We compare things every day. Differences are often a simple matter of subtraction. If we can count or measure a pair of things, we can likely do the math and see what separates them. We call these quantifiably differentiated pairs “betweens.” Pick the right pair of things and the betweens can be interesting.
Many things, of course, can’t be quantified. Art is a good example. There are quality and aesthetic factors not easily reduced to numbers. That’s fine. We won’t invent “artty” units to say Suzzallo Library is 1 artty better or worse than the EMP. (At least we won’t do that yet. We reserve the right to change our minds.) For now, though, we’ll only look at betweens that we can count or measure in standard ways.
We collected many Northwest betweens and did the math. We share a dozen of them in today’s list — the first in a series of betweens.
|1 day||BETWEEN||the death at age 70 of Emil Sick, longtime owner of the Seattle Rainiers baseball team (Nov 11, 1964)||AND||the death at age 45 of Fred Hutchinson, the greatest star pitcher the Seattle Rainiers baseball team ever produced (Nov 12, 1964).|
|12 inches||BETWEEN||the height of world champion Seattle SuperSonics center Jack Sikma (6’11”)||AND||the height of world champion Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (5’11”).|
|41 miles||BETWEEN||the town of Starbuck, WA||AND||the nearest Starbucks coffee shop (Albertson’s at 450 N Wilbur Ave, Walla Walla).|
|54 years||BETWEEN||George Washington’s death (1799)||AND||his name’s attachment to Washington Territory (1853).|
|81 feet||BETWEEN||the Space Needle’s observation deck (519 feet)||AND||the top of the Space Needle’s antenna spire (605 feet).|
|166 degrees Fahrenheit||BETWEEN||the state record high temperature (118° at Ice Harbor Dam, Aug 5, 1961)||AND||the state record low temperature (-48° at Winthrop and Mazama, Dec 30, 1968).|
|289 driving miles||BETWEEN||the University of Washington campus||AND||the Washington State University campus.|
|306 driving miles||BETWEEN||Vancouver, WA||AND||Vancouver, BC.|
|1,306 Mariner games||BETWEEN||Ken Griffey Jr’s 398th Mariners home run (Sep 22, 1999)||AND||Ken Griffey Jr’s 399th Mariners home run (Apr 6, 2009).|
|2,182 days||BETWEEN||the first climb of Mt Olympus, WA (Aug 12, 1907)||AND||the first climb of Mt Olympus, Greece (Aug 2, 1913).|
|15,341 feet||BETWEEN||the maximum height of Mt Rainier (14,411)||AND||the maximum depth of Puget Sound (930 feet off Point Jefferson between Indianola and Kingston).|
|11,922,720 cubic yards||BETWEEN||the concrete volume of the old Kingdome (52,800 cubic yards)||AND||the concrete volume of the Grand Coulee Dam (11,975,520 cubic yards).|
PHOTOS: Kingdome photo in public domain. All other photos © Steve Campion.
SOURCES: We referred to our accumulated WA-List files for much of the raw data, much of which is widely available, and some of which is approximate. (Driving mileage, for instance, is approximate.) All the complicated math (hey, it’s subtraction!) was ours. Perhaps the most specialized data on the list is that of the last pair of betweens. We found the Kingdome volume on King County’s webpage and the dam volume at a Bureau of Reclamation page. Yes, that means the dam has the equivalent concrete of 226.8 Kingdomes.
We should also explain that Ken Griffey hit 213 home runs playing for Cincinnati and Chicago during the eight years intervening on his between.
Sports & Recreation
SEE ALSO: Seahawks Postseasons
The Seattle Seahawks closed out the 2014 regular season with six consecutive wins (and 9 wins of their last 10!). They qualified for the playoffs for the third consecutive year (and fourth year in Pete Carroll’s five years as coach).
Seattle also secured home field advantage in the postseason for the third time in franchise history. They played in the Super Bowl each of the two previous times that happened.
Three quarterbacks appear three times each on our list. In his three season career so far, Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is now 36-12 in the regular season, and 6-2 in the postseason.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS’ BEST REGULAR SEASON WIN-LOSS RECORDS
|13-3||2013DH||Russell Wilson||3-0||Won Super Bowl 48|
|13-3||2005DH||Matt Hasselbeck||2-1||Lost Super Bowl 40|
|12-4||2014DH||Russell Wilson||2-1||Lost Super Bowl 49|
|9-7||Seattle finished 9-7 nine times over the years: 1978, 1979, 1983, 1988D, 1990, 1999D, 2001, 2004D, 2006D. The best post-season among those years was 1983 with 2 wins and 1 loss.|
D = Seahawks won their division. (They also won the division in 2010 with 7 wins, 9 losses.)
H = Seahawks won home field advantage in the postseason.
PHOTO: CenturyLink Field by Steve Campion.
Business & Industry
For two years WA-List has maintained a list of local charities in Washington that focus on feeding, sheltering, and assisting the poor, abused, and homeless people among us. This year we’re adding a companion list for our companions in need: abandoned, neglected, and abused pets. There are many non-profit organizations in Washington, often relying on charitable donations and loving volunteers to care for dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, and other pets that people have neglected or can no longer assist.
Below you will find the names, locations, website links, and Facebook pages of 16 local charitable organizations that serve pet animals (domesticated or feral) with medical care, spay/neutering services, adoption, or food and shelter when it’s most critical. This is not a “best” list and is far from a complete list. Consider it starting point — a partial list with which to begin a search of animal organizations in need of charitable donations.
These are all registered charitable organizations. On the last line of each entry are some numbers from the Secretary of State’s office — fiscal year 2013 when available at press time, 2012 or 2011 if not. The first number is the dollar amount of services provided; the second is the group’s total expenses; and the third is the ratio of the two — an efficiency rating of your donated dollar, in a way. In the wordy “Notes” section for each, you will find the organization’s own words — often from a mission statement on their website. Finally, we intentionally omitted phone numbers and addresses. It is much more efficient (and accurate) to let the websites themselves steer you to the right contact for donations. On those sites you will also find photos and stories capable of getting you all teary-eyed.
A PARTIAL LIST OF PET-ORIENTED CHARITIES IN WASHINGTON
Bulldog Haven NW is a team of foster homes throughout the Pacific Northwest that welcome the dogs in our program into their homes while they receive the care they need. We are NOT a shelter, we DO NOT have a facility, and our dogs are spread across WA and the surrounding states including BC. All of our dogs are at the homes of our unpaid volunteers.
