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Archives Spotlight: The Legislative Building turns 90

Archives Spotlight: The Legislative Building turns 90

In the quiet of the post-Legislative session interim period, the 90th anniversary of the Washington Capitol‘s opening to the public passed without a formal observance on March 28. Perhaps that was fitting. The Legislative Building went without a grand opening party back in 1928 because of a political dispute over the perceived largesse of building and furnishing a $7 million government building. The Legislative Building was constructed over much of the 1920s. Architects Walter Wilder and Harry White, whose plan…

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Archives Spotlight: History mystery solved!

Archives Spotlight: History mystery solved!

It took us some time, but we managed to put a name to this portrait photo from state archives, solving last week’s mystery. We’d been unable to identify its subject from its original caption of “Unidentified Representative” and description of its subject as a former Washington legislator at the time Vibert Jeffers took the picture in 1939. Scott Sackett of the Central Regional Branch of the State Archives in Ellensburg solved the mystery. The gentleman pictured is Frank O. Miller,…

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History mystery: Do you know this man?

History mystery: Do you know this man?

A few months ago, a Digital Archives user wrote in to the Washington State Archives to ask about the identity of the man in the photo on the right. We still can’t answer the question. Perhaps you can help. The photo was taken by Vibert Jeffers in 1939. It comes from the Susan Parish Photograph Collection and it was given the title “Unidentified Representative.” The record further describes him as a former member of the Washington State House of Representatives….

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Archives Spotlight: Unique finds in the Department of Ecology collection

Archives Spotlight: Unique finds in the Department of Ecology collection

Washington State Archives’ records from the Department of Ecology make up a massive, sometimes intimidating collection documenting the agency’s efforts to protect and preserve Washington’s natural air, water and land resources. The collection contains nearly 8,000 cubic feet of records mostly dating from the 1970s to present. The subjects covered in the Ecology archives include toxic site cleanups, water quality and resources, shorelines management, air pollution, nuclear waste, and more. Over the past year, we have been working on a…

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Archives Spotlight: Weird headstones of Washington

Archives Spotlight: Weird headstones of Washington

The Washington State Archives comes across some strange findings, and we truly embrace the state’s oddities. You should see us around Halloween. Recently, one of our researchers came across a series of weird headstones in Washington. We suppose the families would be ok if you chuckle. Perhaps that’s what they would’ve wanted. A sample of our findings: 5 Bratty Kids Done Her In Coy B. Shillinger, who is buried at Green Hills Memorial Cemetery in Burlington, Skagit County, lived to…

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Archives Spotlight: The Seattle team that became America’s first Stanley Cup champion

Archives Spotlight: The Seattle team that became America’s first Stanley Cup champion

This week, Seattle took a giant step closer to procuring a National Hockey League franchise. On Tuesday, February 13, Oak View Group Seattle — an ownership group headed by Hollywood producer Jerry Bruckheimer, who has given us such classics as Armageddon and Top Gun — formally submitted an application for expansion along with a $10 million application fee. The same group has also agreed to renovate Seattle’s Key Arena (sigh, come home, Sonics) at a $660 million expense. They will…

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Archives Spotlight: Hungry for wealth, ‘starvation healer’ ran deadly Olalla clinic

Archives Spotlight: Hungry for wealth, ‘starvation healer’ ran deadly Olalla clinic

Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard was an infamous fraud and a crook. She was known for her starvation “cure.” Dr. Hazzard purported fasting was the only cure for disease under the theory all illnesses were borne of impaired digestion. Unsurprisingly, a lot of Hazzard’s patients died slow, miserable deaths. These patients also had a weird habit of signing over their estates to Dr. Hazzard shortly before dying. What’s even more surprising? The ill continued to undergo fasting treatment despite her fairly…

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Archives Spotlight: The top secret Hanford Project

Archives Spotlight: The top secret Hanford Project

More than 51,000 people worked at the Hanford site between 1943 and 1945. Less than 500 knew what they were making. Plutonium is a radioactive element derived from uranium, and was discovered at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1941. Scientist Glenn Seaborg wrote a detailed description of plutonium and its potential uses. It could be a plentiful energy source, or used as a component in a major explosive weapon, he wrote. Of course, the creative insights fell upon deaf…

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Archives Spotlight: Seattle’s first retail store sat on Alki Point

Archives Spotlight: Seattle’s first retail store sat on Alki Point

“That’ll be six dollars,” Charles C. Terry probably said to J. N. Low on November 28, 1851. Low bought two axes from Terry, the first sale at Seattle’s first store, located in the town of New York, which is now known as Alki Point. The next time you tell yourself Seattle is super expensive, remember this sale. Six dollars in 1851 is roughly $180 in 2018. Pretty steep for a couple of axes, right? Then again, I haven’t checked prices…

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The remarkable, formidable Lois Spellman

The remarkable, formidable Lois Spellman

Former Washington State First Lady Lois Spellman died Thursday, January 25th, just days after the passing of her husband, former Washington State Governor John D. Spellman. Lois Elizabeth Murphy was born in 1927 in Havre, Montana. She and her husband prayed the Rosary together every night before bed for all 63 years of their marriage. They have six children and six grandchildren. Legacy Washington Chief Historian and Spellman biographer John Hughes remembers Lois in his book about the former governor: In…

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