Digitized copies of early Vashon newspapers, the Vashon Island News (1907-1915), the Vashon Island Record (1916-1919), and the Vashon Island News-Record (1919-1933) are now available on the information superhighway.
The effort to digitize and make these vintage local newspapers available is part of the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America program, which is a national newspaper site with over 15-million keyword-searchable pages.
The effort was initiated and led by islander Glenda Pearson, who works for the University of Washington Libraries.
The Washington State Library, which is part of the Secretary of State’s Office, has a Washington Digital Newspaper Program led by Shawn Schollmeyer, who worked with three islanders to add these Vashon newspapers to the national online collection. Islanders involved included Mike Sudduth and Bruce Haulman, from The Vashon Heritage Museum, and Pearson.
The Washington Digital Newspaper Library will add these Vashon papers to its online collection later this year.
This on-line digital archive is an important source for anyone interested in learning about what the island was like in the past. It is also an important resource for anyone wanting to research their family history or the history of the area on Vashon where they live.
The story of these three island newspapers is fascinating and also very typically Vashon.
The Vashon Island News was started in May 1907 and continued publishing on Vashon until 1914, when Ira Case, owner of the Marjesira Inn at Magnolia, purchased it because he felt the south end of the island was not receiving the coverage it deserved. Case moved the paper to Burton.
With the loss of the News to Burton, Robert M. Jones began publishing the Vashon Island Record on Vashon in 1916. In December 1919, Jones purchased the News from Case and combined the two papers into the Vashon Island News-Record. P. Monroe and his wife Agnes purchased the News-Record in 1921 and owned it until 1942. P Monroe was editor until 1928 when he left his wife Agnes and their three children. Agnes then edited the paper on her own until 1942.
Anyone interested in exploring these Vashon newspapers can find them at the following Library of Congress Chronicling America websites:
- The Vashon Island News
- The Vashon Island Record
- The Vashon Island News-Record
- Summaries of the Vashon Island News-Record are available online for the years 1920 to 1942.
These summaries were created by islander Mike Sudduth, the grandson of the editor/owners P. Monroe and Agnes Smock. The summaries are also searchable and can help readers identify the dates of newspapers, which can help facilitate searches on the Chronicling America site.