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About This Collection

Ritzville Heritage is a project of Washington Rural Heritage, a collection of historically significant materials residing in libraries, heritage institutions, and private collections throughout Washington State. The collection includes photographs, documents, and artifacts which tell the stories of Washington's small and rural communities.

Mobile Station attendant, Ritzville, WA, 1953.Mobil Station Attendant, 1953.
A.M. Kendrick Collection.
The Ritzville Public Library (Ritzville, WA) has provided online access to digitized materials since 2007, when it served as the first pilot project for Washington Rural Heritage. The library is committed to providing enhanced access to local history materials on an ongoing basis.

If you have corrections or additional details regarding records in the collection, please use the digital collection's public comments feature, or contact the Ritzville Public Library directly to update the information.


A.M. "Bert" Kendrick Photo Collection

The photos contained in Mr. Kendrick's collection span nearly 50 years, depicting early agricultural techniques (planting and harvesting, etc.) in the Big Bend region of the Columbia River, building interiors, town scenes, Northern Idaho wilderness scenic views, and many images depicting day-top-day life on the farm. Kendrick was born in Northport, Washington on August 23, 1896 and moved to Ritzville in 1935. From 1935 until his death in 1976, Kendrick was the area's main portrait and studio photographer.

Early Schoolhouses of Adams County, Washington

*Note: Collection in progress. Check back for final digital collection in September, 2013.*

In 2012-2013, the Ritzville Public Library partnered with the Adams County Historical Society to digitize a comprehensive collection of photographs depicting early rural schoolhouses throughout the county. Schools have always been a valuable asset in Adams county. Often used as community centers and local polling places, schools were central to the activities of the small farming communities they served. The area's first school was built in Ritzville, in January, 1884, just months after Adams County was formed. Prior to that, Mrs. Roxana White—Ritzville's first teacher—held classes for her 11 pupils in the waiting room of the Northern Pacific Railroad depot. Within five years, there were 15 more one-room schoolhouses built throughout the county and by 1904, 190 teachers were serving 2,652 children.

Many of the more than one hundren one-room schoolhouses built in Adams County in the late 19th and early 20th centuries are gone, as are the small towns that grew up around them. This digital collection serves to preserve that history for community members, students, researchers, and genealogists.

Library Cornerstone Collection

When the Ritzville Public Library was constructed in 1907 a time capsule was placed in the building's cornerstone—a metal box with old letters and documents pertaining to the building of the library, a few old coins, newspapers, and more. Various newspaper articles placed in the time capsule documented the cornerstone laying ceremony. Governor Albert E. Mead attended the celebration. The library was built with money donated by Andrew Carnegie.

Rights & Use

Many of the items in the Ritzville Heritage collection are under protection of copyright. Please contact the Library to inquire about necessary permissions regarding the use of items in this collection.

By the use of these digital images and texts, users agree to the following:

  • Materials may not be used for any commercial purpose without prior written permission from the copyright holder and/or holding institution. The Washington State Library does not have authority to grant such permission; please contact the holding institution.
  • Materials may be used for purposes of research, teaching, and private study. You must contact the holding institution and/or copyright owner for permission related to other uses.
  • Credit must be given to the contributing institutions (e.g., 'Photo courtesy of the Adams County Historical Society.').
  • Materials may not be re-published in print or electronic form without prior written permission from the holding institution and/or copyright owner.
  • Materials may not be mounted on an additional server for public use, or for use by a set of subscribers without written permission from the holding institution and/or copyright owner.

View the Washington Rural Heritage Rights & Use Statement for additional information.

About the Ritzville Public Library

The Ritzville Public Library (also known as the Ritzville Library District #2) is home of the A.M. Kendrick Photo Collection and other bits of history about the Big Bend region of eastern Washington State. Located 54 miles west of Spokane off Interstate 90, the library is at the center of one of the most productive dry land wheat producing areas in the Pacific Northwest.

Washington Rural Heritage home

Contributing Institutions

Ritzville Public Library

Ritzville Public Library

(509) 659-1222


302 W. Main Street

Ritzville, WA 99169

Adams County Historical, home page

Adams County Historical Society


Lind, WA 99341

This project is supported with Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) funding provided by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) through the Washington State Library, a division of the Office of the Secretary of State.

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