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2014-2015 Washington Rural Heritage grants awarded

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, Grants and Funding | No Comments »


Harry Sutherland, pole vaulting at Eastsound, WA, May, 1915. From the Orcas Island Historical Museum, James T. Geoghegan Collection.

Harry Sutherland, pole vaulting at Eastsound, WA, May, 1915. From the Orcas Island Historical Museum, James T. Geoghegan Collection.

Congratulations to the latest group of Washington libraries and museum receiving 2014-2015 LSTA grant awards through the Washington Rural Heritage initiative!

A total of 16 Washington institutions (including eight public libraries administering the sub-grants) will collaborate to digitize historically significant primary sources over the next year. Those institutions are:

  • Columbia County Rural Library District, in partnership with the Blue Mountain Heritage Society and the Dayton Historic Depot.
  • Deming Library (Whatcom County Library System), in partnership with the Nesset Family Trust.
  • Kettle Falls Public Library (Libraries of Stevens County), in partnership with Colville National Forest.
  • Medical Lake Library (Spokane County Library District), in partnership with the Medical Lake Historical Society.
  • Orcas Island Public Library, in partnership with the Orcas Island Historical Museum.
  • Puyallup Public Library.
  • Roslyn Public Library, in partnership with the Roslyn Museum.
  • Whitman County Library, in partnership with the Staley Museum.

Click here to learn more about each specific grant award and digitization project.

Libraries currently participating in grant-funded digitization projects this year (FY 2013) are busy wrapping up their new collections as of this writing. Look for announcements here as new projects come online.

Funds for Washington Rural Heritage are made available by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. For more information, contact Evan Robb, Project Manager, (360) 704-5228.

Spokane – Wide Open Town?

Monday, July 21st, 2014 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections | No Comments »


From the desk of Marlys Rudeen.

While looking through issues of the Newport Miner for 1907, I came across the following quote – “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.” Jan. 9, 1908, p. 5

As I was born and raised in Spokane this seemed odd to me – I hadn’t noticed that it was particularly depraved (though since we moved when I was only 14 that may explain my not noticing.) Still, I wondered so I started looking through some early issues of the Spokane Press, Nov.-Dec. 1902, and started looking for the seedier side of Spokane. It turns out there was lots going on.

You can explore the Spokane Press for Nov. 1902-1910 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.trader's bank

Nov. 10, 1902

p. 1 “Buncoed Out of Three Thousand” H. E. Gower, a recent arrival from Wisconsin was in town for business and at the train depot to return to Missoula. A man approaches him, saying that he’s from the same county in Wisconsin. He invites Gower to go with him to a friend’s place to see pictures of the Klondike. When they arrive the friend is absent, but there’s a card game in progress. Gower loans his new friend some money and then takes his place for a few hands when his friend has to go out for a bit. “They had all my money in about five minutes. I don’t know what the game was, except that it was cards.” (No mention is made of what they were drinking, but given that Gower couldn’t remember what game he had been playing or where he had been playing it, one has to wonder if a bottle was involved.)

Nov. 12, 1902

p. 4 “Charges His Friend With Embezzlement” Lyndon M. Hall files a complaint with the police to the effect that George O. Scraggs has swindled him out of $100. Mr. Hall wished to mail his certificate of deposit received as wages to his bank. He wrote the letter, endorsed the certificate and enclosed it. His friend, Scraggs, offered to drop it off at the Rathdrum post office for him. Instead, Mr. Scraggs boarded a train for Spokane in Rathdrum. “He landed there in the evening and going to ‘Doc’ Brown of the Owl, it is said, presented the endorsed certificate … when the arrest was made he was broke.” (The Owl is only one of the well-known saloons and gambling establishments in town, others are the Stockholm, the Coeur d’Alene, the Combination, and the O.K. The moral for both Mr. Gower and Mr. Hall seems to be that they should be a great deal less trusting.)

 Nov. 14, 1902

p. 1 In “Spokane Gamblers are Out of a Job,” several of the largest gaming houses are raided and all gambling equipment seized. But the houses had gotten word of the raids and “the results of the Sheriff’s haul were not the handsome roulette, faro and other tables… but what the doughty sheriff did capture was several wagon loads of old furniture, musty with long lying in secluded cellars where it had possibly awaited just such an occasion.” Prominent patrons of the establishments hold the opinion that it will all blow over and the games will be back in a month.

 p. 4 “War is being Waged on Buncoes.” Chief of Police Reddy asserts that his able constables and detectives are doing their best, but that “ a few high-collared gents, wearing good clothes, well-addressed, will land in town and before the police or detectives can locate them it is possible for the bunco man to hypnotize a victim and relieve him of his cash…”

 Nov. 18, 1902

p. 1 The formation of an “Anti-Vice Party” is announced in anticipation of the next municipal election. It will be “pledged to wage war on Spokane’s gambling houses and all resorts of vice.” Rev. George Wallace of Westminster Presbyterian Church rejects the claims that the gambling houses “are a source of revenue which yearly brings thousands of dollars into this city…”the owl

