USS Plainview: The ship that flew

By Washington, Our Home|January 9, 2016|History, Recreation, Western Washington|10 comments

There are dozens of things to see and do on the Lewis and Clark Trail Highway in southwest Washington (see here and here for just a few examples), but surely one of the most unique lies just outside a tiny berg called Knappton on the bank of the Columbia River. If you head west from Knappton Cove you might spot a rusty barge parked in a shallow bay called Hungry Harbor. There is

Read More

Take a ride on the steamship Virginia V

By Washington, Our Home|June 3, 2015|Events, History, Puget Sound, Recreation, Western Washington|0 comments

In honor of the Seattle flagship’s 93rd birthday, the Steamship Virginia V Foundation is offering the public a limited number of tickets to join them for the birthday cruise on Sunday, June 7th. They’re celebrating 93 years of “Keeping The Steam Up!” around the Puget Sound with the annual celebratory cruise. Proud to continue the tradition of steaming in the northwest, the foundation says it’s looking forward to welcoming you aboard. The cruise is presented

Read More

History lives on Orcas Island

By Washington, Our Home|May 21, 2015|History, Puget Sound, Recreation, State Parks, Western Washington|3 comments

There are very few places in Washington where you can hike through the woods, trip over a 200-year-old cannonball and land amongst an assortment of arrowheads and prehistoric bison fossils. In fact, there’s likely only one place where that amazing scenario could potentially play out, and that is on Orcas Island in the San Juans. As the largest island in San Juan County, Orcas is surprisingly not named after the

Read More

Sailors, Scavengers and Souvenirs

By Washington, Our Home|March 13, 2015|History, Puget Sound, Western Washington|1 comments

On the morning of Friday, March 13, 2015, the bones of Washington’s most well-known ferry were picked clean. Kalakala supporters who desperately searched for years for a way to save the prodigious icon could finally relegate their desire to restore the grand ship to the what-could-have-been. And history buffs longing to claim a piece of her for their own could finally do so, for as little as ten bucks. I

Read More

Gravel to golf: The Chambers Bay story

By Washington, Our Home|July 28, 2014|History, Puget Sound, Recreation, Western Washington|2 comments

In June, Chambers Bay Golf Course in Pierce County will join the ranks of such prestigious courses as Pebble Beach, Bethpage, Marian, and Pinehurst, among others. At these courses, some of the greatest players ever to walk the links made U.S. Open History. Chambers Bay is poised to become the next great field of champions. But unlike the other courses, whose golf history goes back generations, Chambers Bay is a

Read More

Staying a night at the Sunset Beach Hotel

By Washington, Our Home|June 20, 2014|History, Puget Sound, Recreation, Western Washington|2 comments

There have always been references to the famed Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet that I’ve run across while researching Washington State history. The entrepreneurial spirit that gave birth to the fleet in the 1850s is part of what makes Washington such a fascinating place. From the 1850s through the 1920s, it was said there were so many steam ships racing around the Sound that it looked like a swarm of mosquitos.

Read More

Northwest Trek: Experience Washington’s wildlife in the outdoors

By Washington, Our Home|April 23, 2014|Family, Mt. Rainier, Recreation, Western Washington, Wildlife|0 comments

In a split second, I knew it was a bald eagle as it shot by about ten feet overhead. I had never been that close to one in flight before. The unmistakable white markings, yellow beak and talons and gargantuan wingspan that easily distinguished it from the more common ravens and falcons in Ocean Shores were clearly visible just before it disappeared over the roofline as quickly as it had materialized.

Read More

What’s in a name? As it turns out, a lot

By Washington, Our Home|April 10, 2012|Central Washington, History, Legislature, Puget Sound, Western Washington|3 comments

As I tweeted last week, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ Committee on Geographic Names is meeting to consider changing the names of a number of Washington State locations, the most prominent being Soap Lake in Grant County. Someone had the bright idea of renaming it “Lake Smokiam” despite the local community having spent th0usands of dollars marketing the lake’s alleged medicinal properties. Needless to say, Soap Lake residents

Read More

Paving over history at old Fort Steilacoom

By Washington, Our Home|March 29, 2012|Puget Sound, Western Washington|0 comments

Earlier this week I became aware of a plan to pave over part of the parade grounds at old Fort Steilacoom in Lakewood. The property belongs to Western State Hospital – itself an icon of Washington State History – and the hospital is managed by the state Department of Social and Health Services. Through my work with 28th District State Senator Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, who represents the district in which

Read More

A parkful of Washington State history

By Washington, Our Home|March 18, 2012|Puget Sound, Western Washington|0 comments

Being cooped up in the house for days on end is enough to drive anyone mad, and throwing a four-year-old in the cage can sometimes seem just plain cruel. So needless to say, I had to get my poor wife and son out of the house before we all ended up in the newspaper the next day. Despite the intermittent weather on Saturday, we decided to visit Tumwater Historical Park

Read More

A subtle armed forces memorial in Tumwater

By Washington, Our Home|January 1, 2012|Western Washington|0 comments

Boy, do a little research and it’s amazing what you might learn. Nearly every day, I drive past the Odd Fellows Memorial Park at the corner of Custer, North and Cleveland (Yelm Highway) in Tumwater. Most people know it as “The Pellegrino’s intersection” or the “Artistry in Flowers” corner, or “the one right by Baskin-Robbins, Safeway or Domino’s Pizza,” or – more appropriately for this blog post – “the one

Read More

Ft. Eaton, and the Indian War of 1856

By Washington, Our Home|December 22, 2011|Western Washington|4 comments

We’re leaving for Carmel, California, tomorow to spend Christmas with my inlaws. My job today, besides packing and cleaning house, was to drop the dog off at the boarding facility. Living in Lacey, we board her at Northwind Kennels, which is just a short drive southeast on the Yelm Highway from our house. On the way, I drove past a small, brown sign that read, “Historical Marker” with an arrow pointing

Read More

Illahee State Park: Right in the backyard

By Washington, Our Home|November 5, 2011|Puget Sound, State Parks, Western Washington|0 comments

Last weekend, we took a trip into Kitsap County to see my Uncle Verne, who lives at the Department of Veterans Affairs veterans home in Retsil, outside Port Orchard. The facility was built in 1910 on a 31- acre bluff overlooking Puget Sound. According to the website, “Today the Veterans Home is a state-of-the-art, non-institutional facility providing a ‘Resident Centered Care’ concept that focuses resources around the individual resident. All primary services for a resident

Read More