Showing 1 - 20 of 45 results
Adams County -- Thumbnail History
Adams County is a predominantly rural county located in southeastern Washington, with Ritzville serving as county seat. Since 1952 Columbia River water brought through the Columbia Basin Project has irrigated region's fertile volcanic soil. Adams County measures 1,925 square miles, ranking it 14th in size among Washington's 39 counties. It is bordered to the north by Lincoln County, to the east by Whitman County, to the south by Franklin County, and to the west by Grant County. As of 2005, Adams County has a population of 17,000, two-thirds of whom live in rural parts of the county. Othello (population 6,120) and Ritzville (population 1,730) are the largest towns. Agricultural pursuits include dry-land wheat farming, irrigated apple orchards, and field crops (primarily potatoes). The vegetable- and fruit-processing industry, especially potato processing and French fry manufacturing, provides most of the county's industrial employment. As of 2006, Adams County's population was 52 percent Hispanic, with most Hispanic residents being of Mexican heritage.
File 7835: Full Text >
Adams, Bishop John Hurst (b. 1927)
Bishop John Hurst Adams was pastor at Seattle's First African Methodist Episcopal Church from 1962 to 1968 and a leader in the city's civil rights struggle. He moved to other cities and states after 1968, rising to national prominence as a religious and civil rights leader.
File 8098: Full Text >
Adams, Nora B. (1928-2004)
Nora B. Adams was an African American Seattle Public School principal who left more than $1 million in her estate to three of her major interests. She left $600,000 to the Seattle Public Schools Scholarship Fund and divided the rest between cancer and heart research. A shrewd investor, Adams divested herself of stock brokers and managed her own portfolio. She devoted 37 years to education, as a teacher and as an administrator and was one of the first black female principals in the city. According to her nephew, Gordon McHenry Jr. (Boeing executive and former member of the Seattle Public Library Board), she was the quintessential educator, not given to idle chatter but insisting on thoughtful and meaningful conversation.
File 8506: Full Text >
AFM Seattle Local 493 (1918-1958), "Negro Musicians' Union"
Today's labor union for Seattle's professional musicians is the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 76-493, and that numerically cumbersome name reflects perfectly the organization's tangled and sometimes contentious backstory. Seattle's first musicians' union, AFM Local 76, dated back to the 1890s. But as ever-greater numbers of African Americans arrived in the young, growing town the musicians among them soon discovered that the union had an unwritten segregation policy. A complex, Jim Crow system of turf boundaries arose, with Local 76 musicians claiming the most lucrative gigs. Excluded, black musicians founded their own union, Local 458, in 1918. That organization morphed into Local 493 in 1924, and the two unions then co-existed inharmoniously for the next four decades. AFM 493 became a lifeline and social pillar for the black community. It was at the very center of Seattle's vibrant jazz scene, and bore its share of struggles throughout the era's civil rights strife. At its peak in the 1940s, Local 493 probably had about 150 members (compared to Local 76's 1,200), and it represented some of Seattle's biggest African American stars, including Ray Charles (1930-2004), Phil Moore (1918-1987), and Quincy Jones (b. 1933). But changing times and increased racial tolerance eventually saw the two unions formally merge in 1958, an early instance of the more widespread racial integration that was to come during the following decades.
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Alaskan Way Viaduct, Part 3: Building the Viaduct
After a protracted planning period that spanned nearly two decades, work commenced on the Alaskan Way Viaduct on February 6, 1950. The project, jointly constructed by the City of Seattle and the state Department of Highways over 16 years, provided Seattle with its first bypass route around the downtown business district, relieving traffic congestion. When the Columbia Street on-ramp opened in 1966, the finished project included an elevated, double-deck highway, a subway under Battery Street connecting the viaduct to Aurora Avenue, eight ramp connections, two underpasses, and a southern, at-grade roadway that rose on another elevated structure to pass over the Spokane Street Viaduct and connect with E Marginal Way.
