Junius Rochester

Junius Rochester, whose family has shaped the city for many generations, is an award-winning Northwest historian and author of numerous books about Seattle and other places.

Ups and Downs: How the Fremont Bridge Came to Be

The Fremont neighborhood – and its nearby bridge – received its moniker from the community’s founders, L.H. Griffith and E. Blewett, who wanted to honor their hometown of Fremont, Nebraska.

The Diverse, Dramatic History of Northwest Religions

Why was Mt. Rainier regarded as a female god? What started the bitterness between Whites and Indians? Why did revivalists work so well in the Pacific Northwest?

How the Mythic ‘Northwest Passage’ Helped Define the Pacific Northwest

Even Thomas Jefferson, in late life and after Meriwether Lewis reported otherwise, believed that rivers and lakes could combine to whisk traders from one coast to the other.

Seattle’s “Moral Majority”: Reverend Mark Matthews’ Outsized Role in Early Seattle

There were few matters in our post-Alaska Gold Rush town of 80,000 that failed to inspire Doctor Matthews. 

Seattle: Our Forgotten Namesake

Seattle may be named for Chief Seattle, but his presence (and that of his people) is difficult to detect in the modern city.

Well Fortified? A History of Pacific Northwest Forts

Most of them served as trading centers and integral parts of the great fur trade.

How Seattle Addressed Homelessness in an Earlier Era

The Second World War brought many migrants to the Pacific Northwest, including large numbers of African Americans and Asians working at Boeing, the shipyards, fishing, and timber.  Those desperate newcomers needed shelter.

Mount Olympus, I Presume?

In 1889, the five-person Press Expedition (named for the Seattle Press, a statewide newspaper), led by James Christie, crossed the Olympic Peninsula from the Elwha River to the Quinault Valley.

A World’s Fair that Helped Define Seattle (and the Man Who Made it Happen)

"The fair was Seattle’s debut among the cities of earth, and Seattle cleaned house so thoroughly that it was never again the roaring city of gold rush days.” 

Staid Madison Park Neighborhood Started Out as a Raucous Coney Island

The burgeoning waterfront development included a boathouse, piers, a wooden promenade and twin bandstands offshore with shoreline seating.  Beer was sold to audiences while they listened to Wagner’s Band play Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Later came a racetrack near Broadmoor.

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