New Digital Collection Highlights Lives of Seattle Pioneers

This month we’ve launched a new digital collection which reveals a glimpse into the personal lives of some of Seattle’s early pioneers. The Lu Jacobson Collection of Latimer and Denny Family Material includes materials focusing on Alexander Latimer, his wife Sarah Chesney Latimer and their five daughters: Narcissa Latimer Denny, Eliza Alice Latimer Fowler, Harriet Ellen Latimer Stephens, Clara Latimer Bickford, and Emma Chesney Latimer Reynolds.

Narcissa, Alice, Hattie, Clara, and Emma Latimer, circa 1880.

The descendants of the Latimer family played a significant role in the founding of Seattle. Alexander Latimer’s sister, Sarah Latimer, married her first husband, Richard Boren in 1822. Their children, Mary Ann Boren Denny, Carson Dobbins Boren and Louisa Boren, were in the group of Seattle’s first settlers who landed at Alki on November 13, 1851. They were accompanied by Arthur Armstrong Denny (husband to Mary Ann Boren Denny) and David Thomas Denny (soon to be husband to Louisa Boren). Arthur and David were the sons Sarah Latimer’s second husband John Denny from a previous marriage. Continue reading “New Digital Collection Highlights Lives of Seattle Pioneers”

New to our Digital Collections: Early Seattle Glass Plate Negatives

Curious to explore rarely seen photographs from the life of a Seattle family from over 100 years ago? Now you can with 184 photographs from our Early Seattle Glass Plate Negative Collection, recently digitized and added to our online offerings.

The collection features images of Seattle homes and buildings, the town of Index, the Cedar Falls Power Plant, and the Sunset Mine from about 1909 to 1912. All the images are housed on fragile glass plates which required careful handling to be scanned. The collection appears to be the work of at least two photographers. From captions provided with the negatives and some extra research work, we believe at least one of the photographers was Walter F. Piper, son of A.W. Piper, an early Seattle pioneer. (We actually have another photo of A.W. Piper with Walter when he was a boy in our digital collections.) The photos taken by Piper offer a rare detailed views of his home, family, friends, and business.

Continue reading “New to our Digital Collections: Early Seattle Glass Plate Negatives”

The Story Behind a Modern Marvel: The Seattle Space Needle

 

Photographer George Gulacsik atop the Space Needle, ca. November 1961
Photographer George Gulacsik atop the Space Needle, ca. November 1961

Fifty-five years ago this month, construction began on one of Seattle’ s most prominent icons – the Space Needle.  Our newest digital collection, the George Gulacsik Photograph Collection, documents the construction of the Needle from its start on April 17, 1961 to its completion in 1962 with the opening of the World’s Fair. Continue reading “The Story Behind a Modern Marvel: The Seattle Space Needle”

If Walls Could Talk: The Bussell Family – Part 2

By Jade D

If you missed my first post about the history of the Bussell family and their home, take a look at Part 1 to catch up!

Charles B. Bussell - Image from The Cartoon, A Reference Book of Seattle's Successful Men
Charles B. Bussell – Image from The Cartoon, A Reference Book of Seattle’s Successful Men

So here’s what really happened, as best as I can tell. Charles Bussell and his first wife, Elizabeth, bought their Madrona home in 1900. Despite the stately new accommodations, their marriage was not a happy one. Elizabeth tried to divorce Charles in 1902 and it quickly turned ugly. She accused him of infidelity on multiple occasions, particularly with a Miss Violet Ball who Charles apparently lavished with gifts. The couple hired detectives to follow each other and got into a physical altercation when Elizabeth confronted Charles and Violet at the Seattle Hotel. Continue reading “If Walls Could Talk: The Bussell Family – Part 2”

If Walls Could Talk: The Bussell Family – Part 1

~posted by Jade

Bussell Home, ca. 1910, Image from the Seattle Historical Photograph Collection
Bussell Home, ca. 1910, Image from the Seattle Historical Photograph Collection

It all began with a picture of a house.
I was researching a recent addition to our Seattle Historical Photograph Collection and all I had to go on was the name “Bussell” on the back of the photograph. Quick searches in HistoryLink and the Seattle Times historical newspaper database revealed it to be the Madrona home of Charles Baner Bussell, a prominent figure in Seattle history. Continue reading “If Walls Could Talk: The Bussell Family – Part 1”