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Allen, Raymond Bernard (1902-1986)
Trained as a medical doctor, Dr. Raymond B. Allen served as president of University of Washington (UW) from 1946 to 1951. Although his time at the UW was a relatively brief stop in a career that took him to the highest levels of academia and government, it was one of the most controversial periods in the school’s history. Allen recommended the firing of three professors in 1949 for suspected Communist associations, which kindled a rash of similar dismissals at universities and colleges across the country. After leaving the UW, he served briefly as director of the U.S. Psychological Strategy Board before becoming chancellor of the University of California at Los Angeles from 1952 to 1959. He then served as Indonesian director for the U.S. International Cooperation Administration and later with the World Health Organization in Washington, D.C. The Seattle-King County Association of Realtors named Raymond Allen First Citizen of 1949.
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and/or (Seattle arts organization)
From its incorporation in February 1974 to its voluntary disbanding in October 1984, and/or was one of the most influential independent arts organizations in Seattle history. It was invented and run by artists who were interested in new art not seen or supported anywhere else in Seattle at the time. As its director, Anne Focke (b. 1945), wrote in 1982, its motto was, "and/or is a conjunction" (untitled pamphlet). To that end, it had many arms. They included a gallery at 1525 10th Avenue on Capitol Hill, with a busy schedule of exhibitions of local and national artists plus lectures, weekly gatherings, and topical conferences; a full library with the latest art magazines and books; video production and editing facilities and a viewing center for video works; electronic music studios and a new-music concert series and performance space; an interdisciplinary monthly magazine and various other catalog publications; and a grant program for individual artists. And/or started with money from the artists' own pockets. It soon came to be supported significantly by the National Endowment for the Arts and went on to win awards from Washington state and from King County. When it decided to fold, it did not die; instead, like a nurse log, it spun off into full-fledged organizations that continue today: Artech, the region's leading professional art handling company; Artist Trust, the funding organization for individual artists; Center on Contemporary Art, a curated nonprofit exhibition venue; and 911 Media Arts Center supporting new-media production and education. And/or staged, then seeded, a generation of contemporary art in late-twentieth-century Seattle.
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Barackman, Mervin (1894-1977) and His Wrestling Bears
The "spectator sport" of bear wrestling is an ancient, if disturbing, one that is still practiced in only a few nations. In America, the man-vs.-bear spectacle became a fad among beered-up tavern patrons in New York in the 1800s and eventually grew into a common feature of traveling circuses, county fairs, and amateur wrestling matches all across the country. Numerous bears became headliner attractions, and the Pacific Northwest produced a few of its own stars, including Billy the Bear and Big Andy. Though their life stories remain a bit sketchy, it is known that both those bears were raised, trained, toured, and promoted by Seattle's famed middleweight wrestling champ, Mervin Barackman. From his birth around 1894 in Nebraska, Barackman's personal life included several marriages and the birth and death of a son. His career took him all around the West, where he wrestled and so did his bears. Over time, as concerns increased about human safety and animal cruelty issues (bears are trained through fear of physical punishment rather than positive reinforcement), the sport fell largely out of favor. In recent decades, laws have been passed widely to prohibit its practice.
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CAMP: Central Area Motivation Program (Seattle)
Seattle's Central Area Motivation Program (CAMP) is the oldest surviving independent agency originating during the War on Poverty era (in 1964) and was the first community inspired program in the country to receive funding. Its mission has been to reduce the impact of poverty with all of its related problems. Through many programs and services, CAMP still (2009) assists in improving the lot of the poor by providing food and shelter; offering education for at-risk students; employment and training for the unemployed and underemployed; and providing heat for homes during the colder months.
