WCHS Archive

Archive CrewThe Archive Crew: Bob King, Lou Vyhnanek, Judy McMurray, and Ed Garretson

The WCHS Archive is located at The Gladish Community and Cultural Center, 115 NW State St., Pullman, WA 99163, in Room 103A (on the ground floor, near the West Main Street entrance). The Archive is open every Wednesday morning from 9 am to noon and by appointment at: epgjr@wsu.edu

The Archive contains over 700 inventoried collections, a photograph collection, a map collection, County plat books and various indexes to birth, death, census, and cemetery records; an every name index to 52 local publications; and various other helpful guides and indexes.  The Archive space is shared with the Whitman County Genealogical Society, which maintains many indexes and other reference material. We are happy to help visitors with their research questions and can attempt to checkout email inquiries.

The Archive welcomes donations of records, photographs, diaries, ledgers, and other materials that reflect the history of our county. Our entire collection is due to the generosity of those who have turned valuable records and materials to the Whitman County Historical Society.

The volunteer staff at the WCHS Archive currently include Ed Garretson, Judy McMurray, Nyssa Runyan, Lou Vyhnanek, Luke Sprague,, Corinne Lyle, Mary Simonsen, and Heidi Reeves.

For information and assistance please contact Ed Garretson via e-mail at:  epgjr@wsu.edu

Mailing Address: WCHS Archive, PO Box 67, Colfax, WA 99111

pastperfect administrator needed

The Archive is looking for a volunteer to assist the society by administering and overseeing the archival software titled PastPerfect. This person should have some computer skills and be familiar with PastPerfect, or be willing to learn how to operate this software. Although WCHS has been utilizing PastPerfect for a few years, the full potential is unrealized at this point. Hopefully the right person can be of tremendous influence to guide the Archives toward its full potential. If interested contact Ed Garretson at epgjr@wsu.edu or stop by on a Wednesday morning.



WCHS, in partnership with WSU MASC, has published digital copies of numerous oral histories of Whitman County residents. To visit the site click on this link which will take you to the MASC wwebsite: http://content.libraries.wsu.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/p16866coll7

Pullman Business Index 1881-1993

Esther Elizabeth Pond Smith was born in Craig, Nebraska on December 25, 1899 to Charles and Anna Pond. Following graduation from Plainview (NE) High School, she attended Iowa State College where she completed a B.S. in home economics. In 1935, Smith was drawn to Pullman to become Washington State College (later University) Extension Economist in home management. She wrote more than twenty publications for the Extension Service. During her early years in Pullman Esther collaborated with Stanley A. Smith, University Architect and professor and Head of the architectural engineering department. Stanley and Esther grew close and were married on September 27, 1945. Esther continued to work with the Extension Service and was hired as Instructor of household equipment for the home economics (euthenics) department. Esther also received her Master’s degree from WSC in home economics in 1946. When Stanley retired in 1955, the couple moved to Ankara, Turkey where he had been appointed architectural advisor to the Ataturk University Development Committee. Later they returned to Pullman. Esther worked diligently to collect historic photographs and contributed regularly to The Bunchgrass Historian. Esther was in the process of writing a book about Pullman’s history, which she never completed. Her research and photo collection were given to the Whitman County Historical Society at the time of her death. The following research into Pullman businesses is only part of her extensive work. Both Stanley and Esther Smith died in Pullman in 1988.

Esther Pond Smith created a chart with the names of Pullman businesses at the left hand column and  the columns across the page had were for each year. Esther marked these columns with an “x” the years when the business were in operation. Her information was based mainly upon a reading of the Pullman Herald. She usually included the location of the business and noted any change of address. Sometimes she included the proprietor of the business. These are handwritten and not in exact alphabetical order. On the reverse of some pages Esther included notes that did not fit into her charts.

Linda Hackbarth has captured images of this Directory of Business in Pullman that represents many years of work by Esther Pond Smith in identifying the names, dates, and locations of business in Pullman taken mainly from the Pullman Herald from 1881 to her death in 1988. 

Business are indexed by name. Click on the desired alphabetical listing to access.

A    B   C   D   E    F    G    H    I    J    K    L    M    N    O


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The Bunchgrass Historian is a periodical dedicated to the history of Whitman County, Washington. It began publication in 1973 and is currently published three times each year. Most issues are twenty-four pages in length. Each issue generally carries several features: a mix of recently written articles, older accounts, and important historical documents, along with personal accounts, reminiscences, oral histories, and photo essays. Copies of most back issues are available, as well as an index for volume 1 through volume 32. Contact Ed Garretson with inquiries.




These can include formal historical writing, personal recollections, or edited extracts of older material now available for reprinting. Articles should have a Whitman County focus and refrain from overly technical subject matter. Accompanying photographs are appreciated; these can be digitally scanned at 600 dpi if the author does not wish to send original historical prints.

E-mail submissions (Microsoft Word, PDF, Text files) to:

or mail submissions to the editor:

Edwin P. Garretson, Jr.
Box 61
Uniontown, WA 99179
(509) 336-3901

Photo courtesy Whitman County Historical Society