For 34 years, Concern for Animals has helped thousands of animals in Olympia and surrounding counties by providing funding for veterinary and rescue services: low cost spay/neuter, emergency medical care, animal food bank, and rescue & adoption.
Feline Friends provides the following services to stray cats in our program: Rescue, Foster Care, Spay and Neuter, Placement into permanent, caring homes. We strongly encourage spay and neuter of all companion animals to reduce and eventually eliminate the unnecessary killing and abandonment of unwanted pets.
Our mission is to save the lives of homeless cats by providing access to high volume spay/neuter surgery in a safe and humane environment, collaborating with others and mentoring like-minded organizations to increase spay/neuter in their regions. The Feral Cat Spay/Neuter Project has altered over 82,000 cats since our inception in 1997. We are the first free standing clinic that is dedicated to providing free spay/neuter surgery for free-roaming cats in a safe, high quality, humane environment. Cats from over 23 counties throughout Washington State have been brought to our clinic to be altered.
Founded in 1999, Furry Friends’ mission is to rescue abused, abandoned or otherwise homeless cats and house them in a safe, healthy and socialized environment until we find new “forever homes” for them.
Founded in 1990, Homeward Pet is a nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter serving the Seattle area. We started with simple goals: save and re-home cats and dogs and educate the public about spaying and neutering their pets. Our mission is to give homeless animals a second chance through our rescue, shelter, and adoption programs.
We work to “Build a Bond for Life” between pets and their families. The NOAH Center exists to stop the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable and treatable homeless dogs and cats across Washington State. We deliver high quality spay/neuter programs available to low income residents as well as family friendly pet adoptions and volunteer programs through our state-of-the-art facility located north of Seattle off of I-5.
Our mission is to promote and provide affordable, high-quality spay and neuter services for cats, dogs, and rabbits in an effort to stop the killing of animals due to overpopulation. Founded in late 2001 as Peninsula Spay/Neuter Project, we facilitated over 10,000 spays and neuters of pet cats and dogs, as well as over 5,200 feral and free-roaming cats in the first 5 years. This was done with a volunteer staff. PSNP was the first organization in Pierce County to focus on the overpopulation of feral and free-roaming cats, and the first organization in the Puget Sound region to focus on pit bull overpopulation.
We are a network of private homes helping Western Washington’s homeless senior dogs. Old Dog Haven has no shelter or kennel, all our dogs live as members of a family. We are caring for over 240 dogs at a time in our foster homes. We focus on the oldest dogs left at shelters but occasionally we can take a dog directly from the owner. Dogs in good health with reasonable life expectancy are adopted out; the rest are loved and cared for in a Final Refuge home for as long as they have good quality of life. We also try to assist owners to find new homes for their senior dogs through our website and referrals, and cross-post senior dogs for shelters and other rescues.
We are a non-profit on a mission to end animal cruelty located on 85 acres in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Pasado’s Safe Haven was founded in 1997 in honor of “Pasado“, a beloved donkey who was tortured to death by three teenage boys. In addition to investigating animal cruelty crimes and providing sanctuary and rehabilitation to animals who have suffered from abuse and neglect, we also advocate for better laws to protect animals and work to educate the public about how they can help end animal suffering. Through our uniquely comprehensive programs, we are able to help thousands of animals every year and spread a message of compassion to countless people.
We are a high volume, high quality spay/neuter clinic completing between 30-40 surgeries per day. Established in 1996 as a cat foster and adoption group, the members of Pet Savers soon realized that adoption alone was not going to end the staggering pet overpopulation in Spokane County. Pet Savers opened the Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic in 2005 to address the issue of pet overpopulation at its source and has performed over 47,000 surgeries as of 12/1/14 leading to a direct impact on the number of animals entering our local shelters.
PAWS is a champion for animals—rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife, sheltering and adopting homeless cats and dogs, and educating people to make a better world for animals and people. PAWS brings together people like you to ensure animals are respected, safe and have a voice. Since 1967, PAWS has united more than 130,000 companion animals with loving families, cared for 115,000 injured and orphaned wild animals, and made the world a better place for countless others through advocacy and education.
A shelter and sanctuary for unwanted and mistreated rabbits … until they all have homes. Rabbit Haven welcomes rabbits from emergency situations, other shelters and animal organizations and from the public [on priority basis].
Second Chance Ranch specializes in the rehabilitation, transition training and adoption services of Thoroughbred race horses from the racetrack into second careers. SCR assists these magnificent athletes transition into a new careers, rehabilitate from minor injuries, or find their permanent retirement home. Also welcomed into our program are thoroughbreds rescued from auctions and feedlots. We are proud to have been chosen as the retirement home of Washington champions such as Longacres Mile winners, The Great Face and No Giveaway, as well as Flying Notes, and many others. Second Chance Ranch strives to make an impact on the lives of horses and their owners in our community through direct intervention, education, and community outreach.
Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue is a volunteer-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to placing unwanted and abandoned purebred dogs into new homes. Since 1987, Seattle Purebred Dog Rescue has been working with local area shelters and private individuals to find homes for unwanted or abandoned purebred dogs.
Founded in 1990, WAIF is a non-profit organization that helps pets and their people. It’s mission is to create a community in which animals are treated with compassion and respect and where no companion animals goes unwanted. WAIF manages animal shelters in Coupeville and Oak Harbor, and operates a minimal-kill facility for healthy, adoptable pets until they are placed into permanent, suitable homes.
SOURCES: The websites themselves were our primary sources for the text in the Notes columns. We edited some sentences and adjoined others from different places on the website to suit the clarity of a short description. We were careful not to change the context or meaning. As described above, we also relied on Secretary of State’s charities database to verify licenses, tax exempt status, and the financial information shown here. We also consulted with Kari Kells, a professional pet sitter who champions animal rescue and has been associated with Feline Friends in Olympia.
PHOTO of Sydney by Steve Campion. Sydney was a stray cat taken into the temporary care in Olympia.
Business & Industry
SEE ALSO: Pet-related charities.
Two years ago, WA-List researched and published a list of 14 local charities in Washington that focused on feeding, sheltering, and assisting the poor, abused, and homeless among us. We’re pleased that it has been among the most frequently used lists on our site. Today we update and slightly expand that list for 2014-2015.
You will find the names, locations, website links, and Facebook pages of 19 large local charitable organizations that serve human needs (food, clothes, rest, and help battling addiction, abuse, mental illness, etc.). In the wordy “Notes” section for each, you will find the organization’s own words — often from a mission statement on their website. If the group has a slogan, you’ll see that first in quotes and italics.