 Nov. 22, 1902

p. 1 “Saloon Men Willing to go to Jail in Defense of What They Believe to be Their Rights.” A controversy arises about the presence of slot machines in gambling houses. Evidently a law has been passed barring the use of “cash-paying slot machines” but not other forms of gaming or equipment. The saloon owners, especially the smaller ones have hired attorneys (the firm of Nuzum & Nuzum) and plan to make a stand. (A follow up article is in the Nov. 24, 1902 issue on p. 1.)

 p. 2 “Alma Arrested” is the first small article referring to the Stockholm Saloon and its cast of characters. Alma Green is arrested and charged with having drugged and robbed John Johnson. Johnson is also arrested for drunkenness, and now claims that his name is actually Charles Jameison.

p. 3 “The Wide-Open Town” The paper, in response to the new Anti-Vice party, has found two men, a pastor and the proprietor of the Owl, to write opposing columns, both for and against the “Proposed Movement for the Suppression of Vice.”

 Nov. 29, 1902

p. 1 “Stockholm Case Dismissed…” In the matter of Alma Green and Charles Jamieson, the judge throws the case out for insufficient evidence. Jamieson is still claiming he was drugged and robbed. He also asserts that the Stockholm’s owner Gust Pearson threatened him if he testified. The defense asserts that Jamieson was very drunk and spent all his money on whiskey.

 Dec. 3, 1902

p. 3 “Council – Has Warm Session over Stockholm License” The Chief of Police has lodged a complaint against the Stockholm saloon and variety theatre, and its owner, Gust Pearson. There is some conflict due to the fact that the complaint lists no direct evidence of the charge and is sent back to the police. Police Commissioner Lilienthal and the licensing committee advises the council to investigate.

 Dec. 8, 1902

p. 1 W. S. Green who had been a “special officer” at the Stockholm saloon, applied for an arrest warrant for – Police Commissioner Lilienthal! Charges are malfeasance of office and allowing open gambling operations in Spokane. (It seems odd that an officer who had worked in a saloon is all that disturbed about this issue.)

 Dec. 9, 1902

p. 1 Commissioner Lilienthal surrenders at the court house offers bond and is released to continue his duties. The corporation counsel make the argument that Lilienthal cannot be prosecuted under the cited statute since it concerns state and county officials and he is a municipal officer. Under “Bunco Man,” the arrest of “Swede Sam” is reported. Sam is charged with removing considerable money from a young man from Pendleton.

 Dec. 10, 1902

p. 1 The case against Commissioner Lilienthal is dismissed among a flurry of lawyers, objections and affidavits. In a related development – “May Arrest Kimball”- S. W. Green is securing an arrest warrant for Prosecuting Attorney Kimball, also on a charge of malfeasance of office. (He’s on a roll.)

“Lawyers Determined” The law firm of Nuzum & Nuzum representing the saloons in the slot machine case is determined to take the case to the superior court and to the supreme court if necessary.

p. 2 “Interprets His Duty” Mr. Green, he of the arrest warrants, attempted to explain his concept of duty. While he was a special officer at the Stockholm he was stationed there by the city but in the employ of and paid by the saloon. “He says his interpretation of his duty was that he was to protect the patrons and the house from crime and disorder and this he endeavored to do faithfully.”

 Dec. 12, 1902

p. 1 The city council will be hearing complaints against the Stockholm and its owner, Gust Pearson.

 Dec. 15, 1902

p. 1 “Wants Two Theatres Licenses Revoked” Fred D. Studley is charging that the Comique and the Coeur d’Alene theatres have violated their licenses by employing women in their saloons “to encourage immoral conduct, and gambling contrary to good morals.”

 Dec. 16, 1902

p. 1 Swede Sam is fined for “being found with implements with which to make loaded dice.” detective agency

Dec, 17, 1902

p. 1 The city council messes about with the charges against Gust Pearson, the Stockholm, the Comique and the Coeur d’Alene. Everything scheduled for next week. In the superior court a judge refuses to issue search warrants for five gambling houses as the initial complaints were made in the justice court rather than the superior court.

 Dec. 18, 1902

p. 3 “Stockholm Inquiry” The city council hears the case against the Stockholm. “Eric Linden and a man named Patterson said they had been robbed in the place. Captain Coverly testified on the reputation of the place, and Officer Miles described the ways of its habitues.” The case was continued.

p. 4 “Gambling among the Women of Spokane” describes the habits of the ladies in town, asserting that “Spokane has some of the gamiest women to be found anywhere.” (I don’t think that means the same thing anymore.)

