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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

Cause for Celebration

Seattle got its start on November 13, 1851, when the Denny party landed at Alki Point, and the city has held numerous celebrations to mark the occasion.  On November 13, 1905, a monument was dedicated in West Seattle; on November 13, 1951, Murray Morgan's Skid Road was published as part of a city-wide centennial celebration; and on November 13, 2001, the Denny party landed again.


On November 11, 1875, Columbia County was formed out of Walla Walla County, with Dayton as the county seat. Dayton officially became a city in 1877, but the incorporation was later nullified by a lawsuit over taxation. The city re-incorporated on November 10, 1881.

City Aggregation

On November 12, 1875, the Washington Territorial Legislature incorporated Tacoma. In 1881 a neighboring town, called New Tacoma, was also incorporated by the territorial legislature, and in 1884 a state law took effect that merged what had been Old Tacoma (also known as Tacoma City) and New Tacoma into a single entity.

Wheeled Transportation

On November 14, 1879, the first bicycle arrived in Washington Territory aboard a steamer from San Francisco. Nearly a decade later biking was such a hit with the public that Seattle hosted its first bicycle tournament, which included a five-mile race between a bike and a horse.

Island Destination

On November 10, 1923, Mercer Island became a little less remote with the opening of the East Channel Bridge, which connected the small community to Bellevue and the Eastside. The opening of the Lake Washington Floating Bridge in 1940 completed the connection to Seattle, leading to major changes in the island's development.

Shakespeare Presentation

On November 13, 1963, the Seattle Repertory Theatre debuted with King Lear in the Seattle Playhouse. "The Rep" got its start thanks to the efforts of Bagley Wright and was one of the first arts organizations to take advantage of the performance spaces left in the wake of the Seattle World's Fair.

Today in
Washington History

New Essays This Week

Upcoming Event

Writing Our History: Pierce County
Speaker Series

The Steilacoom Story
Ed Echtle
Tacoma Armory, 715 S 11th Street, Tacoma

November 15, 2018

Join us for some light refreshments and conversation before the program 
Doors open at 6:00 p.m., program begins at 6:30 p.m.

Image of the Week

On November 11, 1957, a giant sinkhole opened up in Seattle's Ravenna neighborhood.

Quote of the Week

Armistice Day is a constant reminder that we won a war and lost a peace.

--General Omar Bradley

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