The Great Northwest

Unsettling Events - This is currently my favorite NW history site. Its focus is on disasters, explosions, battles, UFO's, monsters, murders, kidnappings, and so on. Everything that makes the Northwest what it is today. Another quirky site is Murray's People. Hats off to the Tacoma Public Library for having some the best history websites in the NW!

Burke Museum - Zillions of years ago even the lowest of dinosaurs knew that the NW was a cool place to hang out. They'd sip their espressos, unaware that their existence on the planet would soon be over. Today, in true NW fashion, we recycled 'em. Visit their museum and dig their bones! Figuratively, of course.

History Link - This website is well on its way to becoming the premiere website of Seattle and King County history. Bookmark this one now.

Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, WA - I can't begin to thank this museum enough. Their archives have been a tremendous help for me and countless others, many times over. A Seattle gem.

NARA's Pacific Alaska Region (Seattle) - One of the benefits of living near Seattle is the proximity to one of the few National Archive sites in the country. I whole-heartedly wish that I could just put up a tent and a campstove back in their stacks for a few weeks.

The Pacific Northwest Historians Guild - I'm a member, so I give this page a thumbs-up. They're coming up on their twentieth anniversary soon, and they are a tremendous resource for the academic historian.

Washington Historical Society Columbia Magazine - An academic endeavor which documents our rich Northwest heritage. The magazine of the Washington State Historical Society

UWired Outreach: Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest - One of the best resources for Northwest discovery. There's a tremendous amount to be gleaned from this website.

Welcome to Smart and Smarter! Giddy UP! - This webpage makes me wish that there was an internet when I was a kid. It's designed for children interested in geography, and I pored over the whole thing in rapt fascination, kid that I am.

Resources for Teaching and Researching Northwest Environmental History - A Washington State website that's a must for anyone interested in the history of the NW from an environmental perspective

How to Excavate the Rockshelter - The Hoko Rockshelter is located on the Olympic Peninsula. This website gives you a chance to become a virtual archaeologist. Put on your pith helmet and start exploring.

Suquamish Tribe - The Suquamish have inhabited Puget Sound for about 15 millennia, and their sovereign nation still exists today. Now THAT'S history!

Chief Seattle's speech - Chinook Jargon version - If you can understand Chinook jargon and visit this work-in-progress, you are only one translation away from the original speech in Lushootseed. Quite impressive.

The Yakima Valley Museum - Here's a wonderful page for a Northwest museum that I am sad to admit that I haven't been to yet. Based upon the abundance of cool stuff on this page, I'm going soon, I tell ya!.

Northwest of the West: the Frontier Experience on the Northwest Coast - A University of Washington site that shouldn't be missed. A comprehensive overview of European settlers in the Pacific Northwest.

History of Lummi Island - A short history of the "Pearl of Rosario Strait". I liked the old photo that they included, too.

Terrific! It's Northern Pacific! - Love their title. The NP was an Iron Horse that helped develop the Great Northwest. Well, it was just one of the Iron Quadrupeds. Here's a link to the Iron Goat: Great Northern Railway Page. Was there an Iron Llama, or an Iron Moose?

The Montana Ghost Town Preservation Society - Dead cities from Big Sky country. Well, not quite dead, just a bit under the weather. Learn how you can help to preserve them.

World Museum Of Mining - Located in Butte, Montana, this museum and website provides information about holes in the earth with goodies inside.

A Carousel For Missoula - Round and round and round. Grab the ring!

Oregon Historical Society - Everything Oregon. As much as I love Washington state, I always enjoy visiting our neighbor to the south. I've used this page to learn quite a bit about the Beaver State. To learn more about the people who trekked there over a century ago, visit The Oregon Trail Home page.

History magazine of NE Oregon - Signal Mountain - Since I'm yakkin' 'bout Oregon, here's another fascinating insight into Oregon history.

Oregon's Covered Bridges - Like a lot of people, I don't consider covered bridges to be Northwest icons. Boy was I wrong.

The American Advertising Museum - This obviously isn't about Northwest History, but this museum is in Portland, OR. I visited it a few years ago (on my way to visit Powell's Bookstore), and no trip to Portland is complete without stopping in to see the Ad Museum's cool old ads and commercials. If you can't make it there, there's some good ones on their website.

Antique Aircraft - Official Spruce Goose History Page - Isn't it fascinating how our view of history migrates over time? Howard Hughes built the Spruce Goose in Southern Cal. Now she's in Oregon and her history travels with it, allowing me to link to her website from my Pacific Northwest History page. Whatta world.

Log House Museum - This is the website for the birthplace of Seattle. Way before the Space Needle, the Kingdome, and a myriad of software companies, Seattle was just a bunch of log cabins. This log cabin was one of the first and is now the one of the last.