On the last line of each entry are some numbers from the Secretary of State’s office — fiscal year 2013 when available at press time, 2012 if not. The first number is the dollar amount of services provided; the second is the group’s total expenses; and the third is the ratio of the two — an efficiency rating of your donated dollar, in a way. Finally, we intentionally omitted phone numbers and addresses. It is much more efficient (and accurate) to let the websites themselves steer you to the right contact for donations.
A PARTIAL LIST OF HUMAN-SERVICES CHARITIES IN WASHINGTON
Catholic Charities Spokane is a network of agencies, institutions, parishes, and individuals, united in Gospel spirit, who are servants to the poor, supporters for families and aides to parishes and communities in meeting the social services needs of people in eastern Washington.
“Healing children today – Breaking the cycle of abuse and neglect forever. ” Our mission is to end the cycle of child abuse and neglect forever by healing its youngest victims with scientifically proven therapeutic care, preparing them to be successful learners, supporting their families and laying the foundation for lifelong loving relationships. Our vision is a community where child abuse and neglect no longer exist.
Our mission is to “Alleviate Hunger and Its Root Causes.” This two-part mission statement includes both the providing of emergency food to hungry individuals and families, and also the preventive element of doing everything we can to help people not be in a long-term place of needing food assistance.
“Because every child needs a home.” Established in 1991, Cocoon House has been Snohomish County’s only resource exclusively serving homeless and at-risk youth ages 12-24. We believe that every child deserves a home and the opportunity to achieve his or her fullest potential. Cocoon House provides youth housing and other critical community -based services to caregivers, families and the community.
“…so that no person goes hungry.” The mission of the Emergency Food Network (EFN) is “to provide a reliable food supply so that no person in Pierce County goes hungry.” Emergency Food Network provides more than 13 million pounds of healthy, nutritious food annually at no cost to over 65 food banks, hot meal sites and shelters for distribution to low-income families and individuals. With its combination of working farm, Repack Project, orchard, distribution warehouse, and Gleaning Project, the Emergency Food Network is unique. It is one of the only non-profit emergency food distribution centers in the country capable of growing, gleaning, purchasing, storing and distributing food—taking food straight from the land to the tables of those in need.
Feeding Hope in Snohomish County since 1961. Everett Gospel Mission first opened its doors in 1961 to care for the rising number of homeless people in Everett. Today, the Mission is the largest homeless services center in Snohomish, Skagit, and Island Counties. In addition to our comprehensive life recovery programs, Everett Gospel Mission provides meals and shelter for 174 men, and 75 women and children. We provide all services without regard to age, gender, race or religion while sharing the love of Christ to those who wish to hear.
With a combination of a food bank and a family resource center, FamilyWorks offers people in the neighborhood a unique opportunity to truly nourish and strengthen their bodies, minds and spirit in a positive, supportive environment..
“Great food. Better lives.” FareStart is a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. Since 1992, FareStart has provided opportunities for nearly 7,000 people to transform their lives, while also serving over 6 million meals to disadvantaged men, women, and children.
“Feeding hope. Feeding western Washington.” Food Lifeline is a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending hunger in Western Washington. Working with the food industry and its surpluses, we come up with creative solutions to stopping hunger, including redirecting good food from manufacturers, farmers, grocery stores and restaurants that might otherwise go to waste. We provide 82,000 meals a day to local food assistance programs, and that, combined with our policy work, creates a sustainable approach to hunger.
Jewish Family Service helps vulnerable individuals and families in the Puget Sound region achieve well-being, health and stability. Jewish history and values guide our work; therefore, we provide effective services to people of all backgrounds and also have a responsibility to meet the particular needs of Jewish individuals and families in the region.
North Helpline is dedicated to combating hunger and homelessness in Greater North Seattle, Lake Forest Park, Kenmore, Bothell, and Shoreline. It was started in 1989 by a small group of volunteers who noticed that many of their neighbors were not able to pay their rent, cover their utility bills and put food on the table because their paychecks didn’t stretch that far. These friends began collecting food and financial support to distribute to those most in need in their community. The initial group grew to 600+ volunteers who contribute over 2000 hours of work monthly. North Helpline now provides critical human services to over 1700 clients each week in an effort to reduce the impact of hunger and poverty in the Greater North Seattle Area.
“Hunger stops here.” Northwest Harvest is Washington’s own statewide hunger relief agency. Our mission is to provide nutritious food to hungry people statewide in a manner that respects their dignity, while fighting to eliminate hunger. Our vision is that ample nutritious food is available to everyone in Washington State.
“Help. Hope. Healing.” The Rescue Mission provides help and hope to men, women and children who need shelter, food and assistance with life changes that lead to self-sufficiency. The Rescue Mission works with people at all stages of addiction, homelessness or other life challenges, offering proven services, support and facilities. Originally founded over 100 years ago to serve homeless men in Tacoma, the Rescue Mission has grown to serve women and children in all parts of Pierce County.
Fighting hunger, feeding hope: Second Harvest brings community resources together to feed people in need through empowerment, education and partnerships. It has been leading the hunger-relief network in the region since 1971. Second Harvest distributes over 2 million pounds of free food each month to help people in need in 26 counties in Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Partnerships with more than 250 neighborhood food banks and meal centers make it possible to feed 55,000 people each week.
“Giving foster kids a childhood and a future.” With fierce optimism, Treehouse invests in the lives of young people who have faced the deep wounds from a crisis of parenting. In helping them to secure the essential education, basic material needs, and social experiences they equally deserve, we help kids in foster care discover their own resilience and strength. Treehouse is committed to leveling the playing field for youth in foster care, so that each is included, may prosper in, and contribute to society.
The Tri-City Union Gospel Mission is a Christ-centered organization desiring to see homeless, hopeless and hurting people in our community become transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We serve all whom God brings our way and do so with love, compassion and urgency as we see them experience lasting change through our Rescue, Recovery and Restoration programs.
“Building hope. Restoring lives.” Vision House is a Christian social service agency based near Seattle, Washington. Since 1990, Vision House has provided transitional housing, support services and child care for homeless mothers and their children and separately to homeless men recovering from substance abuse.
For more than 120 years, Wellspring has been a source of opportunity for children and families to win their resilience, triumph over trauma, and reach their full potential. Our mission is to build emotionally healthy, self-sufficient families and a nonviolent community in which they can thrive. We achieve our mission through the effective provision of social and mental health services that help strengthen families, addressing a broad range of issues that can negatively affect their lives.
