Showing 1 - 20 of 113 results
Arum, John B. (1961-2010)
John Arum was an environmental attorney and outdoorsman who gained prominence in his adopted state of Washington as an advocate for wilderness preservation and Native American tribal rights. He worked to protect wetlands, forests, and other wild areas from development, often donating his time on such cases. He was a longtime board member of the Washington Environmental Council. He negotiated what was hailed as a landmark settlement of a dispute between Central Washington farmers and environmentalists over irrigation and improving stream flow for fish. He also represented the Makah Indian Tribe during its prolonged and controversial attempt to hunt gray whales. Aside from environmental law, mountain climbing was his passion. He had scaled more than 80 of the state’s highest peaks when he apparently fell to his death on a solo climb in North Cascades National Park. The five-day search that led to his body received wide-spread media coverage, in part because his father was a world renowned boxing promoter. But environmentalists and tribes around the country knew him not as Bob Arum’s son, but as a champion in his own right, a skilled and determined lawyer who made a difference.
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Averill, Howard Earl (1902-1983), Baseball Player
Earl Averill -- he went by his middle name -- was a relatively small player from a small town who made it big in major league baseball. Born, raised, and retired in Snohomish, he didn't begin his big-league career until 1929 when he was nearly 27, but quickly made up for the late start. In an era when many of the game's legendary players were in their prime, Averill was an immediate and perennial star for the Cleveland Indians. He was selected to baseball's first six All-Star Games and batted .318 over a 13-year career. His Cleveland team record for home runs in a career lasted 57 years; his runs-batted-in record still stands. Fans loved him and opponents respected him, but baseball writers choosing candidates for enshrinement in the sport's hall of fame were not as impressed. They passed over him for more than three decades. Finally, a special selection committee made him a unanimous choice. In 1975, he became the first Washington state native to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. By then he had long been his hometown's most famous citizen. In fact, his nickname put the town in baseball's lexicon. He was called and is remembered as The Earl of Snohomish.
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Battle Ground -- Thumbnail History
The city of Battle Ground lies near the geographical center of Clark County, 16 miles northeast of Vancouver. The city is sheltered by the Cascades to the east and the Coast Range to the west, and the climate is generally mild. At the time of first contact by Euro-Americans the area was occupied mainly by Chinook and Western Klickitat Indians. The name Battle Ground, which commemorates an 1855 "battle" that never actually happened, originally referred to a site northeast of the current city, near what is today called Battle Ground Lake. The first permanent white settler put down roots on the eastern edge of today's Battle Ground in 1862, and the earliest homesteaders tended to congregate to the north and east of today's city. It wasn't until the railroad came through in 1902 that the name Battle Ground became associated exclusively with the town, and the first town plat was recorded the following year. Formal incorporation did not come until 1951, making Battle Ground the most recent city in Clark County to take that step. The town's economy was dominated by timber, agriculture, and dairy, but population growth was extremely slow until the last decades of the twentieth century. In recent years, as its legacy industries have declined in importance, Battle Ground's proximity to both Portland and Vancouver has drawn a flood of new residents. The first decade of the twenty-first century has seen it become one of the fastest-growing cities in the state, and it remains the commercial, cultural, and educational hub of central Clark County.
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Borst, Kate (1855-1938)
Kate Kanim Borst was a Native American woman who was the third wife of Snoqualmie Valley settler Jeremiah Borst. During her lifetime, she witnessed the transformation of the valley from prairies and Indian encampments to the beginnings of suburbia.
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Burke Museum (Seattle)
The Burke Museum, founded in 1885 by a group of teenage boys, is Washington's oldest museum. Since its inception, the museum has been part of the University of Washington, and has had various homes on campus. The museum is responsible for Washington state collections of natural history and cultural heritage.
