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In memoriam: Sid McAlpin, State Archivist from 1963-1994

In memoriam: Sid McAlpin, State Archivist from 1963-1994

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Sid McAlpin, State Archivist from 1963 to 1994. To those who worked in the Washington State Archives in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, Sid was not only a leader, but also a friend and mentor. Sid’s work as State Archivist was significant and extensive. The following are only some of his many great accomplishments and contributions. Moved the Records Committees from Destruction to Records Retention…

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History Friday: Stevens County 1966 Special Census

History Friday: Stevens County 1966 Special Census

The 18th United States Census, conducted in 1960, was the first U.S. Census in which the questionnaires were mailed to households, as opposed to paid, in-person enumerators who visited each house. Previous census enumerations used mail-in questionnaires in a limited way, but the 1960 Census relied very heavily on self-reporting. The census determined the U.S. population was 179,323,175. Over the next six years, however, there were many challenges to the census from communities which felt they were under-counted, and short-changed…

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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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Archives spotlight: Notorious Spokane criminal shot dead in 1918 at state penitentiary

Archives spotlight: Notorious Spokane criminal shot dead in 1918 at state penitentiary

Gunshots rang through downtown Spokane in a firefight between Fred “Tiger” Johnson and the police as Johnson attempted to flee across Northern Pacific and Great Northern Railway yards. After he robbed a streetcar, he attempted to avoid arrest but was outgunned by law enforcement. Tiger was shot twice, then booked by the Sheriff’s Office on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, highway robbery, and first-degree assault. This punched Tiger’s (sometimes known as Louis Coynt) ticket to the Walla Walla…

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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: 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: Washington’s official state monster

Archives Spotlight: Washington’s official state monster

Just over 50 years ago, Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin unleashed their Bigfoot video, better known as the Patterson-Gimlin film, on the world. The 59.5 seconds of original footage were met mostly with criticism and accusations—and not much has changed. To the delight of conspiracy theorists around the world, Patterson denied hoax allegations until his death in 1972, and Gimlin still maintains the film ’s legitimacy. Pretty much everyone else, however, fully acknowledges the film was a hoax. That certainly hasn’t stopped…

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Bet you didn’t know!… Special Collections in Washington State Libraries – Abby Williams Hill Collection

Bet you didn’t know!… Special Collections in Washington State Libraries – Abby Williams Hill Collection

Abby Williams Hill who lived in the late 19th and early 20th century (1861-1943) was a remarkable woman for her time.  She was a painter and a social activist, a brave woman who did not let much stand in her way.  She was the founder of the Washington State Congress of Mothers which eventually became known as the PTA.  She was a supporter of early childhood education.  Visits to the Tuskeegee Institute and the Flathead reservation made her a champion…

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WSL Updates for June 11, 2015

WSL Updates for June 11, 2015

Volume 11, June 11, 2015 for the WSL Updates mailing list Topics include: 1) MAKE HISTORY COME ALIVE WITH ZINES! 2) PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT GRANTS 3) BOOK YOUR BANK PILOT PROGRAM OPPORTUNITY 4) NORTHWEST ELEARN CONFERENCE 2015 5) JUNE IS GLBT BOOK MONTH 6) FREE CE OPPORTUNITIES NEXT WEEK ————————————————————————————————————— 1) MAKE HISTORY COME ALIVE WITH ZINES! Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State, is sponsoring the 1st Annual Historical Zine Contest with co-sponsors Washington…

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