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Check out 1950 Washington highway map

Check out 1950 Washington highway map

Most Washingtonians probably can’t even remember life before Interstate 5, I-90 and I-405 were built in our state. But a 1950 state highway map found on our Legacy Washington webpage shows the routes drivers traveled before the arrival of our interstate freeways. You can make some interesting observations by closely examining the map, which was published by the Washington State Highway Commission: The main north-south highway in Western Washington was U.S. 99, which connected Bellingham, Everett, Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia and…

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From Digital Archives: Classic WA sailing photos

From Digital Archives: Classic WA sailing photos

When you visit Puget Sound or one of the many lakes in Washington, especially during the gorgeous summer months here, you’re bound to see someone sailing. (And maybe you’re the one on the sailboat!) Sailing has been a popular activity around these waters about as long as sailboats first appeared here. These photos on the Washington State Digital Archives website confirm it. The top picture shows a couple of sailboats on Lake Washington around 1960. The middle shot features a…

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Greek history in Seattle again reaches for global audience

Greek history in Seattle again reaches for global audience

In the early days of the Seattle-based Washington Hellenic Civic Society, little did community citizens know their comings and goings would reach an international audience through the publication of the monthly newspaper, the Washington Hellenic Review. It had just over a 10-year run (1924-1936) under the vision of WHCS president Pericles H. Scarlatos.   It reached an audience mostly in Seattle, but also across to subscribers in 33 cities, and even a few in Greece. The many activities of members of…

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From Digital Archives: photos of 1889 Seattle Fire

From Digital Archives: photos of 1889 Seattle Fire

When you ask the historical significance of June 6, most people think of the anniversary of D-Day. But June 6 also marks a horrific event in Seattle history. On that date in 1889, a fire destroyed much of Seattle, which was then a timber town and many years from becoming a world-famous city. Our Legacy Washington program’s exhibit on the year when Washington reached statehood, “Washington 1889: Blazes, Rails and Year of Statehood,” includes a section on the 1889 Great…

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From the Archives: Postcard of 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition

From the Archives: Postcard of 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition

If you were around for this opening, you have lived a very long time! On June 1, 1909, about 80,000 people attended the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition opening in Seattle where the University of Washington campus stands today. More than 3 million people attended the 1909 expo, which closed that year in mid-October. The Washington State Archives has this classic color postcard (above) offering a bird’s eye view of the exposition grounds, with Mount Rainier in the distance to the south. This…

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From the Digital Archives: 1909 Washington highway map

From the Digital Archives: 1909 Washington highway map

Nowadays, when we look at a highway map of Washington, we see a complex web of gold, red and black lines crisscrossing the state. But it wasn’t always this way. In the early 1900s, highways were a rarity in the Evergreen State. Probably because cars and trucks were rarities as well, considering that the automobile had just been invented. This 1909 map displays Washington’s located and proposed highways, railroads (the dominant form of transportation then) and county seats. The map…

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75th anniversary for two famous Washington bridges

75th anniversary for two famous Washington bridges

  Construction of the original Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which opened in July 1940. (Photos courtesy of Washington State Archives) This is Washington’s tale of two bridges. Opening just one day apart in July 1940, 75 years ago, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and the Lake Washington Floating Bridge both galvanized human movement and economic prosperity in Washington state. They foreshadowed the developing prowess of Washington. However, this growth was not without its pains. Both bridges were engineering marvels. The Tacoma Narrows…

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Library Jewel #2: collection of Captain Fay’s correspondence

Library Jewel #2: collection of Captain Fay’s correspondence

  The second Library Jewel for May is a collection of correspondence, records and a journal of one of Seattle’s first settlers. On Nov. 13, 1851, Captain Robert Colburn Fay was among the first settlers to land at Alki Point in what is now West Seattle. Fay remained in the Puget Sound area for another two decades, meeting with chiefs of various tribes to discuss treaties. Fay spent his last few years living in Coupeville before he died in 1872….

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Vote for your favorite June Archives treasure!

Vote for your favorite June Archives treasure!

You’ve seen the three contenders, and it is now time to vote for your favorite June Archives treasure!  Here is a recap of the three competitors: 1) U.S. flag from 1889, the year Washington became a state 2) Photos of I-5 construction through Seattle in the early 1960s 3) Wilder & White Capitol Campus design Go to our online poll below and vote for your favorite treasure.  The poll will close Friday at noon, and we will feature a blog…

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Walking to Lake Union

Walking to Lake Union

While he was in Seattle for meetings on Wednesday, Secretary Reed took time during the noon hour to walk with some staffers and volunteers at the Washington Talking Book & Braille Library. The group strolled to South Lake Union Park and back to the library. Please follow and like us: