5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 13, 2021 5:32 AM by AAKASH SHARMA

    Marcus, Washington

    Phoebe Smith Newbie

      Seeking a map or other records of properties purchased by the Bureau of Reclamation when it purchased homes and businesses in Marcus, Washington before the Coulee Dam flooded the town.

        • Re: Marcus, Washington
          Edward Wilson Wayfarer

          Thank you for your question for History Hub.


          We did a search in the NARA Catalog, advanced search, on Archives.gov: https://catalog.archives.gov/advancedsearch

          and we didn't see anything responsive in the BOR, RG-115, for Marcus, Washington.  There are 112 pages of results for "Grand Coulee Dam" and 22 pages for photos maps and charts (link below).  Only a small percentage of records are likely to be digitized.  There is no guarantee that the map you are looking for exists (unless you have or know of a copy, citation or weblink).


          All that said, the original archival material for that project is at the National Archives at Seattle.  They are currently closed to public researchers due to the current phase of the virus pandemic with no reopening date scheduled.  The key thing is to know what year/place you are looking for and the accession and box number that the material would be in.  If there is a map or blueprint with the information you're looking for, researchers often take an in-person photograph because they are usually too large for scanners and too large for copiers.


          If you have more information, please provide it if would help us reassess but it may be necessary to gather more information from histories, the agency, to research or work with the archivists in Seattle to search for a map specific to Marcus, Washington, or the surrounding areas.  Contact information below.  Additionally, some land transaction information may be recorded in the county land office or the Washington State Archives.


          National Archives and Records Administration at Seattle


          6125 Sand Point Way NE

          Seattle, Washington


          Email: seattle.archives@nara.go


          Good luck with your research.





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          • Re: Marcus, Washington
            Vincent Turpin Wayfarer

            Dear Ms. Smith,


            Thank you for posting to History Hub!


            Additionally, we recommend reaching out to the Cartographic Department at the National Archives and Records Administration A2 branch in College Park, MD to request a search of their holdings for the maps you are seeking of Marcus, Washington. Their email address is carto@nara.gov.


            We hope this information is helpful and good luck with your research!

            2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Marcus, Washington
              Tracy Rebstock Adventurer

              Dear Ms Smith,


              This may be a less traditional way to find your answer, going to the local/state records. You may want to reach out to our Eastern Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives. I will include a link below.



              I know there may be some Ferry County Commissioner records that could have some information as well as some records from Marcus and Stevens County. We also have a lot of records about Grand Coulee Dam at our Central Regional Branch.


              We have a small collection at our branch in Olympia titled "Ethnogeography and Administrative History of the Franklin D Roosevelt Lake Area." (1979-2002)


              I will say that usually before a project of this size there is a property assessment done which would include structures, photographs, and notes about the property. We have something like this for a project that was done along the Columbia River - North Bonneville Dam.


              I hope this information is helpful and please feel free to reach out with additional questions.

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              • Re: Marcus, Washington
                Cody White Adventurer

                Afternoon Phoebe,


                The BOR kept meticulous records detailing land and right of way acquisition - for their projects dating 1902 through 1967 it's around 1,100 cubic feet alone. That said, the files are organized by individual owners, of which for the Columbia Basin Project that included Grand Coulee, there are around 394 files. These case files often include correspondence, maps, purchase agreements and contracts, title transfer documents, deeds of trust, title plats, condemnation documents, easements, certificates of inspection and possession, environmental site surveys, and appraisal reports. If you know the property owners, you can search for their name via our online Catalog to see if a file exists or reach out to denver.archives@nara.gov for the inventory or more assistance.

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