More than 500 new historic photographs from our Northwest Photograph Collection are now available through our digital collections. These photographs feature images of Washington, Oregon and Alaska spanning from the late 1800s to the 1970s and include shots from prominent local photographers such as Asahel Curtis, Webster & Stevens and Frank Jacobs. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite photos below.
Antlers Hotel at Lake Cushman The collection includes 14 photos showing the Lake Cushman’s Antlers Hotel and its various tourist excursions to the Olympic Mountains from ca. 1898 to 1910. The hotel, once a popular tourist destination, ceased operation in 1922. In 1926, the Lake Cushman Dam was created, flooding the remains of the hotel. This photo shows two women and their guide in the snow fields of the Olympics.
Are you interested in helping the Library’s Special Collections Department document history? Please consider contributing to our new Covid-19 Community Collection!
We are asking you to tell us (and show us) how the events of the past few months have impacted you. We are looking for stories, photographs, signs, artwork, short videos and other materials that will help future generations learn what life was like in Seattle during this unique period in history. What has your daily life been like? What are ways you are staying connected with friends and family? What will you remember the most ten years from now?
Stories and materials submitted to the project through our online portal will be made available through the Special Collections Online website. We also welcome the donation of physical materials which can be mailed to the Special Collections Department. To learn more about how you can contribute to the project, please visit our Community Covid-19 Collection page online.
Interested in seeing panoramic photos of Seattle and Alaska at the height of the Klondike Gold Rush? We recently digitized 197 photographs taken by Arthur C. Pillsbury between approximately 1896 and 1900, documenting the Gold Rush and scenes from California, Oregon and Washington. The collection includes a mixture of photograph sizes, many of them panoramic images that measure nearly three feet in length.
The majority of the photographs in the collection show scenes from the Klondike Gold Rush. Pillsbury first traveled to Alaska in 1898, shortly after his graduation from Stanford University. (By this time, his interest in photography was already well established. To help fund his education at Stanford he operated a combination bicycle and photography shop and for his senior project at the University, he invented the first circuit panorama camera.) His father accompanied him on his travels and the two men experienced a fair share of adventure on their journey.
After setting out from Seattle and traveling hundreds of miles up the coast, they wrecked their small boat in a storm near Cape Fox, Alaska. Miraculously, neither Pillsbury’s camera nor his camera supplies (which were in airtight metal canisters) were damaged in the wreck but they did lose their maps and navigation charts. Once ashore, Pillsbury and his father created a temporary shelter from the boat’s wreckage and Pillsbury walked ten miles to a Tlingit village (which he remembered being marked on the now lost maps) for help. Continue reading “Arthur C. Pillsbury Photograph Collection”
Donald Schmechel was a Seattle Public Library board member who, in the 1980s, created a project to interview prominent figures in Pacific Northwest History. Schmechel raised funding for the project, volunteered his time to manage it, and conducted interviews along with a crew of volunteers. The resulting oral histories were divided between the Seattle Public Library and the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). Continue reading “Donald Schmechel Oral History Collection”
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.
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”