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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

Going Astray

On December 11, 1851, the ship's cook deliberately torched the schooner Robert Bruce after he dosed the crew with laudanum. A Willapa Bay logger and his Indian helpers rescued the oystermen aboard and brought them ashore. They later settled what became Bruceport. Today, the Willapa Light Station guides the way for any other addled mariners in the vicinity.

Red-Letter Day

On December 7, 1899, Governor John R. Rodgers issued a proclamation which formally established Chelan County out of parts of Kittitas and Okanogan counties. Wenatchee was chosen as the county seat, but residents of Chelan -- which had campaigned for the honor -- were selected as county officials.

Sailing Away

On December 6, 1913, the ferry Leschi was launched at Richmond Beach for service on Lake Washington. Originally used to transport passengers and vehicles between Seattle and Bellevue, the Leschi was Western Washington's first auto ferry. After 1950, the vessel served on various Puget Sound routes until 1968, when it was sold and towed to Alaska for use as a salmon cannery.

Evening Soiree

After the Washington Hotel was torn down in 1906 and the Lincoln Hotel went up in flames in 1920, Seattle set its sights on a new world-class accommodation. Fundraising began during the city's silver anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush, and on December 6, 1924, the Olympic Hotel opened in grand style on the site of the old Territorial University.

Drinks on the Way

On December 5, 1933, America’s experiment with Prohibition officially ended with Utah’s ratification of the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Washington voters had repealed the state’s ban on alcohol a year earlier). Enacted statewide in 1915 and nationally in 1920, the experiment in social engineering led to increased crime, conspiracy, and corruption, which factored into the efforts to repeal it.

Art on Display

On December 5, 1991, the Seattle Art Museum moved to a downtown location after spending nearly 60 years at its Art Deco home in Volunteer Park, which was later rededicated as the Seattle Asian Art Museum. In 2007 SAM celebrated the opening of the Olympic Sculpture Park, located one mile northwest of the downtown museum.

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Image of the Week

The Aerocar, invented by "Molt" Taylor, made its first public flight in Longview on December 8, 1949.

Quote of the Week

"In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team."
--Jean-Paul Sartre

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