Betty Burns Papers on Robert Moran, 1888-1988  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Burns, Betty M., 1917-2004
Betty Burns Papers on Robert Moran
1888-1988 (inclusive)
5 boxes , (3 linear feet)
Collection Number
Scrapbooks, personal papers, photographs, and other items belonging to and relating to Robert Moran, Seattle mayor and shipbuilder.
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Robert Moran was born in New York City on January 26, 1857. He came to Seattle in 1875, and as a mechanical engineer, engaged in shipbuilding and marine engineering. With his brothers Frank and Sherman, he established Moran Bros. Marine and Sawmill Machinery Co. in 1882, which later became Moran Bros. Co. (ship and engine builders) in 1890. In 1898, the firm built -- in the record time of only four months -- a fleet of 12 steamers and 10 barges, and delivered them on the Yukon River to carry food to the miners. The firm also built many large steel and wood vessels, including the U.S. battleship NEBRASKA. Moran served as mayor of Seattle from 1888 to 1890, overseeing both the response to the Great Fire and the development of the Cedar River water system. He was active for many years in numerous civic, professional, public, and fraternal organizations. After selling the company in 1906, Moran retired to Rosario, the estate on Orcas Island that he had designed. In 1914, he donated 5,000 acres on Orcas Island to the State of Washington, which became Moran State Park. He died in 1943 at the age of 86.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection contains a variety of materials, mostly from Robert Moran's personal papers. They cover his various activities and interests, from the Moran Bros. Shipyard to the Cedar River water projects he shepherded while mayor of Seattle to general Seattle history. Items of particular interest include materials relating to the building of the USS NEBRASKA, a booklet about the Great Seattle Fire written shortly after it occurred, and photo albums with shots of the shipyard and of the Moran family.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View a selection of the photographs in digital format by clicking on the camera icons in the inventory below.

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Betty Burns Papers on Robert Moran, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
2 2000.87.7: "Souvenir of the Great Ship Building Plant of Moran Bros. Company, Seattle, Washington" 1902
2 2000.87.8: "Souvenir of Seattle" booklet circa 1902
2 2000.87.9: "Metropolitan Seattle: A Souvenir Devoted to Seattle and Its Environs" 1902
2 2000.87.10: "South Canal and Harbor Improvements: Seattle & Lake Washington Waterway Company" 1902
2 2000.87.11: "Wreck of the Steamer Valencia: Report to the President of the Federal Commission of Investigation" 1906
2 2000.87.12: "The State of Washington" (book produced for distribution at 1893 Columbian Exposition) 1893
2 2000.87.13: "Inaugural Message and First Message to the Legislature of Elisha P. Ferry, First Governor of Washington" 1889
2 2000.87.14: "Annual Message of the Mayor of the City of Seattle" 1890
2 2000.87.15: "Charter of the City of Seattle" 1890
2 2000.87.16: "The City of Seattle -- Plans, Specifications and Contract for Constructing the Cedar River Water Supply System" 1899
2 2000.87.17: "A Statement Concerning the Proposed Cedar River Water Supply System for the City of Seattle, Washington" 1899
4 2000.87.18a-d:  Image of Clara, Jessie, and Alice Moran, Seattle, ca. 1903
 Image of Moran brothers with their wives and children, Seattle, ca. 1903
 Image of group at Moran Bros. shipyard, ca. 1903
 Image of Moran family members posing for camera, Seattle, ca. 1903
circa 1905