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Clarkston -- Thumbnail History
With a 2010 population of 7,265, Clarkston is the urban center, though not the county seat, of tiny Asotin County in the southeast corner of Washington. At the confluence of the Snake and Clearwater rivers, it is a twin town with Lewiston, Idaho, just across the Snake River. In 1896 the Lewiston-Clarkston Improvement Company, an irrigation and hydro-electric venture, founded and laid out Clarkston, one of the few early examples of urban planning in the Pacific Northwest. Lewiston has always been the older, larger, and more industrial of the two towns, which since 1899 have been linked by a series of bridges over the Snake River. Although rivals in some respects, the two cities see their interests as mutually connected and in fact maintain a joint Chamber of Commerce. The final dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers provided enough slack water to enable commercial shipping to both cities. Clarkston, the easternmost port in Washington, bustles with huge wheat barges, trains, trucks, and river cruise ships.
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Colman Building (Seattle)
The Colman Building in downtown Seattle was built by James M. Colman (1832-1906) in 1889. Sometimes called the Colman Block, it spans the 800 block on the west side of 1st Avenue between Marion and Columbia streets. The history of this building begins with plans before the Great Fire of 1889. Reflecting changes in Seattle from tideland fill, through major renovations in 1904-1906, again in 1929, and historic restoration in the 1980s, it remains a rare example of a Chicago-style business block in Seattle. The Colman family retained ownership of the building through three generations. Tenants in the building have conducted diverse businesses including express services, marine services, brokerages, food purveying, and insuring. Consuls from other countries have had their offices in the building. Professionals, including lawyers, engineers, and architects, have been tenants. Retail storefronts along 1st Avenue housed bankers, grocers, druggists, meat marketers, restaurateurs, clothiers, and the Seattle Hardware Company. The Colman Building today is home to diverse office tenants and street front businesses along each of its four street faces, including the Colman Barbershop founded in 1930, and two Irish pubs: Fado and the Owl 'n' Thistle. A renovated historic pedestrian walkway along Marion Street from 1st Avenue continues across Western Avenue and Alaskan Way to the Colman Ferry Dock. The Colman Building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 16, 1972, and received City of Seattle Landmark status on March 27, 1990.
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Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), Seattle Chapter
The Seattle Chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality was a powerful force in the city's civil rights movement during the 1960s, spearheading efforts to bring to public attention the inequalities black people suffered in housing, employment, and education. In 1960, Seattle's black population was mostly confined to housing in the Central Area, not seen as sales clerks in grocery or department stores, and studying in segregated public schools. The organization was successful in opening job opportunities and in calling attention to other forms of discrimination.
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Durkan, Martin J. Sr. (1923-2005)
Martin J. Durkan was a Seattle-area lawyer, Democratic legislator, and lobbyist. He wielded considerable power during 16 years in the state Senate, where he served as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee for nearly a decade. He made two unsuccessful runs for governor before retiring from the Senate in 1974. He made a final try for higher office when a seat in the U.S. Congress opened in 1977, but again lost in the primary. He still had clout, however. He became one of the state capital's top lobbyists, working on behalf of horse racing, cigarette manufacturers, optometrists, timber, garbage haulers, and other clients. His legacy includes an extraordinary family, with lawyers, lobbyists, and political consultants among the eight children.
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First African Methodist Episcopal Church (Seattle)
The First African Methodist Episcopal Church, located at 1522 14th Avenue, is the oldest black church in Seattle. Established in 1886 it was designated a Seattle landmark in 1984.
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Gates, William H. (Bill) (b. 1955)
William H. (Bill) Gates was co-founder and CEO of Microsoft Corp. As such, he not only accumulated a fortune -- in 2013 he was the richest person in the world, with a net worth of $72.1 billion -- but was a key player in the computer revolution that has fundamentally changed the nature of business and culture in the United States and around the world. Although Bill Gates began his career with the benefits of being the scion of an accomplished and well-off family, with excellent education opportunities and access to a broad network of personal connections, no one has argued that his success was not primarily the result of his own talents and efforts. In addition to co-founding Microsoft, he co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and since 2008 has devoted his energies to that large philanthropy.
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Geary, Leslie Edward "Ted" (1885-1960)
Leslie Edward "Ted" Geary was a naval architect who grew up in Seattle. He designed and raced numerous competitive sailing vessels, and also designed commuter yachts, fishing boats, tug boats, and wooden hulled freighters.
