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Washington state history

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

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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 …

Fall 2010

The Cultivated Landscape

One place you must add to your “must-visit-before-I-die” list is the Wenatchee Valley during full bloom of the pear and apple orchards in late April. Perhaps you’ve seen Van Gogh’s lovely, but not often reproduced, painting “The Pink Orchard.” It’s very simple, a small orchard in bloom. But it’s so simple and lovely it will make you cry with desire. Now imagine it juxtaposed with one of those sublime Western landscapes by Bierstadt. Impossible? Of course. But keep trying. Imagine these vast orchards, all in bloom. And behind them loom the magnificent Cascades, still etched with late spring snow. Once you have it in focus, … » More …

Spring 2010

North Cascades Highway: Near Washington Pass

Although the native people crossed the North Cascades on foot for thousands of years, white settlers dreamed of a more readily traveled northern route. The Washington legislature committed its first funding for such a route in 1893, based on hopes that such a road would lead to “vast deposits” of gold and silver. Unfortunately, those riches were as elusive as the road itself. So rugged was this northern route that it would be decades before a possible route would even be chosen.

When Lyndon Johnson passed legislation in 1968 authorizing the North Cascades National Park, hopes for the road shifted from hauling out high-value timber … » More …

Spring 2010

Women’s Voices: The Campaign for Equal Rights in Washington

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Shanna Stevenson
WSU Press, 2009

This year marks the 100-year anniversary of women’s suffrage in Washington state. As the fifth state in the Union to allow women to vote, Washington’s landmark was more than a half-century in the making. In fact, in 1883, when Washington was a territory, woman did win the right to vote. Then, just five years later, the right was revoked and they had to campaign all over again.

In her latest … » More …

Fall 2007

Celebrating a century at Seattle's liveliest landmark

It started a century ago, on August 17, 1907, when a small group of farmers set up stalls at the corner of First and Pike in Seattle and sold their produce right on the street. They claimed their little city-sponsored market experiment was born out of need. The local brokers had been price fixing, so farmers were being underpaid for their eggs and vegetables. Furthermore, consumers were paying high prices for food that was often old, bruised, and wilted.

The little corner market changed all that. Offering some of the most affordable fresh food in Seattle, it grew quickly and flourished through the Great Depression. … » More …

Spring 2009

Hotel at the Top

Pioneer James “Cashup” Davis dreamed big. At a time when most Washington settlers were carving farms out of the Palouse, he was so awed with the panoramic views of the Palouse from Steptoe Butte, he decided to build a hotel at the top.

Davis’s first career was as a well-to-do stonemason in England, but he left that life in search of adventure. In 1872, at the age of 57, he settled in Washington and built a bustling farm as well as a stage coach stop and dance hall.

While most Washington State University students only know of the butte as a landmark east of Highway … » More …