Guide to the Columbia City Records

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Overview of the Collection

Creator: City of Columbia (King County, Wash.)
Title: Records
Dates: 1893-1913 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 4.8 cubic ft. (7 boxes and 6 volumes)
Collection Number: 9112
Summary: The City of Columbia records include city council minutes, ordinances, City Clerk's files, demands and warrants, a register of warrants, and local improvement district files for the small municipality that was annexed to the City of Seattle in 1907.
Repository: Seattle Municipal Archives
Contact Information: Seattle Municipal Archives
Office of the City Clerk
City of Seattle
PO Box 94728
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-233-7807
Fax: 206-386-9025
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 
Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical Note

The 1890 establishment of the Seattle, Renton, and Southern Railway and aggressive promotion of real estate brought settlers to the mill town of Columbia. The town's thriving lumber industry helped supply Seattle with timber for reconstruction after the Great Fire of 1889, and many goods were also shipped to Columbia from Seattle via the railroad.

Columbia was incorporated in 1892 with a five-member Town Council which quickly established a Board of Health to employ a "reputable physician" charged with examining cases of contagious disease. A volunteer fire department was created in 1902 including a hose company and, soon thereafter, a chemical company. In 1903, Columbia reached a contractual agreement with the City of Seattle for the purchase of water. Also in that year, the Snoqualmie Falls Power Company received a franchise to install and operate an electrical power plant for the town.

Columbia achieved city of the third class status in 1905 when its population reached 1500, the required total established by State law. The Mayor called a special election in September of 1905 and the public voted in favor of the "advancement of the Town of Columbia to a city of the third class."

Annexation to the City of Seattle came in 1907 following a petition by citizens to the City Council to hold a special election on the matter. Although opposition to annexation had initially been strong, due to citizens' desire for local control, the March 5 vote was overwhelming, 109-3 in favor of annexation to Seattle. Consolidation occurred on May 3, 1907.

The Columbia City neighborhood, with much of its historical core intact, was designated a Seattle Landmark District in 1978.

Other Descriptive Information

City of Columbia Mayors:

C. P. Hutchesen, 1893-1894

V. R. Peirson, 1895-1896

C. F. Reeves, 1897-1899

H. H. A. Hastings, 1900

J. Campbell, 1900

V. R. Peirson, 1900-1904

W. W. Phalen, 1905

A. G. Corbett, 1906

W. W. Phalen, 1907

Content Description

The City of Columbia records date from 1893 to 1913 and include proceedings of Columbia City Council meetings, ordinances passed by the City Council, administrative records of Columbia filed with the City Clerk, a register of demands against the City of Columbia, a register of warrants issued by the City, and local improvement district files. The City Clerk records include correspondence, reports of City officials, contracts, citizen petitions, permits, and other filings; the Local Improvement District files include majority petitions, assessment rolls, collection receipts, contracts, bonds, cost estimates, and reports. The bulk of the records covers the years 1905-1907.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

Records are open to the public.

Preferred Citation :  

[Item and date], City of Columbia Records, Record Series 9112-[xx], [Record Series Title]. Box [number], Folder [number]. Seattle Municipal Archives.

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

The City of Columbia Records are arranged in six series:

Series I: Council Minutes (9112-01)

Series II: Ordinances (9112-02)

Series III: City Clerk's Files (9112-03)

Series IV: Demands and Warrants (9112-04)

Series V: Register of Warrants (9112-05)

Series VI: Local Improvement District Files (9112-06)

Within each series, records are arranged chronologically or alphabetically by subject.

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I (9112-01) :  Council Minutes, 1893-1907
2 volumes

Proceedings of City of Columbia Council Meetings.

1 Minutes 1892-1904
2 Minutes 1904-1907

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Series II (9112-02):  City of Columbia Ordinances, 1893-1907
3 volumes

Ordinances passed by the City Council and arranged in two series. Ordinances 1-185 cover the period 1893-1906. A second series, numbered 1-61, was begun when Columbia achieved city of the third class status in 1906.

1 Ordinances 1-155 1893-1904
2 Ordinances 156-185 and 1-61 1904-1907

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Series III (9112-03):  City Clerk's Files, 1893-1913
2.4 cubic ft.

Administrative records of the City of Columbia filed with the City Clerk. The records cover the period from incorporation in 1893 to annexation in 1907; a few records relate to completion of local improvements in 1913. Materials include Council resolutions, committee reports, City Attorney opinions, contracts, correspondence, franchises, city officials' reports, local improvement district bonds, mayor's messages, oaths of office, petitions, ordinances, bonds, and bills and receipt.

