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Mercer Girls

The first "Mercer Girls" were 11 young women brought from Lowell, Massachusetts, to the Washington Territory on May 16, 1864, by Asa Shinn Mercer (1839-1917). Mercer brought a second group of Mercer G...

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Mexican American Women in Washington

Mexicans first moved to Washington Territory in the 1860s, one family raising sheep in the Yakima valley and another operating a mule pack train. In the twentieth century, particularly after the start...

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Midnight Swim: a Memory of Seattle's Green Lake by Dorothea Nordstrand

This memory of a 12-year-old's clandestine and solitary midnight swim across Green Lake around 1928 was written by Dorothea Nordstrand (1916-2011), who was then Dorothea Pfister. In 2009 Dorothea Nord...

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Morey Skaret: The Story of the Bootlegger

Morest L. (Morey) Skaret (b. 1913), a 1932 graduate of West Seattle High School who retired in 1981 after careers with both the Seattle Police Department and the Coast Guard, had several other interes...

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Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI)

Seattle's Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI) first opened the doors of its building in the Montlake neighborhood to the public on February 15, 1952. The museum's early exhibits displayed artifac...

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NAACP, Seattle Branch

The Seattle Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded on October 23, 1913, and became the first of the national civil rights organizations to be esta...

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Now & Then -- Seattle's Hooverville during the Great Depression

This file contains Seattle historian and photographer Paul Dorpat's Now & Then photographs and reflections on The Great Depression and Seattle's shantytown of homeless and jobless people called Ho...

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Now & Then -- Seattle's Kalmar Hotel

This file contains Seattle historian and photographer Paul Dorpat's Now & Then photographs and reflections on the Kalmar Hotel which once stood in Seattle at 6th Avenue and James Street.

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Now & Then -- Seattle's Memorial Service for Garfield -- September 26, 1881

This file contains Seattle historian and photographer Paul Dorpat's Now & Then photographs and reflections on the memorial service held in Seattle for U.S. President James A. Garfield (1831-1881),...

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Olmstead, Roy (1886-1966)

During Seattle's "dry" years of the 1920s, Roy Olmstead, through guts and guile, became the biggest bootlegger and one of the most well known personalities in Northwest history. He began as a police o...

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Orcas Island -- Thumbnail History

Orcas Island lies in the San Juan archipelago of the Salish Sea in Northwest Washington. Mountainous and heavily forested, the island is nearly divided by the long inlet of East Sound, with two smalle...

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Our First Home: A Seattle Story by Dorothea Nordstrand

This is a reminiscence by Dorothea (Pfister) Nordstrand (1916-2011) who has lived in Seattle most of her life. The Pfister family homesteaded near Tiger, in Pend Oreille County, before moving to Seatt...

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Our Wedding: a Seattle Love Story by Dorothea Nordstrand

This reminiscence is by Dorothea (Pfister) Nordstrand (1916-2011), who moved to Seattle with her family from Tiger, Washington, in 1919. She and Vern Nordstrand have been married for more than 60 year...

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Panic of 1893: Seattle's First Great Depression

In the spring of 1893, a precipitous drop in United States gold reserves triggered a national depression. Because Seattle was still rebuilding from the disastrous fire of 1889 and depended heavily on ...

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Prohibition in Washington State

In Washington -- as in the rest of the country -- the question of who, if anyone, should control, manufacture, import, possess, and consume alcoholic intoxicants has been contentious and complicated b...

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Queer History in Seattle, Part 2: After Stonewall

The Stonewall Rebellion of late June 1969, in which New York City patrons of the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street spontaneously rioted against routine police harassment, is often thought of as the ...

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Redlining in Seattle

In the mid-1970s, civil rights advocates painted a red line on the street in Seattle's Central District, running along 14th Avenue from Yesler Way north to Union Street. The protest action aimed to dr...

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Reflections on Belltown

In this people's history, Joe Martin reflects on the old Belltown neighborhood of downtown Seattle, "once a quiet community largely made up of skid roaders, low-income elderly, struggling artists, and...

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Remembering the First Fat Tuesday: Marie McCaffrey's Exact Recollections

In this People's History, Marie McCaffrey tells the story of how Seattle's Fat Tuesday -- the annual carnival-style celebration that takes place in Pioneer Square -- got started. The first Fat Tuesday...

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Retailing in Washington

Retailing -- the business of selling merchandise to consumers -- took flight in Washington in the 1850s. After the first American-owned store opened in Olympia in 1850, general stores spread quickly a...

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Rice, Constance Williams (b. 1945)

Constance Williams Rice, Ph.D., was named in 1985 by Seattle Weekly as one of the 25 most powerful women in Seattle. Two decades later, Rice continues to be a leader in a wide range of civic activiti...

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Sakamoto, James (1903-1955)

Born in Seattle, James Y. Sakamoto became one of the leaders of the local and national Japanese American community during the critical era just before and after the start of World War II. He was a fou...

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Seafair: the Founding: Jim Douglas's Account

In this excerpt from his unpublished autobiography, Jim Douglas (1909-2005) recalls the many steps involved in coordinating Seafair. Jim Douglas was one of a group of local citizens called together by...

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Seattle Holy Rollers Killings: The Spectacular End to an Oregon Love Cult

Early in the morning of May 7, 1906, Oregon mill worker George Mitchell spotted the man he had been looking for in Seattle since he had arrived from Portland on May 2. Franz Edmund Creffield was walki...

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