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Washington state history

Peace-Weavers cover
Winter 2017

Peace Weavers: Uniting the Salish Coast through Cross-Cultural Marriages

Peace-Weavers cover

Candace Wellman ’68 

WSU Press: 2017

 

Clara Tennant Selhameten was born the daughter of Lummi tribal leader in what became Whatcom County, and eventually married John Tennant, the son of a famous Methodist minister around 1859. Tennant established the first permanent farm in the region, on Lummi land. In later years, she and John traveled as missionaries and built many churches. It was clear that the couple were true partners in both spiritual … » More …

Hang Them All cover
Spring 2017

“Hang Them All”

Hang Them All cover

George Wright and the Plateau Indian War

Donald L. Cutler ’76

University of Oklahoma Press: 2016

 

Questions about the viciousness of Col. George Wright’s month-long war against Indian tribes of the Upper Columbia Plateau typically are filtered through a lens of historical and cultural context.

The cruelty of Wright’s tactics during the Plateau Indian War of 1858 are undeniable. He hanged 16 Indians, including some who had surrendered after being told … » More …

Winter 2016

Main Street, USA

Standing on the beach at Smokiam Park, I dip my hand in the lake. The water is soft, slippery, almost squishy feeling. It’s full of sodium carbonate—washing soda. It’s a tiny lake, and on its southern beach is Soap Lake, a town experiencing a little renaissance.

 
Locals credit Washington State University’s Rural Communities Design Initiative for assisting their town of 1,500 in the eastern Washington scablands with improvement efforts. Soap Lake declined from fame and modest prosperity to a near ghost town but has recently rediscovered its pulse.

“Smokiam” is a Tsincayuse word that means “healing waters,” so maybe the sense of … » More …

Hop King cover
Winter 2016

Hop King

Hop King cover

Ezra Meeker’s Boom Years

Dennis M. Larsen ’68 

WSU Press: 2016

The demands of craft brewing in the last few years, along with declining European hops production, has driven the price of hops up as much as 50 percent, creating a windfall for growers in Washington. It’s not the first time in state history that hops brought a grower financial success.

Puyallup Valley pioneer Ezra Meeker first started planting hops as a cash … » More …

Summer 2014

Gallery: Gustav Sohon and the Mullan Road

Gustav Sohon (1825–1903) was an artist, interpreter, and topographical assistant. Sohon executed some of the earliest landscape paintings of the Pacific Northwest. One of his first assignments was with Lieutenant John Mullan, who was surveying the country between the Rocky and Bitterroot Mountains for the Pacific Railroad Surveys led by Isaac Stevens.

Read about Mullan in “Lost Highway.”

Forgotten Fruit. Photo Zach Mazur
Winter 2015

Forgotten fruit

The ‘lost’ apples of the Palouse entice a detective to sleuth for their rediscovery

Dave Benscoter’s obsession began innocently—as a favor to a neighbor, Eleanor, a retired missionary. Resettled near Chattaroy, and now beset with complications from childhood polio, she asked Benscoter ’78 to harvest some apples for her from the old orchard above her house.

“Every apple was too high for me to pick,” he says of his initial effort.

“One of the trees was 40 to 50 feet high. The trunk was split, and I couldn’t get my arms around either trunk.”

Determined to deliver Eleanor’s apples at some point, he started pruning … » More …