Take a Listen

If you are a regular visitor to A Reading Life you may have noticed some new features recently. In addition to our more dynamic links to library social media, we have just added a brand spanking new podcast page, with a link conveniently located under our signature image. Here you will find the latest podcasts created by our talented team of library audio enthusiasts as they roll off the presses.

And oh what a unique and talented group they are.

If you are in the mood for some music reviews, head over to Mr. Neutron’s Record Closet and enjoy reviews from all musical genres with some surprises and mysteries to discover as well. Towels recommended.

If books are more to your liking, take a listen to what the Lone Reader has to say. Librarians have always hung back, but now one librarian takes his guns to town.

For a unique audio take on notable films, settle in and listen to the Treatment Film Reviews.

If you want to learn more about the history of our fair city and its surroundings, you have a treasure trove of audio delights to sample. Far from dry and academic, these recordings incorporate unique voices, music and sound effects to bring the past to life. Here is a small sampling.

Find out about Snohomish resident and writer John Patric who in 1958 was involuntarily committed to Northern State Hospital for the Insane. As permitted by Washington State law, Patric demanded—and received—a jury trial to determine the matter of his sanity. This is the story of that trial, and of John Patric.

Amid mud and exploding stumps…a library! This podcast, celebrating the 125th anniversary of Everett Public Library, tells the story of how the Everett Woman’s Book Club parlayed political muscle and donated books to build an enduring civic institution during hard economic times.

Many fascinating stories are to be heard in the Smokestack Soundbites series, audio stories from the Everett Public Library about the history and life of our city and our county.

If you like your tales straight from the source, take a listen to the Everett Voices series. These podcasts are edited versions of recordings in Everett Public Library’s oral history collection, giving 21st Century listeners intimate insight into events and times otherwise lost to us today.

These are just a sampling of all the unique podcast content already created by the talented staff of the library. Check back often, for new and interesting tales and reviews to listen to. You won’t be disappointed!

Haunted History

Everyone loves a spooky story this time of year. The requests for ghosts, ghouls, and tales of macabre misdeeds even find their way to the Northwest Room, where ghost hunters pore over our city directories, maps, and archival resources for historical evidence.

Evergreen Cemetery, 1912

Evergreen Cemetery, 1912

We’ve rounded up a few of the most ghastly tales—all true stories—from the Northwest Room to both frighten and enlighten you:

Evergreen Cemetery Podcast Tour

Narrated by retired Everett Public Library historian David Dilgard, this downloadable audio recording meanders through Everett’s historical cemetery to describe many monuments and memories in local history. Use this award-winning podcast as a guide for a stroll through the cemetery any time of year.

Evergreen Cemetery Digital Collection

A visual companion to the Evergreen Cemetery Podcast Tour, this online exhibit contains photos of the same sites described on the podcast. You can research sites and stories from the podcast or from your own explorations of the cemetery without ever leaving your chair.

Dark Deeds: True Tales of Territorial Treachery and Terror!

In this slim volume, David Dilgard recounts three true crime cases from the territorial era. T.P. Carter’s murder in 1860 prompted the creation of Snohomish County, separating the large mainland portion off of Island County. Peter Goutre’s violent demise on Gedney Island in 1875 remains unsolved. And the 1874 axe murder of Lowell’s Charles Seybert continues to intrigue neighbors there.

Postcard, November 1916

Postcard issued by IWW; funeral of three Wobbly victims of Everett Massacre.

The Everett Massacre Centennial Commemoration

The Everett Massacre of 1916 left seven dead and many more wounded in the bloodiest battle in Pacific Northwest labor history. The library has put together a digital exhibit and curated a series of public programs and videos on the topic. This 101-year-old violent labor dispute remains a seminal event in local and regional history.

Of course, there are many more stories of tragedy, treachery, and true crime threaded throughout Everett and Snohomish County history. For example, in the Nelson-Connella fracas of 1898, local newspaper editor James Connella shot and killed his political adversary Ole Nelson near the corner of Hewitt and Wetmore. Connella was tried and acquitted, but local animosity forced him to leave town.

The prosecution of the Jim Creek double murders in the 1930s are famous for launching the political career of Senator Henry M. Jackson. The library has an oral history interview with Fred French, the detective who solved the crime in 1940.

To me, the most haunting true crime tale in our collection is the Halloween murder of 1934. On October 31, 1934, a young baker was murdered by a man who would go on to serve time and escape from Alcatraz. The victim’s family moved back home to Germany, and they became disconnected from the criminal investigations in the United States due to the events leading up to World War II. The family didn’t learn that justice had been served until 76 years later, when the daughter contacted the Northwest Room.

We don’t tell these stories merely to entertain, entice or frighten you for Halloween, although we know true crime stories certainly do that. We share these stories as a way to educate and to acknowledge the tragic aspects of our history while offering credible resources for anyone wishing to research our past.