On a weekly basis, Members Lanny Weaver and Deb Ross catalogue the State Capital Museum collection now housed at the Washington State Historical Society (WSHS) in Tacoma. This project is made possible through a collaboration between the Olympia Historical Society and WSHS, and Deb and Lanny are grateful for the time and cooperation of the WSHS and Research Center staff in making this possible. This regular column will inform you about their work.
One of the more exciting and interesting collections to come Lanny’s way are the records of Percival Dock. The Research Center in Tacoma has 56 volumes of materials relating to the business run by Samuel Wing Percival and his son John. Of particular interest are the freight records, which identify the shipper and detail the types of items shipped and received. Also of interest are the names of the ships, barges and steamers who plied the waters of Puget Sound. Since Puget Sound was the equivalent of Interstate 5 in its day, nearly every merchant, and many individual citizens of Olympia and Thurston County, can be found somewhere in these volumes, and the list of cargo carried offers a wonderful glimpse into the day to day lives of Olympians. A finding aid is available here for viewing: http://collections.washingtonhistory.org/details.aspx?id=121433