Top 10 Records in the Digital Collections from 2014

Last year was the first year we debuted our Top 10 records of the year. You can see that post here. So continuing in that tradition, here are the top 10 records of 2014.

10. Oral History Transcript of Dorothy Hailstone Beale
Dorothy Hailstone Beal (right) ca 1936
Accessed 52 times, this is the transcript of Dorothy Hailstone Beale oral history as interviewed by Maria McLeod on October 27, 2006. Topics covered include the KKK, the Depression, World War 2, and many other interesting topics.
9. Friend of Josephine Cornick, modeling her gym bloomers
This pictures was #2 on our list last year. Still a popular picture it seems as it was accessed 53 times; it’s from Josephine Cornick’s personal collection of pictures. Presumably Jo’s friend stands outside Issaquah High School in her gym pants.
8. Fifteen Mile Mine
This is a new one to the list – a photo of Fifteen Mile Mine taken at the entrance. In a tie with #8, this photo was accessed 53 times this year. This is the mine where George Weyerhaeuser was kept when he was kidnapped in the 1930s. No mining was actually done out of the Fifteen Mile Mine – instead it was a stock scam.
7. Oral History Transcript of Jake Jones Jr.
believed to be Jake Jones Jr. ca 1890
Accessed 56 times in 2014, this transcript of Jake Jones Jr. oral history contains fascinating and colorful stories touching on many, many topics of early Issaquah.
6. The 1938 Alpine Football Team
A perennial favorite of ours, this photo of the Alpine Football Team was accessed 63 times. View the full record (linked below) for another image with listing of names. Click here to view all records of ours relating to this scrappy semi-pro football team of Issaquah.
5. Oral History Transcript of Bill Evans
Bill Evans in uniform
This transcript of Bill Evans’ oral history was accessed 64 times in 2014. We’ve written about Bill Evans before – here, here, and here.
4. Letter from Fran Pope to Rita Perstac, Jan. 5, 1989
This letter was #4 last year as well as this year. This letter from Fran Pope jumped from 51 times accessed in 2013 to 135 times accessed in 2014. This letter is an important part of our Greater Issaquah Coalition Collection.
3. Labor Day Queen Arline Nikko with her Family
Arline Nikko and family ca 1953
Accessed 177 times, this photo shows Labor Day Queen Arline Nikko front and center holding hands with her future husband Floyd Hefferline. Far left is Matt Nikko; over Arline’s right shoulder are her twin uncles Larry and Toivo Nikko. See full record linked below for more information.
2. Janice Ott
Janice Ott ca 1970s
This photo was accessed 181 times in 2014. Janice Ott was a victim of serial killer Ted Bundy. She was abducted from Lake Sammamish State Park on July 14, 1974 along with Denise Naslund. Their remains were later found together on Taylor Mountain. Ott was a resident of Issaquah at the time of her death – she lived in a house on Front Street near the Issaquah Press Building.
1. Opening of New Vasa Hall in Upper Preston
ca 1950
This photo is very popular – it was #1 last year as well! Last year it was accessed a mere 64 times compared to this year’s 325 times! This photograph commemorates the opening of the new Vasa Hall in Upper Preston in 1950. Ernie Nyberg is just to the right of center in the back row. Buford Ambrose is the tallest in the back row. More information can be found in the full record linked below.

From the Digital Archives: Happy Fourth of July!

“First Prize Car in July 4th Parade”
ca 1910s
Full Record


From the Digital Archives: Camp Fire Girls


Minnie Wilson Schomber’s Camp Fire Girls Uniform
Full Record

Just recently we photographed two Camp Fire Girls uniforms that we have in our collections. Our research for Local History Month of Josephine Cornick Ross, Minnie Wilson Schomber, and Ferol Tibbetts Jess landed us with a common thread – they all participated in Camp Fire.

We discovered this when we were perusing photographs from an album owned by Ruth Johns Anderson (we’ve blogged about Ruth’s son, Rod, and his letters home during WWII here, here, and here.) Imagine our surprise when we discovered a photo of Jo Cornick Ross and Ferol Tibbetts, two women whose paths didn’t really cross, seemingly examining and sizing each other up!

“Camp Fire Girls Hiking Trip, June 1918”

Back Row, L to R: 
Hilda Lawrence Essary, Ethel Hallworth Berntsen, Vera Lawrence, Alice Pedegana Moss,
Front Row, L to R:
Ruth Johns Anderson, Josephine Cornick Ross, Ferol Tibbetts Jess, Myrtle Becker McQuade

Minnie Wilson Schomber was about 5 years old than Ferol and Jo, so she doesn’t appear in the photos. But we know that she was a part of Camp Fire because her uniform appears in our collection. Her uniform has many patches, beads and a pin – some of which we can identify and some we can’t. The organization of Camp Fire became national in 1912 and the first handbook was published in 1914. It seems that there were general guidelines to creating patches and uniforms and a lot of creativity and personalization was encouraged.
While no doubt most people in Issaquah’s paths crossed at one time or another, it’s always nice to be able to make a connection between people you’re researching. Jo, Ferol, and Minnie all led completely different lives but had very much in common (e.g., never having children.) Camp Fire Girls is just another part of filling in that picture.

