Prosch Albums, ca. 1851-1906

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Washington Album

Campers at Chelan in 1903
Campers at Chelan in 1903

This album contains 101 images of Washington State collected by Thomas Prosch, an early Seattle pioneer. Included are images of the Wenatchee, Chelan and Okanogan regions, as well as of historic Seattle and the Great Seattle Fire of 1889.

Seattle Albums

Territorial University student house
Territorial University student house

These two photographic albums contain 169 images collected and annotated by Thomas Prosch. Included are images of the waterfront, businesses, residences, and the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. The photographs were taken by local photographers, among them Asahel Curtis, Webster and Stevens, George Moore, John P. Soule, Theodore Peiser and the Peterson Brothers Studio. The albums trace the early history of Seattle and vicinity, ca. 1851-1906. Images include the Seattle Fire of 1889, early businesses and pioneer families.

About Thomas Prosch

Son of pioneer parents, Charles and Susan Prosch, Thomas Prosch came with his family to the Pacific Coast in 1855 from Brooklyn, New York. The elder Prosch was a printer and in 1858 founded the Puget Sound Herald at Steilacoom. In his early years, Thomas Prosch worked for his father as well as in a number of other jobs including clerking in the State legislature and the customs office at Port Townsend.

About 1869 the Prosch family, now residing in Olympia, acquired the Pacific Tribune newspaper. When the complete ownership of the paper passed to Thomas in 1872, he moved to Tacoma, and later to Seattle where he continued its publication and eventually sold it. About 1879, Thomas Prosch and Samuel L. Crawford bought the Intelligencer newspaper. Two years later, the paper was merged with the Post to become the present day Post-Intelligencer. Early in 1886 Prosch sold the paper to a joint stock company.

From 1876 onward, Prosch was involved with a series of jobs and activities reating to the City of Seattle. In 1876 Prosch was appointed postmaster of Seattle by President Grant. He had charge of the municipal census of Seattle in 1890 and at the same time was special agent in charge of the federal census. In the early 1890's he served three years as a member of the Seattle School Board. In 1894 he aided in platting the tidelands of Seattle and Tacoma. He was also active in the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and a member and officer of various pioneer and historical societies including the Washington Pioneer's association.

His later life was devoted to historical writing and collecting. He died in 1915.

About the Database

The information for the Washington Album was researched and prepared by the UW Libraries Special Collections Division and Cataloging staff in 2000. Not all the photographs from the collection were included in this database. The images were scanned in grayscale using a Microtek Scanmaker 9600L and saved in .jpg format. Some manipulation of the images was done to present the clearest possible digital image. The scanned images were then linked with descriptive data using the UW Content program. The original collection resides in the UW Libraries Special Collections Division as the Washington Prosch Albums Collection.

The information for the Seattle Albums was researched and prepared by the UW Libraries Special Collections Division and Cataloging staff in 2001. All the photographs from the album were included in this database. The images were scanned in grayscale using a Microtek Scanmaker 9600L and saved in .jpg format. Some manipulation of the images was done to present the clearest possible digital image. The scanned images were then linked with descriptive data using the UW Content program. The original collection resides in the UW Libraries Special Collections Division as the Seattle Prosch Album Collection no. 27.