Showing 1 - 13 of 13 results
Fanning the Flames: Northwest Labor Song Traditions
Political and social movements have long used music to draw attention to their causes and to rally the spirits of their members. The effectiveness of this tactic is well understood by rulers and robber barons alike, who, wisely, recognize the power of songs to convey dissenting ideas or arouse the citizenry. An old rhyme -- "Sing and fight! Right was the tyrant king who said: 'Beware of a movement that sings' " -- expressed the notion that a revolutionary vanguard spirited enough to sing together is also one to be taken seriously. In the Pacific Northwest -- a region with an especially rich history of labor unrest -- there has also developed a corresponding tradition of creating and singing some of the most enduring protest songs in America.
File 7575: Full Text >
Guthrie, Woody (1912-1967): His Northwest Days
Woody Guthrie was a Dust Bowl refugee from Oklahoma. A wandering troubadour. He was also a natural-born populist whose guitar was bravely emblazoned with the in-your-face slogan: "This Machine Kills Fascists." Though blacklisted during the McCarthy Era, and dogged by the FBI, today the late Woody Guthrie is universally acknowledged as America's Okie Poet Laureate
whose classic tunes like "This Land Was Your Land," "Hard Travelin,'" and "Oklahoma Hills" have become staples in the folk music canon. More precisely, the songs are national treasures. Woody Guthrie loved the Pacific Northwest, sang and played his guitar on Seattle streets, and wrote the song designated in 1987 as the Washington State Folk Song -- "Roll On Columbia, Roll On."
File 3174: Full Text >
Haglund, Ivar (1905-1985)
Ivar Haglund, Seattle character, folksinger, and restaurateur was known as "King of the Waterfront," and also "Mayor" and "Patriarch" of the waterfront. He began as a folksinger, and in 1938 established Seattle's first aquarium at Pier 54, along with a fish-and-chips stand. In 1946 Ivar opened the renowned "Acres of Clams" restaurant. By 1965, when he began lofting fireworks over Elliott Bay every "Fourth of Jul-Ivar," he was a legend. He became a radio personality and Puget Sound's principal champion of regional folk music. In 1976, Ivar bought Seattle's iconic Smith Tower. His escapades, publicity stunts, pronouncements, pranks, and excellent restaurants have become part of Seattle's unique character as a city. Ivar Haglund died on January 30, 1985.
File 2499: Full Text >
Hazzard, Linda Burfield (1867-1938): Fasting Proponent and Killer
Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard was a sadistic and greedy quack who convinced patients that only by starving themselves for months at a time could they regain their health. Unsurprisingly, many of her patients died of starvation. Her "sanitarium" in the small town of Olalla in Kitsap County was nicknamed Starvation Heights by the locals, who sometimes came across skeletal escapees staggering down the road begging for food. Hazzard and her husband, Sam, also had the habit of helping themselves to patients' assets through fraud, forgery, and outright theft. When she was tried for murder in January 1912, the prosecutor called her "a financial starvationist" and made the case that she intentionally starved her patients to death for monetary gain.
File 7955: Full Text >
Hitt's Fireworks: Lighting Up the Skies from Columbia City (Seattle)
For more than 50 years, some of the world's most spectacular fireworks came from a collection of sheds on a hill in Columbia City, home to a pharmaceutical chemist with a genius for pyrotechnics, a talent for showmanship, and a child's delight in things that boom, flash, fizz, and sparkle in the dark. Ever-stringent fire and safety regulations gradually pushed the Hitt Fireworks Company out of business in the 1960s, leaving only memories of what poet Arlene Naganawa called "the ruby flash" that "consumed the dark, then feathered into ash."
File 3348: Full Text >
Issaquah Salmon Days
Salmon Days is a two-day affair held the first Saturday and Sunday in October in downtown Issaquah (King County). It is a family-oriented event that features numerous attractions and arts and crafts, all with a decidedly salmonesque flair. The festival began in 1970 as an event designed to celebrate the annual return of migrating salmon to Issaquah Creek as well as to replace the town's Labor Day Festival, which had ended two years earlier. Salmon Days remained a small local event through the 1970s, but grew rapidly in the 1980s, and during the 1990s and 2000s the festival has enjoyed an attendance (in years with good weather) of between 150,000 and 200,000 annually.