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Gorton, Slade (b. 1928)
Slade Gorton, a leader in Washington's Republican Party for more than four decades, served three terms as U.S. Senator, three as state attorney general, and 10 years as a representative in the Washington State Legislature. He was born in Chicago, educated at Dartmouth College, and received his law degree from Columbia Law School. He moved to Seattle in 1953 and won his first seat in the state House in 1958. In 1967, he became the state House majority leader. He successfully ran for state attorney general in 1968 and held that post until 1980, when he defeated Warren Magnuson (1905-1989) for U.S. Senate. Gorton lost his re-election bid in 1986. However, he ran for the U.S. Senate again in 1988 and won. He was re-elected in 1994. He considered himself a “passionate moderate” for most of his career, yet made headlines for his clashes with environmentalists and Indian tribes (Hughes, 278). He was defeated in a bid for a fourth term in 2000. As a member of the federal panel charged with investigating the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Gorton was instrumental in preparing the influential 9/11 Commission Report.
File 10970: Full Text >
Hill, Tim Henry (b. 1936)
Tim Hill's political career in Washington state spanned 27 years, from 1966 to 1993, including two terms as King County executive. He served one term as a state representative for the 44th district, three terms on the Seattle City Council, and also was the Seattle city comptroller from 1979 to 1985. Hill also lost races for Seattle mayor in 1973 and for the U.S. Senate in 1992. He was a liberal-to-moderate Republican, an ardent environmentalist who bicycled to and from work, and his style was low-key. During his years with the City of Seattle, he was an earnest budget watchdog and often aroused the ire of other city politicians. The usually nonpartisan Municipal League in 1984 named Hill the year's outstanding public official for his stewardship of the city's purse strings. As county executive, he was burdened with an overcrowded jail, testy relations with the Seattle Mariners, and growth-management issues. He ran for re-election in 1993, but was defeated by Gary Locke. He and his wife, Margot, have remained active in a range of educational, civic, and political activities.
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Hubbard, Walter Jr. (1924-2007)
Walter Hubbard Jr. was a Seattle-based civil rights and labor union leader, political activist, and national leader in the Roman Catholic Church. He was involved in the promotion of justice and equality in intergroup relations and participated in activities to secure worldwide interracial justice. His vision of a church and world without racism was reflected in his life's work.
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Jones, Quincy (b. 1933)
With humble roots tracing back to Chicago's ghettos and later the segregated World War II-era housing in the navy port of Bremerton, Washington, teen trumpeter Quincy Jones rose quickly through the ranks of Seattle's 1940s jazz scene. Earning the nickname "Quick" based on his reputation as a fast study, he performed with the trail-blazing bands of Bumps Blackwell (1918-1985), befriended fellow newcomer pianist Ray Charles (1930-2004), and began honing his formidable skills as a composer/arranger while still a youth. Jones went on to tour with a jazz idol, Lionel Hampton (1908-2002), and work as arranger/conductor for other jazz icons, including Count Basie (1904-1984), Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996), Frank Sinatra (1915-1998), Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990), and Dinah Washington (1924-1963). In the 1950s he moved to Paris to study advanced theory, and to New York where he became a record label executive. Later he relocated to Hollywood where he composed award-winning film soundtracks and produced his own hits as well as hits for Michael Jackson (1958-2009), Billy Preston, Aretha Franklin (b. 1942), Celine Dion, and others. An entrepreneur, humanitarian, philanthropist -- and the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and doctorates, scores of Grammy Awards and Academy Award nominations, and a 2013 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame -- Quincy Jones, a Seattle legend and a national treasure, became one of the most globally esteemed musicians in modern history.
File 10354: Full Text >
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David Thompson of the North West Company surveys Celilo Falls, The Dalles, and Cascades Rapids on the lower Columbia River on July 11-13, 1811.
