Pacific Northwest | January 4, 2004Pacific Northwest MagazineJanuary 4, 2004seattletimes.com home
Home delivery
Search archive
Contact us
CONTENTS
COVER STORY
PLANT LIFE
TASTE
NORTHWEST LIVING
NOW & THEN
PREVIOUS ISSUES OF PACIFIC NW


WRITTEN BY PAUL DORPAT

Monumental Events
 
 Photo
COURTESY OF THE MUSEUM OF HISTORY & INDUSTRY
The Museum of History & Industry library dates this photograph of the Alki Beach Founders Pylon at September 1949. The library's records do not, however, name the members of the monument's small crew of tenders. Let us know if you know who they are.
Photo
PAUL DORPAT
In the beginning we may have had a hard time pronouncing or spelling it. Now, three years and four days later, while bidding it adieu, we should be practiced in saying "sesquicentennial" and pleased, as well, to review it. Seattle was founded in 1851. In 1852 King County was separated from Thurston County, and in 1853, Washington Territory from Oregon.

The first year of the three-year celebration featured a re-enactment of the original pioneer "Denny Party" landing near Alki Point 150 days later to the day — the 13th of November. Both days — in 1851 and 2001 — turned exceedingly dismal with heavy rain. The children of the founders dedicated the Founders Pylon at the West Seattle site in 1905, and here in 1949 an unidentified quartet is cleaning it up.

Besides staging the re-enactment at Alki, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society made two important additions to the Founders Pylon in 2001: plaques recognizing the roles of both the Duwamish Indians and pioneer women in the city's beginning. The original carvers failed to mention either.

For the city's sesquicentennial, the Museum of History & Industry mounted its "Metro 150 Exhibit" and gathered a committee of local historians to do the impossible: Name the 150 most influential citizens in the city's first 150 years.

Perhaps the most enduringly useful child of our triple anniversary will be www.historylink.org, the online encyclopedia of Seattle and King County history that was launched in 1999 by local historian-pundit Walt Crowley. In 2003, the site also began to explore state history with pithy essays. To check out the sesquicentennial, type that word in the search line.

Paul Dorpat specializes in historical photography and has published several books on early Seattle.

  PACIFIC NORTHWEST
 MAGAZINE SEARCH
Today Archive

Advanced search

 
advertising

seattletimes.com home
Home delivery | Contact us | Search archive | Site map | Low-graphic
NWclassifieds | NWsource | Advertising info | The Seattle Times Company

Copyright

Back to topBack to top