washington Rural Heritage project serves public and tribal libraries throughout Washington, as well as partnering organizations such as museums, local government, and schools. Headquartered at the Washington State Library (Office of the Secretary of State), the project is supported with Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding provided by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services. The project’s 2015-2016 digitization grant cycle is currently accepting applications from eligible insitutions. To find out how your organization can participate in this statewide digitization initiative, please contact Digital Repository Librarian Evan Robb at evan.robb@sos.wa.gov.

 

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In search of the Eatonville Dispatch

March 18th, 2015 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public 1 Comment »

From the desk of Shawn Schollmeyer & Washington Digital Newspapers.

EatonvilleDispatch_Msthd_09011916Though the Eatonville Dispatch began as a weekly newspaper in 1893, known available issues begin in 1916, stored on microfilm and carefully protected print copies in archival boxes located at the Eatonville Public Library. It’s still a weekly publication, now known as the Dispatch, printed and available online by the Pacific Publishing Company . We first became aware of the interest in digitizing older issues of this paper when one of the long time publishing families contacted us through Cindy Dargan, managing librarian of the Eatonville Library, to ask how to go about this digitization project. Floyd Albert and Georgina Larkin ran the paper from 1950-1962 and then brought in their son, Floyd Ames, who ran it with his mom until the early 1970s. Last year in 2014, the family decided that the best use of remaining estate money from those publishing years would be best spent converting the full run of the paper to a digital collection and displayed to the public.

It’s a great idea and Floyd Ames’ brother, Bob Larkin, initiated the move to make it happen. Now, the first challenge begins. After 1922 all public works fall under copyright protection and all the publishers and descendants of the publishing families will need to be contacted for permission to scan and display the newspaper pages they published over certain dates. There were 12 different publishers between 1893 and 2010. Where are they now? Who can still be contacted if they have passed away? Where do we start?

Eatonville Public Library

Eatonville Public Library

The process of “discovery” began with a few trips to Pierce County libraries to determine the condition, format and completeness of the collection. My first stop at the South Hill Library branch revealed a beautiful, neat and clean building, but with the construction dust and disruption of the re-model, they decided to store the microfilm at the Lakewood branch, the largest branch in the Pierce County system which had more room to hold the film. Since I had just come from that area a visit would have to wait till the next day. So, a further excursion down Hwy 161 to meet Cindy at the Eatonville Library would reveal the carefully saved issues of the original print. As I gingerly handled the crumbling pages of the earliest issues in a nearby room, I could hear the library staff connect with their patrons. “Aren’t you supposed to be in school today? Oh, it’s in-service day.” Two grade school boys giggled from the nearby computers where they were engaged in a game. “I saw your Mom in the grocery store last week. I haven’t seen her in a while, glad she’s doing better” was directed to another patron. It was a busy day at the library in Eatonville and the staff is obviously an important part of that community.

SendThemRightUp_20150129While checking for condition, missing issues and pages I found some other interesting artifacts of a bygone newspaper era. A princess from the Middle East came to visit Eatonville in 1917. An early pioneer, born in the 1880s and a well known citizen in town had just passed away in the early ‘20s. And what is this in the bottom of the box? Thick, pulpy printing mats embossed with text and ads from the Tacoma Daily Ledger, February 2, 1913, which were originally used on rotary printers for fast production of the daily paper. An early Bell Telephone ad, pictured here, states “Will You Send Them Right Up?” as the man pictured makes a quick call for shirts before he leaves on the evening train. A few of these old print mats from the rotary printing days had been stashed in the archival boxes as a nod to a by-gone era.

But there are also missing artifacts…. Where are some of the issues from the WWI and WWII? More sleuthing will be needed to track down pages that were filled with draft notices, war news and return heroes. More attempts to track down missing pages leads to yet another trip. A short visit to the busy Lakewood library, a two story, urban branch filled with computer users, parents and children. The helpful staff had not unboxed all the South Hill microfilm yet, but made and extra effort to search for the Eatonville film, but they didn’t have the missing issues we were seeking. Off to the University of Washington (UW) to see what they might have in their collection to fill in the gaps.