On July 11, 1811, Canadian explorer David Thompson (1770-1857) reaches Celilo Falls on the Columbia River after a historic voyage downriver from Kettle Falls. Over the next three days, Thompson surveys Celilo Falls, The Dalles, and Cascades Rapids as he continues down the river. In addition to his scientific work as a geographer, Thompson is the fur agent in charge of the Columbia Department of the North West Company of Canada. He is on a mission to determine whether the Columbia is navigable from its upper reaches to the sea and whether it will provide a viable trade route for the fur company. Thompson is traveling in a cedar plank canoe manned by eight French Canadian and Iroquois paddlers.
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Three North West Company men arrive by canoe at mouth of Columbia River on November 15, 1813.
On November 15, 1813, North West Company partners Alexander Henry the Younger (d. 1814), Alexander Stewart (sometimes spelled Stuart) (ca. 1780-1840), and clerk James Keith (1782-1851) arrive at the mouth of Columbia River after a canoe journey across the continent from Fort William, on the shores of Lake Superior. Henry's journals provide an inside look at a "critical point of Anglo-Canadian and American business rivalry" between the North West Company of Montreal and the Pacific Fur Company of New York (Henry, Vol. 1, p.lv).
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1857 Census: King County Population By Name
In 1857, a census of King County residents is taken. The population consists of 152 persons of European American descent including 86 adult males, 23 females age 18 and over, and 43 children of whom 14 were born in King County. This essay lists the 170 persons by name, sex, occupation, and place of birth.
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Mercer Girls reach Seattle on May 16, 1864.
On May 16, 1864, the first Mercer Girls from the East Coast reach Seattle. Seattle resident Asa Mercer (1839-1917) has recruited the group to provide teachers for the young community and in order to alleviate the problem of lack of women in the Puget Sound area.
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Yakima County is established on January 21, 1865.
On January 21, 1865, the Washington Territorial Legislature establishes Yakima County. Yakima County includes most of the land in the former Ferguson County, created in 1863 and dissolved three days earlier on on January 18, 1865. The county is located more or less in the area of the future Yakima and Kittitas counties combined.
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Volga Germans led by Johann Frederich Rosenoff settle near Ritzville in 1883.
In 1883, a group of some 17 families led by Johann Frederich Rosenoff arrive in Adams County and settle near Ritzville. They are known as Volga Germans because they are German-speaking and German-identified former residents of Russia's Volga River valley. They become the nucleus of the Russian-German population in the area, which by 1930 comprises about one-fourth of Ritzville's residents.
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Washington Territorial Legislature creates Douglas County on November 28, 1883.
On November 28, 1883, the Washington Territorial Legislature creates Douglas County. It does so by partitioning off a portion of Lincoln County.
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Washington Territorial Legislature creates Adams County on November 28, 1883.
On November 28, 1883, the Washington Territorial Legislature creates Adams County. It does so by partitioning the large Whitman County into Whitman, Franklin, and Adams counties.
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Douglas County voters decide to move their county seat from Okanogan to Waterville on November 2, 1886.
On November 2, 1886, Douglas County voters agree to move their county seat from the waterless town of Okanogan to the growing small community of Waterville. Within two years Okanogan ceases to exist.
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Most of Ritzville's business district burns to the ground on June 6, 1888.
On June 6, 1888, most of Ritzville's business district burns to the ground. At 4:30 p.m. a fire breaks out in the large American Exchange Hotel due to a defective flue. A southwest wind sweeps the flames into the adjoining buildings north of the hotel, and soon the entire northern portion of the business district is engulfed. The town has only rudimentary firefighting capability and most of the downtown is destroyed.
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Ritzville incorporates as a fourth-class city on July 17, 1890.
On July 17, 1890, Ritzville incorporates as a fourth-class city. The vote to incorporate was held a few days earlier, on July 12, and passed 30 to 7. In the same vote, R. J. Neergaard is elected mayor. The town comprises 440 acres and is the county seat of the recently formed Adams County.
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Adams County produces its first bumper crop of wheat in 1897.
In 1897, Adams County produces its first bumper crop of wheat. For the first time, raising wheat becomes predominate over cattle ranching in the county. The "Big Crop of '97" inspires a major influx of new settlers to immigrate to the county by the turn of the century.
