What in the Sam Hill! A Remarkable Northwest Pioneer

Sam’s reach extended well beyond Maryhill and Seattle. He initiated and paid for the Canadian Border Peace Arch at Blaine, Washington. He was the financial sponsor of Chief Joseph’s burial monument on the Colville Indian Reservation. He helped finance the first Quaker meeting house in Seattle (Friends Memorial Church).

Happy Pig War Day! (my favorite war)

The Pig War took an admirable place in world history. It signaled that there are ways nations can peacefully resolve competing claims. Bloodshed can be averted by compromise and arbitration. And so it is that the Pig War remains an altercation where the one and only casualty was a pig. It is my favorite war, the war that ended before it started.

Whitewashing Tulsa: How Popular Culture went to work

Leave it to New York and Hollywood to bury the dark secrets of Tulsa and Oklahoma and to turn these high central plains into nativist celebrations of white culture.

How FDR Defined Infrastructure: Roads, Bridges and Writers

The Federal Writers’ Project provided over 10,000 jobs for Americans during the Depression. Those workers found, recorded and revitalized much American history.

What the Civil War Looked Like in the Pacific Northwest

Following outbreak of the Civil War this dream of a separate West Coast nation was revived. Newly arrived Southerners were among the enthusiastic supporters of this secessionist idea for starting over with a clean slate.

The Ex Ex: How some of Puget Sound’s Most Familiar Places got their Names

Captain Charles Wilkes, who led the scientific expedition in 1841, observed the bird-like shape of the Bainbridge Island harbor, giving it the name Eagle Harbor. He added Bill Point and Wing Point to complete the avian image.