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.

Top 10 Records in the Digital Collections from 2013


At the end of every year we’re able to see what the top records from our Digital Collections are – meaning which photo, document, letter, etc. was accessed by the most people. It always fascinates me to see what records make this list and it is never what I expect. The following are the top 10 records accessed during the year 2013.

10. Mary Pedegana, Mattie Tibbetts, and Ferol Tibbetts in Swimwear, 1910s

 Mary, Mattie, and Ferol (and an unknown young boy) are wearing swimwear of the day. A railroad trestle is able to seen from the background, but it’s unknown where the photo was taken. This photo is from one of Ferol Tibbetts’ photo albums. Clicking “Tibbetts Family” from the list of tags on the left will take you to more blog entries about the Tibbetts’ family. Full Record

9. Friend of Josephine Cornick, 1915

An unknown woman stands in a field with overalls, straw hat, and a shovel. From the Josephine Cornick Ross Collection we featured a bit in our blog this year. Full Record

8. Ray Robertson, Town Marshal, 1949

Ray Robertson was Town Marshal in 1949. In this picture he’s with his two oldest sons and perhaps Issaquah’s first squad car, which he was instrumental in purchasing. Read more about Ray Robertson on our websiteFull Record

7. Lew on Lewbea and Bojo on Rusty, 1964

Bojo the horse-riding dog. There isn’t much more to be said. Full Record

6. ”Finding the Site of the Attack on Chinese Laborers in Squak Valley”

A document prepared by Tim Greyhavens where he worked to find the exact location of where the 1885 attack on Chinese laborers occurred. The document, available in our Digital Collections, contains photos, transcripts, and is a fascinating read. Full Record

5. Halmar Foldvik Mine Training Certificate, 1924

A new addition to our collections in 2013 – this is a “Certificate of Mine Rescue and First-Aid Training” for Halmar Foldvik. A fascinating piece and great addition to our collection of mine information. Full Record

4. Letter from Fran Pope to Rita Perstac, Jan. 5, 1989 – Greater Issaquah Coalition

 This is one of those records that surprises me. Our Greater Issaquah Coalition collection is important, but I’m always surprised when it’s letters that get a lot of traffic and not photos. This letter and accompanying report outlines the importance of preserving Pickering Barn and ideas for connecting it, Gilman Village, and the Depot via train tracks. Full Record

3. Minnie Wilson Schomber Letter, August 31, 1916

Another surprise in the top 10. Having been the one to scan, read, and catalog the entirety of Minnie Wilson Schomber’s letter collection (including hers and her husband’s), I always groan a little when one pops up. Her sappy, sweet letters are always good for a laugh – especially when she writes “I would give anything if I had you and the big leather chair here tonight. I suppose you could guess what I would do.”  Full Record

2. Friend of Josephine Cornick Modeling her Gym Bloomers, ca 1918

Another picture of a friend of Josephine Cornick – this time in her gym bloomers, standing in front of what appears to be Issaquah High School. Two gals behind her appear to be wearing the same outfit. At least they’re pants and not skirts! Full Record

1. Opening of Vasa Hall in Upper Preston, ca 1950

We had a lot of requests for Preston photos this year and did a lot of work in making sure our Preston records were uploaded to our Digital Collections. This must have been the most popular of the bunch! A group photo of the “Order of Vasa” at the opening of the new Vasa Hall in Upper Preston. Unfortunately, no one in the photo is identified – send us any information you may have! Full Record
In-depth cataloging of letters, journals and other documents was made possible by a grant from 4Culture. Yet another grant from 4Culture, along with generous support from individual donors, makes it possible for us to scan these items and share them through our Digitial Archives.