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Photographer Imogen Cunningham opens her first portrait studio in Seattle in September 1910.
In September 1910, the photographer Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976) opens her first portrait studio at 1117 Terry Avenue on Seattle's First Hill. Cunningham, one of the foremost photographers of the twentieth century, grew up in Port Angeles and Seattle. She spent most of her career in San Francisco, but maintained life-long ties to the Puget Sound area.
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South Cle Elum is incorporated on August 28, 1911.
On August 28, 1911, the town of South Cle Elum in Kittitas County is incorporated. The town, across the Yakima River from the larger town of Cle Elum, had sprung into existence in 1908 when the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad (the Milwaukee Road) arrived and built a depot, roundhouse, and rail yard. South Cle Elum immediately became a bustling rail center and division point. Three years later residents vote to incorporate as a town of the fourth class, and the Washington Secretary of State makes it official on August 28.
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Birth of Redmond's 300th resident, Ernest Alexander Adams III, on November 24, 1912, makes possible incorporation of City of Redmond.
On November 24, 1912, Mabel Pearl Parks Adams gives birth to a son, Ernest Alexander Adams III. His arrival raises the population of the town of Redmond to 300 residents, the legal threshold for incorporation. Community leaders convene one day after the birth to organize the new city, which was formally established on December 31, 1912.
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SS Rosecrans wrecks on Peacock Spit at Cape Disappointment with a loss of 33 lives on January 7, 1913.
On Tuesday morning, January 7, 1913, the oil tanker SS Rosecrans,
from Monterey, California, bound to Portland, Oregon, with 19,000 barrels of fuel oil on board, runs aground on Peacock Spit at Cape Disappointment during a whole gale (a gale with 55-63 m.p.h winds). The wireless operator manages to send an SOS signal that the ship is stranded somewhere near the entrance to the Columbia River and is breaking up. Rescuers are unable to locate the Rosecrans
in the thick weather and she founders.The vessel and cargo, valued at $225,000, are totally destroyed and 33 of the 36 members of her crew perish before assistance arrives. Only six bodies will be recovered from the mass of oil that fouls the shorelines of Washington and Oregon for many months. In terms of lives lost, the wreck of the SS Rosecrans
is the second greatest maritime disaster recorded on the Columbia River Bar in the twentieth century.
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Bandits rob the First National Bank in Sedro-Woolley, killing one bystander and wounding two, on October 17, 1914.
On Saturday evening, October 17, 1914, a gang of armed bandits robs the First National Bank in Sedro-Woolley of $11,649 in gold coins and currency. During a 15-minute barrage, the gang indiscriminately fires more than 100 rounds, after which they quickly withdraw and escape into the darkness without leaving a trace. Three bystanders have been seriously wounded and one, a young boy, will die from peritonitis. Four days later, five men, believed to be the robbers, are spotted in Ferndale, heading north toward the Canadian border. They are intercepted near Hazelmere, B.C., north of Blaine, where two of the men and a Canadian immigration officer are killed in a fierce gun-battle. The remaining three men flee into the woods and backtrack across the border, but are seen again heading south toward Bellingham. Anticipating their escape route, sheriff's posses guard all the bridges across the Nooksack River. Early Saturday morning, October 24, the fugitives are trapped on the Great Northern Railway bridge at Ferndale. Officers shoot and kill two of the fugitives, but one manages to escape on foot. Authorities in Washington and British Columbia arrest and question dozens of suspicious transients, but none are charged with the crimes. Although a $1,000 reward is offered for the capture of the last fugitive, he is never found.
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Nellie Cornish signs lease for space in Seattle's Booth Building, where she will soon open Cornish School of Music, on November 14, 1914.
