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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

Pickett's Lament

On August 26, 1855, U.S. Army Captain George Pickett arrived in Whatcom County to begin construction of Fort Bellingham. The fort wasn't there long, as pieces of it were moved to San Juan Island in response to the 1859 Pig War. In 1861 Pickett resigned his commission in the U.S. Army and joined the Confederacy after his home state of Virginia seceded from the Union. He rose to the rank of major general and is most remembered for leading "Pickett's Charge," a disastrous infantry assault in 1863 at the Battle of Gettysburg, the South's last major offensive in the North.

Packages Sent

On August 28, 1907, teenaged messengers Jim Casey and Claude Ryan established their own delivery business in Seattle, which they operated out of the basement of a Pioneer Square saloon. Funded  with a $100 loan from Casey's uncle,  their American Messenger Service proved to be a huge success, and it grew to become United Parcel Service -- the largest package- delivery company in the world.

Where the Trains Went

On August 28, 1911, South Cle Elum incorporated in Kittitas County. Located across the Yakima River from the larger city of Cle Elum, South Cle Elum owes its start to the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Paul Railroad (the Milwaukee Road), which arrived in 1908 and built a depot, roundhouse, and rail yard. The burgeoning community quickly became a bustling rail center and division point, which led to its incorporation.

Swearing In

One hundred year ago this week, on August 28, 1919, the Seattle City Council appointed Cecil B. Fitzgerald as mayor, replacing Ole Hanson, who had resigned to engage in other pursuits. Fitzgerald found himself stuck dealing with public dissatisfaction over the city's newly assumed ownership of its streetcar system, an expensive purchase championed by Hanson,  and six months after taking office he lost in the primary election.

Driving Around

On August 26 and 27, 1931, a public celebration marking the completion of the 330-mile-long Olympic Loop Highway (U.S. 101) was held in Kalaloch. In 1937 President Franklin Roosevelt toured part of the loop and the following year he signed legislation creating Olympic National Park.

Crossing Over

On August 26, 1956, the Skagit River Bridge opened north of Mount Vernon. It made national news six years ago when it collapsed after being hit by a truck. And on August 28, 1963, the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge opened over Lake Washington. It was replaced by a new bridge in 2016.

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Image of the Week

On August 27, 1914, fire destroyed downtown Shelton.

Quote of the Week

"I dreamed that the mines were all seething with fire

The men all fought for their lives

Just then the scene changed, and the mouth of the mines

Were covered with sweethearts and wives"

--"Dream of the Miner's Child," lyrics by Andrew Jenkins

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