April 28, 2016 – May 4, 2016
May is Historic Preservation Month and this week HistoryLink looks at some of the National Historic Landmarks that have been designated in Washington. We begin with the state's first NHL, Chinook Point, where Captain Robert Gray first saw the Columbia River and which was designated in 1961, along with American and English camps on San Juan Island. In 1964 the Marmes Rockshelter was named a landmark, but it has since been submerged under Lake Herbert G. West, the reservoir created by the construction of Lower Monumental Dam.
Buildings that are national landmarks include Seattle's Panama Hotel, the Georgetown Steam Plant, Paradise Inn (shown above) at Mount Rainier National Park, the B Reactor at Hanford, and the Fort Nisqually Granary, which now sits at Point Defiance. Structural groupings include Fort Worden, Port Gamble, Port Townsend, the Bonneville Dam Historic District, and Seattle's Pioneer Building, pergola, and totem pole in Pioneer Square.
Washington maritime history is represented by the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, which was designated in 1992. Vessels on the landmark list include the Virginia V, the lightship Swiftsure, and the fireboat Duwamish. In all, Washington has 24 sites designated as National Historic Landmarks and 1,530 buildings, structures, objects, sites, and districts on the National Register of Historic Places, and we're very proud of that.
Consider a Donation
This Tuesday, May 3, The Seattle Foundation holds its sixth annual one-day GiveBig campaign in support of local nonprofits. Each year many of our devoted readers have donated to HistoryLink through this event and have helped us improve the site and expand our content. If you've noticed any landmarks or historic places missing in this encyclopedia they have yet to be added, and we ask you to dig deep and assist us in our efforts.
Please donate to HistoryLink on May 3 via a dedicated page on the foundation's website and it will "stretch" those funds based on the total amount given. More support from you means more matching funds from The Seattle Foundation, and any donation you make will help us immensely.
News Then, History Now
Cities Commence: Communities celebrating birthdays this week include Issaquah, which incorporated as Gilman on April 29, 1892; Toppenish, which incorporated on April 29, 1907; Everett, which incorporated on May 4, 1893; and Everson, which incorporated on May 4, 1929.
Explosive Events: On April 28, 1919, Seattle mayor Ole Hanson received a bomb in the mail, part of a nationwide plot by anarchists to attack politicians and well-known businessmen. Fortunately, it did not explode. The same can't be said for an aerial bomb that fatally injured Spokane pioneer aviator Major John T. Fancher on April 29, 1928, during a flight demonstration. Fancher had been instrumental in bringing the 1927 National Air Derby and Air Races to Felts Field.
Eighty-Eight Keys: On April 28, 1940, experimental-music pioneer John Cage debuted his "prepared piano" at Seattle's Repertory Playhouse. The instrument was augmented with screws, bolts, nuts, and leather strips that dampened the strings and produced a cacophony of sounds. Exactly 28 years later, thousands gathered in Duvall to hear an even stranger musical performance: the sound made by a piano when dropped from a helicopter.
Unrest and Unease: During the first week of May 1970 protests erupted in Seattle against the U.S. military's entry into Cambodia. After four Kent State students were killed by National Guardsmen in Ohio on May 4 more than a thousand protesters marched from Seattle's University District onto Interstate 5. They blocked all southbound lanes, but exited peacefully when confronted by police.
Opening Day: On May 4, 1974, President Richard Nixon presided at the opening ceremonies for Expo '74, Spokane's World's Fair. Over the next six months more than 5.2 million people attended the fair, which focused on the environment,
Come and Play: On May 1, 1988, Kurt Cobain posted a "Drummer Wanted" ad in Seattle's The Rocket magazine. The ad proved fruitless, but within weeks Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic connected with drummer Chad Channing and recorded Nirvana's historic first single. The band went through a succession of drummers that ended with Dave Grohl and achieved worldwide fame, but not before playing in such Seattle clubs as The Crocodile, which opened on April 30, 1991.
Quote of the Week
We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.
Image of the Week
Bellingham's Mt. Baker Theatre opened on April 29, 1927.