File 8476: Full Text >
Juvonen, Helmi (1903-1985): The Pearl of the North
Helmi Juvonen is an enigmatic figure in Northwest art history. Diagnosed as manic depressive in 1930, she had a life-long obsession with Mark Tobey (1890-1976), whom she met while attending Cornish College of the Arts. Committed to a mental hospital in 1959, she spent the last 25 years of her life at Oakhurst Convalescent Center. During these years exhibitions arranged by her artist friends sparked a re-discovery of her work, and she received considerable recognition. This biography of Helmi Juvonen is reprinted from Deloris Tarzan Ament's Iridescent Light: The Emergence of Northwest Art
(Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002).
File 3831: Full Text >
Muzak, Inc. -- Originators of "Elevator Music"
The Pacific Northwest is renowned for being the geographical base of hard-rocking music scenes that have produced musicians ranging from the garage-punk pioneers the Sonics to acid-rock hero Jimi Hendrix to grunge gods like Nirvana. It seems ironic, then, that Seattle has for decades also been the
global production center of what the industry initially called "background music" and later, "functional music," "business music," and finally "foreground music." In essence, foreground music is scientifically designed and programmed mood-controlling music -- often of the purposefully bland, supposedly soothing, easy-listening variety -- which purportedly has positive influences on worker productivity and consumer spending. Typically heard as telephone "on-hold" music and in shopping malls, airports, and dentist waiting rooms, such music eventually provoked a mild cultural backlash, with detractors disparaging it as bloodless, mind-numbing "elevator music." Nevertheless, Seattle became the home of four distinct, yet partially intertwined, corporations that successfully supplied countless clients with carefully curated music selections: Yesco Foreground Music, Audio Environments Inc. (AEI), Environmental Music Service Inc. (EMS), and a company whose very name became the generic slang term for its own product -- Muzak.
File 10072: Full Text >
Pioneer Association of the State of Washington
In 1871, King County formed a local pioneer association that became the genesis of a wider organization. In 1883, a number of settlers met in Olympia, Washington, to form a Territorial pioneer association. Today's Pioneer Association of the State of Washington, a descendant of the 1883 group, meets in a historic brick building on Seattle's Madison Park waterfront. Any citizen of the state of Washington with a pioneer ancestor who arrived in the area prior to November 11, 1889 -- the date of statehood -- is eligible for membership.
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Port of Seattle Central Waterfront Cybertour
A guided, photographic Cybertour of Seattle's downtown waterfront. Curated by Paul Dorpat, written by Walt Crowley, Designed by Chris Goodman.
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Rose Red -- A Slideshow of the Film's Seattle Locations
This is a slideshow of the Seattle locations of Stephen King's made-for-TV serial film Rose Red
, which debuted on ABC-TV on January 27, 28, and 31, 2002. The tour was written by Paul Dorpat, and edited and curated by Priscilla Long, with support from David Wilma and Walt Crowley. King fans please note that the Rimbauer family, Joyce Reardon, and the Rose Red mansion are completely fictional and have no basis in actual Seattle history.
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Seattle Aquarium Slideshow, Part 1: From Settlement to Cinders, 1841-1899
This is Part 1 of a three-part slideshow photo essay on the history of the Seattle Aquarium and its neighborhood beginning in 1841 through the present day. Part 1 takes the story from the early dates of settlement along the Seattle waterfront to the Great Seattle Fire of 1899. Curated by Paul Dorpat. Edited by Walt Crowley. Presented by the Seattle Aquarium Society.
File 7052: Full Text >
Seattle Central Waterfront Tour, Part 5: From Railroads to Restaurants, Piers 54, 55, and 56
Piers 54, 55, and 56 are home to today's Ivar's Acres of Clams restaurant and the renowned Ye Olde Curiosity Shop. The Northern Pacific Railroad built the piers during the golden age of Seattle's maritime commerce spurred by the Klondike gold rush and expanding Pacific trade. Pier 55 collapsed in 1901, but was quickly rebuilt. President Theodore Roosevelt disembarked at Pier 56 during his 1903 visit to Seattle.
The old piers had become obsolete for ocean shipping by the end of World War II, but they found a second life as homes for restaurants, import stores, harbor tours, and (briefly) Namu and other captive killer whales (orcas).
File 2475: Full Text >