It has always been about neighbors caring for neighbors. A group of concerned people started the Food Bank in 1981, to make sure that neighbors in need did not go hungry. West Seattle Food Bank is committed to providing food security and community connections to our neighbors in need. We envision a strong and connected community in which all people have access to safe and nutritious food and the essential necessities of living.
We’ll say again that this is far from a complete list or a “best” list. We regret we don’t have more wonderful organizations to share but we had to set a threshold of some kind to keep the list manageable.
SOURCES: The websites themselves were our primary sources for the text in the Notes columns. We did not alter the sentences, but in a few cases we adjoined sentences from different places on the website to suit the clarity of a short description. We were careful not to change the context or meaning. As described above, we also relied on Secretary of State’s charities database to verify licenses, tax exempt status, and the financial information shown here. Among the other relevant databases consulted, we found Charity Navigator the most helpful.
PHOTO of food bank volunteers checking expiration dates in the public domain.
Summer heat waves have rolled through the Pacific Northwest in the past and will certainly return in the coming years. None so far have matched the roasting that eastern Washington suffered through in the first week of August, 1961. That long ago heat wave started slowly with three weather stations edging over 100 °F (37.8 °C) on August 1. More than a dozen communities topped that mark the next day and still more simmered August 3.
Then it really turned into a scorcher. Temperatures all across the east side of the state soared on Friday, August 4. Many stations set local records that still stand more than 50 years later. Ephrata was the hottest at 115 °F, followed by Walla Walla at 114 °F, and both La Crosse and Lind at 113 °F. Friday was the peak heat for most areas, followed by a cooling trend for the weekend. Walla Walla dropped 25 degrees for Saturday.
But stagnant air settled in the Lower Columbia Basin bringing still higher temps on Saturday, August 5. It was on that day Ice Harbor Dam established the all time record high temperature for the state of Washington. Newly anchored in the Snake River a few miles east of the Columbia confluence — and not even operating yet — the dam’s weather instruments peaked at 118 °F (47.8 °C) — a full ten degrees Fahrenheit warmer than its Friday temperature. Nearby Richland suffered at 113 °F. Dayton, to the east, wilted at 114 °F.
These were daytime temperatures, of course, but many of these communities didn’t get an overnight respite from the heat during the week. Odessa registered an overnight low of 81 °F; Priest Rapids Dam 8 °F0; Ephrate, Richland, and Ice Harbor 79 °F.
There was a merciful cooling for everyone by Sunday, though. With a few exceptions (e.g., Priest Rapids at 94 °F) eastern Washington dropped back to the 80s. Another 100+ heat wave struck a few weeks later, but temps were nowhere as high as they were August 5 and 6.
Below are the daily highs (and the 3-day peak temperature) reported at selected eastern Washington weather stations during the worst of the 1961 heat wave.
WASHINGTON’S ALL-TIME RECORD HEAT WAVE, 1961
|-Aug 3-||-Aug 4-||-Aug 5-||3-day Maximum|
|Ice Harbor Dam||105||108||118||118 °F|
|Walla Walla||107||114||89||114 °F|
|La Crosse||104||113||93||113 °F|
|Priest Rapids Dam||109||110||98||110 °F|
|Coulee Dam||105||110||97||110 °F|
|Spokane International Airport||103||108||97||108 °F|
|Chief Joseph Dam||92||101||108||108 °F|
PHOTO: “Thermometer that couldn’t take the heat” by Dave Beedon (Moab, Utah, 2005). Used by permission. The photo was not taken in Washington — let alone 1961 — but it illustrates well an extremely hot day.
SOURCES: We built this list with data derived from the NOAA’s Online Weather NOWData involving three different Northwest regions. The table design was our invention to best display the raw data.
By the way: During the research we sought contemporary newspaper articles about the heat wave from sources like the Seattle Times, assuming there might be a recap in the August 6, 1961, issue. We found nothing. It was as if the heat wave wasn’t happening. Well, of course, it wasn’t happening … in Seattle. When the temperature topped off at 118 °F at Ice Harbor Dam Aug 5, Seattle was 77 °F and pleasant. It’s high that week was 88 °F.
Arts, Culture & Media
|For dates, locations, and weblinks
of ALL upcoming county and
— including those not listed
with themes below —
Washington State Events Calendar: Fairs.
Each year WA-List offers a run-down of the many county and regional fairs in Washington State. This year, with the first fairs opening July 17, we decided to leave the hard work of dates and weblinks to our State Events Calendar (see link above).
But we couldn’t resist assembling a list of this year’s fair themes — at least those fairs that have them. We’ve been listing such taglines since 2012. Enjoy! Or groan. Your choice.
COUNTY FAIR THEMES IN WASHINGTON STATE, 2014
- Adams County Fair – Sew it. Grow it. Show it
- Benton Franklin Fair and Rodeo – Carnival Light and Country Nights
- Central Washington State Fair – What does the Fair say?
- Chelan County Fair – Cream of the Crop
- Clallam County Fair – Race Ewe to the Fair
- Clark County Fair – Make a Splash
- Cowlitz County Fair – Feel the Excitement
- Castle Rock Fair – It’s Fairlicious
- Ferry County Fair – Country Pride, County Wide
- Grays Harbor County Fair – Come to Where the Action Is
- Kalama Community Fair – Country Fun at the Kalama Fair
- Kitsap County Fair and Stampede – Fun for the Whole Herd
- Kittitas County Fair – A good old fashion country fair
- Klickitat County Fair and Rodeo – Rock with the Stock
- Pacific County Fair – Sew It, Grow It, Show It at the Pacific County Fair
- Palouse Empire Fair – Endless Summer Nights
- Pend Oreille County Fair – Where the Wild Things Grow
- Pierce County Fair – Barnyard Dynasty
- San Juan County Fair – Farm-tastic Fun!
- Skagit County Fair – There’s Magic in the Fair
- Skamania County Fair and Timber Carnival – The Fab Fair
- Southeast Spokane County Fair – Still Cruisin’ at 70
- Southwest Washington Fair – Summertime Magic
- Stanwood-Camano Fair – Best Li’l Fair in the West
- Thurston County Fair – Fun for the Whole Herd
- Yakima Valley Fair and Rodeo – Flock to the Fair
PHOTO © Steve Campion
SOURCES: The many individual county fair websites.
