State agencies honored for food, book donations ?>

State agencies honored for food, book donations

2016 Well Fed Well Read honorees

Secretary Wyman with representatives of state agencies honored at Well Fed Well Read recognition ceremony. (Photo courtesy Philip Kerrigan)

Several state agencies, including our very own Office of Secretary of State, have been honored for their generosity in donating food and children’s books.

Secretary of State Kim Wyman recognized these agencies’ contributions to the Well Fed Well Read donation drive this spring during a ceremony in her office Friday.

The following agencies were honored for bringing in the most food: overall winner – Department of Social and Health Services ($3,338 value in food donations); large agency winner – Department of Ecology ($3,040); medium agency winners – Board of Industrial Insurance Appeals and Office of Secretary of State ($1,150 each); and small agency winner – Governor’s Office ($846).

Agencies that were honored for bringing in the most books were: overall winner –  Department of Ecology (2,671 books); large agency winner – Department of Health (2,021); medium agency winner – Office of Secretary of State (643); and small agency winner – Governor’s Office (449).

From the Archives: Paradise Ice Caves ?>

From the Archives: Paradise Ice Caves

Paradise Ice Cave pix

Paradise Ice Caves in 1920s. (Photo courtesy Washington State Digital Archives)

For decades until their disappearance in the early 1990s, the Paradise Ice Caves were perhaps the most popular attraction for visitors to Mount Rainier National Park. The view inside the caves was amazing, as the icy walls and ceiling had a bluish glow to them. A cool breeze often blew through the ice caves, as if you needed reminding that you were on the highest mountain in the Northwest.

The ice caves were a system of interconnected glacier caves within the Paradise Glacier on Rainier’s south side. In the late 1970s, they were the longest mapped system of glacier caves in the world. But by the early 1990s, they had disappeared due to the glacier’s steady retreat.

While the ice caves are no more, the State Digital Archives has this photo of the caves during their frozen glory days. The photo, taken on Oct. 13, 1923, shows someone exploring one of the caves. Note the Paradise River running in the center. The photo is found in the General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005.

Classic WA maps: 1889 Puget Sound & Olympic Peninsula ?>

Classic WA maps: 1889 Puget Sound & Olympic Peninsula


Anyone who looks at a current map of Puget Sound will spot large cities like Seattle and Tacoma and familiar geographic features like Point Defiance and Elliott Bay. But when you look at old maps of the sound, you realize that some names were different.

This 1889 map of Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula proves it.

What is Elliott Bay today was known as Duwamish Bay in 1889. Alki Point had a different name back then, too — Battery Point. As you look at the map, you notice several well-known towns nowadays – Bremerton, Everett, Bellevue, Burien, Edmonds and Federal Way – weren’t even in existence then. Yes, they literally weren’t even on the map!

This map is entitled “Sea Coast and interior harbors of Washington Territory from Gray’s Harbor to Olympia.”  It’s part of a large digital collection of historic maps of Washington and the Northwest region. Here is a list of all of the maps maintained by the Washington State Archives and Washington State Library.

Mountain miniature golf, anyone? ?>

Mountain miniature golf, anyone?

Mount Shuskan from Mount Baker Lodge

People play miniature golf with Mount Shuksan in the background. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Digital Archives)

Admit it, there are worse places to play miniature golf than here.

This photo, probably taken sometime in the late 1920s or early ‘30s, shows people playing “putt-putt” golf at the ill-fated Mount Baker Lodge with Mount Shuksan in the background. The lodge, which opened in July 1927 and resembled the famous Paradise Inn on Mount Rainier, had a short existence. It was destroyed by a fire in August 1931.

The miniature golf course where the lodge stood no longer exists. But you can locate the photo in the State Library Photograph Collection, 1851-1990 in the State Digital Archives.

Classic WA photos: fire lookouts ?>

Classic WA photos: fire lookouts

Kiona Peak lookout

A 1917 photo of  the Kiona Peak lookout in Lewis County. (Photos courtesy of State Digital Archives)

They are enduring and rustic symbols of Washington’s forests, standing sentry atop high peaks and ridges.

