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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Front row fourth from left: Lois Broughton. Middle row from left to right: Nels Carlson, Fred Jellison, Armond Swanson, unknown, Carlson, unknown, Normand White. Back row center, John Dubuque. 2/03
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 6x4; O; S
Mrs. Mitchell and her daughter Katherine Mitchell (Dennis), then about eight years old, the future wife of Henry A. (Babe) Dennis, standing on the Main Street of the company mill town. Katherine Dennis remembered that the company houses were quite nice and that the mill town housed 200 to 300 people on its busiest days. The community, located northwest of Monroe at the south end of Panther Lake, had its own electric generating plant and a rail link with the Great Northern Mainline at the Woodruff junction, near the west end of Fryelands. It also had a link the Northern Pacific line near Machias. The Three Lakes Logging Company and sawmill began operation in 1903 and added a shingle mill in 1907. The sawmill burned in 1922. A small mill was setup after the fire and finally shut down in 1929. See photo #1995. 11/16
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 5x3; O; L
Standing at back left is Henry A ‘Babe’ Dennis’ mother, Hattie Dennis, at back right is his Grandmother, Mira Hayes Hovey Johnson, the little girl is his sister Pearl Dennis, and sitting is his great-grandmother, Matilda Dennis, who died at age 94. Grandmother Hayes smoked a corn cob pipe. When she’d sit in her rocking chair, she would inhale on the pipe as she rocked back and blow the smoke out as she rocked forward. 2/03 Note, Matilda Dennis, who died at age 75, was Babe Dennis’ grandmother, not great grandmother, and this looks more like his great grandmother, Sally Brown Hayes, who died in Monroe at age 92. See photo #2320. 1/18
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 5x4 m; O; P
Written on the back is, “ How do you like me in a bathing suit? Myself, Joe & Mary.” ‘Myself’ would be Katharine Dennis, wife of Henry A. ‘Babe’ Dennis. Dated on the front Aug. 12, 1923. 2/03
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 2x4; O; H
The restaurant at left would have been on the southwest corner of Main and Lewis Streets. Geo. E. Smith Cleaning and Tailoring is on the right. Scanned negative in two passes and joined digitally. Print size is 16.5x9. 2/03
3/01; 5.5x3.25; ON; M
The Hotel Pearsall on the southwest corner of Main and Ferry Streets was renamed the Cadillac Hotel in May 1912 after a remodeling. The name was again changed sometime after WWI to the Healy Hotel. Ed Ritchie, Alfus? Buck—not clear on who is who. 1/06
Henry A. (Babe) Dennis; 9/76; 3x5 pp; O; H
Jess Smith and his wife, Mabel (Cedargreen) Smith, at far left. Wesley Smith (?) squatting on log next to them. Man with the team in front pushed into the photo and was not part of the Smith Logging operation but was working nearby according to Shirley Smith (Darrell (Buzz) Smith’s wife and Wesley Smith’s daughter-in-law). Photo dated 1915 on the mat of A. Another original copy of this photo in the possession of Marty Smith has written on the back that the person with the front team is George Stackpole with his team of horses. He lived in the Mt.Forest area which is the area where Jess Smith Logging set up March 10, 1914. It also identifies the rear team of horses as Bob and Barney, the middle as Coalie and Curnel (Colonel), and the front pair as Dick and Bess. 10/17
Wesley J. Smith; 9/76; 10x8; r-CN5,13,50 and
*Darrell (Buzz) Smith; 6/01; r-8x6 m: D; L
Jess Smith and his wife, Mabel (Cedergreen) Smith, second and third from left. 2/03
Wesley J. Smith; 9/76; r-AP 9.25x7; CN15; L
Photo date in margin 1921-24. Although so identified in the photo, this mill was probably the High Bridge Mill, which closed in 1923, and was part of Stephens-Bird Lumber Company, which acquired the High Rock Logging Company, date uncertain. Copy negatives include close-up of the crew. Darius Kinsey, Seattle, photo #2545, which was probably an 11x14 print. 4/04
Wesley J. Smith; 9/76; r-AP 9x6.5; CN15; L
Written on the photo on the end of the log: “Scale 4,000 ft Yarded and Hauled with R & V. 20 HP engine Jess Smith Camp.” Mrs. Jess (Mabel) Smith is standing at center. 2/03
Wesley J. Smith; 9/76; r-AP 9.5x7; CN15; L
Jess Smith at back, last one on the right side. Loggers ate plenty and well, and the camps that served the best food got the best men. Chopping a tree at a moderate rate of 35 strokes a minute would burn 10 calories a minute compared to drilling coal at 6.1 calories, or general housework at about 2.5, or sitting at a desk typing at 1.4. And this did not include the calories needed to just keep warm in wet, cold conditions. Anecdotal evidence suggests that at times some loggers consumed as much as 9,000 calories a day although the norm was less. Regardless, loggers needed a lot of provender to fuel their ten hour workday and demanded and received the best food then available. For a full discussion of food in the logging camps, see “Old Boy, Did You Get Enough Pie? A Social History of Food in Logging Camps,” by Joseph R. Conlin in the ‘Journal of Forest History’ vol. 23, no. 4, Oct. 1979. Axtell Photo, 110 West Main, Seattle, N300. 4/04
Wesley J. Smith; 9/76; r-CN6,10,15 and
*Darrell (Buzz) Smith; 4/01; r-8.5x6.25 m: D
B: Harold Day from Sarah Leyde; 1/06; 8.5x6.25; O; L
Jess Smith (sixth from left—tallest in the back row) worked there 14 years. 2/03
Wesley J. Smith; 9/76; r-CN15 and
*Darrell (Buzz) Smith; 4/01; r-6.75x4.75 m: D; 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.