On November 14, 1914, Nellie C. Cornish (1876-1956), just returned from a nearly year-long stay in California, signs a lease for a one-room studio in the Booth Building at Broadway Avenue and Pine Street on Seattle's Capitol Hill. Cornish, who had been teaching piano and playing professionally in the city since 1900, will soon open the Cornish School of Music and take over the building's entire third floor. The school is an immediate success but will be plagued later by financial troubles. In 1921 it will move to its own building, farther north on Capitol Hill at Harvard Avenue and Roy Street, financed largely by several of Nellie Cornish's society friends and other supporters. Despite enduring repeated artistic and financial crises over the years, a century after its founding the school, now called the Cornish College of the Arts and with a main campus in the Denny Triangle neighborhood of downtown Seattle, remains a mainstay of arts education in the Northwest.
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Liberty Theatre in Northport opens on February 7, 1918.
On February 7, 1918, Melville L. Adams opens the Liberty Theatre in Northport, a small mining town located in Stevens County on the Columbia River in northeastern Washington not far from the Canadian border. The initial feature is Polly of the Circus
(Goldwyn, 1917) starring former D.W. Griffith actress Mae Marsh (1894-1968).
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The Wenatchee Daily World first reports on the proposal to dam the Columbia River at Grand Coulee on July 18, 1918.
On July 18, 1918, an article by Rufus Woods (1878-1950) appears in The Wenatchee Daily World
reporting on a local proposal to dam the Columbia River at Grand Coulee -- an effort to provide power and irrigation throughout the Columbia Basin region. The article is the first public mention of what will become the Columbia Basin Reclamation Project, and marks the beginning of a three-decade odyssey to construct Grand Coulee Dam and irrigation canals throughout the region. The dam -- at the time, the world's largest -- will open in 1941, and the project's first irrigation water will flow into Pasco in 1948.
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Beginnings of the Columbia Basin Reclamation Project: A Reminiscence by W. Gale Matthews
In early 1952, W. Gale Matthews -- a resident of Grant County since 1890 and, at the time of this account, President of the Grant County Title Abstract Company -- provided his memories of the beginning of the Columbia Basin Reclamation Project. This project to irrigate large parts of the Columbia Basin in Eastern Washington famously gave birth to Grand Coulee Dam, which opened in 1941. Matthews account was transcribed from a speech he gave to the Grant County Historical Society in early 1952, and was edited by Eric L. Flom. Matthews tells of the early ridicule facing this proposal and the war of ideas waged between dam proponents and others advocating a rival irrigation scheme.
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Eli Mapel (or Maple): Pioneer Recollections, 1902
This essay is the complete text of an autobiographical essay by Seattle pioneer Eli Mapel (or Maple) (1831-1911), the son of Jacob Mapel (or Maple) (1798-1884). Eli arrived in Seattle on October 12, 1852, at the age of 20. He relates his experiences of traveling West by wagon, of the Indian wars, and of farming and logging. His recollections were published in a newspaper clipped by Clarence Bagley and found in Bagley's scrapbook.
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Elk Coal: A Forgotten King County Coal Mining Town
Among the forgotten coal mining towns of King County, perhaps none is more forgotten than Elk Coal near the flank of Sugarloaf Mountain. The town, in an area rich with coal mines, was situated one-half mile west of the dimly remembered town of Durham, 1.25 miles south of Kangley, and 1.25 miles north of Palmer-Kanaskat. Within three miles of Elk Coal there were numerous underground coal mining operations, including Durham, Hiawatha, Kangley, Palmer, Bayne, Occidental, Cumberland, Navy, and the larger Ravensdale and Black Diamond mines further west. Robert Pearson, an Irish immigrant and livery stable operator, homesteaded the south 160 acres of Section 34, Township 22 North, Range 7 East, which became the site of the Elk Coal mine and the town of the same name. Pearson, and after his death his daughter Aileen (Estby and later Gregovich), operated a store and gas station on the Kanaskat-Kangley county road, where the alternate spelling, "Elkcoal," advertised the town's existence to travelers. Locals simply called it Elko.This People's History was contributed by William Kombol, Manager of the Palmer Coking Coal Company, in Black Diamond.