 Dec. 20, 1902

p. 1 The city council takes on the Stockholm case once more and first several officers testified to the saloon’s unsavory reputation. Then they hear the defense – the bar’s ‘special officer’ and the night bartender testified that Charles Jamieson had spent all his money on booze and had not been robbed. Two of the establishment’s ladies testified that they were expected to obey rules of conduct. For instance there is a rule about not sitting in men’s laps. “Mr. Pearson doesn’t like it.”

 Dec. 22, 1902

p. 1 “Stockholm Resort Sells Soft Drinks” The city council has revoked the liquor license for the Stockholm. They continue to draw a crowd.

 Dec. 24, 1902

p. 1 “Lilienthal talks on the Theatre Cases” It seems the cases against the Comique and Coeur d’Alene have been dismissed. He notes that “The witnesses produced by the complainant were all employees of the Stockholm.”

 Dec, 25, 1902

p. 3 In “How Gamblers in Spokane Spent Merry Christmas Eve” a reporter comments on the crowds that spent the evening wandering from one resort to another “in an ever unsatisfied desire to find excitement.” In “Straight House” Gust Pearson asserts he will make more money without serving liquor than he did with it. “If patrons of the place insist on having liquor the only way for them to get it is to have it sent in from one of the neighboring saloons.” (An ingenious work-around!)

 The Spokane Press was digitized through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under the National Digital Newspaper Program. The Press 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.

 

William Gohl – Not a Nice Man

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections | No Comments »


From the desk of Marlys Rudeen

One of the most notorious citizens of Aberdeen in the early 20th century was William Gohl. While he might have listed his occupation as agent for the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific, his real job included such duties as graft, theft, extortion, arson, and murder. The local paper, the Aberdeen Herald, documents some of Gohl’s history through his trial and conviction for two murders in 1910.

William Gohl

You can follow the story through the newspaper by going to the Chronicling America web site for the Herald choosing the Browse Issues link, selecting a year from the drop down box, and then choosing an issue from the calendar display. I’ve listed some of the dates and pages below.

Popular wisdom in Aberdeen credited Gohl with a much higher body count than the two murders for which he stood trial. Most were convinced he was responsible for most of the “floater fleet” of bodies found in the harbor and the Wishkah River over a decade. He was widely thought to kill and rob sailors reporting in to the Union office if he judged that no one would miss them, helping himself to their valuables at the same time. Anyone who crossed him might find their business burned down, or find themselves on trial with Gohl’s cohorts swearing that he was guilty. Conversely whenever anyone was brave enough to charge Gohl with a crime, those same cronies provided him with sturdy alibis.

 Aug. 23, 1909, p. 1

One such case was that of a local saloonkeeper, Sig Jacobson, who was accused of illegally selling liquor on Sunday. The case had to be tried three times before a guilty verdict was reached, the first two having ended in hung juries. The paper opines that “The fact that Wm. Gohl, the unsavory agent of the Sailors’ Union was pushing the prosecution accounts in a measure for the disagreements of the first two juries..” The assumption was that the case had been brought through personal enmity.

 Feb. 3, 1910, p. 1

The story of his downfall begins on Feb. 3, 1910. The headline on the front page is “Accused of Double Murder – William Gohl, Agent of the Sailors’ Union is Accused of Killing Two Men.” The article details his arrest for the double murder of John Hoffman and Charles Hapgood. (As the story develops Hapgood’s name is spelled in a variety of ways – Hatgood, Hedberg, Hatberg, etc.) According to the article the tale is “filled with gruesome, cold-blooded particulars.” Police have gathered the information from a former friend of Gohl’s whom they refuse to identify. The cause of the alleged murder is said to be Gohl’s fear that Hapgood, a long-time crony, knew too much about some of his activities, and might turn against him. The body of one of the men, Hapgood, has been found, the authorities are still searching for the second, that of John Hoffman.

Feb. 7, 1910, p. 1

Now the paper feels free to report that Gohl is “suspected of many crimes” and rumors abound: he is responsible for a large number of the ‘floaters’ found in the harbor; leaving 4 non-union sailors to drown in the rising tide on an isolated spit; arson; recruiting toughs to testify on his behalf and provide alibis if necessary. “For the past three or four years Gohl has had the people of the water front terrorized with his threats and known ability to make them good…” Many of the rumors of Gohl’s crimes were started by Gohl himself as part of his campaign of intimidation.

Over the next several issues the search for Hoffman continues, the officials consider calling a Grand Jury – the first in 26 years.

 Apr. 7, 1910, p. 1-2

The story continues with further details of the case. The police originally went looking for Hatberg’s body on information from a “well-known businessman” whom they still refuse to identify. However his account has now been supported by testimony from John Klingenberg, a young Norwegian sailor, who had shipped out to Mexico a few days after the murders. On his return he is arrested and confesses to committing the murders with Gohl and on his orders. Klingenberg’s confession is printed on p. 2.

John Klingenberg

John Klingenberg

After that there are a few small stories, usually on p. 4 about preparations for the trial.