Hearing History: Camilla Berg Erickson


Camilla Berg Erickson
Yearbook Photo
ca 1936
Camilla Erickson: I don’t recall that there was anything specific about being Norwegian in with Swedes. My Uncle Andrew, he was married to a Swedish lady. And she had a brother that lived here, and he had a fairly large family.
And my folks had Norwegian friends up in Snoqualmie and Puyallup and Seattle. So, I mean, we did have friends from Norway.
And, oh, I was grown at the time, I was probably eighteen, nineteen, something like that, and my parents had [friends], three other couples that use to come [over]. They would go back and forth for dinner.
And one of the men – they talked Norwegian when they got together – and one of the men sort of apologized to me and said, you know, about them talking Norwegian.
And I says, “Oh, that’s all right.”
He says, “Yeah, but we’re talking about old times back in Norway, and it just doesn’t seem right to talk about Norway in English.” That they had to talk in Norwegian to talk about Norway. That was his feeling.
Camilla Berg was born in 1918 to Charles Berg and Gesine Eliasen Berg. Camilla was interview in 2006 as part of IHM’s oral history project. Camilla talks about raising chickens (her family had 800), the Norwegian community and food (blood dumplings), and Issaquah during the depression. She also discusses changes in Issaquah over the years.

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.

LHM: Ferol Tibbetts Cuts Her Hair

Pre-bob Ferol Tibbetts (right)
Mary [Tillie] Hayward (left)
Full Record
Post-bob Ferol Tibbetts
Full Record

In our collection we have about 10 daily journals kept by Ferol Tibbetts Jess written starting in 1923. While the journals contain a lot of basic daily notes (sewing, washing, visiting friends) they also contain wonderful tidbits about what it was like to be a 20-something during the 1920s.

One note that has helped more than imagined was an entry in Ferol’s typed journal while attending Washington State College (now Washington State University.):
Bobbed my hair. Like it pretty well. Letter from Mother.” – College diaries, Mon, Jan 15, 1923.
We have many pictures of Ferol Tibbetts, some pre-bob and others with her stylish bobbed and marcelled hair. Her exact date of when she cut her hair has allowed us to better date the pictures in our collections.
Alice Pedegana (left)
Ferol Tibbetts (right)
Full Record
The earlier pictures of Ferol and her friends all feature the same hairstyle which seems to be a large pouf on top of the head and two small chignons over the ears. We much prefer the bob.
Cleaned up, curled Mary’s [Tillie’s] hair.” – Book I, Friday, July 13, 1923
Ferol’s chopping of her locks while away at school is something most college-aged women can probably relate to. Luckily, Ferol came of age during a time when women were really changing what they did and said, what they wore, and how they spent their time.
Went to Renton with Mary and Tillie to get their hair marceled.” – Book I, Saturday, February 2, 1924.
Ferol Tibbetts (left)
Blaine Boyden (right)
Full Record
Pictures of Ferol with bobbed hair seem different than her earlier pictures – she smiles more and seems genuinely happy.
6:00am. Been sitting around talking to Walter since 3:45. Sure is a hell of a life I am leading.” – Book I, Sunday, July 22, 1923.



LHM: Ferol Tibbetts’ Snapshots

Just like Josephine Cornick, Ferol Tibbetts had her share of albums full of snapshots as well. Here are some of our favorites:

“Ferol and Dorothy”
ca late 1910s
Full Record
“Camping at the Lake
ca late 1910s
Full Record


“Follies Bathing Beauties”
ca late 1910s
Full Record


“Dad and Ferol Relax at Camp”
ca late 1910s
Full Record


“Naughty! Naughty”
ca late 1910s
Full Record


ca late 1910s
Full Record

LHM: Jo Cornick’s Snapshots

One of the commonalities we’ve noticed between Josephine Cornick and Ferol Tibbets was their posession of personal cameras. In 1888, the Eastman Kodak Company released it’s first amateur camera. George Eastman’s goal was to make photography “as convenient as the pencil.” By the time Josephine Cornick and Ferol Tibbetts were old enough to shop for cameras, there were at least 8 different Brownie cameras available to the public for $4 or less. The more money you had to spend, the larger the variety of cameras available to you.