Buildings & Other Structures
One of Seattle’s most recohnizable buildings is celebrating its centennial this week. The Smith Tower, the city’s first genuine skyscraper, was dedicated July 4, 1914, and reigned for a time as the tallest American building outside of New York City. That was an astonishing achievement for an upstart pioneer town a continent away from the swath of east coast metropolises like Boston and Philadelphia.
To honor of the slender white skyscraper we compiled a list of Smith Tower facts — including the silly kerfuffle when Ivar Haglund flew a salmon windsock from the top and the city went nuts trying to enforce building codes. Study our notes, then crane your neck skyward — or comfortably ride one of the manually-operated elevators to the observation deck. Say happy birthday to the grand old tower.
47 FACTS ABOUT THE SMITH TOWER
- The address is 506 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98104.
- It stands 522 feet tall…
- …and boasts 42 floors.
- Seattle businessman John Clise sold several properties to Lyman Cornelius Smith of Syracuse, NY. One lot was at 2nd & Yesler.
- A Bartell’s Drug Store existed on the site.
- L.C. Smith was the founder of the Smith-Premier Typewriter Company (later Smith-Corona) and the L. C. Smith Shotgun Company in Syracuse, NY.
- The plaque near the front door mistakenly credits L.C. Smith as being involved with Smith & Wesson. That company was founded before L.C. Smith was born.
- Smith originally planned to raise an 18 story building on the lot. He said as much on a visit to Seattle in Nov, 1909. He raised his goals after visiting and speaking with his son Burns, a New York City resident in the then-newly-booming land of skyscrapers.
- The extravagant height was intended to draw publicity to Smith’s typewriter business.
- Smith was 60 years old when he died in November, 1910 — before the tower went up.
- The land was cleared and construction of the Smith Tower began in November, 1911.
- It was designed by Gaggin & Gaggin of Syracuse, NY. The architects had never designed anything taller than a few floors before … and now they were building one of the tallest skyscrapers in the world?
- Seattle’s own E.E. Davis Company did the construction, and used nearly 4,000 tons of steel.
- The final construction cost was $1.7 million.
- The L.C. Smith Tower was dedicated and opened to the public on July 4, 1914 (although it was opened for 1,500 special guests the day before).
- When it opened, it was 4th tallest building in the country and the tallest in the United States outside of New York City.
- It greatly surpassed the 18-story J D Hoge Building (completed 1912) as the tallest in Seattle.
- It remained the tallest building west of the Mississippi River until 1962.
- The Space Needle, 80 feet taller, opened that year and took the crown.
- Today the Smith Tower is not even among Seattle’s Top 10 tallest skyscrapers. (See the photo at right in which the once “tallest building outside New York” appears to the right of the much larger Columbia Center.)
- Burns Smith reduced the name from the L.C. Smith Tower to simply the Smith Tower in 1929.
- The main building rises 24 floors, narrows to a tower, then climbs another 11 floors. The remaining floors are situated under the pyramid cap.
- The entire structure is built on a steel frame, clad in white terra-cotta.
- The two lowest floors have a granite façade.
- There are 2,314 windows.
- You will find Alaskan marble and Mexican onyx in the lobby, with doors framed by steel fashioned to look like mahogany.
- The tower has seven Otis elevators, still operated by employees.
- They are believed to be the last manually-operated lifts in a skyscraper on the west coast.
- The elevators are trimmed with copper and brass.
- The observation deck is on the 35th floor and is accessible to the public for a fee whenever the space is not otherwise booked.
- The ornate Chinese Room with its detailed ceiling is also on the 35th floor.
- The blackwood furniture in the Chinese Room was a gift from the last Empress of China.
- The 1941 WPA guide to Washington described the room as “a reproduction of a Chinese temple … decorated with Cantonese furniture, bronze temple lanterns, and ornamental panels of porcelain and hand-carved teak.”
- The Wishing Chair in that room is said to have special powers. A single woman who chooses to sit in the chair will be married within 12 months. Or so the legend goes.
- It is inscribed “Long life and good luck.”
- The Chinese Room may be rented for events with up to 99 people.
- The top 3 floors originally housed a water tank to supply the building below. The tank was long ago removed.
- That space was converted into a 3-floor penthouse apartment and is home to a private resident.
- Ivar Haglund, the fish & chips restaurateur (pictured at right, standing in the center behind a large windsock), bought the building for $1.8 million in May, 1976.
- In 1977, Ivar hoisted a 16-foot “rainbow salmon” windsock on the original (but long unused) 1914 flagpole. The windsock had been suggested and made by the Great Winds Kite Shop in Pioneer Square.*
- Within a week, Al Petty, the director of the Seattle Building Department, notified Ivar that he was in violation of a city ordinance prohibiting flags and pennants from downtown buildings.
- The ensuing battle between David (as played by Ivar) and Goliath (city hall) played out in the news media. That kind of spectacle was something the “keep clam” publicity hound greatly enjoyed.
- Five months after the citation, the city backed down and issued a variance to let the fish fly (see photo, right), but not before very bad poetry was issued by nearly everyone involved. (Cheesy poetry was Ivar’s shtick.)
- The building was refurbished in 1999, by NBBJ and Mithun.
- To celebrate the 100th birthday, the Smith Tower is letting visitors ride the elevators to the observation deck July 4-6, 2014, for 25¢.
- In his 1961 volume You Still Can’t Eat Mt Rainier, William C. Speidel — the founder of Seattle’s Underground Tours –jokingly wrote that “publication of information about this city without mentioning this building is not permitted.”
- WA-List has now met that criteria.
*In my brief chat with Ken Conrad, I learned that he and an associate had been walking to their kite shop in Pioneer Square when his partner noticed the unused pole atop the Smith Tower. “Look at that,” he said. “An empty flagpole.” Conrad told him that Ivar Haglund recently bought the building. “Who’s Ivar Haglund?” The flamboyant fish-monger, he replied. Shortly after that discussion, the kite shop tried to gain a little publicity by having one of their Japanese koi windsocks fly from the flagpole. Ivar initially rejected the idea — even after insisting it must be a salmon to coincide with his restaurants. But later, after considering it for several days, he called Conrad and said “We gotta do this.” No one expected the significant publicity that followed; a little exposure, yes, but not a major comedic stand-off with the city.
TWO COLOR PHOTOS © Steve Campion
TWO BLACK & WHITE PHOTOS by Bob Miller, courtesy of Ken Conrad, Great Winds Kite Co.