May 2, 1910, p. 1, 4

The trial begins with jury selection and a review of the case and the persons involved.

 May 5, 1910, p. 1

The jury is chosen and the actual trial begins in Montesano.

 May 9, 1910, p. 1

Witnesses present damning testimony about the events and as to the identification of the body as Charles Hadberg. Part of the evidence for the body’s identity is a section of embalmed skin that bears a tattoo recognized as belonging to the victim. (Yes, there’s a picture of the skin on the front page of the May 9, 1910 issue.)

Gohl evidently made a habit of bragging about his crimes, perhaps for the intimidation value, but he left many witnesses to testify to his claims of killing Hadberg and Hoffman. The original witness whom the police had not identified is now revealed to be P. J. McHugh, former owner of the Grand Saloon where Gohl and his cronies were frequent customers.

 May 12, 1910, p. 1, 4

After 10 hours of deliberation, the jury comes back with a guilty verdict and a recommendation for leniency in sentencing. That recommendation was reported to be part of a compromise for the jury, allowing those who wanted to vote for murder in the second degree to vote for murder in the first without the death penalty. The defense witnesses had taken little time and Gohl’s only attempt at an alibi was from an Aberdeen carpenter “said to be mentally deficient.”

It seems as though all the fear and intimidation Gohl had banked ran out of steam. The case was perceived as strong enough, and Klingenburg’s testimony damning enough, that witnesses were willing to risk coming forward and adding their testimony to the whole. On the other hand, witnesses that were expected to testify for the defense – such as Mrs. Gohl’s brother, failed to materialize. Leaving the defense attorneys little option but to charge that the prosecution was politically motivated by “interests” in Gray’s Harbor.

 May 16, 1910, p. 1

Gohl announces that he may appeal the case on the grounds that: the wording of the charge (written before Klingenburg’s confession and not amended afterwards,) indicated that Gohl held the pistol that killed Hadberg  Part of Klingenburg’s confession was his admission that he had shot Hadberg while in fear that Gohl would shoot him if he refused.

The paper also raises issues of the conduct of authorities in the investigation, conflicts between the County Sheriff and the Aberdeen City Police, with the paper seeming to intimate that the City police were not wholehearted in their pursuit of Gohl.

 May 19, 1910, p. 1

There is still talk of appeal as the date for sentencing approached, and one of Gohl’s former cronies, Lauritz Jensen, known as “The Weasel,” is released from the county jail. He had talked freely while incarcerated about Gohl’s various crimes – bombings, robbery and the theft of building materials. The paper takes a dim view of his release.

 May 26, 1910, p. 1

Gohl is sentenced to life imprisonment, and the paper quotes extensively from the Judge’s decision, listing his reasons for the sentence. It is considered improbable that any appeal will be made, and Gohl is scheduled to be moved to the penitentiary in Walla Walla within a week.

Gohl spent the rest of his life incarcerated, first at the penitentiary and finally at the Eastern State Hospital in the ward for the criminally insane. He died there in 1927. Various sources place the count of his murders at anywhere from 40 to over 100.

The Aberdeen Herald was digitized through a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities under the National Digital Newspaper Program. The Herald 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.

 

Yakima Herald – During the year of Statehood

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections | No Comments »


From the desk of Marlys Rudeen

The year is 1889 and Washington Territory is on its way to becoming Washington State. There’s a great deal of enthusiasm for the process, and a great deal of regional competition as a constitutional convention is held along with fierce debate about which city should be the capital of the new state. While all this is going on the residents of Yakima are also devouring news from back East, local comings and goings and, judging from the ads, a lively commercial sector.

I’ve skipped through several issues and found some entertaining stories. To browse through the issues of the Yakima Herald on your own go to and select issues from the list of dates on the left or from the calendar display on the right.

 aphroFeb. 9, 1889

p. 2 Evidently looking forward to the prospect of Statehood, the citizens of North Yakima had offered to host a constitutional convention is their fair city at no cost to the Territory. The editors of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer had objected strenuously to the proposal, though whether they truly felt it was premature, or were irritated that the convention might be held someplace other that Seattle is left to the reader to determine. The Yakima Herald editor is pretty sure he knows the reason and has some fun quoting the PI’s contradictions and spoofing what he sees as their pomposity. See “Constitutional Convention at North Yakima” and “Communication”.

p. 3 In the “Personal” column comings and going are noted carefully including some the principals might prefer not be mentioned. “Mrs. Frank Riggle has gone to Island City to remain. Matrimonial infelicity is said to be the cause of her departure.” Under “Backing his Opinion” a viticulturalist buys a shipment of grape cuttings and predicts that the Yakima Valley will rival California as wine and grape country.

p. 4 In a list of text ads – “A nasal injector free with each bottle of Shiloh’s Catarrh Remedy…” (Erg!)

p. 5 A new serial novel begins – “The Mystery of a Hansom Cab.” (These novels were quite popular during this time, printed in sections over several weeks or months.)