“The Indian Maid”
Ruth Johns Andesron
(most likely in Camp Fire uniform)
ca 1918

For more Camp Fire related records, click here.

From the Digital Collections: Happy 4th of July!

Girls in Patriotic Garb on 4th of July
Full Record


“As more families moved to the area and began building a community together, celebrations became part of the social fabric. Pictured here circa 1915 are celebrants of the Fourth of July.”
– p42, #62 Arcadia book caption

See All July 4th Related Records

Dahlheim’s Meats

IHM member Bill Janzing recently emailed these pictures of Dahlheim’s Meat Market, located on Front Street. Dahlheim’s was the successor of Finney’s Meat Market, and was in operation from 1940 until 1943. Today, this space is the Jones Agency Allstate office.

Thanks for sharing with us, Bill!

Bill Janzing and stepfather Gus Dahlheim, circa 1940

Photo Analysis: Can you identify anyone?

We recently had some photos digitized and realized we don’t really know a whole lot about them. We are looking to gain as much information as possible about the two photographs – specifically, the who and when. Click on the pictures to see them larger.

The first picture in question is just listed in our catalog as “Group of Men at Logging Site with Machinery (donkey).” Nothing is known about who the men are, where it was, and when it was taken (we can guess about 1900-1915.)

The second picture is of Climax Logging Engine 1 from the Preston Mill Co. The person sitting on the engine is possibly Hugo Johnson. There is no other identification.

The Importance of Being Meticulous

In this blog post are scans from Ruth Johns Anderson’s personal photo album. They are currently being cataloged into our database and perfectly illustrate how taking the time to label your photographs now can make a difference in years to come.
The most frustrating thing for me is when am faced with a photograph with no indication of those four important things: who, what, when and where. It’s usually a wonderful photograph, in-focus with an interesting subject, stacked right in the middle of a bunch of other photographs that have been overly labeled. More interesting than trying to figure out the provenance of the picture is why someone took the time to label all the others and not this one. Where did it come from and why is it here?

Here at the museum, we often run into this problem – a photo that isn’t labeled or is mislabeled. Between all of us, and sometimes the help of members, we are able to identify people fairly easily. But there are those pictures we can’t identify – and we may never be able to.

The most important factor in labeling a picture is just putting a name down. First and last names if you know them. Any other information will be well appreciated. I determined everyone in a personal family album because I knew the original owner of the album and could therefore figure out who she meant by “Aunt and Uncle” and “Cousin.” And don’t forget to label yourself! These photos will not always be in your possession.

Try and take the time now to fill in the other “W”s: What is going on in the picture? When was it taken? Where is the place in the picture? I can assure you this information will be well appreciated in the future.

Digital photos pose a bit more of a conundrum – it’s not as easy as taking a Sharpie to the back of the picture. Thankfully, there are easy options:

1. Windows actually has a built in system for labeling your photos. Your digital camera should automatically embed the date taken into the picture but once you have uploaded your photos onto your computer you can then begin to add details. In Windows 7 it’s as easy as single-clicking on the picture – this will bring up a bar in the bottom of your window where you can then begin to add details such as “Date taken”, “Title”, “Tags”, and even “Rating”. The information you enter then becomes embedded into your picture file.

In previous versions of Windows it’s as easy as right-clicking on the picture and selecting “Properties.” In there you’ll find fields to enter in information.

2. Windows also provides Windows Media Center as a program to organize and detail your photos. There are also programs available for download on the internet. Here is a site that provides some options with a summary of each:

I am not an Apple user but I imagine there are similar options available.

3. There are many photo sharing sites available online. I feel like this is a fine option for now – but I’m not sure how far in the future these programs will be available. But at least it’s another way to store your photos.

Honestly, I feel a little shaky on the stability of digital photos. I’m not a doomsday type of person at all, but I wonder what would happen if all the technology we currently use just went away. If you’re as anxious as I am about this, your best option (although most time consuming) would be to have all the pictures you couldn’t bear to lose professionally printed. Then you could easily label the back of those and keep them safe.

The other side of that is to digitize your heirloom photographs. In the case of a non-doomsday scenario, your best bet is to have a CD of digital copies of all your photographs (old and new) and to keep them in a waterproof, fireproof safe in your home.
I would go so far as to recommend you do all of the above for photographs that you really care about. This way you ensure that your photos will remain safe. Just make sure they’re labeled!
If you’d like more information on this topic as well as how to properly care for your family heirlooms, Issaquah History Museums will be offering a program on “Preserving Family Photos and Heirlooms” on Saturday, January 15, 2011 at 11am. The program is FREE to the general public. Please visit and click on the link at the top of the page for more information.
Pen and ink

So Ya Wanna Do Some Research?

