Seattle Preserved: or, a Plot Discovered

Frank La Roche portrait of C.T. Conover and S.L. Crawford on Fifth Avenue, between Cherry and Columbia Streets (circa 1889)

I couldn’t let Preservation Week go by completely unremarked, so I thought I’d share a snippet of some semi-forgotten history gleaned from the scrapbook cataloging project.

Charles T. Conover and Samuel L. Crawford were journalists, turned Seattle boosters and real estate tycoons at the close of the 19th century and start of the twentieth.  The substance of their biographies (and scrapbooks) could take up several posts (and I may get around to it some day), but the archivist in me found the following incident in the life of Crawford (which is recounted slightly differently in other sources) to be of special appeal.  As Conover (the longer-lived of the pair) recalled in his “Just Cogitating” column in the July 8, 1950 edition of the Seattle Times:

A dominant trait in my old partner, Samuel L. Crawford, was his unswerving loyalty to his friends and the things he believed in.  … He had helped to nurture and sustain The Post-Intelligencer since its birth, had, at one time, been part owner, and in the great fire of 1889 he lugged the files of the paper up the hill to safety through the smoke and blistering heat before showing up at the office of Crawford & Conover to help salvage our effects.

Little did he know how it would turn out some 120 years later.

To be continued…

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Helice

I joined The Shubert Archive as Processing Archivist in 2015, having worked previously at numerous archives and special collections, including the University of Washington, New York Public Library, King County Archives, and New York University. I earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Hunter College, City University of New York and an M.L.I.S. from the Palmer School of Library & Information Science, Long Island University. I have been a Certified Archivist since 2005. Throughout my career, I have been active professionally and held several leadership roles. Among my favorites are: Dance Librarians Discussion Group convener and editor of the newsletter of the Performing Arts Roundtable of the Society of American Archivists. I also was involved with the American Theatre Archive Project, a national grassroots initiative dedicated to assisting active performing arts companies with the preservation of their legacy. In addition, I have significant experience as a freelance archival consultant.

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