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Renton, Captain William (1818-1891)

Captain William Renton was a lumber and shipping merchant, at first based in San Francisco, who established a sawmill on Puget Sound in 1852. In 1863, he relocated to Blakely Harbor, Bainbridge Island...

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Riverfront Shangri-La: The Burrows Family 1890-1917

This People's History is based on Heather MacIntosh's interview of Homer Venishnick in January 2000, in Renton, Washington. In 1890, Captain Edwin R. Burrows took one look at the idyllic landscape at ...

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Roche Harbor Lime Works (San Juan Island)

Limestone quarrying and lime processing began at Roche Harbor, located on the north end of San Juan Island in San Juan County, in the early 1880s. Under the leadership of John S. McMillin (1855-1936),...

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Rogers No. 3: The Last Underground Coal Mine in Washington

On December 17, 1975, at 2:30 p.m., Palmer Coking Coal Company dynamited the portal to the Rogers No. 3 mine and the subsequent explosion closed the state's last underground coal mine, ending a signif...

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Roslyn -- Thumbnail History

Roslyn, a town in Kittitas County on the east slope of the Cascades, was founded as a coal-mining town in 1886 when prospectors from the Northern Pacific Railway found rich veins of coal. Within weeks...

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Roslyn Mine disaster (October 3, 1909): The Official Investigative Report of the Washington State Inspector of Coal Mines

This People's History presents the full official investigative report prepared by the state Inspector of Coal Mines after an explosion at the Roslyn Mine on October 3, 1909, claimed the lives of 10 mi...

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Rust, William Ross (1850-1928)

The history of Tacoma cannot be told without the story of William Rust. Born into a Quaker family in Philadelphia, he ventured West with dreams of finding fortune in the gold rush. Using the skills an...

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Salmon Bank (San Juan Island)

The Salmon Bank is a submerged shelf located off the southern shore of San Juan Island along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Created by the advance and retreat of the continental ice sheet, the shelf's sh...

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Scott, Tyree (1940-2003)

Tyree Scott was a Seattle civil rights and labor leader who broke down barriers to women and minority workers in the construction industry and also worked to improve working conditions for low-income ...

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Seattle Steam Heat & Power Company (Enwave Seattle)

The Seattle Steam Heat & Power Company was formed the year after the Great Fire of 1889 destroyed most of the city's commercial core and waterfront. The firm's founder and largest shareholder was Jame...

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Skansie Shipbuilding Company (Gig Harbor)

The Skansie Shipbuilding Company, formerly located at 3207 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor, in western Pierce County, was a South Sound shipbuilding powerhouse in the 1910s and 1920s. Established in 1912...

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Spellman, John: King County Politics in the Sixties, Seventies and Beyond

The long career of John Spellman (1926-2018) in local and state politics began in 1967 when he was elected a King County Commissioner. His term overlapped the controversial Forward Thrust capital impr...

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St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company and its affiliated railroads (1888-1958)

Washington state's second-largest logging and lumber operation during its heyday, the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company controlled 90 square miles of standing timber in Pierce County and milled bil...

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Transportation and Communication in Seattle in 1900

Imagine life without telephones or email; without automobiles, motorboats or airplanes; without floating bridges or paved roads over the Cascades. So it was in 1900. Seattle boasted some of the nation...

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Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA): Policy Actions 1908-2008

The Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA) was established on April 6, 1908, and celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2008. For its first 50 years the Association was known as the Washington F...

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Washington Public Port Districts -- Part 1

In 1911, the Washington Legislature, reacting against private railroad companies' domination of docks and harbors that were critical to the trade-dependent state's economy, authorized local voters to ...

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Washington Public Port Districts -- Part 2

Washington's publicly owned and managed port districts operate huge container shipping terminals, small-boat marinas, and rural boat launches. They run major international airports, small general avia...

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Washington Public Ports: A List with Founding Dates

This is a list of Washington Public Ports, presented in the order they were established. Washington has 75 public port districts, more than any other state. Each is an independent government body, run...

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Washington Technology Industry Association

One of the oldest trade associations of its kind in North America, the Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) traces its beginnings back to the dawn of this state's nascent software industr...

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Washington Water Power/Avista

The Washington Water Power Company, now Avista, has been the main power utility for Spokane and much of eastern Washington since its incorporation in 1889. Washington Water Power (WWP) was founded by ...

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Wawona -- Pacific Lumber and Codfishing Schooner

The schooner Wawona, launched at Fairhaven, California, in 1897, was the largest three-masted sailing schooner ever built in North America. For 17 years, the Wawona hauled lumber up and down the Pacif...

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Weyerhaeuser Company

Weyerhaeuser is the world's largest producer of lumber. The firm arrived in the Pacific Northwest when Frederick Weyerhaeuser (1834-1914) and his partners purchased 900,000 acres of forest land in Wes...

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Who Laid Those Rusty Rails? -- The Rail Line to Black Diamond

A short section of old railroad line, rusty but intact, hidden deep in the woods near Lake Sawyer in Black Diamond in Southeast King County, inspired this People's History contributed by Bill Kombol. ...

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Wine in Washington

Wine grapes were -- along with apples -- the very first cultivated fruits in the Pacific Northwest. Initially planted here in 1827, both were cherished by early pioneering settlers, but whereas apples...

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