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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 (external link), 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.


Hoovervilles and hogs

Two stories from Seattle's history are reflected in this photograph, taken February 6, 1933. In the foreground is part of one of Seattle's several "Hoovervilles,” this one along the railroad tracks near Sixth Avenue South and South Holgate Street. During the Great Depression, encampments of displaced people sprang up in metropolitan areas throughout the United States. These settlements were known as "Hoovervilles," mockingly invoking President Herbert Hoover's failed economic policies. In the background, the sign for "Wild Rose Lard" identifies the Frye and Company meat-packing plant at 2203 Airport Way. Ten years later, that building would become the site of one of Seattle's worst disasters when, on February 18, 1943, a prototype Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber on a test flight crashed into the building. Thirty-one lives were lost in the crash and subsequent fire, as were eighty live hogs. Contemporary newspaper clippings relating to the Frye disaster were collected in scrapbooks kept by the county coroner and retained by the King County Archives.

Seattle-King County Department of Public Health photograph files (Series 275), Box 1. (Photo ID 90.2.0688)


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

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