The free online encyclopedia of Washington state history

7315 articles now available.

Diablo Dam incline railway climbing Sourdough Mountain, 1930. Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, 2306.
Children waving to ferry, 1950. Courtesy Museum of History and Industry.
Loggers in the Northwest woods. Courtesy Washington State Digital Archives.

This Week Then


News Then, History Now

On the Go

Spokane got its start on November 29, 1881, when it incorporated as Spokane Falls. A few months earlier, the tiny community had been the seat of Spokane County before armed citizens from Cheney wrested away the title when they swiped the county records and the auditor. Fortunately for Spokane Falls residents, the city became an important railroad terminus and voters made it the county seat again in 1886.

Four in a Row

During this week in 1883, the territorial legislature was very busy. On November 24, legislators established Kittitas County and then, after a weekend break, Douglas County, Adams County, and Skagit County were all created on the same day -- November 28.

Club Owner's Woe

On November 25, 1899, the Seattle Star reported that Wyatt Earp, an "ex-sheriff from Arizona," would be opening a gambling house in what is now Pioneer Square. That he did, but after a few months of dealing with sporadic enforcement of the city's anti-gambling ordinance, Earp moved on to other ventures elsewhere.

Bus Riders' Plight

On November 26, 1945, 15 children lost their lives when their school bus slid off the road and sank in the icy waters of Lake Chelan. And on November 27, 1998, a Metro bus plunged off of the Aurora Bridge after the driver was shot by a crazed passenger.

Out of Sight

On November 24, 1969, Sasquatch tracks were sighted in Stevens County. Exactly two years later, "Dan Cooper" (better known as D. B.) hijacked a 727 jetliner and parachuted into the unknown.

Christmas Delight

Seventy years ago this week, Chubby & Tubby opened the first of its surplus shops in Seattle. The stores closed their doors in 2003, much to the dismay of those looking for cut-rate Christmas trees. In other holiday history, on November 23, 2001, Santa Claus was on hand to open the doors to the new Library Connection @ Crossroads, the King County Library System's innovative library space in Bellevue's Crossroads Mall.

Today in
Washington History

New Essays This Week

Image of the Week

Those cranberries you enjoy on Thanksgiving may have come from places like Ilwaco and Long Beach.

Quote of the Week

And every one of them words rang true
And glowed like burnin' coal
Pourin' off of every page
Like it was written in my soul from me to you.

--Bob Dylan

Major Funding Provided By

Education Partners