A visit to the UW campus on a sunny day is always a treat. Even in February there are camellias and hellebore blooming outside the stately Suzzallo Library. Inside the MicNews department, filled with six-foot-plus tall horizontal sliding walls of microfilm and many rows of newspaper racks I grabbed a few film reels for more review. Yep, I found a few of the missing date ranges that we will need and UW has a large collection of master film negatives, our preferred format for scanning. We partnered with UW and made use of their great collection during our participation in the National Digital Newspaper Program. It’s great news for us that we can work with them again on our new project.

shawnThere are still a few challenges yet to solve to make sure that we have the most complete, fully searchable, and clean digital collection. Choosing the best scanning vendors for a reasonable price; pursuing a few more elusive issues; finding the descendants of the early publishers. All are important details that will need to be addressed before scanning and generating files and sharing them with the world.

Over the next few months, Bob Larkin will be helping us to track down permissions to digitize from fellow publishers; we’ll be working with imaging vendors to scan as many pages this year as we can; and then we’ll be partnering with University of California, Riverside to add page numbers, dates, OCR and essential metadata, using the latest newspaper digitization software to make the collection compatible with national standards.

As you can see, there are many steps to wrangling a detailed project such as this, but also a satisfying job to bring this treasure to the world of the internet. Take a look at our online newspaper collection to-date from across the state: .

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WSL Updates for March 12, 2015

March 12th, 2015 Will Stuivenga Posted in Digital Collections, For Libraries, Grants and Funding, News, Training and Continuing Education, Updates No Comments »

Volume 11, March 12, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list

Topics include:

1) WASHINGTON RURAL HERITAGE GRANT CYCLE OPEN

2) RECORDED BOOKS ONECLICK RENEWALS

3) SAN JUAN ISLAND LIBRARY WINS AWARD

4) STORYCORPS COMES TO NISQUALLY

5) WELL-FED & WELL-READ – SUMMER MEAL SITES

6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK

Read the rest of this entry »

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Tramp Printers or Passing of the Old Time Print

December 11th, 2014 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, Random News from the Newspapers on Microfilm Collection No Comments »

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

Oroville weekly GazetteThe January 2, 1920 issue of The Oroville Weekly Gazette introduces us to an occupation that even in the 1920s had become antiquated by technological advances– the tramp printer, also known as the tourist printer or hobo antimony jerker:

PASSING OF THE OLD TIME PRINTPassing of the old time print

One day during the week this office had a call from that extreme rarity nowadays, a tourist printer. He was not of the class of the old time tramp print. He was a clean faced American, neatly if not extravagantly dressed, and his breath did not announce his approach before he hove in sight. What a contrast to the drifting antimony jerker of 35 years ago, in the days when “The Pilgrim” and “California Dick” floated from place to place around eastern Washington, clothed in raiment that would put a scare crow to the blush and assisting very materially in the revenue of receipts by consumption of spirituous decoctions. They never wanted a steady job. A few days at the case, and their feet would commence itching for the road, and snatching a free lunch while squandering what they had made in joy water until lit up like the northern lights they would shake the dust of the town in which they had briefly sojourned from their feet and hike out for other pastures. Queer lads were the two old typos mentioned, considered somewhat off the clutch, differing disposition though partners in the way of the life they led. “The Pilgrim” quiet and taciturn in his cups, “California Dick” noisy, truculent, boastful, when loaded, and that was their normal condition. And yet for all that, in the days of the “stick and rule” these old stagers could set up a creditable “string” and they knew every mystery of the print shop. Gone to their last reward, those old boys, and we trust the recording angel dropped a silent tear of absolution when registering their arrival, blotting out those short comings which were really mild indiscretions, for which they were more to be pitied than blamed.

