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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

Ebey Dies

Isaac Ebey was one of the earliest surveyors of the many waterways around Puget Sound. Years after he had settled on Whidbey Island, Ebey met with some bad luck when a group of Indians – likely members of the northern Kake tribe of Tlingits, led by a woman warrior – sought revenge for the killing the previous year of their chief and 26 others in a shelling by the American warship USS Massachusetts. On August 11, 1857, the Kake landed at Whidbey Island and, unable to find their primary target, chopped off Isaac Ebey's head, and took it with them.

Tempers Rise

On August 14, 1895, an angry crowd hanged Sam Vinson and his son Charles Vinson for killing two popular Ellensburg citizens during a drunken rampage. Nearly half a century later on the same day in 1944, an Italian prisoner of war was lynched at Fort Lawton during a riot by the camp's guards. Twenty-eight African American soldiers were court-martialed and convicted for the deed, and it took decades to have their convictions overturned.

Cracking Wise

In 1895 Mark Twain embarked on a year-long national lecture tour to help pay off massive business debts brought on by the Panic of 1893. On August 13 he regaled a large Seattle audience in what the Post-Intelligencer called a "continuous laugh." The following evening he spoke in New Whatcom (now Bellingham), and later joined some members of the audience at a nearby club for cigars and drinks.

Fresh and New

On August 17, 1907, Seattle's Pike Place Market opened as an informal collection of horse carts and street vendors. The market soon blossomed into an eclectic emporium where local citizens could purchase everything from fresh fruits to flowers to folk crafts to fish from local vendors, many of Japanese and Italian descent. Over the years the market would weather the Depression, calamities, and world wars, only to face and overcome a far more formidable foe -- urban renewal.

Skating Through

On August 16, 1958, it was announced that the Seattle Americans hockey team had been sold to a local group led by Marvin Burke, owner of Sportcaster Corporation in Seattle and developer of the Stevens Pass ski resort. Burke gave the team a new name, the Totems. The team won three championships during their tenure in Seattle, and in 1968 they played in what was called "the wildest hockey game ever perpetrated."

Special Brew

Forty years ago this week, on August 11, 1982, Redhook Brewery introduced its first beer at Jake O'Shaughnessy's, a popular Seattle restaurant and bar. This pivotal event helped launch the craft-beer movement throughout Washington, and new breweries continue to open across the state.

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Image of the Week

Sixty years ago this week, on August 17, 1962, the J. M. Martinac Shipbuilding Corporation in Tacoma launched the USS High Point, the Navy's first hydrofoil patrol boat.

Quote of the Week

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in the office or mowing your lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” 

--Jack Kerouac

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