This virtual tour celebrates buildings in our downtown district that are over 100 years old.  

You will find the history of each building, past owners and the current business owners that are still bringing people into Sumner to shop.

The Sumner Historical Society and the Sumner Main Street Association  work  together to add more buildings to the tour every year.

A Digital Window to Sumner's History

We are currently digitatizing The Sumner News Index from 1948 to 1958.

Those years had a feature called the Pictorial Section,  a unique addition to the newspaper. Here is why.

The paper was still being printed with traditional processes. The product of a Linotype and movable metal and wood type.

At that time, publishing a photograph was expensive,  an outside firm would have to convert the photo into a printing block. In 1947, the News Index publisher, Pete Andrews, came up with an inexpensive way to provide many photographs in each issue. He purchased a small offset press and printed a  two sided 10 x 13 inch "collage" of photos which was then inserted into the paper. It was titled "The Pictorial Section of the Sumner News Index."  Most of the pictures were related to a story in that week's issue.

This tour takes place every fall. There is no group following a guide, instead people use a free guide book and map to take the tour and view posters in building windows. The Sumner Historical Society and the Sumner Main Street Association  work  together to add more buildings to the tour every year.

In 2022 and 2023 we are embarking on a new project. A web based Resource Center that will eventually have over fifty searchable documents and publications. In addition, there will be over thirty maps of Sumner and the area. We will also be scanning over 90 scrapbooks with individuual and family historys.  

General Histories


Digitized newspapers

Indexes, directories

Maps, plants, abstracts

Newspaper Special Editions

Business & Organization Histories

Family Histories

Photo collection

Sumner Historical Society has ongoing and new projects that further our mission of sharing the history of Sumner and our valley


Box 1928, SUMNER WASHINGTON 98390 253-299-5780

In 2019, the Society was gifted 1,400 envelopes containing  6000 to 9000 negatives. Most of the images were from the Pictorial section.

Each negative is being converted to a digital image which is matched to the newspaper issue it appeared in. This provides complete historical context.  

All the Pictorial issues will be available on the SmallTownNewspapers  platform by the end of 2022.  We will have pictorial photographs available within the same time frame.

Searchers and researchers will then find a newspaper story, the Pictorial and crisp clean photographs.  it is the history we all would want to find when we go looking for history.