In his book News For an Empire (1952), covering the history of the Spokesman-Review, Ralph E. Dyar mentions “… the tramp printers, a characteristic feature of Western newspaper offices during the eighties and nineties. Their very names were individual, perhaps invented, as: Pilgrim the Printer, California Dick, Seneca G. Ketchum, Major Henby, and J. Peck MacSwain. Most of the itinerants never wanted a steady job. A few days at the case and their feet commenced itching for the road. They would either climb into a boxcar or hit the road on foot for other pastures.”

“California Dick” turns up in various newspapers in the Pacific Northwest as a defendant in court. This bit in the Idaho Statesman (Boise, Idaho) from August 28, 1890 is typical: “A party who answers to the honorable name of California Dick, and another of the same class, were brought before Justice Randall yesterday morning to answer to a charge of drunk and disorderly. They were fined $6 and costs; in default they went up for three days.”

Supposedly California Dick did some hard time in Oklahoma for holding up a stage. He died in Grangeville, Idaho, September 26, 1899. The Spokane Daily Chronicle gave notice of his passing in their September 29th issue:

California Dick is Dead CALIFORNIA DICK IS DEAD

 Type of Tramp Printer of the Ancient Days.

 WAS HIS OWN ENEMY.

 For Years He Has Wandered Through the Changing Northwest.

 ONCE HE WAS IN THE ARMY

 Passed Away at Grangeville Last Tuesday — Richard Richards Was His Real Name.

 “California Dick” is dead. The famous tramp printer whose face and appetite have been familiar to every town in the northwest for nearly 20 years, will never count railway ties again. “Poor Dick,” says everybody– that’s all; if he hadn’t a real friend he hadn’t an enemy.

 Just who Dick was, where he came from or when or why he came to the northwest, nobody knows. It is doubtful if anybody ever took the trouble to find out. For a couple of decades the printers of the Pacific slope have simply accepted him as an established fact– a harmless and thirsty fact, to be humored, not questioned or argued down. Perhaps half the printers west of the Rockies have “loaned two bits” to Dick. Maybe he will repay it somehow in another world.

 It must be nearly two years since Dick’s last visit to Spokane. From this city he drifted to Grangeville, Ida. The report came a few weeks ago that he was sick in that town; and now comes the Grangeville Press of last Tuesday with this little obituary:

 Dick’s Obituary

 “California Dick” died about 1 o’clock this afternoon at the Moser house.

 His real name was Richard Richards, and he was a native of Pennsylvania. An uncle of his was at one time governor of that state, but in all the long years we have known him he never confided any of his past history with us. He is supposed to have been drawing a pension, and therefore it is to be presumed that he served in the federal army during the war.

 Our personal knowledge of him extends back to 1881, when “Dick” put in an appearance at the office of our Nez Perce News, at Lewiston, and from that day to this he has been in our employ from time to time, and helped us get out the first issue of the Free Press in 1886. Of late years, probably owing to the receipt of pension money, he has not cared much for work, and has not done anything for the past year, except a few days in this office.

 He was a typical tramp printer of a type common enough in the northwest in ante-railroad days, and their sole occupation in life was to roam from place to place, working for a few days, getting on a tear every Saturday night and finally departing as silently as they came. We have known “Dick” to walk into Lewiston in the middle of winter, when towns were more of a rarity and much farther apart than they are today, work for a few days and depart for new pastures as mysteriously as he came.

 In those days it was a point of honor with newspaper men to make employment for these tramps, but with the advent of eastern men who “knew not Joseph ” and keener competition in the business, the old-timers have had to watch their dollars more closely, and the tramps have consequently fared harder with the lapse of time. This, we believe, is the reason why “California Dick” has kept so closely around Grangeville for the past two years– to be out of the way of the railroads, where living is supposed to be easier than in civilization. Poor Dick was nobody’s enemy but his own, and now that he has departed hence we can throw the mantle of charity over his failings and believe that death came as a blessing and happy release.

