Monroe Historical Archives
Monroe’s history in pictures.
207 East Main Street
Hours: 12 - 3 pm
Monday, Wednesday, Saturday
Go beyond the bare facts of Monroe's history. Real stories about real people.
The Monroe Historical Society & Museum has more than 3,500 photos of Monroe and the surrounding area, including businesses, industry, historic buildings, people and community, many of which no longer exist except for their presence in our collection.
If you’d like to purchase a photo from our vast collection, get in touch, let us know what photo you’re interested in (each photo is numbered), and we’ll ship you nicely a matted print with a printed description of the photo on the back.
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The central of three views of Monroe looking south taken from where the Safeway Shopping Center is now. Woods Street is easily seen at center ending at Main Street. At far right back are the two grammar school buildings (currently the site of the school administration building a.k.a. Old Central School). Taken between 1904, when the third Grammar School Building was built and 1908 when Old City Hall was built. (See also #38-40 composite, #38 and #40). 7/04
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 5x3 pp; O; CN19; M
The eastern of three views of Monroe looking southeast toward Buck Island taken from where the Safeway Shopping Center is now. At center left is the Monroe Mill Company, originally the S.A. Buck Shingle Mill. Taken between 1904, when the third Grammar School Building was built and 1908 when Old City Hall was built. Wilkens version was postmarked in New Jersey, sent to Mrs. S.E. Cole, 105 E. Main, Somerville, NJ. (See also #38-40 composite, #38 and #40). 7/04
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 5x3 pp; O; CN13,19; M
Richard Wilkens; 3/06; 5.5x3.5 pp; D
Stephens Hospital was built by Dr. L. L. Stephens and constructed from Stocker Mill lumber. It was dedicated in August 1903 and was one of the most modern facilities of the period with room for 20 patients. It had electric lights, call bells, speaking tubes, a bathroom on each floor, a large ward room and several private rooms. An X-ray machine was added in 1908. Two wings were added to the building in 1906 and another eight patient rooms added in 1909. Men working in the mills, logging camps and mines along the railroad secured services for $1 a month, an innovative health insurance plan. Stephens sold the hospital on Apr. 10, 1910 to Dr. Charles H. Soll and Dr. Herman K. Stockwell and the name was changed to Monroe General Hospital. Dr. Stockwell sold his practice to Dr. Minard Allison in 1923, who closed the hospital in 1939 and converted it to apartments. The building still stands on the southeast corner of Main and Blakely Streets and is still used as an apartment building. Photo was probably taken shortly after it was sold as Main Street is not yet paved. A.W. Monroe photo. 3/04
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 5.5x3.5 pp; O; CN13; M; good condition
Horse and wagon returning milk cans from the Condensery. They are parked in front of 224 S. Lewis St. Same house as in #1164. 3/16
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 5.5x3 pp; O; CN3,7,13; F
Looking east up East Main Street with four early automobiles filled with men dressed in their Sunday best while the ladies look on from the boardwalk. Moody’s Racket (Variety) Store is on the northwest corner of Main and Ferry Streets with the Washington Hotel across Ferry Street from it. In 1908 Monroe built a two-story brick city hall (now Old City Hall and the home of the Monroe Historical Society Museum) in the vacant lot just east of the Washington Hotel. At the upper extreme right a photographer is standing on a telephone pole.11/05
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 5.5x3 pp; O; CN3,7,13; M, T
The north side of the 100-block of West Main Street c1909. From left to right, the businesses are John Holmes, Tailor; the Monroe National Bank (107 W. Main); a barbershop and C.C. Loop Optician in the same building; and then Charles F. Elwell on the next building. 1/03
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 4.5x3 pp; O; CN3,7,13; M
This color tinted postcard was printed in Germany and distributed by “Sprouse & Son, Importers and Publishers, Tacoma, Wash.” The photo it was made from, which is very similar to #382, was taken after additions to Stephens Hospital were constructed in 1906 and before the Savoy Hotel was built in 1910. Most signs are too blurry to read, but Stephens Hospital is the first building on the right. A sign for “Doctor Stephens” is on the side of the building beyond the hospital. Beyond it is a sign for “Palace Sweets Bakery” and then another “Bakery” sign. On the left, partway down the first block a sign “Job Printing” marks the Monroe Monitor Building, still occupied by the newspaper. 6/05
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 5.5x3.5 pp; O; M; good condition
Back row: second from the left is Lillian Johnson, and just to the right of the pole is Mathilda Dennis, ‘Babe’ Dennis’s great-grandmother. In the second row from the back, third from the left is George Johnson holding Thelma Johnson. Kids in the front row, far left is Miles Johnson and next to him is Mildred Johnson. 1/03
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 9.5x7.5; O; P; fair condition