In this day of internet access to a huge variety of information, it is tempting to think that we can find out everything we ever want to know online. And it is true that, between government record sites, library information sites, electronic newspaper archives and for-profit research sites such as, we can learn more in an evening in front of our computer screens than we used to be able to dig out in a week of traveling to assorted repositories and hoping that we asked for the right materials. (Trust me on this–I remember when the old-fashioned way of doing the research was the only way.)

For serious researchers, the new tools are wonderful, but they do not completely replace the older methods. Nor is it likely that they will do so any time soon. There is so much information available that complete digitzation of research notes, books, and other resources can only be a very long term goal. This is why the Issaquah History Museums maintains, and continue to add to, the David J. Horrocks Memorial Research Center.

Named for the late David Horrocks, whose personal research files included thousands of carefully labeled photographs taken throughout Issaquah’s civic history, the Research Center is located in the historic Gilman Town Hall, with our offices. The space is small, but the information holdings are rich. Along with Mr. Horrocks’ visual records of the area, there are books of Issaquah History, as well as more general works about Washington History, mining history, lumbering, agriculture, and social history. Some of the volumes of biographies were contemporary when they were published–a century or so ago. There are indicies and collections of local obituaries from the twentieth century. Genealogists can find many leads in the vertical files organized by family. Many years of the Issaquah Press are available on microfilm, and we maintain the machine to view the microfilms. We have paper copies of other local publications from Issaquah, as well as many of the Issaquah High School yearbooks and even a few of the Junior High’s “Lightnin’.” There are information sheets from surveys of residential properties, copies of official town records and building permits, and keys for tracking through Issaquah’s several rounds of changing street names.

A couple of years ago, we completed a major reorganization of the clipping files that had been accumulating for over twenty years. We sorted all of the old loose files by subject, consolidating and eliminating redundancies, and built new topical notebooks. We then indexed the topics and entered the information into our collections management software so that these materials are just as readily findable as are our books and official records. The notebook format allows us to continue to add new articles and write-ups while maintaining order and accessibility. Topics include a wide variety of the happenings in Issaquah over the years, from mayors to parks to pageants and celebrations to businesses. The sixty-two notebooks filled thus far hold a wealth of information.

When we combine the Research Center materials with our other archival holdings, which include thousands of photographs and hundreds of maps, a uniquely comprehensive view of Issaquah and its environs and inhabitants over the last century and a half emerges. This is the kind of research result that is aided by the wonderful indexing and tracking capabilites of the computer but that still can only be put together in person.

If you have research questions about the history of Issaquah and the people who have lived here, you are welcome to come into the Gilman Town Hall during our open hours, 11:00 to 3:00, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. You can also email ( or call ahead (425-392-3500) to check on whether your topic is covered in our holdings or to make an appointment for an alternative time if you are unable to come in during the open hours.

Photo Analysis: What Roads are These?

We recently got a call from someone who purchased Images of America: Issaquah, WA, a pictorial history of Issaquah that we published several years ago. He was fascinated with this picture, and called to see if we could help him figure out what roads are pictured (one runs straight from left to right, and the other curves through the lower left of the frame).

Our catalog notes indicate tht the picture was taken in September of 1943 by William Conway. The picture was taken from Squak Mountain. In the center of the picture is Tibbett’s & Sutter’s gravel pit. The straight road in the background is Highway 10, and the house at right (in distance) is probably the Barlow Farm.

But as the caller and I looked at the picture, we both agreed that if the two roads in the image were Highway 10 and Newport Way, than the photo must have been taken from Tiger Mountain. Right?

On the other hand… another note in the catalog indicates that the image might be reversed, and the original image might look more like this:

What do you think?

Mary Wold’s Issaquah

Mary Wold and her sister, Sena, are two of my favorite figures in the history of Issaquah. Their parents were Lars Wold, an immigrant from Norway, and Henrietta Walter, who moved to the Pacific Northwest from Denmark with her parents and siblings at the age of 24. At one time, Wold owned a large chunk of what is now Issaquah, north of today’s Sunset Way and west of Front Street.

Mary Wold studied to be a teacher, and taught in the Issaquah schools for a time before going back to scool for her nurse’s training. As a nurse she traveled to Siberia during World War I, to serve with the Red Cross. This boggles the mind, when you consider that going from Issaquah to Seattle was a big trip in that time period, and about as far as most people ever needed to go. After returning home she worked as a nurse at the Firlands Sanitarium in Seattle, the tuberculosis hospital described in Betty McDonald’s “The Plague and I.” She later worked for the Seattle School District as Director of Nursing Staff. She and her sister lived together at The Wold, as their home was known, until their deaths (Mary in 1961 and Sena in 1968)

Mary Wold took these photos with a Kodak camera in about 1910. After writing on the back of each image to describe the photos’ contents, she mailed them to her Aunt Laurine in Denmark. Recently, Laurine Walter Rasmussen’s great-grandson emailed us to ask if we would be interested in digital copies of Mary’s photographs. The photos are a treasure in and of themselves, but Mary’s captions bring the pictures to life. Enjoy your tour through Mary Wold’s Issaquah. (If the slide show moves too quickly to read the captions, try going directly to the online album.)