The University of Washington has created a very comprehensive online digital archive of local historical documents (content.lib.washington.edu). I came across it while searching for “Island County: A World Beater”, a historical booklet referenced in the bibliography of Land Use, Environment, and Social Change: The Shaping of Island County, Washington by Richard White. The UW collection actually has images of every page of the booklet, available for online reading!
The booklet appears to have been written in the early 1900s for the purpose of attracting people to buy land and live on the island. It summarizes each community on the island (some of which don’t even exist anymore as a distinct area) with descriptions, prominent neighbors, and photographs.
I read the whole booklet though especially honed in on Coupeville. Here are a few favorite quotes:
- “Coupeville has two churches, a bank, a saw mill, three general stores, two hotels and has splendid schools”.
- “A meritorious feature of Coupeville is that no liquor is sold and probably never will be.”
- “The residents of Coupeville characterize their town as ‘an ideal spot in which to spend an hour or a lifetime.'”