Off the Shelf: Local history at your library

The Sequim Irrigation Festival kicks off this weekend for its 127th-annual celebration. You can find the library at Family Fun Day in downtown Sequim this Saturday. Stop by the NOLS booth for a fun activity for kids and to learn more about library programs.

The Sequim Irrigation Festival holds the honor of being the longest continuous running festival in Washington, with the first irrigation celebration in Sequim held in 1896. Learn more about local history through the library and other local resources.

‘Sequim-Dungeness Valley’ by Katherine Vollenweider

This compilation of historic photographs illustrates the area’s history from the 1800s to 1930 and includes information from archival documents sequestered in historical collections throughout the Puget Sound. — From the publisher

‘Native Peoples of the Olympic Peninsula: Who We Are’ by the Olympic Peninsula Intertribal Cultural Advisory Committee, edited by Jacilee Wray

The nine Native tribes of the Olympic Peninsula — the Hoh, Skokomish, Squaxin Island, Lower Elwha Klallam, Jamestown S’Klallam, Port Gamble S’Klallam, Quinault, Quileute and Makah — share complex histories of trade, religion, warfare, and kinship, as well as reverence for the teaching of elders. This title traces the nine tribes’ common history and each tribe’s individual story. — From the publisher

‘Sequim Pioneer Family Histories from 1850-1962

These 157 family histories, and many photos, show the sharp contrast between life 50 to 150 years ago and life today. — From the publisher

Harriet U. Fish wrote several booklets about local history, including “Irrigation in the Sequim-Dungeness Valley,” “Diamond Point Quarantine Station,” “Sequim Bay” and “Clallam County Railroads.” They are all available for checkout at the Sequim Library.

Other history resources

The Washington Rural Heritage website provides access to digitized materials held by small and rural libraries throughout the state. The North Olympic Heritage collection features photos from the Kellogg Collection, about 5,000 photographs collected by Bert Kellogg, documenting the history of the Olympic Peninsula and the Pacific Northwest.

The North Olympic Heritage collection also includes Listen Up! stories, oral histories recorded by NOLS featuring local residents’ experiences on a number of topics. Visit to explore the collection.

A cultural resource created by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is the House of Seven Generations virtual museum featuring images, oral history and documents to offer a glimpse into the history of the Jamestown S’Klallam people. Visit the collection at

Sequim Museum & Arts is located near the library at 544 N. Sequim Ave. and features local exhibits. They will be leading the Historic Walking Tours of Sequim during the Irrigation Festival from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. on Thursday, May 12. Meet at Sequim Civic Center Plaza, 152 W. Cedar St.

More info

The Sequim Branch Library is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturdays, so there’s time to stop by the library before or after weekend festivities! Or visit the library during the week: 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Monday-Thursday, and 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. on Fridays. The library is at 630 N. Sequim Ave.

Or, get in touch with your friendly library staff by calling 360-683-1161 or sending an email to The library is always open at

Emily Sly is branch manager of the Sequim Library.

Photo from North Olympic Heritage/Bert Kellogg Photograph Collection
A parade — with an automobile and marching band — moves down Sequim Avenue on May 1, 1914.

Photo from North Olympic Heritage/Bert Kellogg Photograph Collection A parade — with an automobile and marching band — moves down Sequim Avenue on May 1, 1914.