SOURCES: In addition to the Speidel book mentioned in Fact #46, I referenced many sources for this list, including my boring, but matter-of-fact photograph of the street level plaque near the front door, and my first-hand experiences on the 35th floor. Then there were books: Seattle Architecture by Maureen R. Elenga, Exploring Washington’s Past: A Road Guide to History by Ruth Kirk and Carmela Alexander, Seattle Curiosities by Steve Pomper, and Ivar: The Life and Times of Ivar Haglund by Dave Stephens. The guide mention in #33 was Washington: A Guide to the Evergreen State, part of the WPA Writers’ Program. I also consulted the official Smith Tower website. and talked to Ken Conrad of the Great Winds Kite Company, which still manufactures kites but no longer maintains a kite shop.
Geography & Geology
Looking for a summit challenge? The world’s most famous mountaineers take on the “seven summits,” climbing the highest peak on each continent. Adventurous nomads closer to home try to bag the highest points in all 50 states. But if you don’t have the money and technical skills for the first goal nor the time for the second, you might still manage to reach the summits listed below. They are the highpoints in each of Washington’s 39 counties.
Personal note: This may be the first WA-List I ever put together — long before I created the website and probably before any website existed anywhere. About twenty five years ago I was already acquainted with the seven summits when I ran across an article describing the “Highpointers” who scale everything from Alaska’s Mt McKinley to Florida’s highest “peak” (elevation: 345 feet) which is really just a slight rise a few yards from a roadway. It occurred to me that I could afford neither the time nor money either goal required and thus conjured a poor man’s list: 39 county summits. I sprawled topo maps on the floor and began comparing little elevation circles one jurisdiction at a time.
It turned out there were only 38 highpoints because King and Kittitas share a peak, and some are simply the slopes of taller peaks in adjacent counties. I also learned that Skamania’s highpoint had changed in my lifetime. When Mt St Helens blew its top in 1980, it lost 1,322 feet of elevation and the title shifted to one of those slopes where the county line straddles the side of Mt Adams.
For our list today, we dug up my old list and re-analyzed data for the list below, making adjustments as needed. I’m confident the locations and rankings correct, but source materials sometimes disagreed about numbers in the elevation column. We pooled all the best sources, though, and feel assured that everything listed below is accurate to within ten feet. Most should be right on the mark.
So how may county highpoints have I personally bagged in this “poorer man’s” quest? One. San Juan County’s Mt Constitution. Yes, although I compiled this list 25 years ago and have seen most of these summits, I have never intentionally set out to plant my flag on them.
WARNING: If you venture out to claim these summits, then bravo! Just be sure you remember that not all of the county highpoints are on public land. Be respectful of landowners’ rights and ask permission when appropriate.
HIGHEST POINTS FOR EACH COUNTY IN WASHINGTON
|8,956||Okanogan||North Gardner Mountain|
|8,920||Skamania||Western slope of Mount Adams on the Yakima border|
|7,969||Jefferson||Mount Olympus’s west peak|
|7,960||King & Kittitas||Mount Daniel|
|7,320||Pend Oreille||Gypsy Peak|
|7,218||Clallam||North side of Gray Wolf Ridge, about 15 miles south of Sequim|
|4,888||Walla Walla||Lewis Peak|
|4,880||Grays Harbor||Wynoochee Point|
|4,120||Clark||Sturgeon Fin on the western ridge of Sturgeon Rock near the Skamania County line|
|3,629||Benton||Unnamed location in the Rattlesnake Hills about 14 miles north of Grandview|
|3,000||Pacific||Unnamed location near the headwaters of the Grays River, 15 miles north of Skamokawa|
|2,899||Grant||Ulysses S. Hill in the Beezley Hills|
|2,407||San Juan||Mount Constitution|
|1,640||Franklin||Unnamed location about 8 miles northeast of Kahlotus near the Adams County line|
PHOTO of the central core of major peaks in the Olympic Mountains (including Jefferson County’s highpoint) © Steve Campion.
SOURCES: My original list was compiled using USGS topographical maps. It was tedious and, it turns out, only 90% accurate. The biggest Cascade peaks were easy to spot, of course, but the lower elevation counties took some guesswork. For the list above I began with my original list, then began consulting more recent maps, DeLorme’s Washington Atlas, and half a dozen climbing and highpointer websites (which have all appeared in the last 25 years; imagine that. *smirk*). The most useful of the webistes were County Highpointers, Peakbagger, and RhinoClimbs. We consulted The Mountaineers website to mediate one disputed measurement. I didn’t use the official Highpointers site for this list because it deals with states rather than counties, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention it. The first man known to reach all the state highpoints in America is said to be Arthur Harmon Marshall (1886-1951), who summited the then 48 states over 17 years. He started his national adventure in 1919 with — what else? — Washington’s Mt Rainier!
The Medal of Honor is the highest military honor given to a member of the United States armed forces, awarded for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty. Some medals are awarded posthumously, but many are presented to the serviceman or woman by the President in the name of the Congress. Because the tradition is now more than 150 years old, most recipients have passed away but have not been forgotten.
We thought it fitting on this Memorial Day weekend to list the final resting places of all Medal of Honor recipients interred in the state of Washington. Together they represent all branches of the service and almost all military conflicts dating back to the Civil War — the era in which the Medal of Honor was created.
Headstones are often easy to identify with a standard shield and wording. Caretakers usually ensure that flags are present and, on special days, flowers as well.
Appended to the main list below are also those Washingtonians we were able to identify as having been buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, DC, and elsewhere, as well as a list of names of our living Washington Medal of Honor veterans. These additional lists are incomplete due to the difficulty of defining “someone from Washington” when people may live in many places over a lifetime.
WASHINGTON CEMETERIES WITH MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENTS
Aberdeen: Fern Hill Cemetery
- John Baxter Kinne (1877-1954) Philippine Insurrection. Private, Company B, 1st North Dakota Infantry.
Bellingham: Bayview Cemetery
- Matthew Bickford (1839-1918) Civil War. Corporal, Company G, 8th Missouri Infantry.
Bremerton: Ivy Green Cemetery
- John Nibbe (1847-1902) Civil War. Quartermaster, U.S. Navy.
Bremerton: Miller-Woodlawn Memorial Park
- John “Bud” Hawk (1924-2013) World War II. Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company E, 359th Infantry Regiment, 90th Infantry Division.
Cle Elum: Laurel Hill Memorial Park
- Douglas Albert Munro (1919-1942) World War II. Signalman First Class, U.S. Coast Guard. Posthumous award.
Elma: Masonic Cemetery
- Emisire Shahan (1843-1919) Civil War. Corporal, Company A, 1st West Virginia Cavalry.
