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Topic: Infrastructure

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The Dalles Lock and Dam

The Dalles Lock and Dam (The Dalles Dam) is one of the 10 largest producers of hydroelectric power in the United States. Since its first generator went online in 1957, the dam has produced more than 9...

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The Great Seattle Fire, Part 2

On June 7, 1889, the sun rose over a stunned and devastated Seattle. The day before, a massive fire had ravaged the city's commercial core and its waterfront. Seattle had been booming, and over the pr...

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The Railroads of Jefferson and Clallam Counties

The first Europeans to see the Olympic Peninsula were stunned by the thick conifer forests that stretched from shore to as far as the eye could see. Nearly 100 years later, thousands of Americans and ...

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Thomson, Reginald Heber (1856-1949)

Reginald Heber Thomson probably did more to change the face of Seattle than any one individual. During his exemplary career as city engineer and beyond, he leveled hills, straightened and dredged wate...

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Trackless Trolleys in Seattle

Trackless trolleys -- electric trolleys that have rubber tires rather than running on rails like streetcars -- have been a distinctive feature of Seattle's transit system since 1940. Seattle became th...

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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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Turning Point 11: Borne on the 4th of July: The Saga of the Lake Washington Ship Canal

The 11th essay in HistoryLink's Turning Points series for The Seattle Times reviews the numerous local historical events that occurred on the Fourth of July, including Henry Yesler's fraudulent lotter...

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Turning Point 14: Progressivism's High Tide: Creation of the Port of Seattle in 1911

The 14th essay in our Turning Points series for The Seattle Times, written by Walt Crowley, details the creation of the Port of Seattle on September 5, 1911. The election of the first three Port Commi...

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Turning Point 4: Seattle City Light: 100 Years of Public Power

This the fourth in a series of special essays commissioned by The Seattle Times to examine crucial turning points in the history of Seattle and King County. "Seattle City Light" considers public owner...

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Turning Point 9: The Sound and the Ferry: The Birth of Washington State Ferries

The ninth essay in HistoryLink's Turning Points series for The Seattle Times traces the history of ferry transportation on Puget Sound beginning with Native American canoe transportation, continuing t...

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United Parcel Service (UPS)

United Parcel Service (UPS), the international package delivery company, grew out of a messenger service established in Seattle in 1907 by an enterprising 19-year-old named James E. "Jim" Casey and hi...

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Upper Skagit River Hydroelectric Project

Three Seattle City Light dams on the Upper Skagit River in the Cascade Mountains today (2000) produce 25 percent of the electrical power consumed in Seattle. (The dams are located in southeast Whatcom...

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Volpentest, Sam (1904-2005)

He was known as "Mr. Tri-Cities," the "Man from Hanford," the "Godfather of the Tri-Cities," and, occasionally, by less-flattering terms. For more than 60 years, just about everyone at Hanford and in ...

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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 Power Supply System (WPPSS)

The Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) started in the 1950s as a means to guarantee electric power to homes and industry in the Northwest. Well-meaning officials believed that building nucl...

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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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Wastewater Treatment and the Duwamish River

The Duwamish River, located in King County, has borne the burden of municipal and regional development over the past century. Its channel straightened and dredged, tributaries rerouted, and floodwater...

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West Cashmere Bridge (Chelan County)

The West Cashmere Bridge was built in 1929 across the Wenatchee River about a third of a mile west of the city limits of Cashmere in Chelan County. Cashmere lies entirely on the south side of the rive...

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West Coast Waterfront Strike of 1934

Along with every other major West Coast port, Seattle's harbor was paralyzed from May 9 to July 31, 1934, by one of the most important and bitter labor strikes of the twentieth century. The struggle p...

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West Seattle Memories Part 5: West Seattle Ferry

This file contains recollections of the West Seattle Ferry by West Seattle residents Carroll Mage and George Shephard. They recall the days before the West Seattle Bridge existed -- when the quickest ...

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White River Valley (King County) -- Thumbnail History

Since the mid-nineteenth-century arrival of non-Indian settlers in the White River Valley (also known as the Green River Valley), the White and Green rivers have undergone many changes. Annual floods ...

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Working on a Seattle City Light Line Crew, 1949-1973

Walt Sickler (b. 1927) worked for Seattle City Light for 40 years. In 1989, he retired as the Director of Operations, in charge of all the dams, power transmission systems, and shops. His first job wa...

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