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Treasures of the Archives: New Collection--ESD 105, Kittitas County Schools, Teachers Certificates

This 1920s detail from the register of teachers’ certificates shows that Kittitas County teachers were drawn from a wide variety of educational institutions. ESD 105, Kittitas County Schools, Teachers Certificates, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.

This 1920s detail from the register of teachers’ certificates shows that Kittitas County teachers were drawn from a wide variety of educational institutions. ESD 105, Kittitas County Schools, Teachers Certificates, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

The Washington State Archives, Digital Archives is pleased to share a new collection, ESD 105, Kittitas County Schools, Teachers Certificates. This collection consists of a register of teachers' certificates issued by Educational Service District 105 in Kittitas County from the 1890s to 1955. Information includes type of certificate, date registered, teacher's name, post office address, date certificate issued, expiration date, institution certificate received from, and renewals and remarks.

Treasures of the Archives: 100-Year-Old Death Return Hints at a Sad Story

The 1903 Death Return for Carolyn Merrill hints at the tragedy that ended her short life. Death Records, Adams County Death Return, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.

The 1903 Death Return for Carolyn Merrill hints at the tragedy that ended her short life. Death Records, Adams County Death Return, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

In 1903, it was not uncommon for people to die at a young age, even in the peaceful farming community of Lind, Washington. Yet something about this death return, for 21-year-old Carolyn Merrill, caught the eye of the archivists at the Washington State Archives, Digital Archives. Take a moment and look closely--can you spot it?

Treasures of the Archives: North Head Lighthouse

North Head Lighthouse, General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.

North Head Lighthouse, General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

The Columbia River is one of the largest in the United States in terms of both length and volume of water. The river provides an inland port some 300 miles from the Pacific Coast at Lewiston, Idaho. While the Columbia River is incredibly valuable for cargo transportation it can be a sailor’s nightmare. The most dangerous portion of the river is the mouth at the Pacific Ocean. Many ships have sunk here earning this location the title “Graveyard of the Pacific.”

Treasures of the Archives: Wanted: Maud Johnson: “Queen of Fakirs”

Walla Walla State Penitentiary, Wanted: Escaped Prisoners from the State Penitentiary, 1913, Penitentiary, Washington State Collection, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.

Walla Walla State Penitentiary, Wanted: Escaped Prisoners from the State Penitentiary, 1913, Penitentiary, Washington State Collection, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

In a recent treasure, “Wanted: Escaped Prisoners from the State Penitentiary, 1913” we showcased a state-issued publication that catalogued escaped prisoners. One of the escaped prisoners on page 95 caught our attention: Maud Johnson, the sole female escapee. We did a little digging into Maud’s story, and found a colorful character who lived outside the law.

Treasures of the Archives: Impeachment of Insurance Commissioner John H. Schively

Clockwise from left: Letter to Governor Hay from W.D. Church, partner at Baumeister-Paxton, Walla Walla, asking what he can do to

Clockwise from left: Letter to Governor Hay from W.D. Church, partner at Baumeister-Paxton, Walla Walla, asking what he can do to "aid in ousting Schively from office", August 28, 1909, Governor Marion E. Hay Papers, 1909-1913, Washington State Archives. Governor Marion E. Hay, ca 1909, Susan Parish Photograph Collection, 1889-1990, Washington State Archives. Insurance Commissioner John H. Schively, 1909, General Subjects Photograph Collection, 1845-2005, Washington State Archives.

With impeachment in the news lately, Archives has received inquiries regarding this subject in Washington State. We’re reminded of the seldom heard story of Washington’s first impeachment trial in 1909; against Insurance Commissioner John H. Schively. Even today, the Schively story provides insight into impeachment, insurance law, and the evolution of Washington’s political climate.

Treasures of the Archives: Wanted: Escaped Prisoners from the State Penitentiary, 1913

Michael O’Donell had a hard life, according to this record. Walla Walla State Penitentiary, Wanted: Escaped Prisoners from the State Penitentiary, 1913, Penitentiary, Washington State Collection, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives.

Michael O’Donell had a hard life, according to this record. Walla Walla State Penitentiary, Wanted: Escaped Prisoners from the State Penitentiary, 1913, Penitentiary, Washington State Collection, Washington State Archives, Digital Archives, http://www.digitalarchives.wa.gov.

Today, criminals rarely escape from prison and when they do apprehension is normally swift and certain. With instantaneous communication, photographs, fingerprints, and vital statistics there is nowhere to hide.