Gardiner: Gardiner Cemetery
- Marvin Glenn Shields (1939-1965) Vietnam. Construction Mechanic Third Class, U.S. Navy, Seabee Team 1104. Posthumous award.
Kent: Tahoma National Cemetery
- Jesse Barrick (1841-1923) Civil War. Corporal, Company H, 3d Minnesota Infantry.
- Jack James Pendleton (1918-1944) World War II. Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company I, 120th Infantry, 30th Infantry Division. Posthumous award.
- Dexter James Kerstetter (1907-1972) World War II. Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company C, 130th Infantry, 33d Infantry Division.
Lakewood: Mountain View Cemetery
- Jose Calugas (1907-1998) World War II. Sergeant, U.S. Army, Battery B, 88th Field Artillery, Philippine Scouts.
Menlo: Fern Hill Cemetery
- Robert Eugene Bush (1926-2005). World War II. Hospital Apprentice First Class, U.S. Naval Reserve, serving as Medical Corpsman with a rifle company, 2d Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division.
Orting: City Cemetery
- John Warden (1841-1906) Civil War. Corporal, Company E, 55th Illinois Infantry.
Orting: Soldiers Home Cemetery
- George L. Houghton (1841-1917) Civil War. Private, Company D, 104th Illinois Infantry.
- Alexander U. McHale (1837-1911) Civil War. Corporal, Company H, 26th Michigan Infantry.
- Albert O’Connor (1843-1928) Civil War. Sergeant, Company A, 7th Wisconsin Infantry.
- William H. Sickles (1843-1938) Civil War. Sergeant, Company B, 7th Wisconsin Infantry.
Pomeroy: Pomeroy City Cemetery
- Herbert E. Farnsworth (1834-1908) Civil War. Sergeant Major, 10th New York Cavalry.
Port Townsend: Laurel Grove Cemetery
- Thaddeus S. Smith (1847-1933) Civil War. Corporal, Company E, 6th Pennsylvania Reserve Infantry.
Retsil: Washington Veterans Home Cemetery
- Gotfred Jensen (1872-1945) Philippine Insurrection. Private, Company D, 1st North Dakota Volunteer Infantry.
Seattle: Acacia Memorial Park
- Robert Bonney (1882-1967) Interim, 1901-1911. Chief Watertender, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. Hopkins.
Seattle: Cavalry Cemetery
- Raymond E. Davis (1887-1965). Korean War. Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps commanding officer, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.).
Seattle: Evergreen-Washelli Cemetery
- William Charlie Horton (1876-1969) China Relief Expedition (Boxer Rebellion). Private, U.S. Marine Corps.
- Emil Fredreksen (1867-1950), Interim, 1901-1911. Watertender, U.S. Navy.*
- Harry D. Fadden (1883-1955), Interim, 1901-1911. Coxswain, U.S. Navy.
- William Kenzo Nakamura (1922-1944) World War II. Private First Class, 442nd Regimental Combat Team. Posthumous award.
- Orville Emil Bloch (1915-1985) World War II. First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company E, 338th Infantry, 85th Infantry Division.
- Lewis Albanese (1946-1966) Vietnam. Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company B, 5th Battalion (Airmobile), 7th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division. Posthumous award.
- Robert Ronald Leisy (1945-1969) Vietnam. Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Infantry, Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cavalry Division.
Seattle: Grand Army of the Republic Cemetery
- Frank Bois (1841-1920) Civil War. Quartermaster, U.S. Navy.
Seattle: Lakeview Cemetery
- Asbury F. Haynes (1842-1931) Civil War. Corporal, Company F, 17th Maine Infantry.
Seattle: Mount Pleasant Cemetery
- Demetri Corahorgi (1880-1973). Interim, 1901-1911. Fireman First Class, U.S. Navy.
Spokane: Fairmont Memorial Park
- Jesse R. Drowley (1919-1996) World War II. Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Americal Infantry Division.
Spokane: Greenwood Memorial Terrace
- Joe E. Mann (1922-1944), World War II. Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company H, 502d Parachute Infantry, 101st Airborne Division.
- Bruce Alan Grandstaff (1934-1967) Vietnam. Platoon Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company B, 1st Battalion, 8th Infantry.
Tacoma: New Tacoma Cemetery
- Richard B. Anderson (1921-1944), World War II. Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps. Posthumous award.
Tukwila: Riverton Crest Cemetery
- Jerome Morford (1841-1910) Civil War. Private, Company K, 55th Illinois Infantry.
Tumwater: International Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery
- Myron H. Ranney (1846-1910) Civil War. Private, Company G, 13th New York Infantry.
Vancouver: Fort Vancouver Military Cemetery
- Moses Williams (1845-1899) Civil War, 9th Cavalry Regiment
Walla Walla: Mountain View Cemetery
- Michael McCarthy (1845-1914) Civil War, 1st U.S. Cavalry
Washington MOH Recipients buried at Arlington National Cemetery
- Deming Bronson (1894-1957) World War I. First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company H, 364th Infantry, 91st Division.
- Gregory “Pappy” Boyington (1912-1988) World War II. Major, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Marine Squadron 214, known as the Black Sheep Squadron.
- Jonathan M. Wainwright IV (1883-1953) World War II. General, Commanding U.S. Army Forces in the Philippines.
- Walter C. Monegan Jr. (1930-1950) Korean War. Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps, Company F, 2d Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.). Posthumous award.
- Delbert O. Jennings (1936-2003) Vietnam. Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company C, 1st Battalion (Airborne), 12th Cavalry, 1st Air Cavalry Division.
- Joe Ronnie Hooper (1938-1979). Vietnam. Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, Company D, 2d Battalion (Airborne), 501st Infantry, 101st Airborne Division.
Washington MOH Recipients buried Elsewhere
- Hazard Stevens (1842-1918) Civil War. Captain and Assistant Adjutant General, U.S. Volunteers.
- Richard Moses Longfellow (1867-1951). Philippine Insurrection. Private, Company A, 1st North Dakota Volunteer Infantry.
- Abraham DeSomer (1884-1974). Mexican Campaign, Vera Cruz. Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. Utah.
- Donald Kirby Ross (1910-1992). World War II. Machinist, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. Nevada.
- Albert H. Rooks (1891-1942) World War II. Captain, U.S. Navy. Posthumous award.
- Robert Edward Galer (1913-2005) World War II. Major, U.S. Marine Corps, Marine Fighter Squadron 244.
- Reinhardt John Keppler (1918-1942) World War II. Boatswain’s Mate First Class, U.S. Navy.Posthumous award.