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Cashmere -- Thumbnail History
The town of Cashmere in Chelan County has to be one of the most picturesque in the state of Washington. It is situated on the southern bank of the Wenatchee River about midway between its turbulent upper reaches at Leavenworth and its more placid confluence with the Columbia at Wenatchee. The 8,500-foot Mt. Cashmere, called Po-Kum by the Wenatchi Indians, and neighboring peaks of the Cascades are clearly visible to the west. The narrow benches of land surrounding the town are covered with fruit orchards. The area was once the domain of the Sinpesquensi (or Sinkaensi or Sinpeskuensi) band of the Wenatchi, who found a bountiful supply of food in the salmon, camas roots, berries, and game animals of the region. The first white settlers called the tiny village Mission, or Old Mission, after the Catholic work established among the Indians along Mission Creek, which flows into the Wenatchee at present Cashmere. The first white settler was Alexander Brender (b. 1851), an immigrant from Germany. William Bourgwardt and D. S. Farrar soon followed. The settlemen's growth was assured with the coming of the Great Northern Railway in 1892 and the town was platted the same year. A post office was established in 1889 with John Frank Woodring as postmaster. In 1904 Mission was incorporated and the name changed to Cashmere. The introduction of irrigation in much of the Wenatchee Valley greatly enhanced agriculture, particularly the growing of apples and other fruit, for which Cashmere has become renowned. Today Cashmere thrives on a combination of fruit production, tourism, and a small industry for which it is famous, the candymakers Aplets & Cotlets. In 2007 the population was 2,820.
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The Cayuse Indians were once masters of a vast homeland of more than six million acres in what is now Washington and Oregon. The first of the Northwest tribes to acquire horses, they were relatively few in number but outsized in influence, noted for their shrewd bargaining ability and much feared as warriors. Fur trader Alexander Ross (1783-1856) described them as "by far the most powerful and warlike" of the tribes on the Columbia Plateau in 1818. They were at the peak of their power in 1836, when they invited Marcus (1802-1847) and Narcissa (1808-1847) Whitman to establish a mission on Cayuse land near Walla Walla. What began as accommodation ended in disillusionment and resentment. A group of Cayuse attacked the mission in November 1847, killing the Whitmans and 11 others -- a brief flurry of violence that led to the first Indian war in the Northwest, the creation of Oregon Territory as a federal entity, and, eventually, a treaty that stripped the tribe of most of its land. But that was not the end of the story. As historian Clifford Trafzer has pointed out, "Their lives did not end in the last century, and their cultures did not fade away" (Trafzer, 7). The Cayuse survive as part of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla, with a 172,000-acre reservation near Pendleton, Oregon; an annual operating budget of nearly $230 million; and businesses ranging from a casino to a wind farm. In the words of a tribal brochure, "We are still here. We will continue to be here."
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Century 21 World's Fair: Northwest Coast Indian Art Exhibit
The Fine Arts Pavilion on the grounds of Century 21, the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, was the site of a half-dozen distinct art exhibits during the fair's six-month run between April 21 and October 21. Those exhibits were Masterpieces of Art; The Paintings of Mark Tobey; Art Since 1950: American; Art Since 1950: International; Art of the Ancient East; and Northwest Coast Indian Art. The latter exhibit -- curated by University of Washington anthropologist (and director of the Washington State Museum) Dr. Erna Gunther (1896-1982) -- offered attendees unprecedented exposure to the wondrous beauty of various Northwest Coast native people's unique artwork. Its very inclusion, and its adjacency to the other exhibits, was quite purposeful: A guidebook produced to accompany the exhibit explained that "The artwork of the Indians of the Northwest Coast is presented here with examples of the great arts of the world, both historic and contemporary" -- a remarkable premise insisting that this provincial art was worth knowing about and that it had artistic merit and cultural value akin to far-better-known pieces produced in other places and times (Gunther, exhibit guide).
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Chewelah -- Thumbnail History
Few Washington towns can claim a more idyllic setting than Chewelah, located some 45 miles north of Spokane in the southern Colville River valley in Stevens County. To the east, the dark bulk of Quartzite Mountain, part of the Selkirks, broods over the town. To the west, across the valley, rise the Huckleberry Mountains. This region was once the home of Indians, particularly Colvilles and a few Spokanes and Kalispels. Then fur traders and missionaries passed through. Beginning in the 1840s, French-Canadian, Scottish, and mixed-race former employees of the old Hudson's Bay Company Fort Colvile (HBC spelling) began farming in the Chewelah area. Pioneer settlement from elsewhere began in the 1850s, drawn to opportunities for mining, logging, and ranching. Conveniently for settlers as well as miners on their way to points farther north, the future town site lay near the Colville Road, the main route between military forts Walla Walla and Colville. Chewelah's greatest economic boosts came in 1889 with the arrival of railroad service and in 1916 with a decades-long magnesite boom. The town's recovery from the loss in 1968 of this industry is a study in community self-help that continues today and bodes well for the future.