The transition from studio photography to personal photography not only increased the number of photographic images the average person had as mementos — it increased the amount of information available from each image. Studio portraits required some investment, and families making that investment dressed in their best clothing and turned their best face to the camera. The final photograph was probably stamped with the name of the studio, but little else in the way of identifying or personal information.
Personal cameras changed the way many people recorded their personal history. Instead of dressing up and trooping down to the local photography studio, camera owners could capture images from everyday life that had meaning for them. Looking at a series of snapshots, or an album filled with snapshots, delivers personal information in a way that studio images do not.
Studio Portrait of William and Anastasia Cornick, with daughter Josephine, ca 1903 Full Record
Snapshot of (l to r) Josephine Cornick, Anastasia Cornick, William Cornick and Emma Cornick, ca 1918 Full Record
Friend of Jo Cornick,
modeling her gym bloomers
ca 1918
Full Record
Friend of Jo Cornick
ca 1915
Full Record

Thanks to their snapshots, we can make some guesses about what Josephine and Ferol valued most based on the things they photographed — friends, pets, family members, automobiles. Snapshots were also used to preserve moments of good humor shared among friends. Snapshots also provide information about things we would never learn through studio portraits — like what girls’ gym uniforms looked like circa 1915, and how a young lady might have dressed to help with farm work.

And we certainly don’t have any studio photographs of swimmers in their swim togs!
Jo Cornick and friend at the beach
ca 1920
Full Record

The downside of amateur photography is, of course, the amateur behind the lens. Not everyone was adept with the new gadgets, resulting in the occasional botched image.

Jo Cornick and three friends
ca 1920
Full Record
But even in the case of this image, we can derive information from what Jo has written on the back. Even with the blurring, we can also tell that these four young women are all dressed in trousers.

LHM: Ferol and her Automobiles


Ferol Tibbetts sitting on car
ca. late 1910s
Full Record
Seomtime around 1915 Ferol Tibbetts’ father, George Wilson Tibbetts, purchased and ran an auto shop and garage. For Ferol, this meant constant interaction with automobiles. There are accounts in her journals of she and her father driving somewhere to pickup a vehicle, presumably for someone who had purchased a car through their shop. With her knowledge of cars, and how to drive them, came a sense of freedom. Just as teenagers find today, Ferol had the ability to hop in a car with friends and drive either to a dance, Seattle, or somewhere completely random.
Ferol’s dog Max in front of the Tibbetts garage
ca. late 1910s
Full Record

The following are excerpts from Ferol’s journals:

Went to Rentonwith Walter and then drove the Pierce home. Sure felt fine driving it.” – Book I, Sunday, July 29, 1923.


Went party way to Olympiawith Dad. Drove the Durant over and brought back a Star.” – Book I, Wednesday, August 1, 1923.


Put on my overalls and rode on the gravel truck with Vic from 10 until 12.” – Book I, Sunday, August 19, 1923.


“Unloading Apple Boxes”
Most likely Ferol Tibbetts in driver seat
ca. late 1910s
Full Record

Minnie Archembault and I went for a ride with Mr. Kinnybru in a Studebaker Six. We went to Preston, Fall City, and Tolt. I drove home from Tolt. Sure like to drive a Studebaker.” – Book I, Thursday, October 25, 1923


We went to the dance in Geo Abriams car. Eleanor Burke, Francis Harris, Blaine Boyden also went. Had a dandy time. George got drunk. Sure was scared coming home, but he wouldn’t let Jim drive. Got home all O.K. tho.” – Book I, Monday, December 31, 1923.


Jim got his new car, a Cleveland2 door Sedan. Sure is swell. He came down and we went for a ride. He let me drive.” – Book I, Thursday, April 3, 1924


Opening of Snoqualmie Pass
ca. 1915
Full Record

The Chevrolet Company is running an endurance test of a 100 hrs. Clyde [Powell] was to drive from 2a.m. to 8a.m. Ruth was going with him so they asked me to go. I went to bed over to Ruth’s. It is about 10:45 when we went to bed. Got up at 1:15, had coffee and toast and got started about 2:15. Thurs 9. It was raining and blowing like everything and was pretty cold. He went to Renton, Newport, Kirkland, Bothell, Redmond, FallCity, North Bend, back to Issaq. Then from here to Newport, Renton and then home again. It was then 6:30. Clyde went to Rentonand then Kirklandand handed the car over to the Chevrolet man there.” – Book II, October 8-9, 1924.

