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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

Take a Hike

On August 17, 1868, members of the Coleman party became the first climbers in recorded history to reach the summit of Mount Baker. Almost a century later, recreational hikers were provided new paths to explore on the Northwest's trails when the first of the famous "100 Hikes" series of books was produced by Louise B. Marshall, Ira Spring, and The Mountaineers in August 1966.

First and Pike

Seattle's first official public market opened on August 17, 1907, and customers have been able to "meet the producer" -- and buy their produce directly -- ever since. Pike Place Market survived economic downturns and wars only to find itself at risk from urban renewal in the 1960s. Architect Victor Steinbrueck and Allied Arts rallied the public to save it by popular vote in 1971. The market was threatened and saved once again in 1991, and it remains a popular destination for Washingtonians and tourists alike.

Out on Strike

During the summer of 1917, IWW members in Spokane led a statewide loggers' strike demanding an eight-hour workday and better working conditions. Wobblies were arrested throughout the state, in many cases without due process of law. On August 19, 1917, things came to a head with a raid on the Spokane IWW office, the arrest of union leaders, and a declaration of martial law. Defeated, loggers returned to work in the fall, but kept up the fight.

Loud and Bold

On August 20, 1925, an outdoor concert in Seattle by world-famous opera diva Mme. Schumann-Heink was cut short by a tugboat blast. But on August 21, 1964, when KJR disc jockey Pat O'Day introduced the Beatles to more than 14,300 fans inside the Seattle Center Coliseum, their screams and shouts were louder than the music. And on August 17, 1984, a new sound was heard when Seattle's "underground" hip-hop scene broke out into the mainstream.

Coal and Gold

On August 17, 1948, Carbonado incorporated in Pierce County. Founded in the 1880s as a coal-mining company town, it has since transitioned to a quiet commuter community. Medina incorporated on August 19, 1955, and what was once a small community of berry farms and orchards is now part of Lake Washington's "Gold Coast" and the site of some of King County's most expensive homes.

Path of Old

In the 1880s, a group of Seattle investors -- led by Judge Thomas Burke and businessman Daniel Gilman -- established the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad Company, the first segment of which ran from downtown Seattle to Woodinville. On August 19, 1978, the original 12.1-mile stretch of the Burke-Gilman Trail opened along this former rail corridor.

Today in
Washington History

New Articles This Week

Image of the Week

On August 15, 1940, visitors to Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo went bananas over the antics of approximately 17 simians released onto the newly built "monkey island."

Quote of the Week

"If it weren't for electricity, we'd all be watching television by candlelight." 

--George Gobel

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