 March 7, 1889

p. 2 “The Pacific Northwest” Charles Skeels, a Spokane saloonkeeper, is fatally shot by his wife who objected to his attentions to two “variety actresses”. “Mrs. Skeels bears a bad reputation, being known in the Coeur d’Alene country as ‘Bunko Liz’.”

 p. 3 “Surprise Party” Capt. J. H. Thomas and family were guests of honor at a surprise party which was truly a surprise “for the Captain was in bed and asleep.”

p. 4 Ads – “If you have lost any money lately, Redfield will return it by selling you goods so remarkably cheap that you will forget your misfortune.” And “Shiloh’s Vitalizer is what you need for constipation…”

Apr. 4, 1889

p. 2 Ads – “For weak and delicate women nothing builds up the entire system more thoroughly and effectually than Oregon Kidney Tea.”

p. 3 “A Terrible encounter” Harry Hampton’s battle with a 12-pound trout is reported. Worried that the trout would take off with his new split-bamboo rod, he threw himself into the creek after it. “The encounter was terrific. Sometimes the fish had Hampton down and then the positions were reversed, but finally Hampton conquered, and pale and panting, he at last landed his prey.”hunter

“Personal”

“John G. Boyle is back from Washington. He looks happy, but it is not known what office he was promised.”

 Apr. 19, 1889

p. 5 A new serial novel begins – “Colonel Quaritch, V.C. by H. Rider Haggard.”

 May 16, 1889

p. 1 “Are Times Degenerate? – Bishop Potter says Yes.” In the report of sermon in NY, the Bishop warns of the dangers of “mistaking bigness for greatness and sadly confounding gain and godliness.”

 May 30, 1889

p. 3 “Local Brevities” “Ellensburgh is thronged with rough characters and a special force of police is required to maintain order.” (A persistent rivalry with Ellensburgh is noted throughout the issues.)

 June 6, 1889

p. 1 The question of where the new state’s capital should be is of great interest. Candidates vying for the position: Pasco, Centralia, Ellensburgh, Walla Walla, Spokane Falls, etc.

p. 3 “She wasn’t Mrs. Gillum” – recounts the interesting history of an fashionable couple who spent several weeks in Yakima. A Mr. Gillum, a life insurance salesman who made “a very gentlemanly appearance,” and his wife, “a well-rounded blonde” who was fond of whist and maybe a bit of poker – just with friends, of course. Amazingly, though “she disclaimed more than a very slight knowledge of the game she was always remarkably lucky.” The gentlemen of Yakima enjoyed her company but the ladies never took to her. After they left and set up in Spokane Falls, Gillum’s divorced wife showed up claiming that the young child with them was hers and that Mr. Gillum had never married his blonde companion. The miscreants escape down the back stairs.

“Local Brevities” “Colonel Prosser has a telegram announcing the loss in the terrible Johnstown flood of his step-mother, two half-sisters and a number of other relatives.”

 Aug. 15, 1889

p. 2 “Yakima the Capital” The editor makes his case that Yakima is really the only reasonable place to locate the new state capital. “Even the Olympia people believe this, when they are honest with themselves…”

 Oct. 10, 1889

p. 1 “How a state is made” The new state constitution has been adopted and a federal act is now required to become a state. The process is discussed in a question and answer session with Supreme Justice-elect, John P. Hoyt.

p. 2 “Falsehood Pure and Simple” Evidently, North Yakima has lost its bid to become the new capital, and blames its opponents for misrepresenting it as “a Northern Pacific town, and that the company was aiding us by its influence and money.”

 Nov. 14, 1889

p. 2   “We are now a state… The emancipation from territorial vassalage was received in some giddy cities with the burning of powder, patriotic speeches and champagne for the rich – whiskey and beer for the poor. Here in dignified Yakima we smiled a smile of satisfaction and moved along the even tenor of our way, building three-story brick business blocks, handsome residences and projecting new and greater enterprises for the coming year.”

p. 3 “The city has been on its bad behavior this week. Nine ‘drunk and disorderlies’ occupy the municipal jail. Five men were arrested today for fighting.” One of the jail’s residents moaned, “’What is getting into this town of Yakima?’ Other have asked the same question. The marshal says the prisoners shall work on the streets under ball and chain.”

 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.

 

 

 

 

The West Shore – Enticing settlers to the late 19th century Pacific Northwest

Monday, June 30th, 2014 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections, Uncategorized | No Comments »


From the desk of Marlys Rudeen, Deputy State Librarian

A recent addition to the State Library’s digital collections is the lavishly illustrated West Shore. This literary and general interest magazine was published from Aug. 1875-Mar. 1891. The Washington State Library owns some of the issues from 1880-1890, and has digitized the issues and made them available online. (Warning – some of the PDFs are large and do take some time to load.)