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Chief Joseph (1840-1904)
Chief Joseph (1840-1904) was a leader of the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce Tribe, who became famous in 1877 for leading his people on an epic flight across the Rocky Mountains. He was born in 1840 and he was called Joseph by Reverend Henry H. Spalding (1803-1874), who had established a mission amongst the Nez Perce in 1836. Young Joseph and his father soon returned to their traditional ways in their Wallowa homeland in Oregon. When Joseph grew up and assumed the chieftanship, he was under increasing governmental pressure to abandon his Wallowa land and join the rest of the Nez Perce on their reservation near Lapwai, Idaho. Joseph refused, saying that he had promised his father he would never leave. In 1877, these disputes erupted into violence and Joseph's band, along with other Nez Perce bands, fled across the Bitterroot Mountains into Montana, with federal troops in pursuit. Joseph was by no means the military leader of the group, yet his standing in the tribe made him the camp chief and the group's political leader. It was Joseph who finally surrendered the decimated band to federal troops near the Canadian border in Montana. Joseph and the tribe were taken to a reservation in Indian Territory in present day Oklahoma, where they remained until 1885 when they were sent to the Colville Reservation in North Central Washington. Joseph made several visits to Washington, D.C., to plead for a return to the Wallowa country, but his pleas were in vain. Joseph died in 1904 in Nespelem, Washington, of what his doctor called "a broken heart." His tomb remains in Nespelem today.
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Chief Kamiakin (ca. 1800-1877)
Kamiakin was an influential chief of the Yakama Tribe, a reluctant signer of the 1855 Walla Walla Treaty creating the Yakama Reservation, and one of the key war leaders during the Northwest's Indian Wars of 1855-1858. When he grew into adulthood, his imposing stature and natural authority made him a leader of his band, "every inch a king," according to one early white visitor (Scheuerman and Finley, p. 18). Kamiakin had vast herds of horses and cattle and dug the first irrigation ditch in the Yakima Valley. Kamiakin represented his tribe at the 1855 treaty council and eventually signed the treaty under great emotional stress. He later maintained he had been deceived. He immediately set out to create a confederation of tribes to resist white encroachment, earning comparisons to Tecumseh. He led warriors in a number of battles, yet despite some victories, American military force finally prevailed in 1858 during a battle in which Kamiakin was severely injured. He fled to Montana and lived as an outcast, eventually returning to camps on the Palouse River and Rock Lake in Eastern Washington. He refused to return to the Yakama Reservation, saying he did not recognize the treaty that created it. He died at Rock Lake in 1877. White grave robbers dug up his corpse the next year and stole his head. His skull was never found. Yet his name lives on in several schools throughout Washington.
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Chief Moses (1829-1899)
Chief Moses was the leader of the Columbia band of Indians, who gave his name to both Moses Lake and Moses Coulee. He was born in 1829, the son of a chief of this Central Washington tribe. His father sent him off at age 10 to Rev. Henry Spalding's Christian mission at Lapwai, Idaho, to learn Christianity and the white man's ways. Moses received his Christian name there, but was never baptized. He soon returned to his own people and as a young man came to be known as a brave warrior, a fierce opponent of white intrusion, and an influential leader. During the Indian wars and subsequent reservation negotiations, he emerged as one of the most influential tribal leaders in the entire Inland Northwest. Many white settlers distrusted Chief Moses -- he was accused of murder several times -- yet for decades he maintained a careful balance between friendliness and resistance, always stopping short of outright hostility. He went to Washington D.C. twice, where he signed two treaties and shook the hand of a U.S. president. However, his dream of a permanent reservation encompassing his mid-Columbia River homeland was thwarted on several occasions. He and his tribe eventually moved on to the Colville Reservation, north of the Columbia. He was an influential leader on the reservation and helped the defeated Chief Joseph (1840-1904) and his Nez Perce band to settle there. He died at the age of 70, recognized -- grudgingly, in some cases -- as a powerful, stalwart diplomat for his people.
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Chief Seattle (Seattle, Chief Noah [born si?al, 178?-1866])
Chief Seattle, or si?al in his native Lushootseed language, led the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes as the first Euro-American settlers arrived in the greater Seattle area in the 1850s. Baptized Noah by Catholic missionaries, Seattle was regarded as a "firm friend of the Whites," who named the region's future central city in his honor. He was a respected leader among Salish tribes, signing the Point Elliott (Mukilteo) Treaty of 1855, which relinquished tribal claims to most of the area, and opposing Native American attempts to dislodge settlers during the "Indian Wars" of 1855-1856. Chief Seattle retired to the Suquamish Reservation at Port Madison, and died there on June 7, 1866. This essay includes a sound recording of the correct pronunciation of Chief Seattle's name, provided by Skagit elder Vi Hilbert (1918-2008).
