The free online encyclopedia of Washington state history

7962 articles now available.

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.


Giving Tuesday is here! 

From November 30th to December 3rd, Microsoft Alumni Network will amplify members’ #GivingTuesday donations to HistoryLink with a $100K stretch pool. 
Visit HistoryLink's page here.

Thank you for supporting HistoryLink!


This Week Then


News Then, History Now

Cities on the Go

Washington cities that celebrate birthdays this week include Spokane, which incorporated as Spokane Falls on November 29, 1881; Union Gap, which incorporated as Yakima City on December 1, 1883; and Mountlake Terrace, which incorporated on November 29, 1954.

Four in a Row

This week in 1883, the Territorial legislature was very busy. On November 24, it established Kittitas County and after a weekend break Douglas CountyAdams County, and Skagit County were all created on the same day -- November 28.

Traveler's Woe

On November 26, 1945, 15 children lost their lives when their school bus slid off the road and sank in the icy waters of Lake Chelan. And on November 27, 1998, a Metro bus plunged off of the Aurora Bridge after the driver was shot by a crazed passenger.

Making Reparations

On November 25, 1978, the first Day of Remembrance was held at the Puyallup Fairgrounds in commemoration of Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II. And on November 30, 1993, the Tacoma City Council approved the Chinese Reconciliation Resolution to make amends for the 1885 expulsion of the entire Chinese community in Tacoma by the mayor and other leading citizens.

Commuting Complications

On November 25, 1990, the Lake Washington Floating Bridge sank during a severe storm, though with no loss of life. The bridge was rebuilt, and reopened in September 1993.

End of Operations

Logging and mining were important industries in Washington's early days, but times do change. On November 30, 1995, the Port Gamble sawmill closed, marking the end of the oldest continuously operating sawmill in the country. And on November 27, 2006, the last coal mine in Washington shut down near Centralia.

Today in
Washington History

New On HistoryLink

Image of the Week

On November 28, 1917, the Liberty Library – the first official military library -- opened at Camp Lewis.

Quote of the Week

Out a little service doorway

In the rear of the plane

Cooper jumped into the darkness

Into the freezing rain

They say that with the windchill

It was 69 below

Not much chance that he’d survive

But if he did where did he go?

- Chuck Brodsky, "The Ballad of D. B. Cooper"

Major Funding Provided By

Education Partners