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Diablo Dam incline railway climbing Sourdough Mountain, 1930. Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives, 2306.
Children waving to ferry, 1950. Courtesy Museum of History and Industry.
Loggers in the Northwest woods. Courtesy Washington State Digital Archives.

This Week Then


News Then, History Now

Quite a Haul

On October 14, 1891, the schooner Lizzie Colby landed the first load of Bering Sea cod at Anacortes, ushering in a new industry for the Skagit County city. For more than half a century, sailing schooners based in Seattle, Poulsbo, and Anacortes fished cod in the Bering Sea and Alaskan waters and returned home with their catch.

Standing Tall

On October 18, 1899, Seattle unveiled its latest and proudest possession -- a 60-foot totem pole in Pioneer Square. The untold story was that some of Seattle's most prominent citizens, including Chamber of Commerce Acting President James Clise, had gone to Alaska and swiped the pole from Tlingit Indians. Charges were filed, but little came of them. The carved log lingered until it was damaged by an arsonist in 1938. Its burnt remains -- along with a check from the federal government -- were returned to the Tlingits. They magnanimously carved a replica that still stands in Pioneer Square.

Power for All

On October 14, 1913, six years after the Georgetown Steam Plant came on line, engineers began straightening and deepening the nearby Duwamish River. With ocean-going ships and barges able to navigate the dredged river, firms like the Boeing Airplane Co. began locating in the valley's burgeoning industrial center.The steam plant supplied electricity to the grid for the final time on October 15, 1952, and is now a National Historic Landmark.

Yea over Nay

On October 15, 1945, Darrington incorporated as a fourth-class town. This wasn't the first time that the small community had made an attempt at self-governance. In 1910, as Snohomish County prepared to ban the sale of alcohol, Darrington's citizens hoped to keep their liquor flowing by becoming a city and voting to keep the town "wet." Instead, they were rebuffed by Prohibitionists, who had more than a little help from local lumber interests.

Blustery Day

On October 12, 1962, the Columbus Day Storm wreaked havoc throughout Western Washington. And on October 12, 2004, the Seattle Storm wiped out the competition and became the Women's National Basketball Association champions, an honor that the team achieved again in 2010.

Anchors Aweigh

On October 13, 1976, the federal Court of Appeals ruled that the proposed Trident submarine base at Bangor in Kitsap County was not per se exempt from the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The case highlighted the tension between two of Senator Henry Jackson's abiding concerns -- a strong military and environmental protection. Despite the ruling, the Trident base by 2010 was home to almost a third of the nation's deployed nuclear arsenal.

Today in
Washington History

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Image of the Week

Fifty years ago this week, the Seattle SuperSonics played their first regular season game on October 13, 1967.

Quote of the Week

'Tis strange -- but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction; if it could be told.

--Lord Byron

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