 Pilgrim the Printer shows up in the Northwest around the late 1870s. His range appeared to be much broader than California Dick. The Pilgrim was born Samuel P. Haslett, December, 1838 in Butler, Pennsylvania. His Irish-born father, William Haslett (1816-1872), ran a newspaper in Butler and also held offices in the state legislature as a Whig and Republican.

An undated clipping from the San Francisco Morning Ledger, which was reprinted in a collection of newspaper stories in 1890, included this description of Haslett:

THE PILGRIM PRINTER

 Last night Hazlett, known everywhere as the “Pilgrim Print,” came up the Ledger stairs and walked into the composing-room just as naturally as if he had never worked anywhere else in all his life. As soon as he crossed the threshold he was welcomed from all sides, for everybody knew him by sight or reputation. Without taking the slightest notice of the chaff thrown at him from the cases, he shuffled up toward the centre of the room, and leaned against a composing-stone, looking about him like Marius inspecting the ruins of Carthage.

 To him a well-regulated printing office, where men work systematically for wages, is an abomination and a disgrace. He would scorn to be subservient to a master. He never took orders from anybody. When he strikes a place that suits him, he tackles a column of type and begins to distribute it. When he doesn’t like his work or his company, he throws on his coat and walks off, scorning to ask for pay. An old, dingy printing office, with worn and blackened cases, battered type and cracked composing stones, suits him best; where the galleys are all shrunk out of shape, the chases all indented, the quoins all mashed and the foreman’s mallet beaten down almost to the handle. Cobwebs on the wall give him genuine delight, and big breaks in the ceiling, denoting the long absence of plaster, are well-springs of pleasurable emotion. An expression of intense disgust shadowed his features as he saw that it was not over a month old. The newness of the racks made him shudder; the air of cleanliness paralyzed him. When he saw the printers around him taking orders from one man, he cast a sad look over the place, such as Napoleon might have thrown on the galley slaves of Toulon. He concealed his contempt as best he could, not desiring to wound their feelings, and when he sneered he did it so softly that few noticed it.

 By the late 1890s Haslett returned to the East, where he continued his occupation as a tramp printer. The US Census of 1900 actually caught him in Genesee, Pennsylvania. Haslett, who by this time was described as looking like Santa Claus, died January 9th, 1906 while walking down a street in Easton, Maryland, seeking work. He is buried in Butler, Pennsylvania.

As a WSL bit of trivia, our colleague Shawn Schollmeyer has pointed out that James P. Ferry, who served as Territorial Librarian from 1880-1881, and a son of Washington’s first governor, was not exactly a tramp printer, but was known to perform printing and type work of an itinerant nature.

 

 

 

 

 

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LIKE AS “TWO DROMIOS”: COMPLICATIONS FROM A CASE OF MISTAKEN IDENTITY.

September 18th, 2014 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, Random News from the Newspapers on Microfilm Collection No Comments »

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

[The following piece of found-at-random news comes from The Tacoma Daily Ledger, although the story took place in New Whatcom (a town which later became part of the City of Bellingham).

The tale reads like a screwball comedy. Published on November 9, 1897, the headline writer very appropriately made a reference to characters from Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors]:tacoma ledger

Mrs. Woods of Whatcom Secures a Divorce From Her Absent Spouse and Claims the Husband of Mrs. Lewis as Her Own — Row in the Lewis Family — Lewis Disappears — Woods Returns; Then Lewis, and Mystery Is Solved.

 NEW WHATCOM, Nov. 8.–(Special)–A most remarkable romance has been sequelized by the recent return to this city of James A. Woods, laden with treasure from Alaska. Mrs. James A. Woods has been residing in this city for the past five years while her husband was hunting gold in Alaska. She kept furnished rooms for rent.