According to its tagline from the 1885 issues, the West Shore is “An illustrated journal of general information devoted to the development of the Great West” and is published in Tacoma and Portland. It is meant to serve as a booster for the whole Northwest region, encouraging investment and immigration. It also serves as a general news journal for western residents, keeping them informed on both local issues and developments from back east as well.

By the early 1880’s, each issue looks in depth at a couple of locales, discussing their suitability for farming or raising a family. The articles report on local industries, the economy, churches, types of farming, climate, and transportation. In the illustrations the locale is represented by drawings of public buildings and private homes.  westshore

The issue for Aug. 1883, covers Jackson Co., Ore. and Vancouver, W.T. May 1885 takes a good look at North Yakima in “Building a Town” (p. 135). The issue for Jan. 18, 1890 examines the charms of Kittitas Co., the history of St. Joseph’s Mission near Coeur d’Alene, and Ashland and the Rogue River Valley.

In the early years, the editors were in the habit of reprinting articles, stories or poetry from other publications. The Jan. 1880 issue attributes material to the New England Farmer, Rural Press, The Alliance, North American Review, Reno Gazette, London Telegraph, and Harper’s Magazine.

By May 1885 there are fewer articles from other journals, although it’s possible that the editor is just not attributing as carefully as before since there are short articles on such diverse interests as: Hindu temples, Jugglers of India, Iguanas, and the Japanese city of Kumamoto. More space is given to short local news notes. The emphasis on exploring the characters of a variety of regions and towns continues, as do extensive coverage of railroads, lumber, coal, fishing and other commercial interests.

The magazine also presents articles on many topics of general interest, such as:

  • Women in Massachusetts being allowed to vote in the school board elections for the first time (Jan. 1880, p. 19)
  • Poisons and their Antidotes (Jan. 1880, p. 2)
  • Microscopic Discovery of Malarial Poison (Jan. 1880, p. 30)Langshan
  • Immigration problems (May 1885, p. 130)
  • Great indignation about suspected census fiddling. “Grand larceny of 50,000 people is what Oregon charges against Superintendent Porter and his beer-guzzling subordinates…” (Oct. 25, 1890, p. 162)
  • Agriculture report gathers reports from various local papers (Aug. 1883, p. 176)

The West Shore also includes poetry, short stories and jokes, but one of its most significant characteristics was the wonderful illustrations scattered throughout the issues to illuminate articles or to picture the northwest cities and towns that it featured. Even an article on a particular breed of chicken , Langshan Fowls, in the Jan. 1880 issue (p. 22) includes this wonderful engraving.

coverartThe cover art for the May 1885 issue attempts to portray the abundance of natural resources in the Northwest.

The issue also gives the reader a Bird’s Eye view of the growing city of North Yakima.

Bird's Eye View of North Yakima

Bird’s Eye View of North Yakima

By 1890, the West Shore has begun to experiment with color!

And even with some ‘social issue’ illustrations.

The West Shore was an ambitious undertaking and had the largest circulation of any Northwest publication for a time. It provides a unique record of the Pacific Northwest in the last part of the 19th century, and the State Library is happy to make its issues available online.

To see other digital collections at the State Library visit the Library web site:

The Washington State Library is a Division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

Life in Colville 1907-08

Friday, June 20th, 2014 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections | No Comments »


From the desk of Marlys Rudeen:

A sampling of the local news from the Colville Examiner from Oct. 31, 1907-Jan. 1908 provides a vivid view of life in the north half of Stevens County. One thing that stands out is that the Colvillians were a traveling bunch. They visited and were visited on a regular basis, travelling to family and friends in other small towns, the big city of Spokane, and relatives in the Midwest or eastern states. Departures and arrivals are noted carefully in the local sections of the paper. Colville Examiner 1907

The editor, J. C. Harrigan, also includes articles and short snippets on roads, railroads, mines, church events, clubs, appointments of government officials, and entertainments. Births are welcomed, marriages celebrated, and deaths mourned. The overall picture is of a vigorous, social community that is busy laboring, building businesses, and seeking entertainment.

I’ve recorded below some bits that caught my eye, but I encourage you to visit the Colville Examiner on your own through Chronicling America Choose the browse option, choose a year and an issue, and dive in.

Nov. 9, 1907

p. 13 “Lizzie Paschilke, who enjoys the unenviable reputation of being under indictment for horse stealing, entered a plea of guilty in the Superior Court last Saturday and was sentenced to a term in the state industrial school in Chehalis. Her mother was convicted of a similar charge in the Spokane County court last week and sent to the state penitentiary.”

 “George H. Bevan of Kettle Falls was in Colville Thursday. Mr. Bevan is a road commissioner… He is also a democrat and has no hesitation in letting it be known.”