Ferol Tibbetts sitting on hood of a car
ca. late 1910s
Full Record

LHM: Josephine Cornick’s Catalog of Cars

In 1979, Josephine Cornick Ross was 77 years old and lived at the Issaquah Villa nursing home. A student with a tape recorder interviewed her for a school assignment. More than 30 years later, their 22 minute conversation found its way into the collection of the Issaquah History Museums. This recording is the only narrative we have about Josephine’s life that she herself created. Unlike Ferol Jess Tibbetts and Minnie Wilson Schomber, whose letters and journals share details of their lives with us, we have only Josephine Cornick Ross’s photographs and brief oral history. For that reason, we have many more unanswered questions about Josephine. 

But, there are some things one can surmise even without a pointed narrative, and a fascination with automobiles is one of them.

Unlike Ferol, Josephine’s family did not have access to their own automobile, as she explained to her interviewer:

IN:  When the car came, did it take Issaquah a while for very many people to get cars?
JR:  Oh, yes.  It took quite a while.
IN:  Did your family used to travel to Seattle very often?
JR:  Well, when we went to Seattle, we would go to Kirkland, and ferry across from Kirkland to Seattle.  Because when they were treating my eyes, my folks were—the doctor was in Seattle, so my father had to take me to Seattle on the Madison streetcar.  And it was a trolley car, and I’d get sick every time.  [laughing]
IN:  How long did that take?
JR:  Oh, it would take all day practically, by the time we got there and waited for the trolley, and then back again.
Although Jo’s family didn’t have their own automobile, her collection of snapshots includes photos of at least three different automobiles. They also share footage of a road trip to southern Washington taken with a few friends.


LHM: Ferol Tibbetts

Ferol Tibbetts, circa 1920s

Ferol Tibbetts, circa 1920s

Ferol Tibbets was born November 11, 1902 to George Wilson Tibbetts and Mattie Ray Tibbetts. The Tibbetts line had been in the Issaquah area since 1874 when Ferol’s grandparents, George Washington Tibbetts and his wife Rebecca Wilson Tibbetts, relocated here.

Ferol Tibbetts was an only child. Her parents owned an auto shop and were probably considered part of Issaquah’s “upper class” society. A year after Ferol graduated high school in 1921 she attended Washington State College (Now Washington State University.) Judging from her diaries of her time there she focused on meeting boys and spending her time having fun. The few mentions of actual academic activities were mostly theater and drama related. She moved back home to live with her parents after one year at college in 1923 – it’s unclear whether she ever graduated with any sort of degree.

“Engagements” of Ferol Tibbetts
ca 1922-23
Full Record

Our closest connection to Ferol and her life lies in her daily diaries. She began keeping journals during her year in college. When she returns home her journals pick up in simple composition books. Ferol is fairly meticulous in her writings, however she often neglects to use last names which can make identification difficult.

The wonderful thing about these journals is that Ferol began writing these while in her early 20s. And since they begin in the year 1922 we’re able to see what “the roaring twenties” were like not only for a 20 year old female, but one who lives and has grown up in Issaquah.

Ferol’s diaries are almost exactly what you’d expect them to be – gossip, discussion of the boys she’s going out with, hair and beauty, friends. But there are unexpected moments – Ferol’s knowledge and experience with cars, her lack of enthusiasm for voting for the first time, and her attendance at the huge KKK rally in Issaquah (and subsequent interaction with the organization.)

The diaries of hers in our collection continue for at least a decade and we haven’t hardly made a dent in reading and cataloging them. We’ll continue sharing our discoveries past the window of LHM. Who knows what we will find!