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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

Planting a Seed

Located just south of Olympia, Tumwater became the site of the first American settlement north of the Columbia River with the arrival of the party led by Michael Simmons and George Bush in late 1845. Bush's son William Owen Bush took over the family farm and became an accomplished agronomist, taking the top prize for grain at the national centennial exposition on September 27, 1876. Owen Bush was one of Washington's first state legislators and used his term in office to advocate for the creation of a state agricultural
, which would later become Washington State University.

Produce Indeed

Harvest season is here, and it's a good time for farmers to show off the fruits of their labors. On September 24, 1894, the first Washington State
Agricultural Fair
opened in Yakima. And on September 24, 1937, the Lincoln County Fair resumed in Davenport after a decades-long hiatus.

On the Stage

On September 24, 1926, tens of thousands celebrated the grand opening of the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. The lavish playhouse was the brainchild of architect Robert Reamer, known for his designs of the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park, Spokane's Fox Theater, Bellingham's Mt. Baker Theatre, and Seattle's Edmond Meany Hotel, as well as the 1411 4th Avenue Building -- home to the offices.

On the Record

On September 23, 1927, the New York City-based Columbia Phonograph Company began a two-day round of
recording sessions
with various local musicians in Spokane. Five musical acts were recorded, featuring dance orchestras and solo singers that were popular at the time. Three decades later, a new generation of Spokane youth spun discs with a different sound when Eastern Washington's Inland Empire Rock hit the scene.

Now It's Told

On September 22, 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt surreptitiously arrived at Fort Lewis as part of an undercover nationwide tour of World War II defense plants and military bases. Two decades later, on September 26, 1963, President John Kennedy participated in groundbreaking ceremonies for the N Reactor at Hanford, once the site of World War II's most secret project.

Growing Old

On September 24, 1964, Puget Sound bid goodbye to the ferry Chippewa, at the time the oldest vessel in the Washington State Ferries fleet. Within a few years, four new superferries plied the waves: the Hyak, the Kaleetan, the Elwha, and the Yakima.

Today in
Washington History

New Essays This Week

Image of the Week

South Bend incorporated on September 27, 1890.

Quote of the Week

Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I'm going to take tomorrow.
--Imogen Cunningham

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