Diablo Dam incline railway climbing Sourdough Mountain, 1930. Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, 2306.
Children waving to ferry, 1950. Courtesy Museum of History and Industry.
Loggers in the Northwest woods. Courtesy Washington State Digital Archives.
Coronavirus Week 19
In week 19 of the coronavirus pandemic, Washington continues to gradually open up as Governor Inslee and his team assess how the counties should proceed. This week, half of the counties were allowed to enter Phase 2, while the remainder continued to monitor infection rates.
HistoryLink is documenting the impact of the pandemic in several ways. We have posted a number of articles about the key events so far:
and we continue to add new images from around the state on Instagram.
We aren't waiting for this to be history! We want to hear your stories for our Coronavirus Archive Project. Our People's Histories are a rich collection of first-person accounts, and we would like to add your experiences in this pandemic so future generations can turn to HistoryLink to learn what happened. Visit our Coronavirus Archive Project page to share your story.
Hay toured the county by train, beginning with a brief stop in Newport to pick up reception committees from Ione, Usk, and Cusick. The train also stopped in other towns on its way to Metaline Falls before returning that evening for a banquet in Newport. Newspaperman Fred Wolf, owner of the Newport Miner, noted that Hay was very impressed with the new county's resources and industrial enterprises.
Pend Oreille County has been home to timber, mining, and cement-manufacturing enterprises, many served by the Port of Pend Oreille, which has owned its own railroad line since 1979. The county's abundance of beautiful lakes, mountains, forests, and streams has made it one of the state's premier outdoor vacation spots.
For a glimpse into what Pend Oreille County was like a century ago, we invite you to read Dorothea Nordstrand's recollections of her family's homestead in Tiger, which they shared with a determined horse named Dandy. And in 2009, Gary Graupner shared some of his family's history in Newport, where its members survived many challenges, including the 1918 flu pandemic and the Great Depression.
Down in the Valley
On May 28, 1890, the City of Kent incorporated in the White River Valley. A few weeks later, local residents got a chance to show off their new community when they hosted the region's first Juneteenth, the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.
Non-native settlers first arrived in the White River Valley in the 1850s, attracted by excellent farmland created by the Osceola Mudflow thousands of years earlier. Indian tribes, who had enjoyed the valley environment for generations, violently opposed the newcomers. When the unrest ended and the Muckleshoot Indian Reservation (the only one to be established in King County) was created in the valley, more farmers arrived to till the land or raise contented cows.
Farms flourished with the flooding under control, but so did development. Businesses began eyeing the valley as a perfect place to set up industrial parks, and when the Space Race took off, Boeing chose Kent as the home for its state-of-the-art space center. It was here that the firm developed the famed lunar rover, and Kent took a giant leap forward -- from cows to the moon.
News Then,History Now
On May 29, 1792, during an exploratory survey aboard the HMS Discovery, Captain George Vancouver named Puget's Sound in honor his lieutenant, Peter Puget. The next day, the ship dropped anchor at Elliott Point, the site of present-day Mukilteo. From there, the ship's master, Joseph Whidbey, went by launch to explore two passages opening to the north. He ended up circumnavigating a large island, which Captain Vancouver promptly named after his young officer.
Seattle's first aviation disaster occurred on May 30, 1912, at the Meadows Race Track when an airplane crashed into the grandstand, killing one person and injuring 21. Three years later, on May 30, 1915, a barge filled with 622 tons of gunpowder exploded in Elliott Bay, a blast later determined to be sabotage. The concussion shattered or cracked nearly 500 windows throughout the city.
On May 30, 1948, the Vanport Flood -- so named for the town it destroyed just north of Portland, Oregon -- began. The flood waters along the Columbia River extended as far east as Kennewick and Richland, and by the time they finally receded they had killed at least 50 people and caused about $102 million in damage.
Sailing On In
This week marks the anniversaries of two visits from notable American military vessels. On May 31, 1933, the historic frigate USS Constitution arrived in Seattle as part of a national "thank you" tour for those who donated money for its restoration. And on June 3, 1958, the nuclear submarine U.S.S. Nautilus stopped in Seattle en route to a top secret Cold War mission to transit the North Pole underwater. A leaking condenser threatened the mission, but crewmen donned civilian clothes and scoured the city's gas stations sub rosa for every can of Bar's Leak they could buy.