One day last summer a Mr. Lewis and wife arrived in the city from Montana and proceeded to hunt furnished rooms. Mrs. Lewis finally rented one of Mrs. Woods’ rooms and the Lewis’ moved in. Like as Two

When Mrs. Woods was introduced to Mr. Lewis she at once convinced herself that he was Mr. Woods, her husband. She applied for and secured a divorce from Mr. Woods. Being fully convinced of Mr. Lewis’ real identity, Mrs. Woods imparted the information to Mrs. Lewis. Then there was a storm, a terrible upheaval of family quietude, and finally about three weeks ago Mr. Lewis disappeared and no trace of him could be discovered.

Last Friday James A. Woods arrived in the city, stating that he had landed at Victoria from Alaska October 28. The city police spotted him and placed him under surveillance; they had little doubt that the smooth-shaven Woods was none other than the bearded Lewis; besides, a peculiar scar upon Woods’ left thumb tallied with a similar mark on Lewis’ thumb. What was still more remarkable was the fact that Mrs. Lewis believed the new comer to be Mr. Lewis, while Mrs. Woods knew him as the real Woods.

Another search was made for Lewis and that gentleman reappeared upon the scene Saturday. Now it is all settled that Woods is really Woods of Alaska and Lewis is the real Lewis of Montana, though the remarkable resemblance of the two men to each other in all prominent features except whiskers fully explains and warrants the confusion.

[This newspapers and many others are available on microfilm and can be circulated to your local library on request]

 

 

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Puget Sound Mail – News from La Conner, 1879-1880

August 11th, 2014 Nono Burling Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections No Comments »

From the desk of Marly Rudeen

Each newspaper has its own personality supplied in part by the editor, in part by its subscribers and correspondents, and in part by the events of the time period. The Puget Sound Mail from La Conner strikes me as an outward looking paper. Much of front page news comes from San Francisco and other west coast cities, including regular news from southern Oregon and the Willamette Valley. But the rest of that valuable space is given to international, East Coast and Midwestern news items. Local issues are covered on pages 2 and 3, with p. 4 used for feature items or essays. There is far less reporting of local visitors or social events than in some other papers.

I’ve explored several issues and found some entertaining stories. To browse through the issues of the Puget Sound Mail on your own go to: http://www.sos.wa.gov/legacy/newspapers_detail.aspx?t=27 and select issues from the list of dates on the left or from the calendar display on the right. A list of articles will appear at the bottom of the screen, click on any of the links.

BittersSept. 13, 1879
p. 1 “Foreign News” “… the British Embassy at Cabul had been attacked by several Afghan regiments which had assembled in that city…” (Some things remain constant.) Under “The India Insurrection” “A dispatch from Prome says that massacres in Mandalay continue…”
p. 3 In “Review of our Local Business Cards, &c.” – “Mr. Joseph Alexander, druggist at La Conner, has a very complete stock of drugs, medicines, &c., and is highly esteemed by the community for his obliging attention to business.”
p. 4 The day’s features include small treatises on “Clock Making in the Black Forest,” and the “Age for Legal Marriages” in different European countries.

Sept. 27, 1879
p. 3 Under “Local News and Comments” “While burning a lot of straw on one of the ranches adjoining this town, the other evening, 25 sacks of grain, which had been covered up, was consumed in the flames; which leads us to suggest that you remove all grain a safe distance from the burning straw.”
p. 4 This week articles cover the “Curiosities of suicide” and “The Last Polish Revolution.”

Oct, 11, 1879
p. 1 National news covers the collapse of a grand stand in Detroit, a quarantine in Nashville, and yellow fever in Memphis. Hostilities with Indians continue in the Denver area.
P. 4 There are brief essays on “English Home Life” and “Kissing the Baby,” a look at political campaigning.