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Chief Seattle -- his Lushootseed name and other important words pronounced in Lushootseed by Vi Hilbert
In this sound recording, renowned Skagit elder Vi Hilbert (1918-2008) correctly pronounces Chief Seattle's name and other common names in Lushootseed, the language of the several Coast Salish peoples. The recording was done on December 7, 2006, by Janet Yoder, a longtime student of Hilbert's and who has written on her life and work in preserving the Lushootseed language. The file also contains a transcription of the tape.
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Chief Seattle's Speech
In addition to his namesake city, Chief Seattle (178?-1866) is best remembered for a speech given, according to pioneer Dr. Henry Smith, on the occasion of an 1854 visit to Seattle of Isaac Stevens (1818-1862). Stevens was governor and Commissioner of Indian Affairs of Washington Territory. He visited in January and again in March 1854. Chief Seattle's speech went unnoted in the written record until October 29, 1887, when the Seattle Sunday Star
published a text reconstructed from admittedly incomplete notes by Dr. Smith.
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Chief Spokane Garry (ca. 1811-1892)
Chief Spokane Garry was a chief of the Spokane Tribe whose long, and ultimately tragic life spanned the fur-trading, missionary, and white settlement eras of the region. His father, also a Spokane chief, sent Garry off with fur traders at age 14 to be educated at the Red River Settlement's missionary school in Canada. Garry returned after five years, fluent in English and French, to become an influential leader and spokesman for his tribe. He opened a rough school to teach reading and writing and also taught his fellow tribesmen agricultural techniques. He participated in many peace councils, including those of 1855 and 1858, and was known as a steadfast advocate of peace and an equally steadfast advocate of a fair land settlement for his tribe. He never wavered on his insistence that the Spokane people should have the rights to their native lands along the Spokane River, a goal which proved unattainable. His own farm in what is now the Hillyard area of Spokane was stolen from him late in life and he and his sadly diminished band were forced to camp in Hangman Valley, where boys from the growing city of Spokane would throw rocks onto their tepees. A kindly landowner allowed Garry and his family to camp in Indian Canyon, where he lived out the rest of his life in poverty. He died there in 1892 and was buried in a pauper's grave. Decades later, a Spokane city park was named after him and a statue erected in his honor.
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Chirouse, Father Eugene Casimir (1821-1892)
Catholic missionary Eugene Casimir Chirouse, Oblates of Mary Immaculate (O.M.I.), traveled from his native France to Oregon Territory with four Missionary Oblates and, after an arduous trip, arrived at Fort Walla Walla on October 5, 1847 -- only a month before the Whitman Massacre. Chirouse was ordained with Charles M. Pandosy (1824-1891) at Fort Walla Walla on January 2, 1848, the first Catholic ordination in what would become the state of Washington. Father Chirouse lived and worked among the Yakamas from 1848-1856 and for a short time was missionary to the Cayuse tribe. The Oblates attempted peacemaking during the tensions that culminated in the Yakama Indian War, but in 1857 were transferred to Olympia for their safety. Chirouse was assigned to oversee Puget Sound tribes and lived on the Tulalip reservation from 1857 to 1878. Here he established a school and church, the Mission of St. Anne, and helped to build missions on the Lummi and Port Madison reservations. Father Chirouse was a master of Salish dialects, translating the scriptures, authoring a grammar and a catechism, and creating an English-Salish/Salish-English dictionary. In his advancing years, the well-loved priest was transferred to a post in British Columbia, despite protests from his Tulalip parishioners. He returned to Tulalip many times to visit friends and to perform weddings and baptisms. Father Chirouse died in British Columbia in 1892.
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Comcomly was a leading figure among the Chinook Indian bands who lived along the lower Columbia River during the period of contact between Native American tribes and Euro-American fur traders. Comcomly's career spanned the beginnings of the maritime fur trade on the Northwest Coast, the advent of guns and other manufactured goods, and the establishment of trade houses along the lower Columbia. An intelligent diplomat and shrewd businessman, he was credited by many contemporary observers with helping maintain peaceful relations between the Chinook people and European and American traders and explorers during the early 1800s. He died in 1830, one of the many victims of an intermittent fever epidemic that swept the region.