3 2000.87.18e: Photo album of Moran Bros. Shipyard and Moran family circa 1905
3 2000.87.19: Suburban Life magazine (contains article on Rosario) 1914
3 2000.87.20: "Record of the Subsidy Raised January 1901 by Seattle Chamber of Commerce for Moran Bros. Company, to Assist in Building a United States Battleship" 1901
3 2000.87.21:   Construction shed for battleship Nebraska, Moran Brothers shipyard, Seattle 1902
 Construction of ship shed for battleship USS Nebraska, Moran Brothers shipyard, 1902
 Crowd at keel laying ceremony for the Nebraska at Moran Brothers shipyard, July 4, 1902
 Keel laying ceremony for battleship Nebraska at Moran Brothers shipyard, Seattle, July 4, 1902
 Keel laying ceremony for battleship Nebraska at Moran Brothers shipyard, Seattle, July 4, 1902
 Battleship Nebraska under construction at Moran Brothers shipyard, Seattle, circa 1903
 Battleship Nebraska under construction at Moran Brothers shipyard, Seattle, circa 1903
 Battleship Nebraska under construction at Moran Brothers shipyard, Seattle, 1904
 Battleship Nebraska before launch at Moran Brothers shipyard, Seattle, October 1904
 Battleship Nebraska before launch at Moran Brothers shipyard, Seattle, October 1904
2 2000.87.22: Bound copies of letters of Robert Moran 1892-1893
2 2000.87.23: Bound copies of letters of Robert Moran 1894
2 2000.87.24: Ledger of Yukon River steamers 1898
5 2000.87.25: Scrapbook of newspaper clippings and handwritten letter 1892-1903
5 2000.87.26: Scrapbook of ships built and repaired by Moran Bros. 1899-1903
5 2000.87.27: Scrapbook of Robert Moran re: War Labor Board 1917-1918
5 2000.87.28: Scrapbook re: Seattle history 1888
5 2000.87.29: Scrapbook of Robert Moran re: general subjects 1905-1922
5 2000.87.30: Scrapbook of Robert Moran re: Seattle history 1888
3 2000.87.31: Scrapbook re: Robert Moran circa 1900-1988
1 2000.87.32: "History of the Acquisition of Seattle Water System" by Robert Moran 1913
1 2000.87.33: Letter from Robert Moran re: Seattle south end history 1936
VIII.a.8 2000.87.34: Map of City of Seattle Harbor Dept., Central Waterfront 1918
1 2000.87.35: "Business Property Values in Seattle" pamphlet circa 1905
1 2000.87.36: "A Campaign Story: Dealing with our Water Supply and Power Plant Investments" by Oliver T. Erickson (re: Cedar River projects) 1931
1 2000.87.37: Civil Service Age magazine (contains article on Seattle's water system) 1917
1 2000.87.38: John B. Stetson hat company catalog 1905-1906
1 2000.87.39: Seattle Elks Lodge No. 92 roster 1905
1 2000.87.40: Seattle Construction and Dry Dock Company pamphlet undated
1 2000.87.41: Letter signed by Alden J. Blethen 1899
1 2000.87.42: Receipts signed by A.A. Denny 1893
1 2000.87.43: Report of the Condition of Dexter Horton & Co., Bankers 1902
1 2000.87.44: "The Great Seattle Fire of June 6, 1889" by C.W. Austin and H.S. Scott 1889
1 2000.87.45: Patent certificate for hydraulic lifting docks 1892
1 2000.87.46: Letter re: sale of Moran Bros. Shipyard 1905
1 2000.87.47: Documents concerning USS NEBRASKA and steamer WILLAMETTE 1901-1907
1 2000.87.48: Invitation to launch of tugboat TATOOSH 1900
1 2000.87.49:  Photo: "drilling boiler plate" undated
1 2000.87.50: Letters re: USS NEBRASKA 1902-1906
1 2000.87.51: Correspondence re: Yukon River boats 1898
1 2000.87.52: Correspondence re: steamer PILGRIM 1898
1 2000.87.53: Correspondence re: Yukon River boats 1897-1898

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Mayors -- Washington (State) -- Seattle
  • Seattle (Wash.) -- Politics and government
  • Shipbuilding -- Washington (State) -- Seattle
  • Waterworks -- Washington (State)
  • Personal Names :
  • Moran, Robert, 1857-1943
  • Corporate Names :
  • Moran Brothers Company (Seattle, Wash.)