Introducing “Pacific Northwest Features”

We are pleased to reintroduce the PNW blog with a new name and broader focus. Pacific Northwest Features is a blog about PNW history, culture, and people, featuring collections from all around the University of Washington Libraries.

The Pacific Northwest Collection documents the historic and contemporary life and culture of the region. We actively collect rare books, maps, ephemera and other published materials, as well as personal papers, digital records, and organizational archives, photographs, architectural drawings, recorded sound, and moving images.  Major primary source collections include Labor Archives of Washington and the Washington State Jewish Archives.  The PNW Collection began in 1905 as the Northwest Collection.  Today it is part of Special Collections located on the UW Seattle campus in the lower level of Suzzallo/Allen Library.

There are dozens of other Pacific Northwest resources in the UW Libraries, found in departments in all branches and on all three campuses. We now invite librarians from all areas to share and promote Pacific Northwest titles and collections by becoming contributing authors to the blog.

Pacific Northwest Features shares stories about collections, events, exhibits, and our connections with other regional history collections and programs. Follow the blog by subscribing to email list to the left.  Browse through earlier posts in the Collections Featured category, and visit Special Collections to explore our fascinating collections.

Anne Jenner
Pacifc Northwest Curator, blog editor


Klondike Trek: The John Hinkle Letters, Journal and Drawings

South Edmonton, Alberta Canada
Sunday, April 17th, 1898

My Dear Mollie, and Myrty and Boys,

Thus begins the first letter in a recent addition of materials originating with James Hinkle, one of the thousands of people who joined the Klondike Gold Rush of 1898. The collection was a gift from his great-granddaughter, Marcia Bates in April 2013.

James “Jim” Hinkle (1852-1899) was a telegraph operator and railroad engineer from Mattoon, Illinois before deciding to become a gold prospector. After word of gold being found in the Klondike had reached Illinois, several people in Mattoon formed a company with the purpose of sending a small group of people to the gold fields.  Hinkle and his two partners took an overland route through Edmonton, Alberta before deciding to search for gold in northeastern British Columbia.



During his trek he wrote letters home to wife Mollie and children Myrtle, Harry, and Vernon. Hinkle’s letters home to his family included rich descriptions of his experiences in the Canadian wilderness and include many drawings and diagrams of the areas where he and his colleagues spent time.  In many letters he included lively and detailed pencil sketches, like in his May 1899 letter to Mollie, where we find a bird’s eye view of his encampment near a river, including the layout of the cabin and the boat launch (above).

Sadly, before he could strike it rich, Hinkle drowned while crossing a river, but his letters and journal describing his experiences were passed down from his daughter to his granddaughter, Martha Bates, who transcribed them for publication as a book. Although Martha was unable to publish the book during her lifetime her daughter, Marcia Bates, published the manuscript in 2008 as a book entitled Klondike Trek: Jim Hinkle’s Life in the Gold Rush of 1898.

Highlights of the collection include: letters, drawings and journals, all by James Hinkle during his travels; letters between his associates and family members; photographs; and other research materials used by Martha and Marcia Bates in preparing Klondike Trek.

The collection was processed and many of the letters (and their transcriptions)  have been digitized by Jason Moore and are available via the Libraries’ Special Collections Digital Collections. James Hinkle’s digitized letters

The finding aid for the manuscript collection is online here. James Hinkle papers collection guide

Post prepared by Jason R. Moore and Anne Jenner, PNW Curator

New to the PNW Collection

A new year has begun, and we welcome three new graduate student assistants to the PNW team: Amanda Demeter and Erika Kerr are both first-year students in the iSchool, and Jen MacDowell is a first-year Museology student. Their work includes assisting to accession and process manuscript collections and to process new books and serials. Each student will join me in new efforts to promote the materials in our collection.

To start with we bring you some new titles being added to the collection. These books—some that are newly-published, and some just new to us—fall into a wide range of categories, from regional non-fiction to the outdoors and the environment, and from anthropology to poetry. Come by Special Collections to look at these new titles (some may be in the Libraries general collection, or add one to your own collection!


People of the Middle Fraser Canyon by Anna Marie Prentiss and Ian Kuijt

A study of archaeological sites in the Middle Fraser Canyon in British Columbia enables Prentiss and Kuijt to tell the history of the St’át’imc, or Upper Lillooet, people from 8000 years ago to the present.

They Called Me Number One: Secrets and Survival at an Indian Residential School by Bev Sellars

Xat’sūll chief Bev Sellars, as well as her mother and grandmother, attended the St. Joseph’s Mission at Williams Lake, British Columbia, where they were forced to conform to an unfamiliar culture.

White Grizzly Bear’s Legacy: Learning to Be Indian by Lawney L. Reyes

A blend of history and autobiography, this is the story of the author’s early life in the Indian village of Inchelium, which was destroyed by the construction of the Grand Coulee Dam.


