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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


News Then, History Now

Gathered Together

In an effort to peacefully dispossess Eastern Washington Indian tribes, Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens convened the First Walla Walla Council on May 29, 1855. It didn't work out quite as planned. Stevens's earlier Point Elliott Treaty with Puget Sound tribes proved equally messy, but this did not prevent a re-enactment of its signing at Juanita Beach on May 27, 1933.

Starting Together

In 1890 Davenport and Kent incorporated four days apart, on May 24 and May 28 respectively. Another city celebrating a birthday this week is Pomeroy, which incorporated on May 28, 1917.

Merging Together

On May 29, 1907, Seattle annexed Ballard in a year that saw the city greatly extending its boundaries. Thirty-three years later, on May 25, 1940, the neighborhood celebrated the opening of the rebuilt Ballard Bridge, which eased passage across the Lake Washington Ship Canal.

Crash and a Blast

Seattle's first aviation disaster occurred on May 30, 1912, at the Meadows Race Track when an airplane crashed into the grandstand, killing one and injuring 21 others. Three years later, on May 30, 1915, a barge filled with 622 tons of gunpowder exploded in Elliott Bay for reasons never explained. The concussion shattered or cracked nearly 500 windows throughout the city.

Captured at Last

On May 24, 1935, 9-year-old George Weyerhaeuser, heir to the world's largest producer of lumber, was kidnapped on his way home from school in Tacoma. After a $200,000 ransom was paid, the boy was released unharmed, followed by the largest manhunt yet in the Northwest for the criminals. Arrests were quickly made, but it took more than a year for the FBI to track down the ringleader.

A Good Friend Has Passed

We were very saddened this week by the death of Everett historian David Dilgard, who founded the Everett Public Library’s Northwest Room with our own Margaret Riddle. David had a wealth of knowledge and helped in many aspects of our Snohomish County research. Please enjoy the essays he wrote about Mukilteo founder Morris H. Frost and aviator Fred J. Wiseman, as well as an 1863 letter he shared, written by Dr. Henry Smith and extolling the virtues of Snohomish County

Today in
Washington History

New Essays This Week

Image of the Week

On May 24,1930, Playland opened at Bitter Lake in north Seattle.

Quote of the Week

Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. 

--Theodore Roosevelt

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