 Nov. 16, 1907

p. 11 “The Colville high school football team met defeat at Coeur d’Alene last Saturday, but by a smaller margin than that of the previous game, which shows our boys are improving with practice…” Colville Examiner 1907

 Nov. 30, 1907

p. 17 “ Chewelah possesses a dancing school which meets every Thursday evening at the Odd Fellows Hall…”

 Dec. 7, 1907

p. 13 “For the benefit of any persons interested, it is announced that the cells for the new county jail will not be installed before the first of January. Of this take due notice and govern yourselves accordingly, for the time cometh when Sheriff Graham will not be obliged to sit on a nail keg with a shot gun all night to keep prisoners from escaping from the old fort building.”

 Dec. 14, 1907

p. 7 “The Ungathered Spinsters will hold their annual state convention some time in January. Watch for date.”

p. 17 “The Echo basket ball team is practicing twice a week and is busily engaged at all times in studying the rules of this popular indoor sport. The great interest manifested thus far found expression in an exceptionally forcible argument last Sunday.”

 Jan. 4, 1908

p. 13 “The moving picture subjects at the opera house this week are: The Adventuress, Love’s Tragedy, Following in Father’s Footsteps, The Bargain Fiend, An Artful Husband, How to Cure a Cold and Playing Pranks on the Gardener.”

Jan. 25, 1908

p. 13 “ Notice has been served upon the unsuspecting public of Colville that unless police interference is made, the Colville Imperial Minstrel Club will give its first series of gigantic girations at the opera house next Friday evening, Jan. 31. The public is invited to come and hear as much of the program as may seem reasonable. An admission fee will be charged for the purpose of keeping the club from giving another performance soon. Several new features will be introduced which have not yet been proscribed by law. A large orchestra of the city’s best musicians will accompany a chorus of the city’s worst vocalists as far as the new jail. A packed house will undoubtedly be present, and the sorrowing friends of the 15 young men in the minstrel club will anxiously wait for their safe return that evening.”

 The Colville Examiner 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.

 

Spotlight on Staff: Judy Pitchford

Monday, June 16th, 2014 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public | 2 Comments »


“Judy is my bulldog. She’ll sink her teeth into a project and finish it!” These are the words of Judy’s supervisor Marlys Rudeen, Deputy State Librarian.

JudyandMurphy What a great picture this paints of a woman with a long and varied career with the Washington State Library. Judy started in 1998 at WSL as a prison librarian working at Washington Corrections in Shelton. She loved this job because she felt that it was like all libraries rolled into one. Depending on the patron she could be called upon, in any given day, to be a medical librarian, a school librarian or a public librarian. Before moving to Washington, Judy had worked as a school librarian at some tough inner city schools in Virginia and said the transition to working in the prisons was really not that hard.

In 2002 Judy left the Prison library and came to work in Digital Collections for WSL and has been there ever since. Judy sees her work as building on itself over time. Her work as a school librarian made her a better prison librarian. Her experiences at both libraries made her understand the importance of the digital collections; how they could be used by school children for research and how the prisoners could use state agency information.

Marlys also said that with the turnover in the last few years that Judy has been invaluable as she has completed many projects which other people have started and left.   Their department is considerably smaller than when Judy first came to work in Digital Collections but it hasn’t slowed her down. In addition to the work she completes on her own, Judy also works with volunteers to help with the digitization projects. She has worked on the Emma Smith DeVoe papers, the Josephine Corliss scrapbook, the digitization of Washington Newspapers, has digitized Historical Maps and oversees the Classics in Washington History. Then there is her pet project, digitizing the Washington State Voter’s pamphlets which she does when she needs a relaxation break. Judy sees these as full of a rich history that would be fascinating and informative for school projects. One example she gave is the sorts of initiatives that were being proposed during prohibition. Speaking of interesting initiatives Judy discovered a gem from 1952 – Initiative 180 – a proposal to the voters to allow yellow coloring to be added to margarine. You can read the arguments for and against on pages 6+7 of “A Pamphlet containing…”   As you can imagine these voter’s pamphlets contain a snapshot of history and what was important to people of the time. In 1952 apparently margarine was high on that list!

One of Judy’s main jobs is to run herd on the State Agencies digital publications. It is the law as well as the mission of the State Library to collect all documents that are published by Washington State agencies, no small task. She accomplishes this in a variety of ways. If she is lucky the agency sends her a copy of a newly published document, sometimes electronically through email or FTP, sometimes on a CD or DVD. But she also has a special tool, a “Page Checker’ built for this specific purpose. Whenever a state agency makes a change to their page Judy will receive a notification through the checker. She then is able to go in, download the document and begin the process of adding it to the State Library’s collection. After a weekend there can be as many as 50 pages to check. Imagine what it’s like after a vacation! All this hard work creates a rich resource in our catalog for researchers to learn about the work of the Washington State agencies.

Outside of work Judy has many other things to keep her busy. She has two children, now grown, two dogs and four cats. In addition to her full time job at the WSL Judy and her husband, along with good friends, run their own t-shirt printing business, a true labor of love as Judy loves t-shirts and personally owns over 100 of them. Most days she leaves her job at the library to head over to their warehouse for an evening of work. judy's socksA mild mannered librarian on the outside, take a look at her crazy socks and you’ll catch a glimpse of what lurks beneath the surface.

