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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.

This Week Then

3/4/2021

News Then, History Now

Grisly Demise

In 1873 San Juan Island homesteaders Harry and Selena Dwyer were found brutally murdered in their home. When 17-year-old suspect Jo Nuanna fled to Victoria, soon-to-be county sheriff Stephen Boyce followed him there, and Nuanna was apprehended with help from the local police. Extradited to the U.S., he was placed on trial in Port Townsend, where he was found guilty and suffered through a botched hanging on March 6, 1874.

Lights in their Eyes

On March 4, 1902, Seattle voters flipped a historic switch by approving bonds for a tiny hydroelectric plant at Cedar Falls. The first juice for streetlights flowed three years later, and because the new "City Light" electricity was cheaper than private power, residents were quick to ask for connections to their homes and businesses.

A Long Time to Rise

In 1911, Virgil Bogue proposed a plan for Seattle that would have created a grand Beaux-Arts civic center in the recently regraded area of Belltown. Downtown business owners blanched at the prospect of seeing their property values decline, and on March 5, 1912, voters nixed Bogue's improvement plan. Instead of a bustling commercial district, the neighborhood became home to warehouses, apartments, and other undistinguished structures. It wasn't until recently that Belltown began experiencing the kind of development dreamed of a century earlier.

Failure to Act

On March 5, 1923, three days before the state legislature's adjournment, the Washington State House of Representatives in Olympia failed to act on a bill intended to quell the resurgent Ku Klux Klan in the state. That summer, tens of thousands attended the Klan's first state "Konvention" south of Seattle, and the following year a large rally was held in Issaquah.

Lost Cataract

On March 10, 1957, Celilo Falls disappeared into memory, just hours after floodgates closed on newly completed The Dalles Lock and Dam on the Columbia River. The rising waters submerged the spectacular cascade where Northwest Indians had fished for thousands of years. Also lost were two ancient Indian villages, one on each side of the river.

What Ivan Lacked

On March 4, 1967, five-year-old Ivan the Gorilla was moved to a cage at the B&I Circus Store in Lakewood, where he would spend the next 27 years of his life. In 1994, after animal-rights groups campaigned for a move, Ivan was sent to Zoo Atlanta in Georgia, where he lived out his final 18 years in a more natural habitat.

Today in
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Image of the Week

One hundred years ago this week, Martin Johanson opened the Millionair Club Charity in Seattle's Pioneer Square on March 6, 1921.

Quote of the Week

In a land of immigrants, one was not an alien but simply the latest arrival.

--Rudolf Arnheim

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