Appears to be the rebuilt bridge of 1905 as a second, smaller truss has been added to the south side (see photo #448). This color tinted postcard was printed in Germany and distributed by “Sprouse & Son, Importers and Publishers, Tacoma, Wash.” Until bridged, the Skykomish River formed a formidable barrier between the town of Monroe and the rich farms of the Tualco Valley. The financial panic of 1893 almost prevented the first bridge from being built, but it was finally completed in 1894 and rebuilt in 1905. The 150-foot span across the main channel, coupled with another 75-foot span across the slough to the south of it, and a 300-foot trestle connecting the two finally allowing for easy travel between Monroe and the Tualco Valley. 11/03
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 5.5x3.5 pp; O; M, T
Taken on Main Street sometime after WWI with parked motor cars in the background. Dr. Zaremba was a longtime Monroe dentist with offices on the second floor of the Monroe National Bank on West Main Street. 1/03
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 2x3; O; P
Built July 15, 1913, by Lima Locomotive Works, Shop #2653, for the Sultan Railway and Timber Company. Hofius Steel & Equipment Co. (D) #3, Seattle, WA, is also listed as an owner. Monroe Logging Co. #3, Machias, WA, acquired it c1923. It was scrapped Nov. 25, 1939. Specifications: Class C 70-3; Trucks 3; 3 cylinders, 12 Diameter by 15 stroke; Gear Ratio 2.25; Wheel Diameter 36 in.; Standard Gauge; Boiler Style E.W.T, 50 in. diameter; fuel was oil; 1200 gallon fuel tank; 3,000 gallons water capacity; empty weight as built 130,750. From www.shaylocomotives.com. Darius Kinsey, Seattle, photo; Kinsey #3106. Scanned in two passes and digitally merged. 2/04
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 13x10 l; O; CN9,13; L
Photographic Image Collection
Master Accession File
The information in the accession file entries is often incomplete, occasionally contradictory, possibly inaccurate, and subject to continual updating. And in the case when much is known, it certainly is not exhaustive. For more information, please consult the FAQ, the Copyright Policy, and other documents that accompany this file. There is also an Accession Number Index for all images in the collection, and a detailed Subject Index for those images that have been scanned. The Accession Numbers of photos not yet scanned are marked with an asterisk (*). Those marked with # following the number have had negatives scanned at 300ppi and should eventually be improved. If you can clarify an entry, or wish to donate photos (either the original or to be scanned and returned), or need a specialized copy or scan of a photo, or have other questions about the collection, please contact us.
The first line of the accession information is the accession number in bold. The second line, also in bold, is a brief description of the photo. Other descriptive information may follow on the next line(s) in regular type. The last entry in regular type (e.g. 1/03) is the date of the last update of the entry if it is different from the date of accession. The last line(s) in italic type is the technical information about the photo, with one line for each copy in the collection. (*) Indicates the copy generally used when more than one copy of an image is in the collection. (+) Indicates a copy that has been scanned when more than one copy of an image is in the collection. In the files section copy “a” is generally assumed rather than so marked. An extra indent indicates a different scan of the same image, usually because the original became available for scanning after a copy was scanned.
The technical information generally begins with the donor name followed by the date of accession. Next is the size of the original if known in inches, width first and whether it is mounted (m), photo postcard (pp), large (l), oversize (o) or oversize-wide (w). Next the primary type of image in the collection, which was also the one scanned (O-Original to MHS; ON-Original Negative; OS-original slide; D-digital; AP-archival or copy print; CN-copy negative; CS-copy slide; PC-Photocopy; fm means found in museum with no source and “r-“ means the original was returned to donor). Then follows the copy negative information if any: CN with a number indicates 35mm and links it with a proof sheet file; CNL indicates larger format that is filed with the original images. Finally, if a better quality image can be found in one of the themed binders in the museum it will be noted with these codes for those binders:
- B—Business, industry and government (except for logging and farming)
- C—Community activities
- F—Farming and related activities
- H—Human interest to include non-school sports
- L—Logging and related activities
- M—Monroe area images, primarily outside views of streets, buildings etc.
- P—People – portraits and group photos
- S—School related to include school sports
Example technical information
For example, this is the technical information for #1: Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 7×5; O; CN13; B
Which tells us that the image was donated by Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; it was accessioned September 1976; the original was approximately 7 inches wide and 5 inches high; the Original photo is in the collection; a 35 mm copy negative of the photo exists and is on proof sheet 13; and a better inkjet copy of the photo can be found in the museum in the themed binder on Business, industry and government.