Waiting to Be Heard: A Memoir by Amanda Knox

Drawn from the journals and letters she kept during her time in prison, Knox shares her story in this new memoir.

Outdoors and the Environment

Full Rip 9.0: The Next Big Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest by Sandi Doughton

Scientists predict that the next big earthquake in North America will happen here—and that this earthquake might be long past its anticipated date.

Home to the Nechako: The River and the Land by June Wood

The Nechako River has transformed drastically due to the construction of dams and other environment-altering projects. Wood tells about the land and the communities that were affected by the river’s change.

Land Snails and Slugs of the Pacific Northwest by Thomas E. Burke

This book has been called “the definitive and comprehensive guide to the snails and slugs of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Western Montana.”

Northern Exposure: An Adventuring Career in Stories and Images by Jonathan Waterman

Praised as “a call to action…to protect the North,” this book of striking images and engaging stories transports the reader to the Northern wilderness.

Oil and Water by Mei Mei Evans

This novel about an oil spill of the Alaskan town of Selby is influenced by the author’s own experience during the Exxon Valdez oil spill.


To Curve by Michael Daley

This book of poetry moves seamlessly between the past and the present.

Regional Non-Fiction

Boom Towns & Relic Hunters of Washington State: Exploring Washington’s Historic Ghost Towns & Mining Camps by Jerry Smith

Visitors to Northeastern Washington can find themselves traveling through long-lost and forgotten ghost towns and historic sites that were once home to miners, prospectors, and pioneers.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown

In 1936, the University of Washington’s crew team—composed of nine working-class boys—drew new attention to the sport as they competed to win gold at the Berlin Olympics.

Douglas County Chronicles: History from the Land of One Hundred Valleys by R.J. Guyer

This collection of stories tells the rich history of the communities in Douglas County, Oregon.

Ghost Towns of the Pacific Northwest by Phillip Varney

The maps, histories, photographs, and detailed directions included in this book will help readers plan a trip to these towns throughout Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.

Journal of Everett and Snohomish County History, Winter 1982

This special issue features an index of Everett photographers from 1890 to 1935.

Murder and Mayhem in Portland, Oregon by JD Chandler

This book tells the gritty details behind many of Portland’s infamous crimes.

The Last Great Stand: Some Interesting Sidelights on the Pacific Northwest Lumber Industry

Facts about the logging in the Pacific Northwest fill this 1922 publication.

Vacation Land: The National Forests in Oregon produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, 1919

Be inspired to visit Oregon’s National Forests as your read how they were described almost one hundred years ago.

Washington: Our Home published by Gibbs Smith Education

Learn about the history of Washington and its people, both past and present, with this textbook.


Jen MacDowell with Anne Jenner, PNW Curator

Hazel Wolf: Washington State Environmentalist

Hazel Wolf (far right) with others looking at field guide, Seattle Audubon Society Field Day, May 1966.

March is Women’s History Month.  The life of Hazel Anna Wolf (1898-2000), longtime environmentalist and political activist, is an example of the highest personal contributions made by a Washington State woman to community service.  When Wolf died at the age of 101, more than 900 of her friends and acquaintances crowded Seattle’s Town Hall to honor her memory and share the outrageous “Hazel stories” they had collected over the years.

As a youngster, Hazel Wolf caroused in the salt water of the Gorge in the inlet intersecting Victoria, British Columbia.  Her daily playing, swimming, and rough-housing with friends translated into an equally action-packed adulthood of fighting for human rights, feminism, labor, and environmental protection.  Wolf was a prominent member of the Seattle Audubon Society, served as its secretary for over 35 years, and was awarded the National Audubon Society’s Medal of Excellence in 1997.  She frequently lectured at schools and universities across the nation, lobbied Congress on many environmental and peace issues, and corresponded with global leaders.  Wolf also revitalized the Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs and edited the organizations newsletter, “Outdoors West.”  In addition to these and many other activities, she laid groundwork for a unique coalition of Native Americans and environmentalists who began working together on issues relating to nuclear energy, fisheries, and oil pipelines.

Part of Hazel Wolf’s success had to do with getting people to laugh.  She had a knack for telling short stories that were full of anecdotes and one-liners and ended with a punch line.  Wolf admitted that she often wondered where those one-liners came from:  “They just pop into my head and out […]  It’s part of fighting the establishment, I think.”  In Hazel Wolf:  Fighting the Establishment (University of Washington Press, 2002), Susan Starbuck, biographer, follows Wolf’s “lifetime of burning with a fierce desire for justice […] Whether organizing for labor rights or founding chapters of the Audubon society, battling to save old-growth forests or fighting deportation to her native Canada as a Communist, over and over she put herself in the line of fire.  ‘I was just there,’ Wolf said, ‘powerless and strong, someone who wouldn’t chicken out.’”

Preliminary Guide to the Hazel Wolf Papers 1916-2000

Image credit: University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections Division, Seattle Audubon Society Photograph Collection, PH Coll 671.

