New home for Scoop’s old desk

EVERETT — The desk and chair of Sen. Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson are being moved out of city storage to the University of Washington Libraries.

The furniture will be displayed and used in one of the university’s Special Collections public reading rooms located in the Allen Library. It will be on loan from the city of Everett through June 30, 2022.

The library includes 1,240 cubic feet of material including papers, photographs and personal history of Henry Martin “Scoop” Jackson in its Special Collections archives, said Betsy Wilson, dean of University Libraries. The materials are dated from 1912 to 1987 and were donated to the library.

“Jackson scholars come here to use his papers to do research and write papers and students, and faculty also consult the papers fairly regularly,” Wilson said. “He had an amazing career.”

Jackson was born in Everett on May 31, 1912, and died here on Sept. 1, 1983. At the age of 28, after two years as Snohomish County’s prosecuting attorney, Jackson started work in the U.S. House of Representatives. After 12 years in the House, Jackson went on to serve 31 years in the U.S. Senate. He used the black leather chair and 6-foot by 3-and-a-half-foot mahogany desk in his Senate office in Washington, D.C. The furniture was given to the city of Everett by Jackson’s wife, Helen, after his death, said their daughter, Anna Marie Laurence.

She last saw the two pieces in 1992 when they were put on display in an area of the Everett Public Library that is now a coffee shop. Laurence has a photograph of her then 2-year-old son, Jack, sitting behind his grandfather’s desk. The furniture was put in storage before January 2004, when the Bookend Coffee Co. opened.

Laurence said she’s grateful to the city for loaning her father’s desk and chair to the University of Washington.

“I think it’s a fitting location for now as my dad graduated from the University of Washington,” she said. “It’s a neat situation because a student could be sitting at my father’s desk, in his chair and reading his work. I think that’s a really nice tie-in.”

The Everett City Council on Wednesday approved the loan agreement with the university. Shipment costs to and from the University of Washington as well as all fees associated with maintenance of the furniture while on the campus will be paid by the university.

“I am very pleased to be able to effect this not only for the city but for the university and for the Jackson family,” said Pat McClain, executive director for governmental affairs.

The desk of Sen. Warren Magnuson, a friend and colleague of Jackson’s who died in 1989, was given to the University of Washington Libraries in December 1980. That desk had been used in a reading room in the Suzzallo Library but was recently refurbished and moved to the University of Washington Libraries Office of the Dean. Both desks will be well cared for, Wilson said. They are similar and include drawers on both sides so someone could sit and work across from the senator.

“I assume that the desks were issued as part of their senatorial offices,” Wilson said. “You see these desks and you realize it’s pretty impressive to begin with and you think of all the history that has been transacted across that desk.”

Several May events in Everett celebrated Jackson’s legacy and what would have been his 100th birthday. Since then, Jackson’s son Peter has joined The Herald as the newspaper’s editorial page editor.

Laurence believes that bringing her father’s desk out of storage now is good timing.

“I am thrilled that dad’s desk and chair will be out for the people to see and I think it’s a wonderful tribute for my dad’s centennial year,” she said.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

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