Oct. 25, 1879
p. 1 International reporting covers “Trouble in Afghanistan,” “Inundations in Spain,” and a “Row in Hayti.” National news repeats with Indian conflicts and yellow fever. West Coast News reports on a suit over mining rights in San Francisco, an absconding bookkeeper, and Mendocino outlaws.
p. 3 Local news covers visitors, social outings, appointments and shipping news. “The Pacific Mail steamship China, a vessel of some six thousand tons, is now on the Sound taking in cargo… Residents are urged to visit the ship in port as she … is a monster in way of naval architecture.” New years ball

Nov. 8, 1879
p. 1 War with the Ute Indians continues, Senator Zachariah Chandler of Michigan dies, as does the Civil War general Jos. Hooker. Internationally there is a report on English crops, more floods in Spain, French communists, and political trials in Russia.
p. 3 A bill has been introduced in the legislature “proposing to cut down the per diem of County Commissioners from five to four dollars per day.”
“Preparations are being made here at La Conner for a grand masquerade ball on Thanksgiving night.”
There are also ads for the steamers Chehalis, Susie, Fanny Lake and Josephine.

Nov. 22, 1879
p. 1 Terrible storms damage mid-west cities, drought threatens Virginia, and there’s a nasty suicide in Texas caused by infidelity. Diphtheria ravages Russia, there is unrest in Cuba, and Afghans are hanged in Cabul – further trouble is anticipated.
p. 3 “It has been suggested that the Literary Society be revived, now that the winter season has set in.” “Mr. J. S. Magg’s, dentist of Seattle, will be in La Conner during the first week in December. Those desiring his services would do well to come early in the week as he intends to stop but a short time.”
p. 4 Readers can learn more about “Ammonia” and “Diphtheria.”

Dec. 6, 1879
p. 1 National news reports a terrible boiler explosion in Eauclaire, Wisc. A grand jury in Salt Lake is hearing testimony on Mormon polygamists. In the international column an appeal is made to raise money to alleviate suffering due to famine in Ireland.

Jan. 10, 1880
p. 3 The heaviest snowfall in memory hits La Conner with 3 ½ feet of the white stuff.
There is talk of running a steamship line between Port Townsend and La Conner to accommodate the miners rushing to the Skagit River gold fields, Port Townsend being a port of call for those coming from California or British Columbia, and La Conner being at the mouth of the Skagit River.
The deep snow proves a life saver for Thos. Lindsey who is attacked by a bull while feeding his cattle. When the bull charged he fell into the deep snow, “As the infuriated animal commenced to roll the man in the snow he became blinded thereby and finally desisted until his victim was rescued.”

Jan. 31, 1880
p. 1 “State and Territorial” Farmers near Hillsboro, OR are demanding that a law be passed “compelling every man to keep his stock from running at large.” Under national stories, negotiations with the Utes are underway to end hostilities. For Foreign News, a terrible disaster in a Newcastle coal mine is reported.
p. 3 “Land-slides were the order of the day during the recent thaw.” Locally it affected Indian residents from up the Swinomish Slough where “the building and a number of canoes were completely destroyed, the Indian occupants barely escaping with their lives.”

Feb. 21, 1880
p. 1 From “The Willamette Valley” – Eugene’s City Council received a petition “asking that saloon-keepers be required to procure signatures of a majority of the voters of the city before a license would be granted.” It failed to pass.
p. 4 ”The Rights of Teachers” defends teachers against charge of short hours and long vacations, and “Legislative Facetiae” quote the Sacrament Bee as it reports on plans for a masquerade party to celebrate the passing of a legislator’s first bill. Oregon Kidney tea

Mar. 13, 1880
p. 1 Under “Foreign News” there is a report of the execution of a Russian Nihilist for attempting to shoot Gen. Melikoff. Finns are making noises about independence, and there is a fatal boiler explosion in Glasgow where twenty-three people died.
p. 4 There is an interview with Frederick Douglass about the death of the man who had once owned him as a slave.

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.

More Washington newspaper titles have been digitized through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under the National Digital Newspaper Program. These and many other American newspapers can be found online at Chronicling America at the Library of Congress.

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