Guide to the U.S. Naval Training Station at University of Washington Photograph Albums

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Overview of the Collection

Title: U.S. Naval Training Station at University of Washington photograph albums
Dates: 1917-1918 ( inclusive )
Quantity: 356 photographs in 3 albums (2 boxes)
Location of Collection: 3a.1.5
Collection Number: 1993.35
Summary: Photographs of buildings, grounds, cadets and officers at the U.S. Naval Training Station on the University of Washington campus, 1917-1918
Repository: Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Contact Information: Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
Languages: Collection materials are in English. 

Historical Background

The U.S. Congress passed legislation creating a Federal Naval Reserve on March 3, 1915, after lobbying by Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels for funding for a official federal reserve force. On August 29, 1916, under pressure to enter the conflict raging in Europe and confronted with the problem of manning a large navy, Congress passed the Naval Reserve Force Act, formally organizing the Naval Reserve Force.

State naval militias had already been functioning as a naval reserve. Since the newly created naval reserve force had yet to enroll any members, the Naval Reserve Force Act also created a second organization, the National Naval Volunteers (NNV). Naval militiamen could join this group, then transfer from the NNV into the federal naval reserve, thus eliminating any problem of federal control over state troops.

Women were also recruited into the Naval Reserve Force. Shore stations were in dire need of clerical assistance, usually performed by men who were now needed for service elsewhere. In March 1917, after determining from his legal advisors that no law specified the gender of a yeomen, Secretary Daniels approved the enrollment of female yeomen in the Naval Reserves, to perform clerical and other duties on shore.

In 1917, a committee from the University of Washington offered campus facilities to the United States Navy, which decided to build a temporary Naval Training Station on campus grounds along Portage Bay on Lake Union (near the area now occupied by the UW Health Sciences Center). The station was established on August 1, 1917, largely through the efforts of Navy Commander Miller Freeman. The training camp was comprised of Washington and Oregon state naval militia, about half of whom were college students and graduates from University of Washington, Washington State College and Oregon colleges. Before the camp closed in 1919, over 5,000 men had been trained there for both naval and naval aviation units. Female yeomen, referred to as "yeomanettes" by naval officers, also trained at the station, though the women were not permitted to live on the grounds of the Station.

Content Description

The collection consists of three photograph albums documenting the buildings and grounds, people, and activities at the U.S. Naval Training Station on the University of Washington campus, 1917-1918. One album consists of posed photographs of cadets and officers, and images of buildings and grounds, most by Webster & Stevens. A second album of panorama photographs includes group portraits of cadets and officers; several groups are identified as to unit or function. A third album includes a number of smaller format snapshots, depicting male and female enlistees in more casual settings, as well as several items of ephemera. This album seems to have belonged to a female yeoman, Anne Bathhurst.

Use of the Collection

Alternative Forms Available :  

View selections from the collection in digital format.

Restrictions on Access :  

The collection is open to the public by appointment.

Restrictions on Use :  

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation :  

U.S. Naval Training Station at University of Washington photograph albums, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information :  

Found in collection.

Detailed Description of the Collection

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

1 1993.35.1: Album 1: U.S. Naval Training Station
Webster & Stevens (photographer)
51 photographs
7 x 9.5 inches
Includes views of the grounds, showing camp tents and building; views of cadets in formation on the grounds; individual and group photographs of cadets, female yeomen, and officers, including Commander Miller Freeman, Admiral Robert E. Coontz, 13th Naval District Commander and Admiral Hugh Delanty from Gray's Harbor; a crew team; and cadets working in various areas of the camp, including the kitchen, laundry room, barbershop, store, mailroom, storeroom, and shoe repair shop. The campus Varsity Boat Building is visible in one photograph.
Most of the photographs are by Webster & Stevens. One photograph of a banquet is by Jacobs Photo Shop and several photographs are unattributed, though are also possibly by Webster & Stevens.
2 1993.35.2: Album 2: Group portrait panoramas
43 photographs
7.5 x 18.5 inches
Photographs largely depict groups of cadets and officers at the Naval Training Station posed in front of buildings and on grounds. Groups include the Naval Radio Corps; a marching band; S.A.T.C. Unit Company 1; First, Second, Fourth and Fifth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Seaman Companies; the Signal Corps; Chief Petty Officers, First Class; and an Officer Material School group.
Campus building depicted include Denny Hall, the Washington State (now Burke) Museum (housed in the former Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Forestry Building) and the Chemistry Building (formerly the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition Fine Arts Building).
1 1993.35.3: Album 3: Snapshot album
262 photographs plus ephemera
5 x 7 inches and smaller
This album appears to be a personal photograph album, possibly belonging to female yeoman Anne Bathhurst of Seattle. Bathhurst served as chief yeoman at the Naval Training Station under Commander Miller Freeman at the U.S. Naval Training Station on University of Washington campus. One of the first women to volunteer, Bathhurst was active in the recruiting campaign at the Station.
The first section of the scrapbook consists of 69 5 x 7 inch photographs, 2 per page and many by Webster & Stevens. These include images sailing ships, buildings, including building construction, and tents, Girls Victory Carnival parade. Many of the photographs portray cadets and officers, some identified in handwriting on the photo: men pitching tents; football players and games; boxers; a marching band; cadets at the store, playing pool, and at the barber shop; and cadets and in their day-to-day activities. The next section of the album consists of 5 x 7 and smaller photographs, many of them snapshot type images of individuals, including officers and sailors from Portland and Tacoma, ships. Towards the back of the album are 12 pages of snapshots mostly of female yeomen
The album also contains ephemera, including three 1918 copies of "The Sub-Chaser," the newsletter of the U.S. Naval Training Camp, Seattle; clippings; a Naval Training Station tag with Anne Bathhurst's name; Christmas menu; typewritten poems and humorous notes; a booklet "Songs of the Soldiers and Sailors"; a letter from Admiral Coontz to enlisted women of the U.S. Naval Reserve Force, 13th Naval District delineating uniform regulations for women; a humorous 1918 "memo" to NNV bugler Leonard Oliver listing :orders and admonitions" regarding taking Anne Bathhurst out on a date; 3 medals, including 1 for a girls swimming victory at the Carnival on July 23, 1918; U.S. Naval Reserve tie tack and ribbon; and calling cards
Many of the individuals in the photos are identified by first name only. Those identified by full name include: Miller Freeman, Hugh Delanty, Herman Anderson, Ed Donnelly, Bernie Hodge, Captain D.A. Scott, Harry Thompson, Ernest Bradford, Henry C. Allgood, Kate Wortman, Jim Mason, Ivan Lee, B. Littell, Fred Heintz, John Cromwell, Len Oliver, Charles Noyes, Bob Lee, Mike Nolan, and Roy Maryatt.


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.

  • Personal Names :
  • Bathhurst, Anne
  • Freeman, Miller, 1875-1955
  • Corporate Names :
  • United States. Naval Training Station (University of Washington)
  • Geographical Names :
  • United States--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Subject Terms :
  • Marching bands--Washington (State)--Seattle
  • Military
  • Naval reserves
  • Women military cadets--Washington (State)--Seattle
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Ephemera
    • Photograph albums

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