The State library as well as the researchers of Washington are fortunate to have this “bulldog” librarian on our staff. Thank you Judy for all that you do.

Pioneer Queens of Upper Kittitas County

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014 Posted in Digital Collections, For the Public | No Comments »


Since 1969, residents of the Central Washington towns of Roslyn and Cle Elum have named an annual Pioneer Queen–a woman whose life and contributions to the community embody the history of Upper Kittitas County.

Erin Krake, librarian at the Roslyn Public Library, wanted to shine a light of the story of these women, “who built [our] town from the grown up, just as their men did so from the coal mines beneath it.” Beginning in 2012, Krake, and a team of local volunteers began digitizing the documentary evidence of these lives, by directly interviewing surviving Pioneer Queens and scanning their family photograph collections.

The Pioneer Queens of Upper Kittitas County Collection is the result of that effort, which the Roslyn Public Library envisions as an ongoing, multi-year project to tell the story of the settling of Roslyn and the surrounding area from the women’s point of view. According to Krake: “In each case, the stories are vibrant and unique, containing the common themes of family, food, work and play, good times and hard ones.”

 

Linking the Past with the Present

Thursday, April 17th, 2014 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public, State Library Collections | No Comments »


Ever since the advent of Web 2.0 people are finding creative ways to harness the power of the web to learn about and share their passions.  Resources are shared and discovered; connections are made between people.  Here at the Washington State Library we have a mission to collect, preserve and make accessible materials about the history and culture of Washington State.  This task is accomplished in a variety of ways, from scanning newspapers, or entire books, to helping communities scan, organize and digitize their local historic collections.  While the library has accomplished this mission by providing access to its digital collections this really is only the first step.  When it gets interesting is when people start interacting with the collections.

Much to our delight, people are finding our collections and using them to enrich their lives.  I wanted to share a few of the stories and comments which have resulted from the resources we’ve shared.  A picture from the Garfield County Heritage collection titled “Denison children and goat cart, 1929” elicited this comment Denison_children_and_goat_cart_1929“My Great Aunt Mary, Great Uncle Roger, and my Lovely Grandmother Dorothy Denison Ruchert. I cherish this photo and hope to bring back the goat carts for use today!”

Or we received this comment on a photo of Nooksack Valley“So grateful to have found these photos! We now live on this very property and are in the midst of returning the homestead to historic glory.”   	Logging on Gardene's homestead on property

Then there was the time that the Public Services desk received a call from someone who had heard that the Washington State Library had digitized her Great-Great-Great Grandfather’s journal.  When asked who that person might be, they said, Daniel Bigelow.  We were excited to let her know that the State Library Digital and Historical Collections team had indeed made the journal, along with other mementos kept in the Manuscripts Collection, digitally available.  Thrilled, she explained that her family was unaware that the material was available and was eager to pass the word along to her kin.  Needless to say, our Public Services team was delighted to help make these connections.

Finally, the other day on our Facebook page there was a wonderful piece of serendipity.  Just for fun we posted pictures of a small library in Eastern Washington with a challenge to “Name that Library”.  Someone who saw the post commented that her great grandparents had lived in that community and she was interested in genealogy.  A librarian from that library, OK I’ll tell you, The Denny Ashby Library in Pomeroy, saw the post, and knew of a book that had been scanned and made available in Open Library.  She went to the book and found an entry about the person’s great-grandparents and shared the link in the comments.  Connection made, information shared.  How cool is that? Keep reading, keep watching, you never know when something that links you to the past will turn up on your 21st Century device.

Women’s History Month – Josephine Corliss Preston

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014 Posted in Articles, Digital Collections, For Libraries, For the Public | No Comments »


josephinepreston

Another treasure for Women’s History in the Manuscript Collection of the State Library is the newspaper clipping scrapbook of Josephine Corliss Preston, which has been digitized and added to our Classics in Washington History. Mrs. Preston was the first woman elected to statewide office in Washington state government after women were granted the right to vote in 1910, defeating another female candidate, Mary Monroe. Elected as the 6th State Superintendent of Public Instruction, she served from 1913 to 1928. Her scrapbook documents her efforts as she became a Republican candidate for office in 1912 and continues through 1920.

Mrs. Preston began her career as a teacher at the age of 14 in Minnesota and taught in Walla Walla from 1896-1903. She served as assistant county superintendent and deputy superintendent of the Walla Walla County schools during the years of 1904-1912. As State superintendent, Mrs. Preston was nationally recognized for obtaining legislation that allowed tax money to be used to cover the cost of building homes for teachers – called teacher’s cottages. This meant teachers would no longer have to be passed around to board with local families or, worse, be essentially homeless.