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Shaping Seattle's Central Waterfront, Part 2: From "Back Alley" to "Front Porch"

The late 1960s and early 1970s saw a profound shift in thinking about Seattle's central waterfront. As the central business district struggled with declining customers and community groups advocated f...

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South Lake Union: The Evolution of a Dream

This essay surveys the development of Seattle's South Lake Union and Cascade communities from 1854 to 2003, with emphasis on visions for its future including Virgil Bogue's 1911 Plan of Seattle, the 1...

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Spellman, John D. (1926-2018)

John D. Spellman was the first King County Executive and later served as governor of Washington. Elected Executive in 1969, shortly after the County's Home Rule Charter created the position, Spellman ...

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Spellman, John: King County Politics in the Sixties, Seventies and Beyond

The long career of John Spellman (1926-2018) in local and state politics began in 1967 when he was elected a King County Commissioner. His term overlapped the controversial Forward Thrust capital impr...

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Spirit of Washington Dinner Train on Lake Washington (King County), 1992-2007

The Spirit of Washington Dinner Train brought the romance of the rails to King County's Eastside for 15 years from 1992 to 2007. For a price guests enjoyed an excursion through the communities east of...

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Stanwood -- Thumbnail History

Stanwood is located in northwest Snohomish County at the mouth of the old channel of the Stillaguamish River. Most of the town is on the river delta and in recent years it has begun to grow to the ea...

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Strahorn, Robert E. (1852-1944)

Robert E. Strahorn (1852-1944) and his wife Carrie Adell Green "Dell" Strahorn (1854-1925) had a significant impact on the Northwest in the 1880s and 1890s, through their writings that publicized the ...

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Street Railways in Seattle

Road travel in and around Seattle was difficult and dangerous before 1884, when the first horse-drawn streetcar line was established downtown. The first cable car line was introduced in 1887, and elec...

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The Dalles Lock and Dam

The Dalles Lock and Dam (The Dalles Dam) is one of the 10 largest producers of hydroelectric power in the United States. Since its first generator went online in 1957, the dam has produced more than 9...

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The Great Seattle Fire, Part 2

On June 7, 1889, the sun rose over a stunned and devastated Seattle. The day before, a massive fire had ravaged the city's commercial core and its waterfront. Seattle had been booming, and over the pr...

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The Railroads of Jefferson and Clallam Counties

The first Europeans to see the Olympic Peninsula were stunned by the thick conifer forests that stretched from shore to as far as the eye could see. Nearly 100 years later, thousands of Americans and ...

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Thomson, Reginald Heber (1856-1949)

Reginald Heber Thomson probably did more to change the face of Seattle than any one individual. During his exemplary career as city engineer and beyond, he leveled hills, straightened and dredged wate...

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Trackless Trolleys in Seattle

Trackless trolleys -- electric trolleys that have rubber tires rather than running on rails like streetcars -- have been a distinctive feature of Seattle's transit system since 1940. Seattle became th...

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Transportation and Communication in Seattle in 1900

Imagine life without telephones or email; without automobiles, motorboats or airplanes; without floating bridges or paved roads over the Cascades. So it was in 1900. Seattle boasted some of the nation...

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Turning Point 11: Borne on the 4th of July: The Saga of the Lake Washington Ship Canal

The 11th essay in HistoryLink's Turning Points series for The Seattle Times reviews the numerous local historical events that occurred on the Fourth of July, including Henry Yesler's fraudulent lotter...

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Turning Point 14: Progressivism's High Tide: Creation of the Port of Seattle in 1911

The 14th essay in our Turning Points series for The Seattle Times, written by Walt Crowley, details the creation of the Port of Seattle on September 5, 1911. The election of the first three Port Commi...

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Turning Point 4: Seattle City Light: 100 Years of Public Power

This the fourth in a series of special essays commissioned by The Seattle Times to examine crucial turning points in the history of Seattle and King County. "Seattle City Light" considers public owner...

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Turning Point 9: The Sound and the Ferry: The Birth of Washington State Ferries

The ninth essay in HistoryLink's Turning Points series for The Seattle Times traces the history of ferry transportation on Puget Sound beginning with Native American canoe transportation, continuing t...

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United Parcel Service (UPS)

United Parcel Service (UPS), the international package delivery company, grew out of a messenger service established in Seattle in 1907 by an enterprising 19-year-old named James E. "Jim" Casey and hi...

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Upper Skagit River Hydroelectric Project

Three Seattle City Light dams on the Upper Skagit River in the Cascade Mountains today (2000) produce 25 percent of the electrical power consumed in Seattle. (The dams are located in southeast Whatcom...

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Volpentest, Sam (1904-2005)

He was known as "Mr. Tri-Cities," the "Man from Hanford," the "Godfather of the Tri-Cities," and, occasionally, by less-flattering terms. For more than 60 years, just about everyone at Hanford and in ...

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Washington Public Port Districts -- Part 1

In 1911, the Washington Legislature, reacting against private railroad companies' domination of docks and harbors that were critical to the trade-dependent state's economy, authorized local voters to ...

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Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS)

The Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) started in the 1950s as a means to guarantee electric power to homes and industry in the Northwest. Well-meaning officials believed that building nucl...

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Washington Water Power/Avista

The Washington Water Power Company, now Avista, has been the main power utility for Spokane and much of eastern Washington since its incorporation in 1889. Washington Water Power (WWP) was founded by ...

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