- Arnold L. Bjorklund (1918-1979) World War II. First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 36th Infantry Division.
- Victor L. Kandle (1921-1944) World War II. First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, 15th Infantry, 3d Infantry Division. Posthumous award.
- Richard Miles McCool Jr. (1922-2008), World War II. Lieutenant, U.S. Navy, U.S.S. LSC(L)(3) 122.
- Archie Van Winkle (1925-1986) Korean War. Staff Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Company B, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division (Rein.).
- Benjamin F. Wilson (1922-1988) Korean War. First Lieutenant (then M/Sgt.), U.S. Army Company I, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.
- Larry Dahl (1949-1971) Vietnam. Specialist Fourth Class, U.S. Army, 359th Transportation Company, 27th Transportation Battalion, U.S. Army Support Command. Posthumous award.
Living Medal of Honor Recipients from Washington:
- Wilburn K. Ross (b. 1922) World War II, 30th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division
- Joe M. Jackson (b. 1923) Vietnam
- Bruce P. Crandall (b. 1933) Vietnam
- Patrick H. Brady (b. 1936) Vietnam
- James Phillip Fleming (b. 1943) Vietnam
- Thomas James Kinsman (b. 1945) Vietnam
- Leroy Petry (b. 1979) Afghanistan, Company D, 2nd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment
*Emil Fredreksen was added to our list in 2016, after a researcher alerted Evergreen-Washelli that a Medal of Honor recipient was in an unmarked grave. (The grave had a small temporary marker but it had sunken below the surface in the decades since burial.) He had earned his medal in 1906, worked in Keyport and Seattle, but because he had no family when he died in 1950, his honor was not known. The cemetery immediately began rectifying the situation with an official Navy ceremony and formal headstone.
PHOTOS of five Medal of Honor headstones in Orting cemeteries © Steve Campion.
SOURCES: Medal of Honor Recipients, Center of Military History, http://www.history.army.mil/html/moh/, and Washington State Men of Valor by Donald Ross, a collection of MOH biographies.
Seattle had potential in its early days. What it didn’t have was an abundance of women. The pioneer city in 1864 — barely a decade old — could boast newspapers, a logging industry, an active seaport, and even a new university. But it also had a noticeable imbalance in the sexes. Civic boosters knew that Seattle needed women if the city was to prosper.
Asa Mercer (1839-1917), the president of the newly created Territorial University (now the University of Washington), proposed a venture to travel east and persuade as many young women to follow him back to the Northwest. There, his speeches promised, were ample opportunities for good-paying teaching jobs. He may have been assisted in his quest by the Civil War. With many young men at war (or causalities of it) and with the textile industry suffering in New England mill towns due to the shortage of cotton from the South, the shattered economy offered little hope for single women. Still, women in Massachusetts weren’t exactly racing to board Mercer’s Seattle-bound ship.
His greatest success was in Lowell, Massachusetts, where he convinced eight women to re-settle in the Northwest. Two additional women joined his congregation from Pepperell, Massachusetts, and one from Boston. Mercer and the eleven women — and two fathers — took a train to New York harbor where a ship (the S.S. Illinois) departed on a 10-day voyage to Panama on March 14. They would cross the isthmus, board another ship (the S.S. America) April 3, land at San Francisco April 19, board a lumber ship (the Torrant) for Port Gamble nine days later, and finally transfer to a sloop (the Kidder) for the final day and a half journey to Seattle.
They arrived in Seattle very late — close to midnight — on May 16, 1864. They secured rooms at a local hotel and got some rest. The next day, however, they were feted and welcomed at a celebration at Mercer’s university. Eleven additional women did not make a significant demographic difference in the city, nor did Mercer’s second trip east for more women two years later. (That venture returned 34 unmarried women to Seattle.) But the event propelled Mercer’s election to the legislature, became local lore, and was the basis of the fictional 1960s TV series “Here Come the Brides.”
We list the original “Mercer Girls” below. Most of the women took teaching jobs and married. Mercer himself, married Annie Stephens, a Mercer Girl from his second expedition in 1866.
THE MERCER GIRLS, 1864
- Annie May Adams, age 16, from Boston. Annie planned to sail as far as San Francisco, but changed her mind, and continued on to Seattle. She married and lived in Olympia.
- Antoinette Josephine Baker, 25, from Lowell. She taught school in Pierce County and married a man from Monticello — an area occupied by modern Longview.
- Sarah Cheney, 22, from Lowell. Sarah taught school in Port Townsend, and later married.
- Aurelia Coffin, 20, from Lowell. She married in lived in Port Ludlow.
- Sara Jane Gallagher, 19, from Lowell. Sara married a year after arriving in Seattle, and taught music at the university.
- Ann Murphy, 24 (age unconfirmed), from Lowell. Ann was the only woman among the first eleven Mercer Girls to leave the Washington Territory.
- Elizabeth (Lizzie) Ordway, 35, from Lowell. Lizzie was the oldest of the original Mercer Girls. She taught school on Whidbey Island, Port Madison, Seattle, and Port Blakely. She was later elected superintendent of Kitsap County schools.
- Georgianna (Georgia) Pearson, 15, from Lowell. Georgia was the youngest Mercer Girl. She and her sister Josie brought their father Daniel Pearson on the trip. He had been ill and it was believed that a change of climate might to him some good. They left their mother Susan, brother Daniel, and sister Flora in Lowell, but they too traveled to Seattle with Asa Mercer in 1866. Georgia later married and lived on Whidbey Island.
- Josephine (Josie) Pearson, 19, from Lowell. Josie died during her first summer in Seattle.
- Katherine (Kate) Stevens, 21, from Pepperell. Katherine was accompanied by Rodolphus Stevens, her father. Katherine married and lived in Port Townsend.
- Catherine Adams (Kate) Stickney, 28, from Pepperell. She and Kate Stevens were cousins. Kate Stickney was the first Mercer Girl to marry (two months after arriving in Seattle). She died five years later.
SOURCES: There is quite a lot written about the fabled “Mercer Girls.” Online you will find a substantial article at HistoryLink.com. Short accounts of the story can also be had in Murray Morgan’s book Skid Road and William Spiedel’s Sons of the Profits. Nard Jones devoted a chapter to the Mercer Girls episode in Seattle. Don’t rely on the “Here Come the Brides” television series, though. Aside from the general storyline — i.e., a Seattle man goes to Massachusetts and returns with several unmarried women — the series is pure fiction.