These are projects I completed in the process of earning my Masters in History at Eastern Washington University.
Featured Project One
The "Queen of Fakers"
Maud Johnson, the "Queen of Fakers," was the most infamous female fraudster of her time. From 1907-1909 she scammed as much as $200,000 from railroad companies across the American West by faking injuries and threatening to sue. KNKX Public Radio in Seattle heard about Maud's story and we collaborated to make a podcast about her life for their show Sound Effect. Since then I have uncovered a lot more of Maud's story which I have told in a 6,000 word article, "Queen of Fakers."
KNKX Public Radio, Sound Effect Podcast: Episode 86, Queen of Fakers
Featured Project Two
Mapping Segregation in Spokane
Property developers in Spokane added racially restrictive covenants to their property documents from the late 1930s through the 1960s. Although they are unenforceable, most of these covenants are technically still on the books. After discovering the covenants in the archives, Shawn Vestal worked with me to write an article about the covenants. It ran on the front page of the Spokesman-Review, Sunday December 5th, 2016. I have also been working closely with the Center For Justice to get the covenants removed from property documents. The process is still underway.
Below is a map of most of the additions that had racially restrictive covenants in Spokane. If you click on a specific neighborhood you can see their covenants. This has been a collaborative public history project with the goal of removing the covenants from the books, it has not yet become a major writing project of my own.
I have engaged in a wide variety of public history experiences during my degree program. My projects are listed below with links to access them. They are organized by clusters of similar work.
I edited stories, collaborated with community partners, provided other authors with research assistance, and contributed these articles for Spokane's digital storytelling platform.
Kettle Falls: Moving On Up
Traces of the Past: Mohawk "Block"
The Local History Blog:
This is my professional blog where I share some of my work.
Jimmy Arnston: Bad Boy Bandit
Restrictive Covenants: Lasting Remnants of Segregation in Spokane
Mapping Segregation: Racially Restrictive Covenants in Spokane
I collaborated with EWU Library staff and others to organize Wikipedia article writing events. The events encouraged students to engage with primary and secondary sources to collectively write articles about EWU events and places. I am also collaborating with librarians James Rosenzweig and Rose Krause to prepare a poster showcasing these innovative events for the 2017 Society of American Archivists Research Forum in Portland. Here is our proposal.
Flyers for the Events:
Articles We Wrote Together:
1891 State Normal School at Cheney Fire
1912 State Normal School at Cheney Fire
Eastern Washington Fieldhouse
Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture:
I have worked at the museum for nearly three years. Currently I am the Volunteer Coordinator and Lead Interpreter in Campbell House, our historic home.
A Campbell House Halloween
National Association of Interpretation: 2017 National Conference
I am the Chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the conference in Spokane this November. I worked with the Program Chair to organize off-site excursions like a historical cemetery tour, ghost sign tour, tour of Fort Spokane, and many more. I will also be leading a Spokane Preserved Tour at the conference.
Phi Alpha Theta Northwest Regional Conference 2017:
I designed & managed the WordPress website site for the conference.
Washington State Archives:
I interned at WSA for two years. I wrote Treasures & newsletter articles while also learning archival skills like processing, reference, description, and digitization.
Treasures of the Archives:
Kettle Falls: Moving On Up
Earthquake in Washington State on April 29, 1965
Living in the Space Age: The Century 21 Exposition and the Space Needle
Wanted: Maud Johnson: "Queen of Fakirs"
Wanted: Escaped Prisoners from the State Penitentiary, 1913
Out of the Archives Newsletter:
Finding Treasure: Maud Johnson
Gus Klopf: Pitcher, Spokane Bunch Grassers
Other Archives Projects:
- Published 56 tweets
- Gained 141 new followers since taking over the Twitter account in August of 2016
- Participated in multiple nationwide social media campaigns including #AskAnArchivist and #WomensHistoryMonth
Processing and Digitization Projects:
I helped provide access to the Hanford Downwinder Oral Histories, a collection of over 200 oral histories collected from people impacted by the radiation releases at the Hanford Nuclear Site.
Reference: I assisted researchers with 121 reference requests for documents including property record cards, personnel jackets, property documents, legal records, maps, and school records.
I have published four articles in this local history magazine.
Queen of Fakers: The Criminal Exploits of Maud Johnson
Claud Akridge: Merchant Prince of Eureka Flat
Lincoln Meador and "Walla Walla's Very Own Coney Island"
Browne's Addition Local Historic District:
I am a member of the Browne's Addition Neighborhood Council's Local Historic District Committee. We are working closely with the Spokane Historic Preservation Office to create a local historic district that would protect the neighborhood's character with design review. Spokane City Council recently showed their support for the work we are doing by passing a six month demolition moratorium in Browne' Addition so we can complete the nomination process without losing any more historic buildings.
Spokane Historic Preservation: Browne's Addition