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Comeford, James Purcell (1833-1909)
James Purcell Comeford first arrived in Snohomish County in 1872 and ran a trading post on the Tulalip Reservation for six years. He founded Marysville in 1878, naming it after his wife Maria. He built the first store and hotel in town, organized its first school district, and established Marysville's first post office. He platted the town of Marysville, and dedicated the filing of the plat in February 1885. Later in life he was active in real estate and was also known as a gentleman farmer. Comeford died in 1909, and is known as the "father of Marysville."
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Curtis, Edward S. (1868-1952), Photographer
Edward Curtis was one of the most prominent figures in the cultural history of Washington state. He is acknowledged as one of the leading American photographers of his time and has produced iconic portraits of many important historical figures such as Chief Joseph, J. P. Morgan, and President Theodore Roosevelt, who was among his most ardent supporters. Best known today for his epic 20-volume book, The North American Indian, Curtis also served as Seattle's finest commercial and portrait photographer in the early twentieth century. His studio became a nexus for important figures when anyone of prominence visiting Seattle made it a point to be photographed by the famed master. His studio was also the starting ground for several regional photographers who would go on to establish international reputations in their own right. These included Imogen Cunningham, Ella McBride, and Frank Asakichi Kunishige. Asahel Curtis, Edward's brother also became a noted photographer who concentrated on commercial landscape and documentary photography as well as poetic studies of Mt. Rainier.
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Showing 1 - 20 of 194 results
Earthquake of enormous magnitude hits the Pacific Northwest coast on January 26, 1700.
On January 26, 1700, at about 9:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time a gigantic earthquake occurs 60 to 70 miles off the Pacific Northwest coast. The quake violently shakes the ground for three to five minutes and is felt along the coastal interior of the Pacific Northwest including all counties in present-day Western Washington. A tsunami forms, reaching about 33 feet high along the Washington coast, travels across the Pacific Ocean and hits the east coast of Japan. Japanese sources document this earthquake, which is the earliest documented historical event Western Washington. Other evidence includes drowned groves of red cedars and Sitka spruces in the Pacific Northwest. Indian legends corroborate the cataclysmic occurrence.
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European horses arrive on the Columbia plateau in the early 1700s.
In the early 1700s, European horses arrive on the Columbian plateau, having moved north through tribal trade networks from Pueblo villages located in present-day New Mexico. The Plateau tribes, who formerly traveled by foot or by canoe, will gradually adopt this new form of transportation, which will transform many of their traditional lifeways.
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Tlehonnipts (those who drift ashore) become first European residents of Northwest lands near Satsop Spit (mouth of the Columbia) in about 1725.
In about 1725, Clatsops discover shipwrecked sailors whom they call Tlehonnipts (those who drift ashore) on a beach near Satsop Spit, which was located on the southern (Oregon) side of the mouth of the Columbia River. One of the sailors will be called Konapee the Iron Maker. They are probably the first European residents of the Pacific Northwest and will marry into Native American tribes in the region. The men may be Spanish or Mexican sailors engaged in the trade between Manilla and Mexico.
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Bruno de Hezeta (Heceta) party lands on future Washington coast and claims the Pacific Northwest for Spain on July 12, 1775.
On July 12, 1775, Bruno de Hezeta, Juan Perez, and others from the Spanish ship Santiago
land on the shore of a wide bay and claim Nueva Galicia (the Pacific Northwest) for Spain. This is the first European landing in the future state of Washington. The bay, later named Grenville Bay, is located along the coast of what is now Grays Harbor County.
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Smallpox epidemic ravages Native Americans on the northwest coast of North America in the 1770s.
During the 1770s, smallpox (variola major
) eradicates at least 30 percent of the native population on the Northwest coast of North America, including numerous members of Puget Sound tribes. This apparent first smallpox epidemic on the northwest coast coincides with the first direct European contact, and is the most virulent of the deadly European diseases that swept over the region during the next 80 to 100 years. In his seminal work, The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence
, historian Robert Boyd estimates that the 1770s smallpox epidemic killed more than 11,000 Western Washington Indians, reducing the population from about 37,000 to 26,000.
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Captain Robert Gray becomes the first non-Indian navigator to enter the Columbia River, which he later names, on May 11, 1792.
