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
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.
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.
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.
Proceedings of City of Columbia Council Meetings.
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.
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.
Register of demands against the City of Columbia. Includes date of demand, name of claimant, amount, reason for demand, warrant number, and date issued.
Register of warrants issued by the City of Columbia. Includes warrant number, amount, date, to whom paid, and reason for payment.
.4 cubic ft.
Majority petitions, assessment rolls, collection receipts, contracts, bonds, cost estimates, and work completed reports relating to local street and sewer improvements.
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.