Ziegler and Rankin Families Photographs and Other Material
circa 1890-1933 ( inclusive )
3 boxes plus 3 oversize folders ( .8 linear feet)
Location of Collection:
2b.1.6 1a.3.6, 10 (oversize photos)
Photographs, photo albums and papers from the Ziegler and Rankin families, who
lived in Port Blakely on Bainbridge Island from approximately 1888 through the early 1900s. Along with a number of
portraits of family, friends and school groups, the collection includes photographs documenting the Port Blakely Mill
and company houses, the Hall Brothers shipyard and other Bainbridge Island locations.
Museum of History & Industry Sophie Frye
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant
awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The collection strongly suggests that there were three Ziegler siblings: Fred, Henry and Carrie Ziegler,
children of Mr. G. and Christina Ziegler.
Fred G. Ziegler was a resident of Port Blakely since 1888 and ran the Bainbridge Hotel at Port Blakely until
at least 1920. After the hotel burned down on August 12, 1928, Ziegler ran a dairy with his herd of Jersey cows, whose
milk he sent to the creamery in Bremerton. It was during such a delivery that Fred Ziegler died in 1931, in a drowning
accident at Fletcher Bay when he accidentally backed his truck off the ferry dock. Ziegler was survived by his wife,
Gertrude Zeigler, who seems to have been an active member of the Port Blakely community. The Zieglers had a son,
Henry Ziegler worked for Port Blakely Mill and lived in the company housing with his wife M. Augusta Meins
Ziegler, whom he married in 1898.
Carrie Ziegler married William Rankin, a manager of the Port Blakely Mill Company, in 1906. The Rankins had
two sons, Elwood (b. 1908) and Weldon (1911- 1925), the latter dying of pneumonia at the age of 14. In 1925, the Rankin
family lived in Seattle, having moved there from Port Blakely three years previously, and both sons attended Queen Anne
High School. William Rankin died on June 30, 1926, after managing the Port Blakely Mill Company for the previous 25
Port Blakely Mill
After failed attempts to establish mill operations at Alki and Port Orchard, Captain William Renton founded
the Port Blakely Mill Company in 1864, on land he purchased at Bainbridge Island's Blakely Harbor. One of several small
mills in the area, the mill's output began to increase during the 1870s, partly as a result of a large immigrant labor
force. In 1872, ferry service began between Seattle and Port Blakely and in 1879, Renton persuaded Hall Brothers
Shipyard to move its operation to Port Blakely. During this period, Renton built houses for the families of mill
workers, bachelor dormitories and the nearby 75-room Bainbridge Hotel; he also established a daily stage between Port
Blakely and Port Madison. By the 1880s Port Blakely mill had become the largest sawmill on the Pacific Coast, turning
out 200,000 board feet a day. The Port Blakely Mill was damaged by fire and subsequently rebuilt in 1888 and again in
1907. Following a decline in the lumber market, the mill was closed and demolished in 1924. Today, the Islandwood
center for outdoor education for school children operates on the site of the old Port Blakely Mill.
The collection consists of photographs, photo albums and papers from the Ziegler and Rankin families, who
lived in Port Blakely on Bainbridge Island from approximately 1888 through the early 1900s. The photographs include
many portraits, including a few portraying Ziegler family members. Group portraits of school children include Ziegler
children as well as many children from local immigrant families, such as the Elofsons. The photographs also document
the company houses for mill employees, including the house of the Henry Ziegler family. Other photographs depict the
Port Blakely Mill, office and boiler room, Hall Brothers shipyard and other Bainbridge Island locations.
The albums consist of family photographs and clippings. Albums photographs include further images of company
housing, and formal and informal photographs of family and friends. Family papers include wedding announcements,
letters, invitations and programs, and newspaper clippings about friends and family. A biographical booklet about
Victor Hugo Elfendahl describes the life and professional career of this assistant manager of the Port Blakely
Use of the Collection
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 :
Ziegler and Rankin Families Photographs and Other Materials, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle
The collection has been divided into series by format, with separate series for photographs, albums, papers
Acquisition Information :
Donated by Mrs. F.R. Rankin in 1977.
Processing Note :
One of the photo albums was disassembled due to deterioration. Album pages were placed in folders and retained
in their original order.
Separated Materials :
These materials are part of a donation that also included artifacts. These artifacts are cataloged and stored
separately by MOHAI's Collections Department.
Kitsap County Historical Society (1977). Kitsap County: A History. Book VI:
Price, A., Jr (1990). Port Blakely: The Community Captain Renton Built. Seattle,
WA: Port Blakely Books.
This album consists largely of images of the William Rankin and Carrie Ziegler Rankin family and
friends. It includes photographs of William and Carrie Rankin, two children who are probably their sons Weldon and
Elwood, and photographs of a Port Blakely Mill company house. The album also contains clippings, including several
about the death of Weldon Rankin at the age of 14 from pneumonia, and about the death of William Rankin. Loose photos
removed from the album are in a separate folder.
112: Photograph album
The front of the album consists of portraits of several individuals. Some are recognizable as members of
the Zeigler family (probably Mr. and Mrs. Henry Ziegler); others are possibly members of a Lowe family. The album also
includes several images of the Port Blakely company houses, and photographs of the Hall Brothers shipyard, the U.S.S.
Arizona, and church and school buildings. The back of the album contains photographs of
pets, livestock and farm buildings. Loose photos removed from the album are in a separate folder.
113: Photograph album
This album contains images of a Mrs. Brock and her family, "Aunt Lizzie Hogue" and her husband, and
other individuals. Locations depicted include a hotel, houses, a cabin, Mount Rainier and Bainbridge High School. Loose
photos removed from the album are in a separate folder.