Records are arranged alphabetically by subject and record type.
1/1 Affidavits of Publication 1903-1906
1/2 Affidavits of Publication 1906-1907
1/3 Affidavits of Publication, Land Improvement Districts 1907-1913
1/4 Applications to City Council 1903-1906
1/5 Bills and Receipts, A-B 1904
1/6 Bills and Receipts, C-E 1901-1904
1/7 Bills and Receipts, F-G 1903-1904
1/8 Bills and Receipts, H 1900-1904
1/9 Bills and Receipts, H-L 1902-1906
1/10 Bills and Receipts, M-O 1894-1907
1/11 Bills and Receipts, P-R 1903-1904
1/12 Bills and Receipts, S 1899-1904
1/13 Bills and Receipts, S 1904-1905
1/14 Bills and Receipts, W-Z 1903-1905
1/15 Call for Warrants 1904
2/1 City Attorney's Opinions 1905-1906
2/2 City Attorney's Receipts 1893-1901
2/3 City Council, Committee Reports 1906-1907
2/4 City Council, Resolutions, 1-12 1906
2/5 City Council, Resolutions, 13-17, 19, 22-32 1906
2/6 City Council, Resolutions, 33-44 1906-1907
2/7 City Marshall's Reports 1900-1907
2/8 Claims 1904
2/9 Contracts -- Water, Sidewalks, Streets 1903-1905
2/10 Contract Bonds 1903-1906
2/11 Contracts and Bonds, Water System 1902-1904
2/12 Correspondence, Mayor and City Council 1900-1906
2/13 County (King) Auditor's Reports, Tax Collection 1902-1906
3/1 Fire Department 1906-1907
3/2 Franchises -- Electric, Telephone, Gas 1905
3/3 Franchise -- Street Railways 1903-1907
3/4 Interest Coupons, Water Bonds and Land Improvement Districts 1903-1907
3/5 Lawsuit, Tenny vs. City of Columbia 1907
3/6 Local Improvement Districts, Bonds 1-12 1904
3/7 Local Improvement Districts, Bonds 13-33 1904
3/8 Local Improvement Districts, Bonds 1-6 1906
3/9 Local Improvement Districts, Correspondence 1907-1908
3/10 Mayor to City Council, Special Session 1906
3/11 Mayor's Messages 1906-1907
4/1 Oaths of Office 1903-1907
4/2 Official Bonds 1895-1898
4/3 Official Bonds 1899-1907
4/4 Ordinances, Second Series, 1-11 1906
4/5 Ordinances, Second Series, 12-21 1906
4/6 Ordinances, Second Series, 22-31 1906
4/7 Ordinances, Second Series, 32-41 1906
4/8 Ordinances, Second Series, 42-48 1907
5/1 Ordinances, Second Series, 49-60 1907
5/2 Payroll 1901-1902
5/3 Permits -- Streets, Sewers, Dynamiting 1905-1906
5/4 Petitions, City Status and Annexation 1905-1907
5/5 Petitions, Elections 1905
5/6 Petitions, Lighting and Street Improvements 1905-1907
5/7 Petitions, Pool Hall Hours 1890-1907
5/8 Petitions, Protesting Railroad Franchise 1907
5/9 Petitions, Street Vacations 1906
5/10 Petitions, Telephone Poles 1903-1907
5/11 Petitions, Telephone Poles and Vacations 1904-1907
5/12 Plats and Drawings 1904
6/1 Property Owners, Land Titles 1906
6/2 Protests of Assessments, Land Improvement Districts 1913
6/3 Street Vacations 1906
6/4 Surety Bonds 1899
6/5 Treasurer's Receipts 1903-1905
6/6 Treasurer's Reports 1903-1906
6/7 Treasurer's Reports 1905-1907
6/8 Water System 1903-1906

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Series IV (9112-04):  Demands and Warrants, 1893-1907
1 volume

Register of demands against the City of Columbia. Includes date of demand, name of claimant, amount, reason for demand, warrant number, and date issued.

1 Demands and Warrants 1893-1907

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Series V (9112-05) :  Register of Warrants, 1893-1907
1 volume

Register of warrants issued by the City of Columbia. Includes warrant number, amount, date, to whom paid, and reason for payment.

1 Register of Warrants 1893-1907

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Series VI (9112-06):  Local Improvement District Files, 1904-1907
.4 cubic ft.

Majority petitions, assessment rolls, collection receipts, contracts, bonds, cost estimates, and work completed reports relating to local street and sewer improvements.

1 Local Improvement District Files 1904-1907

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This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Geographical Names :
  • Columbia (King County, Wash.)--Politics and government
  • Columbia City (Seattle, Wash.)--Politics and government
  • Seattle (Wash.)--Politics and government
  • Subject Terms :
  • Annexation (Municipal government)--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • City councils--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Civic improvement--Washington (State)--Seattle
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Minutes
    • Ordinances

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