They’re Washington’s fire lookout towers and cabins. These historic structures have long served as the first defense against forest fires. Manned by volunteers, some are still in use, while others are derelict and abandoned yet open to visitors. The high, unobstructed views from these fire lookouts are jaw-dropping and worth the trek for hikers and backpackers wanting a challenge.

Little Bailey lookout 1938

Inside the Little Bailey lookout in 1938. 

Our State Digital Archives has several classic photos of fire lookouts in a wide-ranging compilation entitled General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005.

Want to know about some of the best fire lookout hikes in Washington? Go here and here.

For more info about our state’s fire lookouts, including how to rent one for overnight use, go here and here.

Grass Mountain lookout

Grass Mountain lookout around 1920. 

Bellevue students win 2016 Teen Video Challenge ?>

Bellevue students win 2016 Teen Video Challenge


This year’s Teen Video Challenge asked contestants to make a short video that ties into the 2016 summer reading slogan, “Get in the Game – READ.”

The winning entry, created by a group of students at Forest Ridge School of the Sacred Heart in Bellevue, more than accomplished that sports-related goal. Their 60-second video featured students involved in dancing, lacrosse, tennis, softball, basketball, soccer and football before finishing with other students passing along books in the school library.

The winning video team includes Danielle Baxter, Elena Burnett, Francesca Feider-Blazer, Sofia Gellock, Ella Hikes, Jordan Kerns, Katrina Kuntz, Emma Leventhal, Caroline Shoemaker, Amy Skochdopoleand, Sabrina M. Uyeda, Ximenda Rodriguez Verdieri and Devon Wappler.

The school received a $150 award, which it used for a celebratory party for the talented teens. The Bellevue Public Library received prizes worth $50 from the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP) and Demco/Upstart.

The winning video was named one of the CSLP 2016 Teen Videos to promote summer reading nationwide.

Now in its sixth year, the Teen Video Challenge is a national video competition for teens to get involved with reading and their public library’s summer reading program. In Washington, it’s sponsored by the Washington State Library and CSLP.

Teens were invited to create a 30-to-90-second video with their unique interpretation of this year’s summer reading slogan. The idea is to involve teens in summer reading, before and during the summer months, by being part of the process.

What day is it today? ?>

What day is it today?

Loggers Jubilee_AUG2010_172

Flag Day!

It doesn’t receive as much attention as Independence Day, but it’s a holiday prompting many Americans and government buildings to display their U.S. flags.
The photo above shows a flag flying high next to a competitor at the Morton Loggers Jubilee a few years ago. The photo below features a group of U.S. soldiers at Fort Worden near Port Townsend in the late 1930s. Both photos are found in our State Archives.

So how did June 14 become Flag Day? The “Stars and Stripes” originated as a result of a resolution offered by the Marine Committee of the Second Continental Congress at Philadelphia and adopted on June 14, 1777. The resolution read:

“Resolved: that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.”

Check out this story that discusses the history of Flag Day, including President Wilson signing a proclamation in 1916 that officially established June 14 as Flag Day.


As anyone who studied American history in grade school knows, the 13 stripes represent the original colonies. Of course, the number of stars on the flag has grown since independence; the 50th star, representing Hawaii’s statehood, was added in 1960. A year before that, a star was added when Alaska joined the union as the 49th state. Before that, no star had been added since 1912, when New Mexico and Arizona were admitted to the union. Washington was state No. 42 back in 1889.

The Secretary of State’s Olympia office and website proudly display, interpret and sell state and U.S. flags, and operate a flag donation program. Visit here for more info.

Wyman names Cindy Aden as new WA State Librarian ?>

Wyman names Cindy Aden as new WA State Librarian

Secretary of State Kim Wyman has named Cindy Altick Aden as director of the Washington State Library.

Aden will take the helm next month of one of the state’s oldest cultural institutions, dating back more than 160 years when it was created by the state’s first territorial governor, Isaac Stevens.

Aden has an extensive background in public libraries and the private sector, including stints at Amazon, Corbis, and community newspapers. She is a graduate of Stanford University and the University of Washington School of Library and Information Science.