On May 11, 1792, American fur trader Robert Gray (1755-1806) enters the major river of the Pacific Northwest in his ship the Columbia Rediviva
. Indian peoples have lived and navigated along Wimahl ("Big River") for tens of thousands of years, and Europeans have been sailing the Northwest Coast for more than 200 years. However, Gray is the first non-Indian to succeed in entering Wimahl, which he renames the Columbia River after his ship.
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Captain Robert Gray explores Grays Bay and charts the mouth of Grays River in May 1792.
Around May 14 through 17, 1792, American fur trader Robert Gray (1755-1806) explores Grays Bay on the Columbia River shore of present-day Wahkiakum County, and charts the outlet of Grays River where it enters the Bay. Grays Bay is an embayment on the north bank about 20 miles upstream from the mouth of the Columbia River. The various branches of Grays River rise in the Willapa Hills on the boundary ridge between Lewis and Wahkiakum Counties in southwest Washington, draining 124 square miles before flowing into the Columbia at Grays Bay. Both are named for Robert Gray.
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Joseph Whidbey circumnavigates Whidbey Island in June 1792.
In June 1792, Joseph Whidbey, a British naval officer on Captain George Vancouver's voyage of discovery to the waters of the future Washington state, circumnavigates a large island located at the intersection of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, which Vancouver promptly names for him. Whidbey Island, which currently together with nearby Camano Island comprises Washington's Island County, is the second largest island in the lower 48 states.
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Native Americans set a huge forest fire in about 1800.
In about the year 1800, oral tradition holds that Native Americans set a huge forest fire that consumed as much as 250,000 acres in the area between Mount Rainier, Mount Saint Helens, and present-day Centralia.
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Lewis and Clark Expedition enters Washington state on October 10, 1805.
On October 10, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Volunteers for Northwestern Discovery enter what is now the state of Washington, at the confluence of what they call the "Koos koos ke" (Clearwater River) and the "Kimooenem" or "Lewis's River" (Snake).
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Lewis and Clark reach the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers on October 16, 1805.
On October 16, 1805, the Lewis and Clark Expedition reaches the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers at present-day Pasco, beginning the final leg of 4,000-mile journey of exploration from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific Ocean.
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Lewis and Clark begin descending the rapids of the Columbia River at Celilo Falls on October 22, 1805.
On October 22, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Discovery encounter Celilo Falls, at the beginning of a 55-mile stretch of the Columbia River that will prove to be the most difficult and dangerous part of their journey through the Pacific Northwest.
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Lewis and Clark camp near Salmon Creek in Clark County on November 4, 1805.
On November 4, 1805, the Corps of Discovery led by Meriwether Lewis (1774-1809) and William Clark (1770-1838) camps on the Columbia River in what is now Clark County, beside a Chinookan Indian house near the entrance of Salmon Creek. The expedition has come nearly 4,000 miles from the mouth of the Missouri River, and is nearing its goal -- the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Columbia River.
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Lewis and Clark prematurely celebrate their arrival at the Pacific Ocean on November 7, 1805.
On November 7, 1805, thinking he can see and hear the Pacific Ocean in the distance, William Clark writes his most famous journal entry: "Great joy in camp we are in view
of the Ocian
, this great Pacific Octean which we have been so long anxious to See." In fact, the Lewis and Clark Expedition is still 20 miles from the sea.
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Lewis and Clark Expedition reaches the Pacific Ocean on November 15, 1805.
On November 15, 1805, Lewis and Clark and the Corps of Volunteers for Northwestern Discovery reach the Pacific Ocean at the mouth of the Columbia River, one year, six months, and one day after leaving St. Louis, Missouri, in search of the legendary "Northwest Passage" to the sea.
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Homeward bound, the Lewis and Clark Expedition leaves Washington state on May 5, 1806.
On May 5, 1806, after taking an overland shortcut from present-day Wallula to the vicinity of Clarkston, the Lewis and Clark Expedition leaves the confines of what is now Washington state. From here, the explorers will continue east, ending their 8,000-mile "voyage of discovery" in St. Louis, Missouri, four months later.
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Jaco Finlay guides five Iroquois trappers to the Columbia in June 1808.