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Gordon Clinton, Mayor of Seattle 1956-1964
On March 30, 2004, HistoryLink Executive Director Walt Crowley (1947-2007) interviewed Gordon Clinton (1920-2011), who served as Seattle's mayor from 1956 to 1964. This was during a pivotal period in the region's history: Metro was formed to clean up water pollution; Seattle became one of the first cities to join President Dwight D. Eisenhower's Sister Cities Program; the Space Needle and Monorail were constructed; and the 1962 Century 21 World's Fair took place.
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Holden, Dave: On Race and Music in Seattle, 1956-1966
Dave Holden was born on May 21, 1937, in Seattle. Son of local jazz legend Oscar Holden, Dave got his first paid gig as a jazz musician in the late 1950s. From that time on, Dave's keyboard and vocal talents have taken him around the world. In this HistoryLink interview conducted by Heather MacIntosh in Kent on May 23, 2000, Dave Holden shares his memories of Garfield High School, growing up in the Central Area, and his virtual isolation from the explosive racial tensions of the 1960s.
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Madrona Memories, Part 2 -- Civil Rights and Civil Unrest
This people's history recalls recalls the civil rights movement and civil unrest in Seattle's Madrona neighborhood in the 1960s and 1970s. The main author is Carol Richman, and this segment also includes extensive reflections by Mary Kenny, Reva K. Twersky, and Judge John Darrah.
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By Russ Banham
This history and reflection on SAFECO was written by the well-published author Russ Banham and is presented by SAFECO.
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Report on Accident and Recovery of Miner, John Wolti, who on December 13, 1950, was buried under a cave-in of the gangway in the Elk Mine, operated by the Big Four Coal Company, King County, Washington
This People's History presents the full official investigative report prepared by the state chief coal mine inspector of an incident at the Elk Mine in King County in which miner John A. Wolti was rescued after being trapped by a cave-in for 54 hours. This report on the dramatic 1950 rescue was contributed by Bill Kombol, manager of Palmer Coking Coal Co.
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Seattle Public Schools, 1862-2000: Adams Elementary School
This People's History of Adams Elementary School is taken from Building for Learning: Seattle Public School Histories, 1862-2000
by Nile Thompson and Carolyn J. Marr. That book, published in 2002 by Seattle Public Schools, compiled profiles of all the public school buildings that had been used by the school district since its formation around 1862. The profiles from the book are being made available as People's Histories on HistoryLink.org courtesy of Seattle Public Schools. It should be noted that these essays are from 2000. Some of the buildings profiled are historic, some of recent vintage, and many no longer exist (new names and buildings not included in these profiles from 2000 have been added), but each plays or has played an important role in the education of Seattle's youth.
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Ski Lifts, Inc. and the First Northwest Rope Tows
During the 1930s, skiing in the northwest grew rapidly. Seattle and Tacoma area enthusiasts traveled to Snoqualmie Pass, Paradise on Mount Rainier, and Mount Baker on weekends to ski. Travel to ski areas was challenging, and since there were no ski lifts, skiers had to put "skins" on their skis or "herringbone" up the hills before they could enjoy the thrilling but short run down. This made skiing a physically demanding sport. In 1937, Ski Lifts, Inc. was formed by James Parker and Chauncey Griggs to install and operate the Northwest's first rope tows at Snoqualmie Summit, Mount Rainier, and Mount Baker. The lifts carried skiers uphill, eliminating much of the physical aspect of the sport, making skiing easier and accessible to more people. Webb Moffett was hired to operate the rope tow at Snoqualmie Summit, and he later took over Ski Lifts, Inc., which he ultimately used to acquire and operate all four ski areas on Snoqualmie Pass. This People's History was written by John W. Lundin as part of a series on ski history for the opening of the Washington State Ski History Museum on Snoqualmie Pass in fall 2014. Information in the essay came from The Seattle Times
Historical Archives; Ski Lifts, Inc. documents from the Moffett family; the Seattle Municipal Archives; At the Forest's Edge by David Hellyer; and other sources.
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