Wyman said Aden is an outstanding choice:

“I am delighted to appoint Cindy to provide new leadership at one of the library community’s most important jobs. I am excited about the creativity and passion she brings to the table. She has the skills and the vision to help pivot the Library to new levels of relevance, technology advances and user-friendliness in this challenging and exciting new century.”

Aden said she is “honored and excited” to take the new post and eager to join a staff of experienced professionals. She praised the Legislature and Secretary Wyman for working hard to put the Library on a solid financial footing.

Wyman said the selection of the new State Librarian reflects her vision for a Library that responds to the public’s need for solid information across platforms that are convenient and easy to use.

The Washington State Library offers a wide variety of services, including print and digital collections, genealogy resources, photo collections, historic newspapers, help for researchers, (more…)

Wyman certifies WA PrezPrimary returns, offers reforms ?>

Wyman certifies WA PrezPrimary returns, offers reforms


Secretary of State Kim Wyman has certified the 2016 Presidential Primary election, congratulating the record 1.42 million voters who took part. The participation rate was 35 percent, not counting those who had late postmarks, declined to designate a party choice, or voted for a favorite in both party primaries.

Wyman, the state’s chief elections officer, called it an excellent turnout, particularly given the lateness of the primary date, the fact that both parties already had a presumptive nominees, and the  Democratic State Central Committee’s choice to use caucuses and not the primary to allocate national convention delegates. She added:

“Obviously many of our voters did not consider this a meaningless election and were happy to have their voices heard,” Wyman said. “The turnout was about seven times that of the much-criticized caucuses earlier this year. It was again very clear that our voters appreciate this inclusive and broad-based way to take part in the presidential nominating season.

“Over 800,000 Democrats  and over 600,000 Republicans responded. Think what those totals would have been like if Washington’s Presidential Primary had been at the front end of the primary season, not toward the end.”

Wyman had tried to get the Legislature to move the date earlier. That bill didn’t pass, but lawmakers in both houses and both parties did appropriate the funds for the election. Democratic members of the primary date-setting committee later blocked Secretary Wyman’s proposal to move the primary up to March 8.

White House

Wyman said she hasn’t given up on making the primary even better:

“I am calling on the 2017 Legislature to designate the second Tuesday in March as the new date. I would suggest that lawmakers consider adding an unaffiliated ballot, to satisfy the concerns of many voters who didn’t want to be forced to designate a party choice. Given the clear message from the voters this year, I’m optimistic that both parties will choose to use the primary for their delegate allocation starting in 2020. These changes will be a big hit with the voters.”

This year’s primary produced victories for the two candidates who have now secured their (more…)

New additions to Washington Rural Heritage! ?>

New additions to Washington Rural Heritage!

Asotin County family packing peaches

A family packs peaches near Clarkston around 1910. The photo is part of Asotin County Heritage’s recently digitized collection of Asahel Curtis photos of the area. (Photo courtesy of Asotin County Heritage)

Since its creation in 2007, the State Library’s Washington Rural Heritage program has worked with libraries, museums or historical groups in rural parts of the state to help them digitize their historic and culturally significant documents and photo collections so everyone can see and enjoy them.

As the name implies, WRH tries to help these organizations preserve their rural-based photos and docs and make them accessible in just a few clicks.

Washington Rural Heritage has been especially busy lately, helping local groups share their historic offerings:

• The North Olympic Heritage website has posted the first of an ongoing series of oral histories projects called “Listen Up! Stories from the Northwest Corner,” planned by the Port Angeles Public Library. It’s a collection of audio interviews of Olympic National Park patrons and rangers in which they talk about their experiences visiting, living in, and working at national parks throughout America. Since the National Parks Service’s centennial is this August, it’s a timely project! You can listen to the audio recordings here.

• Fans of legendary Northwest photographer Asahel Curtis will be happy to know that Asotin County Heritage recently added a collection of about 100 Curtis photos of the Clarkston area. Most of the shots show farming and orchard life in this far southeast corner of Washington.

• Finally, a new collection from the Rockford Area Museum and Historical Society, in partnership with the Spokane County Library District, is now live. You can view it here.

Washington Rural Heritage’s digital depository currently includes material from the holdings of 113 institutions and 323 privately held collections throughout the state.