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
Old King Coal
Eleven years ago this week, on November 27, 2006, the last coal mine in Washington closed near Centralia. But earlier this year Pacific Coast Coal Company announced plans to restart an old mine near Black Diamond, pending a federal review. In September the feds released a study showing that the project would have no significant impact on the environment, and they are now reviewing comments from the public. King County Executive Dow Constantine has come out against the project and vows to stop it.
There was a time when many people spent some of their Thanksgiving holiday taking in a stage show or a movie. This might explain why some theaters chose this time of year for their grand openings, including Squire's Opera House in Seattle on November 24, 1879; the Seeley Theatre in Pomeroy on November 24, 1913; and Port Angeles's Mack Theatre on November 24, 1922.
But on November 25, 1948, hundreds of people around Puget Sound stayed home to watch the region's first wide-audience television broadcast -- a high school football match between West Seattle and Wenatchee on KRSC-TV. It comes as no surprise that one of the other programs shown in that pioneering 1948 broadcast was a film of a Broadway play. A new medium was supplanting an old. One person to recognize this was Dorothy Stimson Bullitt, who had just purchased a radio station in 1947. Two years later, she purchased KRSC-TV for $300,000 (the first sale of a television station in the United States) and renamed it. We know it today as KING-TV.
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.
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.
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.