In the summer of 1808, Jacques Raphael "Jaco" Finlay (1768-1828) guides five Iroquois trappers from eastern Canada across the Continental Divide. Finlay, a "free hunter" and former and future clerk for the fur-trading North West Company, brings the eastern Indians to trap beaver with him in the firm's newly established Columbia District. Known only by their first names -- Joseph, Pierre, Ignace, Martin, and Jacques -- these men, and those who follow them west, will change the economic and social fabric of the Inland Northwest. After Finlay establishes Spokane House near present-day Spokane in 1810, many of the Iroquois will settle nearby in the Colville Valley.
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Russian ship Saint Nicolas wrecks near mouth of Quillayute River on November 1, 1808.
On November 1, 1808, the Russian brig Saint Nicholas
wrecks just south of the mouth of the Quillayute River at latitude 47 degrees 56 minutes. Although the crew of 20 men and women makes it to shore safely, the party will battle with the Quileute tribe and will endure captivity by the Indians for the next two and a half years. Seven people will die in captivity or disappear before the survivors are ransomed by the crew of an American trading ship.
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Fur trader David Thompson explores the Pend Oreille River in September and October 1809.
From September 27 through October 6, 1809, Canadian explorer David Thompson (1770-1857) scouts the Pend Oreille River from Lake Pend Oreille in Idaho, downstream through what is now Pend Oreille County in the northeastern corner of Washington. He and the French Canadian voyageur accompanying him are the first non-Indians to reach the area. Thompson, a trader, surveyor, and mapmaker for the North West Company, is exploring the tributaries of the upper Columbia River for sources of beaver and other furs and for routes to get those furs to market.
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The North West Company establishes Spokane House in 1810.
In 1810, the Canadian North West Company establishes a fur-trading post called Spokane House where the Little Spokane River joins the Spokane River, about 10 miles downstream from the current location of the city of Spokane in Eastern Washington. Spokane House is the first longterm non-Indian settlement in what is now Washington state. For 16 years it is the headquarters for the fur trade between the Rockies and the Cascades, and a major commercial and social center in the region.
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Almonjuela, Dorothy: Growing Up Squamish
Dorothy Almonjuela (b. 1918) was born on an Indian reserve in North Vancouver, Canada. A Squamish Indian, she moved to Bainbridge Island in 1942. This account includes memories of her life on the reservation, berry-picking on Bainbridge Island, and her 1942 wedding to the Filipino farmer Tomas Almonjuela. This excerpt is taken from an interview conducted by Teresa Cronin on April 9, 1975 for the Washington State Oral History Project.
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Boone, George (b. ca. 1844) and Florence (Ritchie) Boone (b. 1859) of Neptune Beach, Lummi Reservation
George and Florence (Ritchie) Boone and their family had the original allotment at Neptune Beach on the Lummi Reservation. This history of the family was contributed by Cheryl Metcalf.
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Cowley, Michael M. (1841-1915), Spokane pioneer
The author of this People's History, Benjamin H. Kizer, was a Spokane lawyer acquainted with local pioneer Michael M. Cowley. Cowley worked as a sutler (an Army storekeeper) and prospector, settled at Spokane Bridge, and finally became a respected Spokane banker. Kizer prepared this biographical sketch for The Pacific Northwesterner
, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Spring 1965), pp. 25-31. It is here edited by David Wilma and reprinted with the permission of the publisher.
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Dorothea Nordstrand remembers the Lauth Family
In this People's History, Dorothea (Pfister) Nordstrand (1916-2011) remembers family visits from Seattle to a family lot in Suquamish, Kitsap County, and the friendship that grew up between the Pfisters and the Lauth family. This story takes place in the 1920s and early 1930s. In 2009 Dorothea Nordstrand was awarded AKCHO's (Association of King County Historical Organizations) Willard Jue Memorial Award for a Volunteer, for contributing these vivid reminiscences to various venues in our community, including HistoryLink.org's People's History library.
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Harvey, John (1828-1886): An Account of His Life by By Eldon Harvey (1984) and Donna Harvey (2004)
John Harvey was an English-born settler who arrived in the Oregon Territory and Alki Point in March 1852, four months after the Denny Party arrived. Harvey staked a claim on Lake Washington, experienced the treaty wars of 1855-1856, and later moved to Snohomish County where he became a significant pioneer in the county. This account of his life was written in 1984 by his grandson, Eldon Harvey, and by Eldon's daughter, Donna Harvey. The "I" in the account is Eldon Harvey.
