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This sampler of photographs from the collections of the King County Archives is itself a snapshot of some of the places, lives and times of people who called twentieth-century King County their home.

Health, safety, recreation and transportation are some of the topics that appear in these photographs. Please click on the thumbnails at the right for larger images and descriptive text. Links in the captions lead to other pages that are part of the King County Archives Web site. There, you'll find more photographs, maps, drawings and additional text information.

This online exhibit, prepared in honor of Washington State Archives Month 2008, is based on a display ("A Baker's Dozen: Images of King County from the Collections") originally created in 2003 by Assistant Archivist Helice Koffler.


Once upon a time on south Lake Union....

In the early 1900s, King County began building public wharves to serve as dock facilities for the ferry routes that the county was then operating. In October 1912, the county commissioners passed a resolution "that the westerly portion of Block 69, Lake Union Shore Lands be purchased from J. M. Clapp, for dock purposes, at an agreed price of eighty-five cents per Square foot," and later built the Prospect Street ferry dock and waiting room, photographed here in 1937. However, with the rapid rise of automobile transportation throughout the county in the ensuing years, King County ferry services were gradually discontinued, or assumed by private companies or by the state of Washington. After World War II, King County removed its remaining wharves and converted many former sites into parks. Lists of additional historical records relating to water, air and ground transportation in King County can be found at the King County Archives' Transportation Records web page.

Road Engineer wharf files (Series 375), Box 5, Folder 21.

1__House_ 2__Wharf_
90_2_2588_home_health_care 4__TB_Bus_
482__Man_and_duck 6__Hooverville_
7__Mole_ 8__Lake_Wilderness_bridge_
9__Marine_Drive_Bridge_ 10__Cow_
11__Woman_Walker_ 12__Clint_Eastwood_


3__Rock_bunker_ 162_01_432_Neighborhood_cover

TTY Relay 711

The King County Archives building is currently closed, but our remote customer service hours are 9am-4pm, Monday through Friday.