Submitted by Chery

Mystics among us

A few months ago, Nicolette Bromberg (Visual Materials Curator @ UW Special Collections) brought in a collection of photographs from Richard M. Kovak of the Nile Shrine Center in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. The collection documents the membership and activities of Seattle Shriners (members of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Nile Temple).

According to the history on the Nile Shrine website, the AAONMS (an offshoot of Freemasonry) was “originally established [in 1872] to provide fun and fellowship for its members.” The Nile Temple of Seattle was formed by splitting off from the Afifi Temple of Tacoma in 1908; the following photograph was probably taken around that time.

Nile Shrine officers, circa 1910
Officers of Seattle

In elaborate costumes, these Shriners certainly appear to be enjoying fun and fellowship!

A major portion of the collection consists of member portraits, many of them identified. In most portraits, the member wears a fez hat which is decorated with the title of that member’s role or office, such as “Recorder” and “Potentate.” There is also a series of panoramic group photographs which show how membership and customs changed over the first half of the twentieth century.

Later snapshots collected in photo albums show the Shriners’ social and community activities, such as their participation in the children’s hospitals they fund, visits to schools, and their appearances in local parades, often dressed in homemade costumes of “Disnay” characters like Pinocchio and Mickey Mouse.

The collection is unprocessed and unsorted, but a preliminary finding aid is available.

Seattle Archives Fair: Part Two

Seattle Archives Fair 2009

PNW Blog paid a flying visit last Friday to the Archives Fair, which was held for the first time in the dramatic setting provided by SPL’s Central Library.  By all accounts, the event was even better attended than usual this year and deemed a real success.  Kudos to the organizers and all participants!  And come back soon, Hannah!

Scott C. Bone manuscript, correspondence, and other materials

Portrait of Alaska Territorial Governor Scott C. Bone
Portrait of Alaska Territorial Governor Scott C. Bone

Recent additions to the University of Washington Special Collections include .21 cubic feet of materials relating to Scott C. (Cardelle) Bone, 1860-1936, a past editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and governor of Alaska Territory from 1921-25.  Nellie L. Bruce of Tehachapi, California made the gift in August of this year;  it supplements an earlier donation of Scott C. Bone items, dating 1909-1920.

According to the New York City American Press [December 1920], Scott C. Bone was, first and foremost, a newspaperman who firmly believed in government using paid newspaper advertising to talk to the people.  He was “a curious chap [with] a mild, genial personality,” and his enigmatic smile was likened to that of da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.”  Bone was further described as a man who could not easily be disturbed, but someone who could stand in the middle of a furor and calmly read his home town newspaper as if nothing else were transpiring.  A staunch and active Republican, Scott C. Bone professed that “fairness in handling political matter, in both news and editorial columns, is a prerequisite to the influence of any newspaper.”

In addition to serving as editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Scott C. Bone served as editor for the Washington Post and founded the Washington Herald, in which he wrote a tribute dated March 5, 1909 to Theodore Roosevelt after the end of his presidential term.  It was during Bone’s tenure with the P.I. that he became interested in Alaska, particularly after taking the Alaska Tour of 1913, sponsored by the Alaska Bureau of Commerce.

Newly elected Governor Bone and his family reported to Juneau and were all quite surprised to find a stately three-story New England colonial mansion among rugged surroundings.  President Harding told once told Bone:  “Why Governor, your ‘White House of the North’ is finer than my own” [Marguerite Bone Wilcox, “Memories of the Mansion:  A Governor’s Daughter Remembers Her Life in Juneau,” Alaska Journal, 1986 16: 42-47].  While in office, Scott C. Bone ordered a relay of dog teams to transport diphtheria antitoxin to Nome in order to fend off an epidemic during an outbreak of the deadly disease.  This mission is now commemorated as the popular Iditarod sled dog race.

In his later years, Scott C. Bone wrote various accounts of his Alaskan experiences, some of which are also available at Special Collections.  Well-meaning friends offered advice on Bone’s health after observing the aging newspaper mogul’s persistent sweet tooth and expanding waistline.  “You are adding weight and consuming much candy,” one wrote to him in April 1932, advising that Bone cut meats and all sugar from his diet unless he wished to meet his demise.  Four years later, Scott C. Bone died from a heart attack in Santa Barbara, California, apparently not heedful of his good friend’s advice.

Highlights of the most recent addition (1923-1932) to the Scott C. Bone collection include a manuscript:  “Hugh Hamilton:  A Tale of Two Capitals” (ca. 1930?), as well as personal and business correspondence, a brochure for a 1932 Alaska Tour, a newsletter and memorial service program for the Alaska Elks Lodge No.420, and a program, with seating chart, for a dinner held at the Gridiron Club of Washington D.C. on December 12, 1931.

Scott C Bone papers finding aid

Submitted by Chery

Image credit: Alaska State Library – Historical Collections. Alaska Territorial Governors. Photographs. ASL-PCA-274