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Congress funds construction of military road between Fort Walla Walla and Steilacoom on December 29, 1852.

On December 29, 1852, the U.S. Congress allocates $20,000 for construction of a military road between Fort Walla Walla on the Columbia River and Steilacoom on Puget Sound. Settlers around Puget Sound ...

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Isaiah and Lorinda Scammon settle on a Donation Land Claim at the future South Montesano on January 15, 1853.

On January 15, 1853, Maine natives Isaiah L. and Lorinda (Hopkins) Scammon settle on a 619-acre Donation Land Claim on the south bank of the Chehalis River opposite the mouth of the Wynoochee. Lorinda...

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Marriage unites David Denny and Louisa Boren on January 23, 1853.

On January 23, 1853, King County's first Justice of the Peace, Dr. David S. Maynard (1808-1873) issues the new county's first (in a manner of speaking) marriage license and presides at the wedding of ...

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U.S. President Millard Fillmore signs bill establishing Washington Territory on March 2, 1853.

On March 2, 1853, U.S. President Millard Fillmore signs a bill creating the Territory of Washington out of the Territory of Oregon. The new territory's boundaries are: north, 49 degree North Latitude;...

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Henry Yesler's steam-powered Seattle sawmill cuts its first lumber in late March 1853.

In late March 1853, a steam-powered sawmill built by pioneer Henry L. Yesler (1810?-1892) is fired up for the first time, fed by logs taken from the heavily wooded areas surrounding the then-tiny sett...

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Island County's first Commissioners' meeting takes place in Coveland on April 4, 1853.

On April 4, 1853, the first Island County Commissioners' meeting takes place in Coveland, the newly designated county seat, located on Penn's Cove northwest of Coupeville on Whidbey Island's east coas...

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Plats filed for Town of Seattle on May 23, 1853.

On May 23, 1853, Arthur Denny (1822-1899), Carson Boren (1824-1912), and Dr. David S. Maynard (1808-1873) file the first plats for the Town of Seattle and establish the present-day street grid in Pion...

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Luther Collins and two others lynch Masachie Jim near Seattle on July 15, 1853.

On July 15, 1853, Luther B. Collins (1813-1860), David Maurer, and William Heebner lynch Masachie Jim, a Native American whom they accused of murdering his wife. This occurs in King County, probably b...

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Captain William Talbot establishes a steam sawmill at Port Gamble in July 1853.

In July 1853, Captain William C. Talbot (1816-1881) establishes a steam sawmill as the Puget Mill Co. at Port Gamble. Ten men, mostly from Talbot's hometown of East Machias, Maine, construct a bunkhou...

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Private Gustavus Sohon accompanies the U.S. Army expedition exploring Eastern Washington in the summer of 1853.

In the summer of 1853, U.S. Army Private Gustavus Sohon (1825-1903) accompanies the first official American expedition to explore the territory between the Snake and the Spokane rivers. He travels as ...

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Theodore Winthrop finishes his tour of Washington Territory at Port Townsend on August 21, 1853.

On August 21, 1853, Theodore Winthrop (1828-1861) finishes a tour of Washington Territory at Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula. He has toured the territories of California, Oregon, and British Co...

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1853 Census: First census of Washington Territory counts a population (excluding Indians) of 3,965 in 1853.

In late summer or fall of 1853, United States Marshall J. Anderson has the responsibility of taking the first census in Washington Territory. He counts a population of 3,965, of which there are 1,682 ...

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Upper Yakamas in the Wenas Valley, led by Owhi, host Longmire-Byles wagon train headed for Naches Pass on September 20, 1853.

On September 20, 1853, a group of Upper Yakama Indians led by Owhi (d. 1858) hosts the Longmire-Byles wagon train at what will become known as as Owhi's (or Ow-Hi's) Gardens. The spot in the Wenas Val...

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First emigrant wagon train crosses Naches Pass through the Cascade Mountains in the fall of 1853.

In September or October, 1853, the first wagon train succeeds in crossing rugged Naches Pass through the Cascade Mountains north of Mount Rainier, near where the borders of present-day Yakima, Kittita...

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Peter Judson files Donation Land Claim to 321 acres in Tacoma in the fall of 1853.

In the fall of 1853, Peter Judson files a Donation Land Claim to 321 acres on Commencement Bay, just north of the settlement around a sawmill built the year before by Nicholas Delin (1817-1882). Judso...

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Duwamish Coal Company is established near Black River on October 20, 1853.

On October 20, 1853, the Duwamish Coal Company is formed to mine coal near the Black River located just south of Lake Washington. This is the first coal mined and shipped from King County.

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George Waunch files a claim near future Centralia on land that will become known as Waunch Prairie on October 26, 1853.

On October 26, 1853 George Waunch (1812-1882) files a claim on what will be known as Waunch Prairie, just north of present-day Centralia. He has lived on the prairie intermittently for eight years, bu...

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Governor Isaac Stevens selects Olympia as capital of Washington Territory on November 28, 1853.

On November 28, 1853, Isaac Stevens (1818-1862), the first governor of Washington Territory, issues a proclamation that names Olympia as the capital of the new territory. Olympia, founded in 1850, is ...

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Seattle's first school, a tuition (private) school, begins instruction in 1854.

In 1854, Seattle's first school, which is a tuition or "select" school (a private school), opens its doors in a house in the village at the corner of Front Street (1st Avenue) and Madison Street. The ...

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Arthur Denny proposes white-woman suffrage amendment in the Territorial Legislature's first session on February 28, 1854.

In 1854, Arthur Denny (1822-1899), one of the founders of Seattle, proposes an amendment at the first session of the territorial legislature "to allow all white females over the age of 18 years to vot...

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Dr. Wesley F. Cherry dies following arrest of murder suspect Tom Taylor on March 6, 1854.

On March 6, 1854, Dr. Wesley F. Cherry dies of wounds received as the member of a posse sent to Whidbey Island to arrest the killers of William Young. A Native American member of the posse was killed ...

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Washington Territorial Legislature creates Sawamish (Mason) County on April 15, 1854.

On April 15, 1854, the Washington Territorial Legislature forms Sawamish County out of Thurston County. The new county is named for the tribe of Native Americans who inhabit the bays and inlets of sou...

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Washington Territorial Legislature incorporates the City of Steilacoom on April 22, 1854.

On April 22, 1854, Steilacoom becomes the first town in Washington to be incorporated by the new Washington Territorial Legislature. Originally two separate and competing towns founded in 1851 by Lafa...

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Washington Territorial Legislature forms Walla Walla County out of Skamania County on April 25, 1854.

On April 25, 1854, the Washington Territorial Legislature forms Walla Walla County out of Skamania County. The county seat is set "on the claim of Lloyd Brooks," at what will become the city of Walla ...

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