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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

Gone Astray

On December 11, 1851, the ship's cook deliberately torched the schooner
Robert Bruce
after he dosed the crew with laudanum. A Willapa Bay logger and his Indian helpers rescued the oystermen aboard and brought them ashore. They later settled what became Bruceport. Today, the Willapa Light
guides the way for any other addled mariners in the vicinity.

Let Us Pray

December 8 is the feast day of the Immaculate Conception and marks several historic anniversaries in local Roman Catholic history. The Sisters of Providence arrived at Fort Vancouver on that date in 1856, and Seattle's School of the Immaculate Conception dedicated its first new building on December 8, 1894, evolving from there into today's Seattle University. One hundred and five years later, the university co-hosted the historic visit of South African leader Nelson Mandela and his wife, Graca Machel, on December 8, 1999.

Weather Woe

Seventy years ago this week, on December 11, 1946, a severe flood inundated downtown Kent, which led to renewed discussions of dam construction farther upstream. And 10 years ago this week, on December 14 and 15, 2006, a Hanukkah Eve windstorm knocked out power throughout Western Washington.

Trapped Below

On December 13, 1950, coal miner John Wolti was trapped in a collapsed
at the now-forgotten mining town of Elk Coal in southeast King County. He suffered a 54-hour ordeal 400 feet underground before his rescue. It was the third time that Wolti had narrowly escaped death in a mine accident, and he decided to become a chicken rancher instead.

Play Debuts

On December 13, 1972, the Intiman Theatre launched its debut season in Kirkland with a performance of Henrik Ibsen's Rosmersholm. In 1987 the theater moved to its current site at Seattle Center.

Ballet Shoes

On December 13, 1983, the Pacific Northwest Ballet premiered a production of Nutcracker, choreographed by PNB artistic director Kent Stowell and with sets and costumes designed by Maurice Sendak. Last year PNB debuted a new Nutcracker, utilizing George Balanchine's 1954 choreography and modern designs by Ian Falconer.

Today in
Washington History

New Essays This Week

Image of the Week

On December 13, 1993, Nirvana performed the legendary Live and Loud concert on Pier 48 in Seattle.

Quote of the Week

I listened, motionless and still;

And, as I mounted up the hill,

The music in my heart I bore,

Long after it was heard no more.

-- William Wordsworth

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