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History Day award winner -- Far-Reaching Rights: An Era of Innovation in Treaty Law in Washington State that Impacted the Rights of Aboriginal Peoples Worldwide by Jacob Ziontz
Jacob Ziontz, was a tenth-grade student in teacher Mikael Christensen's class at Shorewood High School when he won the 2010 HistoryLink.org award, senior division, for this essay on the history of Pacific Northwest Indian treaty rights and the historic Boldt decision of 1974. Jacob's essay won at both the local and regional levels of the National History Day competition, which HistoryLink is proud to support each year.
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History Day award winner -- Neah Bay Whaling Conflict: Upholding a Compromise by Kendal Crawford
Kendal Crawford, a 14-year-old eighth-grade student at Canyon Park Junior High School in the Northshore district, won first place in the Junior Division, Historical Paper Category, of the 2008 North Puget Sound Regional History Day competition. Her essay, presented here, is on the controversy over the Makah Tribe's right to hunt whales as specified in their treaty and as opposed by some environmental groups.
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History Day award winner -- Trust in Treaties: How Tragedy Turned to Triumph for Puget Sound Native American Fishing Rights by Jacob Bruce
Jacob Bruce, a 12-year-old student in the 7th Grade at Kingston Junior High School, won second place in the 2007 History Day competition with this essay on Native American fishing rights.
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May 17, 1858: The Ordeal of the Steptoe Command
Randall A. Johnson (1915-2007) served as Sheriff of Spokane Corral of The Westerners, the group that published The Pacific Northwesterner
quarterly magazine for many years. Johnson born in LaCrosse, Washington, in 1915, moved with his family to Washtucna at the age of 3, and to Walla Walla at the age of 8. He graduated from Pullman High School and from Washington State University in Pullman, where he is renowned for designing the Cougar logo while a student. His account of the defeat of Lieutenant Colonel Edward J. Steptoe (1816-1865) at the hands of Native Americans near Rosalia in 1858 first appeared in The Pacific Northwesterner
Vol. 17, No. 1 (Winter 1973). It is here reprinted with the kind permission of The Westerners.
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Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894), Adventurer
Ralph P. Edgerton was a judge in the Sixth Division of the Spokane County Superior Court and a member of the Spokane Corral of The Westerners. He wrote this biography of Northwest native and seafarer Ranald MacDonald, which appeared in The Pacific Northwesterner
, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Winter 1969), pp. 1-12. It is here reprinted with the permission of the publisher.
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Shelton, William (1868-1938): Autobiography (1914)
William Shelton (1868-1938), cultural leader of the Tulalip Tribes, spent much of his life attempting to bridge the divide between regional Indians and whites through traditional storytelling and art. Shelton gained an understanding of his own native culture through family teachings and by learning from many of his tribal elders. He also was adept at working with Bureau of Indian Affairs and city government officials, gaining their respect and support. Shelton spent years mastering the art of wood carving in order to create story poles through which he shared many of his tribes' cultural teachings. To accompany one of his carved poles, Shelton wrote a booklet published in 1913 titled Indian Totem Legends
, which told the stories of the pole's carved figures. The booklet also carried the author's autobiography. On January 2, 1914, a longer version of this same piece was published in The Everett Daily Herald.
The narrative that follows is Shelton's full 1914 Daily Herald
version. It is a reprint of "Maker of Tulalip Totem Pole Tells Story of His Life," The Everett Daily Herald,
January 2, 1914, p. 1. --Margaret Riddle
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The Spokane Mission: Nine Years of Love and Conflict
Robert A. Clark authored two books and numerous magazine articles dealing with the Old West. He operates Arthur H. Clark Company, in Spokane, publishers of books on the American frontier experience. His account of the mission at Tshimikain originally appeared in The Pacific Northwesterner
, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Winter 1994), published by the Spokane Corral of the Westerners. It is here reprinted by permission.
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Turning Point 16: When Worlds Collide: From Contact to Conquest on Puget Sound
The 16th essay in HistoryLink's Turning Point series for The Seattle Times
focuses on the cultural interactions between Puget Sound's Native peoples and the first European explorers and early settlers. While generally friendly, Indians suffered greatly through exposure to smallpox and other diseases, and later, deliberate efforts to occupy their lands and erase their traditions. Greg Lange conducted the primary research for this article, with special review by scholars Kenneth "Greg" Watson and John Findlay, Ph.D. It was written by Walt Crowley and Priscilla Long and was published in two parts on October 11 and 12, 2001.
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