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.

Jefferson’s “Restless Citizens” and the Oregon Trail

The first recorded Oregon Trail attempt with a wagon train occurred in April, 1830. It only got as far as the Rocky Mountains.

Sweet! The Origins of Walla Walla’s Finest

Local growers, most with Italian antecedents, do whatever it takes to preserve the unique qualities originally inherited from the Island of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea, the ancestral home of the Walla Walla Sweet.

How Peter the Great’s Fascination with a “Land Beyond the Sea” Drove Exploration of the Northwest

Following Bering's discovery of sea otter riches, an almost endless train of adventurers and brigands struck out from Asia for North America with wild dreams of staggering wealth. Many crew members were hardened criminals.

The Eccentric Lost Art of Chapbooks

Each of the chapbooks takes flight. The whimsy of the author is at the controls.  However, the authors are - or were - distinguished literary personalities.

Christopher Columbus’ PNW Connections

Common usage of the name Columbus has blurred the life and accomplishments of an individual whose life was full, controversial, and epochal. 

Reconsidering Narcissa Whitman

Many of Narcissa’s letters from Walla Walla to her family in Upstate New York have been saved.  It’s worth taking a closer look at these fading documents to see if there are other aspects to this dramatic and ultimately sad story.

Full of Hot Air: Our Historical Wariness of Balloons

Matching the current Chinese deployment of weather or intelligence balloons over North America are attempts by the 1940s Japanese military government to inflict harm and alarm along America’s West Coast, using low-cost giant balloons.

The Supreme Court Justice from the Wrong Side of the Tracks

During his college summers, while working the wheat harvest, the future U.S. Supreme Court Justice enjoyed listening to the tales of Wobblies, the Industrial Workers of the World, who were considered criminals by many of his neighbors.

Great AdVantage: The River People at the Center of Washington State

River fishing is one way the Wanapum Native culture has been kept alive. In protecting and enhancing that culture and its 12,000-year-old fishing tradition, Natives of the region point to revered prophets.

Remembering Architect Carl F. Gould

He fought for a city plan that was opposed by influential property owners.  Never mind his reputation as a “gentleman architect,”he entered city-wide frays related to public art and architecture.