The Royal British Columbia Museum - This is one of the best museums in the Northwest. It's in Victoria, BC, which is one of the coolest local cities. Visit Victoria and check it out. If you can't make it there, you can still check out Home Page - BC Archives, a fantastic webpage for a fantastic archive. Heritage Society of BC Homepage is also a great starting point.

Speaking of British Columbian History, I haven't had time to check out Who Killed William Robinson? in much detail, so I leave it to you, the intrepid traveler, to look into this one on your own.

GHOSTS OF THE KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH - Home Page - The legacy of the Yukon Gold Rush left an indelible mark on Puget Sound history. Many of the people who made their fortunes in Alaska returned to Seattle and spent money like it was going out of style. Of course, most folks didn't make a stinkin' nugget up there and came back to Seattle as derelict bums. But, by gosh, they were our derelict bums! Where do you think the phrase "Skid Row" came from? .

The Klondike Weekly - The online magazine dedicated to the Klondike gold rush. If only the miners had an internet a hundred or so years ago.

Klondike Gold Rush NHP Home Page - This National Park is located in downtown Seattle inside a building. How many National Parks have you visited that have windows so you can see outside? It's a great park, and I've taken many visitors to it.

Northwest Imagery - Title Page - Man, I love Asahel Curtis. He and his brother Edward photographed everything about the Northwest that they possibly could (and more) during the first part of this century. This website gives but a glimpse of their vision. If this site isn't enough, amble on over to the Asahel Curtis Photo Company Collection for more.

Washington State Park History - This website is mostly text, but provides an excellent history of Washington's state park system. I've camped at a couple of these parks and I love them all.

Galloping Gertie , The Tacoma Narrows Bridge Disaster, November 1940 - Two sites that let you download a webmovie of the Tacoma Narrows bridge heaving, twisting and crashing into Puget Sound. The Northwest seems to be under the curse of some evil presence who hates bridges. We seem to lose one every couple of years or so. I'll never forget turning on the teevee a few years ago just in time to see the Lake Washington Floating Bridge break into chunks and drop like the Titanic. The thrills never end in the great Northwest.

Museum of Flight - The Museum of Flight has so many planes hanging from the ceiling, it's like being an inch tall in some model-building high-schooler's bedroom. Adjacent to the museum is another wonderful museum about Boeing's history. Did you know that, during the 1920's and 1930's, Boeing built furniture when plane production dropped off? Or that during WWII the company built a miniature village on top of the factory to fool enemy bombers? Here's Boeing's history webpage (which also contains a history of McDonnell Douglas, a recent acquisition): Common Heritage - The Early Years

Washington State World War II Memorial - Here's a worthy project. Visit here and help them out.

Welcome to the Naval Undersea Museum - I've been to this museum a couple of times. It's located in Keyport, on the western side of Puget Sound. There's not much on the website, but that gives you more reason to visit the museum in person.

Washington History Day - I've been a regional judge at this contest for a couple of years. I've read papers and seen exhibits created by high-schoolers and junior high students that are pretty amazing, and I've actually learned new info from some of them. Pretty cool.

King County, Washington GenWeb - I've really been grooving on this whole GenWeb thing. The internet lends itself so well for genealogical research, and the obsessive hordes of genealogists around the world have realized this (God love 'em!). This is the King County site, but you can jump around the GenWeb from here if you're looking for other genealogical archives.

State of Washington History and Genealogy Resources - Another good site for all you obsessive hordes of genealogists.

Seattle City Clerk's Office - Search the archive and discover Seattle on your own.

Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks - The Chittenden Locks and the ship canal were instrumental in Kirkland and East Side history by effectively making the East Side a seaport. Well, sorta.

A Virtual Tour of Pioneer Square, Seattle, Washington - Over a century ago, the Great Seattle Fire bypassed this section of downtown, leaving it relatively intact even to this day. Just think. If wind conditions had been different that day, I wouldn't have a link to this site. Ain't it amazing how the most trivial occurrences have long-term repercussions?

The Architecture of Seattle - How can you not like a city that has a building ringed with walrus heads?

Now & Then History - When I first started exploring Seattle's history, Paul Dorpat's books were invaluable to me. This website gives a small taste of his expansive collection of tales and comparitive photographs.

Historic Seattle - Find out how to help the effort to preserve Seattle's heritage.

No Finer Site: The Univerisity of Washington's Early Years on Union Bay - Nice history about the early days of U-Dub. This site is part of the Special Collections and Preservation Library, where I have spent countless hours, poking around.

The Cold War and Red Scare in Washington State - Fantastic academic website that discusses one of the darker blotches in Washington State history. Have you now or have you ever been a member ...

Cinerama7's Home Page - This site is a must-see. Imagine that it's 1963, and then hop on this virtual tour of my favorite Seattle movie house. Thanks to Paul Allen in his efforts to preserve this piece of Americana.

