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Archives spotlight: Historical weather

Archives spotlight: Historical weather

Even if you do enjoy the occasional snow, we can probably all agree that it creates headaches for driving, scheduling, dealing with kids who stay home from school, keeping the driveway shoveled, and so forth. Perhaps this look at a few historical weather storms will help remind us that the current weather isn’t that bad. Walla Walla flood, 1931 Floodwaters overcame the streets of Walla Walla during a storm in 1931. According to a State Archives researcher, this house is located…

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Archives spotlight: The tale of the pickled pioneer

Archives spotlight: The tale of the pickled pioneer

Willie Keil was an ambitious 19-year-old when his family decided to travel the Oregon Trail in 1855. Willie had dreamed of driving a wagon out west, so he learned and was anointed the lead driver of the group’s wagon train. In the weeks leading up to the venture, Willie contracted malaria and died just four days before his family’s departure from Bethel, Missouri. His father, Dr. William Keil, knew it meant the world to Willie to ride the lead wagon,…

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Archives spotlight: The Mary Mahoney Registered Nurses Club

Archives spotlight: The Mary Mahoney Registered Nurses Club

2019 brings the 70th anniversary of the Mary Mahoney Professional Nurses Association, which was founded as the Mary Mahoney Registered Nurses Club of Seattle. Mary Mahoney was one of the first African-American nurses in the United States. In recognition of Black History Month, Washington State Archives researcher Dr. Jewell Lorenz Dunn researched the historical records held at the Archives to show some history behind the trailblazers who founded the club. Mary Mahoney, was born in 1845 in Boston, Massachusetts, to…

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Archives Spotlight: Washington native Bing Crosby’s hit single “Black Ball Ferry Line” in 1951

Archives Spotlight: Washington native Bing Crosby’s hit single “Black Ball Ferry Line” in 1951

Last week we watched a little history. This week we’ll listen. Bing Crosby, who was born in Tacoma and raised in Spokane, teamed up with the Andrews Sisters in 1951 to sing an ode to the Puget Sound ferry system. Have a listen: Please follow and like us:

Archives Spotlight: Ride through Highway 99’s past and future via the State Archives

Archives Spotlight: Ride through Highway 99’s past and future via the State Archives

The last car to travel the Alaskan Way Viaduct cruised into a cold, dry Seattle night around 10 p.m. Friday, January 11, 2019. The two-level stretch of State Route 99 along coastal downtown has been an element of the city’s skyline since the early 1950s, but safety concerns have hastened its departure. The viaduct was damaged by the Nisqually earthquake in 2001, and has been deemed susceptible to future damage should another earthquake rock the structure. A tunnel under downtown…

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If Trees Could Talk: Famous Trees around Washington

If Trees Could Talk: Famous Trees around Washington

We have many historically significant trees in Washington, and many State Archives records document the people and events related to the state’s most historic trees. Although State Archives collections mainly consist of state and local government records, many archival collections also contain photographs. Archivist Jewell Dunn recently turned up one of the last photos of the Medicine Creek tree after it was topped by an arborist to be preserved. The plaque seen in the Medicine Creek tree photo at right…

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Ask an Archivist Day at EWU

Ask an Archivist Day at EWU

Debbie Bahn, the Electronic Records Archivist at the Digital Archives, and Eastern Washington University graduate intern Whitney Wyngaert manned the table at EWU’s John F. Kennedy Memorial Library in Cheney on Wednesday, October 3. Bahn, Wyngaert, and EWU archivist Steve Bingo engaged with more than 30 students in two hours, describing the resources and educational opportunities available at the Washington State Archives as well as archival careers. Deputy State Archivist Terry Badger provided an antique “magic lantern” slide projector to use…

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Exploring the old school records of the State Archives

Exploring the old school records of the State Archives

It’s September and the start of a new academic year, so the branches of the Washington State Archives are abuzz with new and returning student interns. This inspired us to think about about school records, so let’s explore what Archives’ school collections encompass. Some of the records we have are from either the state or county levels, including: maps for school boundaries, bus routes, teacher contracts, superintendents’ reports, school annual reports, county school district audit examinations, school censuses, yearbooks, and…

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State Parks and Rec gives thanks for massive CCC photo-scanning project

State Parks and Rec gives thanks for massive CCC photo-scanning project

The Washington State Archives’ Digital Projects Archivists Maggie Cogswell and Mary Hammer led the way in completing a massive, 11-year project digitizing and cataloging photos of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) from the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission. This collection of 2,396 photographs shows work conducted on Washington state parks by the CCC from 1933 to 1938, and includes images of Moran, Lewis and Clark, Deception Pass, Millersylvania, Riverside, Rainbow Falls, Carkeek, Denny Park, Mt. Spokane, Saltwater, Beacon Rock,…

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Scrapbooking and Oral History: Lessons from the pros

Scrapbooking and Oral History: Lessons from the pros

Summer is a tricky time to put on an event at the Olympia Archives Building. Who wants to take time during a sun-drenched Saturday in August to huddle up in the dark confines of a windowless research room? History buffs and genealogists — that’s who! Our “Scrapbooking and Oral Histories with the Pros” event brought together an enthusiastic crowd of family researchers who clung to the words of the amazing presenters from the Washington State Archives and Legacy Washington, which…

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