At Home in King County: Images from the CollectionsThis 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.
Wilderness Overcrossing, 1934
King County is responsible for inspecting road and street bridges within its jurisdiction. A record of inspections, often including photographs, is maintained for each bridge. The Wilderness Overcrossing Bridge, on present-day 220th Avenue SE near Lake Wilderness, was constructed in 1915 as a frame trestle over the Pacific Coast Railway, sixty feet long and sixteen feet wide, with the railway company and King County sharing costs. The bridge was rebuilt several times over the years, including a 1933 refurbishment (shown here) that incorporated creosoted piling timbers re-utilized from a demolished county wharf on Vashon Island. The bridge eventually was replaced with a reinforced concrete slab structure in 1958 and another new span was built in 1996. The former railroad grade is now a popular trail. This photograph was one of a set of bridge inspection photographs taken between 1932 and 1934 by King County Bridge Engineer Thomas P. Blum. Blum often composed his photographs in a way that gave them what he considered to be some aesthetic, dramatic or human interest. Other examples of Thomas Blum's bridge inspection photographs can be found on the King County Archives' web site.
Road Engineer bridge files: photographs (Series 474), Box 5, Folder 13. (Bridge 389A , 3092-OX)