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“Old Records Galore”

Our colleague Luci Baker Johnson of Historic Seattle shared her discovery of a 1918 Seattle Times article describing an organizational ancestor of the King County Archives.  The story describes the “hundred tons” of records, “the approximate aggregate weight of the joys and troubles of Seattle’s inhabitants since the founding of the city….”

Many of the records, then stored in the City-County Building, exist in our collection today, while some are held at the Puget Sound Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives and at other local repositories.  It is also likely that many more of the 200 tons of records described in the article were purged over time under various 20th Century records management regimes.

The beginning of the Seattle Times article is shown below.


One thing that hasn’t changed since 1918 is the regard for one of our collection’s treasures, the first King County marriage certificate, issued to David Denny and Louisa Boren in 1853.  Below is a recent photograph of the certificate that was also pictured in the 1918 article.

Record of Marriage Certificates 1853-1869
King County Archives, Series 95, Volume 1/2A


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