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Frontier Justice: Convicted Walla Walla land-claim fraudsters pardoned by President Hayes

Frontier Justice: Convicted Walla Walla land-claim fraudsters pardoned by President Hayes

Archivists realize that no matter how well they think they know their collection, it still holds surprises. The Washington Territorial Court Case Files collection at the Washington State Archives Eastern Regional Branch recently delivered such a surprise. Eastern Washington University graduate student and Archives Intern Devrick Barnett has been working on the Territorial case files for a few months now. Also known as the Frontier Justice collection, these consist of the surviving case files from the Washington Territorial Courts (1853-1889)….

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Unity Through Disaster: Yakima’s Cleanup after the Eruption of Mount St. Helens

Unity Through Disaster: Yakima’s Cleanup after the Eruption of Mount St. Helens

May 18, 1980, a day many Pacific Northwesterners vividly remember, was the infamous day Mount St. Helens erupted and left much of the state in complete darkness. This day was coined “Black Sunday,” and during the following week, nearly 200,000,000 cubic yards of soot and ash were dumped across Washington and covered nearly half the state.[1] The City of Yakima was in the direct path of the ash plume. To make matters worse, the volcano would continue to emit ash…

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Kittitas Ruralite Magazine provides a glimpse into the past

Kittitas Ruralite Magazine provides a glimpse into the past

Ruralite Magazine was first published in 1954 with “a spirit of public service and forward-looking sensibility.” But the magazine was not exclusive to Kittitas County as it was published by public utility districts across Washington, Oregon, Idaho, California, Nevada, Montana, and Alaska. Each state had multiple Ruralite versions specific to particular counties or regions, and by 1977, there were about 38 different editions going out to 157,000 households across the Northwest. This personalization of the magazine provides a unique window…

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Jimi Hendrix’s Family History and Path to Seattle

Jimi Hendrix’s Family History and Path to Seattle

It’s hard to believe master guitarist Jimi Hendrix would have turned 77 this year. He has been gone almost twice as long as he was alive. Just 27 years old when he died in 1970, his musical career — although short — has had one of the most lasting and profound effects on guitarists today. With the 50th anniversary of Woodstock just passed, we are again reminded of Jimi’s guitar style. His guitar sounds are quickly recognizable and argued to…

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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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