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Washington state history

Yankee on Puget Sound
Spring 2014

A Yankee on Puget Sound

a yankee on puget sound

Karen L. Johnson ’78 and Dennis M. Larsen ’68

WSU Press, 2013

 

Pioneer Edward Jay Allen lived near Olympia when the Oregon Territory was split in two and federal politicians elected to name the new territory Washington, rejecting the local suggestion of Columbia. Allen helped survey a wagon road over Naches Pass, a backcountry route still in use by those who favor mud and adversity over miles per gallon and speed. Future Union general George B. McClellan shared a cabin with Allen one summer, leading to a fast friendship a decade before … » More …

First Words
Summer 2013

Small Towns You Should Visit

I’ve been very fortunate to have visited many of the world’s great cities. Buenos Aires, Boston, Kiev, Merida, Bangkok, Paris. Even Seattle.

Regardless of having seen Pa-ree et al., I still always feel a thrill of anticipation passing the city limits sign of a small town, and I’ve encountered a lot of them while pursuing stories for this magazine over the last decade: Sunnyside, Neah Bay, Waterville, South Bend, Marblemount, Starbuck, Winona, and others equally euphonious. How did the town come to be? What are its people like? What surprises might wait in its architecture, history, cafés, or whimsy?

The deep red door on the … » More …

Old Clarkston apple orchard
Spring 2013

Fruitful history

Apple production was initially spread more evenly across eastern Washington. The planned agricultural community of Vineland (see “The perfect city,” WSM Fall 2012) included more than 900 acres of continuous apple orchards. According to Lyman’s History of Old Walla Walla County (including Asotin County), Vineland and adjacent Clarkston had “every conceivable advantage of soil, climate, scenery, water supply…”

Apples grown there included Winesap, Yellow Newtowns, Spitzenberg, Jonathan, Rome Beauty, and “assorted varieties.”

The September 12, 1916, edition of the Spokesman-Review reported that 60 carloads of choice apples were about to be packed in Vineland, Clarkston, and Lewiston, Idaho, for export trade: “The first carload … » More …

Winter 2012

The Law and the Land

Indian Law Attorney Brian Gunn pushes into new territory for his tribe and others

In the summer of 1951, a Colville Indian named Peter Gunn sued the United States government for the loss of a portion of his ancestral lands. He joined members of a number of other tribes including the Lake, San Poils, Methow, Okanogan, and Nespelem, all living on the Colville reservation and whose homelands, which once covered nearly half of Eastern Washington, had been given to the public for settlement in the late 1800s.

Two generations later, Gunn’s grandson Brian, 38, filed another suit against the U.S. Department of the Interior, this … » More …

Summer 2012

The atomic landscape

 

Seven decades later, we consider our plutonium legacy 

Works considered in this article:

Plume
Kathleen Flenniken
University of Washington Press 2012

Made in Hanford: The Bomb that Changed the World
Hill Williams
Washington State University Press 2011

Making Plutonium, Re-Making Richland: Atomic Heritage and Community Identity, Richland, Washington, 1943-1963
Lee Ann Powell
Thesis, Department of History, Washington State University 2007

 

Reactor B From State Route 24 east of Vernita … » More …

Summer 2012

The Murrow boys

In 1913 Ethel and Roscoe Murrow moved their family from their small farm in North Carolina to the Puget Sound community of Blanchard hoping to find a better living for themselves and their three sons.

The worldwide fame of their youngest, Edward ’30, the broadcast journalist, over-shadowed the stories of the rest of the family, particularly the two older brothers. But Dewey x’26 and Lacey ’27, ’35 forged the path for him to follow to Washington State College in Pullman. They, too, led interesting and productive lives and influenced the development of the state. They deserve some attention in their own right, says J. Clark … » More …

Looking into the Admiralty Head Lighthouse

Admiralty Head Lighthouse, designed by architect Carl Leick in 1898 and opened in 1903, was built to guide ships into Puget Sound. It is now located at the Fort Casey State Park on Whidbey Island.

Put your cursor on the squares below to look at the tower, the residence, and displays in the lighthouse. Click on the boxes to see a larger photograph.

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#lighthouse li a … » More …

Summer 2011

A Home for Every Child

home

Patricia Susan Hart ’91 MA, ’97 PhD
Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest with University of Washington, 2010

At the end of the 19th century, adoption became part of a broader movement to reform the orphanage and poor farm system in the United States. In her most recent book, Patricia Susan Hart, who teaches journalism and American studies at the University of Idaho, looks at the issue of child placement in Washington. The … » More …