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Topic: Pioneers

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Point Wilson Lighthouse

The Point Wilson Lighthouse was built in 1914 by the Lighthouse Service. At a height of 51 feet, the beacon is the tallest on Puget Sound, marking the entrance to Admiralty Inlet. The lighthouse repl...

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Ranald MacDonald (1824-1894), Adventurer

Ralph P. Edgerton was a judge in the Sixth Division of the Spokane County Superior Court and a member of the Spokane Corral of The Westerners. He wrote this biography of Northwest native and seafarer ...

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Remembering the Holmquists (Monroe, Snohomish County)

This People's History tells the story of August (1859-1928) and Carolina (d. 1930) Holmquist, a couple who, perhaps more than any others, had an impact on the community of Monroe (Snohomish County) in...

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Seattle -- A Brief History of Its Founding

Seattle was founded by members of the Denny party, most of whom arrived at Alki Beach on November 13, 1851 and then, in April 1852, relocated to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay. With the filing of th...

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Seattle and King County's First Non-Indian Settlers

In the vicinity of the Duwamish River and Elliott Bay where in 1851 the first U.S. settlers began building log cabins, the Duwamish tribe occupied at least 17 villages. The first non-Natives to settle...

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Seattle Neighborhoods: Madison Park -- Thumbnail History

The Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle is situated on the western shore of Lake Washington. It was originally inhabited by Duwamish peoples who called it "Where One Chops." The Duwamish shared the f...

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Seattle Neighborhoods: Pioneer Square -- Thumbnail History

First settled in 1852, Pioneer Square encompasses the birthplace of modern Seattle and its first downtown. Most of the Square's buildings were erected within a decade of the disastrous Great Fire of J...

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Seattle Sesquicentennial Presentation of Channel 150 News, November 14, 2001 -- Part 2 of 3

This three-part People's History by Walt Crowley and Chris Goodman recounts the celebrations of the sesquicentennial of the first landing by settlers on Alki Point. On November 14, 2001, the Seattle R...

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Seattle Sesquicentennial Presentation of Channel 150 News, November 14, 2001 -- Part 3 of 3

This three-part People's History by Walt Crowley and Chris Goodman recounts the celebrations of the sesquicentennial of the first landing by settlers on Alki Point. On November 14, 2001, the Seattle R...

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Seattle's Early Donation Land Claims

This essay summarizes the original Donation Land Claims submitted in the area of future Seattle.

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Seattle's First Christmas

Christmas of 1851 found a great change at New York Alki, the place of the very beginning of our city of Seattle. Only six short weeks had passed since the Arthur Denny party had made their historic la...

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Smallpox Epidemic of 1862 among Northwest Coast and Puget Sound Indians

This file describes the 1862 smallpox epidemic among Northwest Coast tribes. It was carried from San Francisco on the steamship Brother Jonathan and arrived at Victoria, British Columbia, on March 12...

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Smith, Henry A. (1830-1915)

Henry A. Smith, M.D. was a Seattle physician who developed property on the west slope of the neighborhood of Queen Anne, part of which bears the name Smith Cove. Named after him as well are Smith Stre...

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Smith, John James (1869-1910): Enumclaw Doctor, Banker, and Civic Leader

John James Smith was a medical doctor from West Virginia who came to the Northwest in the late 1800s to work for a mining company. He settled in Enumclaw in 1901, where he carved out a successful care...

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Spithill, Alexander (1824-1920)

Alexander Spithill was an early Puget Sound pioneer, arriving in October 1856 and settling initially at Utsalady on Camano Island. In 1861 he started what was probably the first logging camp in the Ma...

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Stanley Willhight: How We Came to Be Here (on Vashon)

This is an account by Stanley Willhight (b. 1914) of the Willhight family's journey to Vashon Island in 1883. Willhight also recalls the impressive sight of trains in Smith Cove carrying huge bales of...

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Statement of Alonzo Russell, Seattle pioneer, on early Seattle days and the Indian War of 1856

This file presents the statement of Alonzo Russell (1839-1926), Seattle pioneer, on his arrival to the region in 1852 as a boy of 14, and on the Indian War of 1856. His statement, provided by Liz Russ...

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Stevenson, Frank (1841-1914) and Mary (Fell) (1852-1928)

Frank Stevenson and Mary Fell Stevenson were considered the father and mother of the city of Enumclaw, Washington. The community had its beginning when, in 1885, the Northern Pacific Railroad accepted...

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Strahorn, Dell (1854-1925)

The author of this People's History, Barbara Fleischman Cochran, was a regional historian in Spokane, author of Exploring Spokane's Past, and a member of the faculty at Washington State University. Sh...

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Swan, James G. (1818-1900)

James G. Swan lived one of the most varied and colorful lives in the early history of Washington Territory. He was variously an oysterman, customs inspector, secretary to congressional delegate Isaac...

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Taylor, William (1853-1941)

William Taylor was the founder of North Bend, Washington, located in King County. He was a prime mover in this Snoqualmie Valley community.

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The Nakashima Family and their Snohomish County Farm

Tracy Tallman contributed this People's History account of the family of Kamezo (1883-1975) and Miye Nakashima and their Snohomish County farm. Kamezo and Miye Nakashima were among the earliest Japane...

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The Pfisters: founders of my Seattle family, by Dorothea Nordstrand

This is the story of a "working man," Joseph Pfister (1883-1947), born in Wisconsin to immigrants from Switzerland, and his wife, Mary (Gierhofer) Pfister (1888-1962), born in Austria and brought to A...

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The Pioneer Story of Nancy Russell Thomas (1892)

This story was published in the Tacoma Ledger on November 13, 1892. It was submitted by Liz Russell. Nancy Russell Thomas was born on September 15, 1832, in Ashland, Ohio. She came west with her paren...

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