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Topic: People's Histories

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25 Years Later: Veteran Idealist Frank Ruano Speaks Out about the Kingdome

This is an interview of Frank Ruano (1920-2005), an outspoken critic of Seattle's Kingdome stadium, which opened on March 27, 1976, and was imploded on March 26, 2000. The interview was conducted in S...

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7424 East Greenlake Way: A Seattle Reminiscence by Dorothea Nordstrand

This reminiscence of a beloved childhood house in Seattle's Green Lake neighborhood of the 1920s was written by Dorothea Nordstrand (1916-2011), who has lived in the vicinity for much of her life. In ...

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A Brief History of Primary Election Rules in Washington State

The method of nominating partisan candidates for public office and the structure of the primary in Washington state have been subjects of controversy and legislation throughout the past 100 years. The...

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A Coal Miner's Story: Mike Babcanik's Week Trapped Underground (1914)

This is an account of a coal mine accident that occurred on February 16, 1914, in the Cannon coal mine, near Franklin, about two miles southeast of Black Diamond, located in east King County. Coal min...

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A History of the Seattle Mayor's Desk

Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels shares an undated "history" of his official desk, which dates back to 1928. The anonymous typescript was found in the desk by Mayor Nickels and is an artifact in its own rig...

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A Letter Written by Annie Hall from a 1900 Railroad Trip from Spokane to Athena, Oregon

This people's history, contributed by Richard Hall, consists of an eight-page letter written by his great grandmother, Annie Hall (1869-1921) in late November 1900. She boarded a Spokane-bound Norther...

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A Librarian's Lamentation (Green Lake Branch, The Seattle Public Library, June 30, 1928)

This is a quarterly branch report written by Green Lake Branch librarian Ruth A. Dennis. In the report reprinted here, Dennis explains that the circulation numbers at her branch are down, particularly...

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A Matter of Pride: A Seattle Reminiscence About Hard Times by Dorothea Nordstrand

Dorothea (Pfister) Nordstrand (1916-2011) wrote this reminiscence about a mother's courage and industrious good cheer during hard times. The mother was Mary Annie (Gierhofer) Pfister (1888-1962). In 2...

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A Proud Day by Vern Nordstrand

This is the story of a proud day in the life of Boeing mechanic (later Superintendent of Tooling) Vern Nordstrand (1918-2009). Nordstrand lived in the Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle with his wife,...

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A Remembrance of Patsy Collins by her brother Stimson Bullitt

Stimson Bullitt (1919-2009) gave this remembrance of his sister Priscilla "Patsy" (Bullitt) Collins (1920-2003) at her Memorial Service at Seattle's Town Hall on July 8, 2003.

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A Seattle City Light employee describes the early days.

This file contains an undated, unsigned letter describing what it was like working at Seattle City Light in the early years, around 1910. The letter is held in the Seattle Municipal Archives. It descr...

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A second-hand account of one family's triumph over poverty, war, and the Great Depression by Gary Graupner

Gary Graupner grew up in the 1950s and 1960s, but tales of the hardships that his close family endured as they struggled with poverty, disease, war, and the Great Depression were passed down to him in...

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A Story of Pioneering by Nicholas V. Sheffer (1825-1910), Part 1: Oregon Trail

In 1909, Nicholas Sheffer (1825-1910) was Whatcom County's oldest pioneer. He prepared his reminiscences for The Lynden Tribune, which ran them in three parts in August of that year as "A Story of Pio...

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A Story of Pioneering by Nicholas V. Sheffer (1825-1910), Part 2: Indian Wars

In 1909, Nicholas Sheffer (1825-1910) was Whatcom County's oldest pioneer. He prepared his reminiscences for The Lynden Tribune, which ran them in three parts in August of that year as "A Story of Pio...

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A Story of Pioneering by Nicholas V. Sheffer (1825-1910), Part 3: Gold Rush

In 1909, Nicholas Sheffer (1825-1910) was Whatcom County's oldest pioneer. He prepared his reminiscences for The Lynden Tribune, which ran them in three parts in August of that year as "A Story of Pio...

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A Story of Pioneering by Nicholas V. Sheffer (1825-1910), Part 4: Settlement

In 1909, Nicholas Sheffer (1825-1910) was Whatcom County's oldest pioneer. He prepared his reminiscences for The Lynden Tribune, which ran them in three parts in August of that year as "A Story of Pio...

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A Trip to Point Roberts, Summer 1909

This essay presents a description of a trip to Point Roberts (Whatcom County) on a summer day near the end of the first decade of the twentieth century. Point Roberts is a five-square-mile peninsula t...

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Aerial Tram on Mount Rainier: Twenty Years of Debate

Beginning in the 1930s, Northwest skiers attempted to get a permanent ski lift built on Mount Rainier to make it the center of Washington skiing, efforts that were resisted by the National Park Servic...

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Agnes Johnson Remembers Three Years At Firland Sanatorium

Agnes "Aggie" Guttormsen Johnson (b. 1928), is an Everett native. After graduating from Providence Everett School of Nursing in 1949 Agnes was diagnosed with pulmonary tuberculosis and admitted to Fir...

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Alaskan Way Viaduct: Interview with Dan Evans

This is an interview with Governor Daniel J. Evans (b. 1925) concerning Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct. The interview was conducted in January 2012 by Dominic Black.

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Alaskan Way Viaduct: Interview with Mike Fleming

This is an interview with Mike Fleming concerning Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct. Mike Fleming was born in Seattle in 1941 and grew up in Yesler Terrace. He worked in banking for many years and has had...

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Alaskan Way Viaduct: Interview with Mike Peringer

This interview with Mike Peringer concerning Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct was conducted under the Western Avenue exit of the viaduct in January 2012 by Dominic Black.. Peringer was a reporter present...

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Alaskan Way Viaduct: Interview with Ron Paananen

This is an interview with Alaskan Way Viaduct Program Manager Ron Paananen. Paananen oversaw the viaduct replacement project for six years, from 2005 through 2011. The interview was conducted in Janua...

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Alessandro Malaspina: Early Explorer of the Pacific Northwest Coast

Alessandro Malaspina (1754-1810), an Italian explorer who sailed under the Spanish flag, is not as well-known as others who explored the Northwest Coast in the late eighteenth century. But like contem...

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