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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

9/21/2017

News Then, History Now

On a Mission

On September 25, 1838, Protestant missionaries Elkanah Walker and Cushing Eells chose Tshimakain plain as the site to build a mission for
Spokane Indians
. Eells was later instrumental in the creation of Whitman College, and in 1907 his son Myron -- who was born on the Tshimakain mission -- donated a significant collection of books, papers, and artifacts to the college, where they became important nuclei of Whitman's library, archives, and museum. 

Grown to Fruition

Harvest season for farmers is here, and it's a good time to show off their crops. On September 24, 1894, the first Washington State Agricultural Fair opened in Yakima. And on September 24, 1937, the Lincoln County Fair resumed in Davenport after a decades-long hiatus.

Driving on Through

On September 23, 1904, the Automobile Club of Seattle, predecessor of AAA Washington, was founded with 46 members and officers. This week also marks the 40th anniversary of the Washington State Department of
Transportation
, which was created by the Washington State Legislature and officially came into being on September 21, 1977.

Catching the Flu

On September 21, 1918, the worldwide "Spanish Flu" pandemic struck Fort Lewis with a reported 11 cases.
Within two weeks, 700 cases were reported in Seattle, including one death at the University of Washington's Naval Training Center. During the next six months, 1,600 lives were lost in Seattle alone. No area of the state was left untouched, and 70 years later Kenneth Knoll recalled its effects in Spokane in great detail.

Raising the Curtain

On September 24, 1926, thousands celebrated the grand opening of the 5th Avenue Theatre, in Seattle. The lavish playhouse was the brainchild of architect Robert Reamer, known for his designs of the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park, Spokane's Fox Theater , Bellingham's Mt. Baker
Theatre
, Seattle's Edmond Meany Hotel, and the 1411 4th Avenue Building.

Dropping the Needle

Ninety years ago this week, on September 23, 1927, the New York City-based Columbia Phonograph Company began a two-day round of recording
sessions
with various local musicians in Spokane. Five musical acts were recorded, dance orchestras and solo singers that were popular at the time. And 60 years ago this week, on
September 21, 1957, Los Angeles R&B singer Richard Berry brought "Louie Louie" to Seattle, where it became the Northwest's signature rock song. 

Today in
Washington History

New Essays This Week

Image of the Week

South Bend incorporated on September 27, 1890.

Quote of the Week

There is one front and one battle where everyone in the United States -- every man, woman, and child -- is in action, and will be privileged to remain in action throughout this war. That front is right here at home, in our daily lives, and in our daily tasks.

--Franklin Delano Roosevelt

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