Speaking of Mr. Allen, the Experience Music Project: An interactive museum exploring rock ‘n’ roll and American popular music is another of his projects that I can't wait to experience, if this website is any example.The museum opens in 1999, but there's lots of stuff online while your waiting.

The Vintage Telephone Equipment Museum - This museum is located in Seattle. When you call them up, which phone do they answer?

Georgetown Powerplant Museum - When I first moved to Puget Sound, I worked near this building. It sat at the end of Boeing Field, looking like some gigantic mausoleum. I always wondered how pilots must have felt, guiding their planes towards this massive edifice. Later, I found out it used to be a powerplant, but I still imagine some green skyjockey freaking out on his final approach.

Queen Anne Historical Society - Queen Anne hill is located north of downtown Seattle and provides some of the best views around. Some of the finest homes I've ever seen in Seattle are located there. Along with that cool Queen Anne architecture, the hill has some amazing history. The QAHS endeavors to document this.

Welcome to the Wing Luke Asian Museum - The Wing Luke is one of Seattle's gems. Asian Culture is integral in Northwest History, and this museum has done a fine job of documenting and preserving it.

Japanese American Exhibit and Access Project - This site, from the University of Washington, is an excellent archive of materials relating to the WWII incarceration of NW Japanese-Americans. Be sure to check out the Camp Harmony Exhibit

Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, Seattle, Washington - This organization is the salt of the earth. They have done an excellent job of archiving and preserving Puget Sound's maritime heritage. Their photo archive has been of utmost use to me, and the volunteers who run it are some of the nicest people I've ever met.

Washington Lighthouses - This is a wonderful picture gallery of some of Washington's beautiful lighthouses, with a little bit of history thrown in. The lighthouses of Oregon, California and British Columbia can also be found elsewhere onsite.

Steamer Virginia V Foundation - I have been on this wonderful vessel many times. This is the last of Seattle's mosquito fleet. She's undergoing restoration, but once that's finished, I exhort you to visit her. There's none other like her.

The Lady Washington - One of the coolest vessels in the Pacific Northwest, with a crew of some of the most enthusiastic people I have ever met. Sail On, Lady W! Trivia Question: What connection does this ship have to Star Trek?

The Tacoma Historical Society - I love Tacoma. I really do. There's something about it's downtown that has a wonderful old-timey feel to it. This webpage provides a history of Tacoma and a wonderful discussion of it's architectural triumphs. For a more whimsical view of Tacoma's past check out Welcome to Adah & May's Tour

Karpeles Manuscript Library - Ever wonder where the first draft of the Bill of Rights ended up? How about the Emancipation Proclamation? And what does this have to do with Northwest history? The Karpeles Manuscript Library has only 7 branches, and one is in Tacoma. Visit this page and download HUGE images of important historical documents. Download Einstein's notes for the Theory of Relativity and digitally add Cheeto stains and soda-pop rings for some extra fun!

Pacific Attic Dual Entrance Page - This commercial site for old postcards is a great history resource. Their online catalog has some stunning images, and is updated regularly. Buy a few bits of paper ephemera and own your very own pieces of NW history.

Historical Corner - From the Kirkland City Hall webpage. I wrote this.

LWHS Annuals - Here's a neat little collection of Lake Washington High School yearbook covers going back to the 1920's. LWHS is located in Kirkland. Their mascot is the kangaroo, herds of which used to roam the mountainsides of Washington State before Western Expansion all but obliterated them. Well, I made that last part up, but their mascot really is the kangaroo.

Marsh Commons Mansion - There's almost no historical information on this page, but it is one of the most historic homes in Kirkland. Remind me to tell you about it and the Marsh history sometime.

Scouting History and Traditions - The only reason that I included this link on this page, rather than the "general history" page, is due to the fact that Kirkland, WA is supposedly the home of the world's first Cub Scout pack. If you can prove otherwise, please contact me.

Dick's Drive-In History - Dick's has been a Seattle institution for over 40 years, serving fast food at affordable prices. Most of their drive-ins still have that 1950's feel to them.

Archie McPhee - Your Toy, Gift, Novelty and Fun Headquarters - Okay, this ain't exactly history, but eons from now, some outworlder archivist is going to see Archie McPhee as the definitive example of late 20th century culture. In our present world, it's here in Seattle. If you are in town and don't visit their kwazy, wacky store, you're missing out.

Slate - Letter From Washington - Oct. 25, 1997 - 100 years ago, the shores of Lake Washington were populated by farmers, loggers and various other homesteaders. Today, the main focus is viewlots for fabulously wealthy people. No comment.

Microsoft Museum - Considering that this website is about East Side history, how could I not include this link?


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1998 - Alan J Stein