Edgar S. Booker Papers, 1890-1924  PDF  XML

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Booker, Edgar S.
Title
Edgar S. Booker Papers
Dates
1890-1924 (inclusive)
Quantity
3 linear ft.
Collection Number
XOE_CPNWS0012booker (collection)
Summary
The collection contains textual materials relating to the businesses of building contractor and entrepreneur Edgar S. Booker of Bellingham, Washington. The materials document the structural development of the Bellingham Bay region, the gold mining industry in the Ruby Creek District of Mt. Baker and the exploitation of Mexican timber and mineral wealth at the turn of the twentieth century. The bulk of the textual materials are made up of building contracting construction estimates and bids as well as building contracts. Also included are gold mine placer claim notices, reports to shareholders, stock certificates and mining claims proof of labor documents.
Repository
Western Washington University, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies
Goltz-Murray Archives Building
808 25th St.
Bellingham, WA
98225
Telephone: 360-650-7534
cpnws@wwu.edu
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for preparing this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Funding for encoding the finding aid was awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Edgar S. Booker was an entrepreneur and prominent member of the Bellingham business community who was actively involved in the structural development of the area. His initial work in the 1890s with C.H. Stock and Company as a building contractor led to the establishment of his own contracting company with Donald B. Campbell. The names Booker & Campbell were well known at the time for their association with all manner of local construction projects. It was Booker and Campbell who were awarded the 1907 contract to build the Bellingham Bay Library, which was partially funded by a donation from Andrew Carnegie. Beyond the Bellingham Bay region Booker was also active in building contracting in Vancouver, British Columbia through another of his companies, Booker, Campbell & Whipple, Ltd.. This company was responsible for the construction of the Vancouver City Y.M.C.A. in 1913 as well as many other buildings in the area.

Edgar Booker was also a man of diverse financial interests who tended to be involved in numerous plans to generate fiscal prosperity. Around the turn of the century Booker became one of the primary partners in the Granite Creek Gold Mining Company which consolidated a large number of individual placer claims in the Ruby Creek gold mining district of the Mt. Baker gold fields. This company operated for many years and served to stimulate shareholders with dreams of quick riches and the potential for long-term financial returns. This endeavor led to Booker’s investment in 327,000 acres of timber lands in central Mexico through the Tehuantepec Land and Timber Co., Inc., of which he was a founding partner. Booker believed that this investment would also potentially expand into a mining operation and ultimately generate a highly successful return. Throughout this period, though, Edgar Booker steadfastly remained a prominent building contractor in the Puget Sound region and was responsible for much of the physical development of the locality. He died in 1924.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The Edgar S. Booker Papers (1890-1924) contain textual materials that document the structural development of the Bellingham Bay region, the gold mining industry in the Ruby Creek District of Mt. Baker and the exploitation of Mexican timber and mineral wealth at the turn of the twentieth century. The bulk of the textual materials are made up of building contracting construction estimates and bids which could be useful in tracking the growth of the Bellingham Bay region as well as the interconnections of local businesses over a period of twenty-five years.

The materials relating to Ruby Creek gold mining help to document the transformation of small claim placer mining to large scale consolidated-claims gold mining. Placer claim notices and shareholders reports document ownership of original mining claims and their eventual transfer to the Granite Creek Gold Mining Company. There is also a file relating to the Mexico-based Sonora Gold Mines Limited and the Chicago Gold-Placer Mining Company which may have been invested in by Edgar Booker’s son, Guy Booker.

The timber materials relate to Edgar Booker’s involvement in the Tehuantepec Land & Timber Co., Inc. which comprised hundreds of thousands of timber acreage in Mexico. The collection also documents Booker’s interest in Mexican timber as well as the potential for mining in the region.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Preferred Citation

Edgar S. Booker Papers, Center for Pacific Northwest Studies, Heritage Resources, Western Washington University, Bellingham WA 98225-9123.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Arrangement

The collection has been organized into the following two series:

  • Series I. Personal Papers, 1893-1924
  • Series II. Business/Financial Records, 1890-1923
    • Subseries 1 - Building Contracting, 1890-1923
    • Subseries 2 - Mining, 1901-1912
    • Subseries 3 - Timber, 1911-1912

Custodial History

Shirley Pettibone, the granddaughter of Edgar S. Booker, donated the collection to the Center for Pacific Northwest Studies in 1989.


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series I:   Personal Papers, 1893-1924Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Family Correspondence
1911-1924
1/2
Printed Material-Personal & Business Cards, Postcards, Cemetary Deed, Will
undated
1/3
Postcards: Guy H. Booker to E. S. Booker,
1907 Dec. to 1908 May
1/4
Address and Expense Books
1898-1912
1/5
Receipts
1893-1916
1/6
Photographs
undated
1/7
Artifacts
undated
1/8
3 Autograph Albums, E. S. Booker, Ella Booker, Guy H. Booker
1985, 1886, 1891

Series II:   Business/Financial Records, 1890-1923Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Subseries 1: Building Contracting
1890-1923
Box/Folder
1/7
Correspondence
1893-1919
1/8
Contracts
1891-1910
1/9
Contracts
1911-1916
1/10
Building Specifications from Architects
1901-1906
1/11
Building Specifications from Architects
Undated
1/12
Receipts and Expenditures
1890-1906
1/13
Receipts and Expenditures
1923
2/1
Construction Estimates and Bids
1890-1893
2/2
Construction Estimates and Bids
1899-1901
2/3
Construction Estimates and Bids
1902
2/4
Construction Estimates and Bids
1903-1904
2/5
Construction Estimates and Bids
1905
2/6
Construction Estimates and Bids
1906-1907
2/7
Construction Estimates and Bids
1908-1909
2/8
Construction Estimates and Bids
1910-1911
2/9
Construction Estimates and Bids
1915-1916
3/1
Construction Estimates and Bids
Undated
Subseries 2: Mining
1901-1912
Box/Folder
3/2
Granite Creek Gold Mining Co.- Correspondence
1904-1910
3/3
Granite Creek Gold Mining Co.- Administrative Materials
1905-1912
3/4
Granite Creek Gold Mining Co.- Stock Certificates
1904-1907
3/5
Granite Creek Gold Mining Co.- Placer Claim Location Notices and Option Agreements
1901-1905
3/6
Granite Creek Gold Mining Co.- Mining Claims Proof of Labor
1902-1910
3/7
Mexican Based Mining Operations
undated
Subseries 3: Timber
1911-1912
Box/Folder
3/8
Correspondence
1911-1912
3/9
Reports on Mexican Timber
circa 1912

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Building Estimates--British Columbia--Vancouver.
  • Building Estimates--Washington (State)--Bellingham
  • Construction Contracts--British Columbia--Vancouver.
  • Construction Contracts--Washington (State)--Bellingham.
  • Gold Mines and Mining--Washington (State)--Whatcom County.
  • Logging--Mexico--Oaxaca

Personal Names

  • Booker, Edgar S. (d.1924) --Archives. (creator)

Corporate Names

  • C.H. Stocks and Company
  • Booker and Campbell
  • Booker, Campbell and Whipple, Ltd.
  • Granite Creek Gold Mining Company
  • Tehuantepec Land and Timber Company, Inc.