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The Local Treasure of Garfield County

The Local Treasure of Garfield County

Imagine this: It’s deep winter in the southeast corner of Washington state — wheat country. Blowing snow builds on the icy country roads and two-lane highways. Cell phones don’t exist because it’s 1970. You’re worried you will arrive late for jury duty; but when you get to Pomeroy, you discover court has been canceled for the day. Oh no! Enter Doris Landkammer, Garfield County Clerk. Known for going above and beyond her official duties, she fills you with hot coffee…

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Company F at Dayton: Military History in an Unexpected Place.

Company F at Dayton: Military History in an Unexpected Place.

Volunteer archivist, Whitney Wyngaert, discovered a Columbia County Poll Book which contained information that had nothing at all to do with polling voters. Instead, the volume’s ragged, faded label reads “Dayton Nat GR ’94.”  The headers printed on each set of pages claim the volume to be the “Registration Poll Book for Brooklyn Ward, City of Dayton, Columbia County., Wash., for the Year 1893.” The volume was transferred to the archives in 1990 from the Columbia County Auditor, and the…

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History Degree and Archives Experience is the Winning Combination for Whitney Wyngaert

History Degree and Archives Experience is the Winning Combination for Whitney Wyngaert

Whitney Wyngaert has interned and worked at the Eastern Regional Branch and Digital Archives of the Washington State Archives for the past two years. She was a graduate student in the history program at Eastern Washington University where she successfully defended her graduate portfolio and received her Master’s degree in June. Wyngaert’s graduate project was to assist Digital Archivist Debbie Bahn process part of the Hanford Health Information Archive (HHIA) collection. According to Wyngaert, the HHIA “collected, preserved, and provided…

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Third round of grants awarded by Local Records Grant Program

Third round of grants awarded by Local Records Grant Program

Washington counties and cities will soon benefit from grant funding awarded by the Local Records Grant Program administered by the Washington State Archives, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State. The grants will help local governments preserve and protect their documents and history. The City of Edmonds will soon be able to organize its file room, Jefferson County will have access to new technology tools, and the Ridgefield School District can start digitally scanning its records. In…

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State Archives announces special history day awards

State Archives announces special history day awards

The Washington State Archives, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, partners with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) each year to put on National History Day in Washington State. OSPI’s website describes National History Day as a “nationwide social studies program that challenges over 500,000 middle and high school students across the United States and territories to develop their historical research skills.” A new theme is chosen each year, and projects come in several…

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The evolution of a neighborhood store

The evolution of a neighborhood store

Black Lake Grocery has been a staple on the lake for more than 80 years, possibly over 90. If you have not visited the store, it is located on the west side of Black Lake, just off Black Lake Boulevard, in Olympia. The store will soon shut down to repair damages caused by an automobile accident that occurred earlier this year. The wreck was caused by a 17-year-old driver whose 2004 BMW left the road at a high rate of…

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Archives Spotlight: How April 25 has become meaningful for the Washington State Archives

Archives Spotlight: How April 25 has become meaningful for the Washington State Archives

Over the years, April 25th has grown into a date circled on the calendar by our team at the Washington State Archives. On April 25, 1963, the Olympia Archives Building opened up “in the shadow of the Capitol Dome,” ready to take records into what was seen at the time as a technologically-advanced facility.  That archives building started to show its age as the decades progressed. On April 25, 2014, the building amplified the need for a new, modern repository….

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Archives Spotlight: Find your Washington ancestors in the Digital Archives census collection

Archives Spotlight: Find your Washington ancestors in the Digital Archives census collection

The Washington State Archives’ Digital Archives has an extensive collection of census records from across the state, dating back to 1847 — 42 years before Washington became a state. The Digital Archives’ mission is to make public records easily and freely accessible to the people. To date, well over 200 million records have been digitized. Census records are popular among researchers, especially genealogists. If you have ancestors who lived in Washington, there is a good chance you can find them…

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Archives Spotlight: The Stevens Pass Railway Disaster

Archives Spotlight: The Stevens Pass Railway Disaster

Researchers at the State Archives recently came across these photos of the aftermath from the Wellington avalanche, a disaster that struck the Cascade Mountains near Stevens Pass in 1910. The top photo, taken eight months after the tragedy and viewable in full here, shows the devastation on the mountainsides and reconstruction progress on some of the town’s structures. Click to view a larger version of the picture to see a train in motion in the lower right corner. The bottom…

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Archives Spotlight: How influenza blocked Seattle’s shot at a second Stanley Cup

Archives Spotlight: How influenza blocked Seattle’s shot at a second Stanley Cup

Seattle is proudly preparing to field a National Hockey League team starting in 2021, the first major league hockey team to hail from the city in nearly a century. With this news, you may have also heard Seattle was the first American city to take home a Stanley Cup championship when the Metropolitans beat the Montreal Canadiens in the 1917 finals. Did you also know the Mets came within one win of a second Stanley Cup victory? In March 1919,…

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