The Charles E. Larsen Chemawa Indian School collection, recently added to the Archives, provides a unique look at the Chemawa Indian School and Northwest Native American history. Charles Larsen, being of Chinook descent, was a Chemawa student from 1893 to 1902. He then spent 31 of the next 44 years working at Chemawa as the assistant clerk, dairyman, disciplinarian, band instructor and athletics coach until 1946. Larsen’s goal while working at Chemawa was to document the school’s valuable history.
The bulk of this collection consists of the Chemawa history that Larsen wrote. The collection also includes newspaper clippings, correspondence, photographs, handbooks, and graduation lists compiled by Larsen throughout his time working at Chemawa, as well as his time working with the Klamath, Siletz, and Tulalip Indian Agencies in Oregon and Washington. Larsen’s typewriter, on which he typed much of his work, is also part of his collection.