anchor link to jump to start of content

The Seattle Times Company NWclassifieds NWsource

Site index

« Local News

Seattle History
· Maps
· Resources
· Photo gallery
· Nominate a historical figure


Things to do

• The Museum of History & Industry sponsors a guided walking tour of the Montlake neighborhood on Saturdays at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. beginning at the Montlake Community Center. Tickets for all walks are $10 in advance and $15 on the same day. To register, call MOHAI at 206-324-1126 or visit

• Pioneer and Duwamish artifacts are in an exhibit called "The Spirit Returns" at the Log House Museum, 3003 61st Ave. S.W., in West Seattle. The display looks at both the Duwamish and white settlers who met on Alki's shores and how their lives were changed after that encounter. For more information, visit

The museum is open noon to 6 p.m. Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays and noon to 3 p.m. weekends.


Seattle has a wealth of museums. The Association of King County Historical Organizations lists nearly 143 organized groups, many of which have collections of artifacts or documents. For a full list, see

Here is a list of the museums paying special attention to the anniversary of Seattle's founding.

• Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), 2700 24th Ave. E, Seattle. 206-324-1126. Seattle's paramount historical museum offers exhibits on everything from baseball and the Seattle Fire of 1889 to a 50-year-old diorama of the landing of the Denny Party.

• Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, on the University of Washington campus. 206-543-7907. Focuses on archaeology and Native American culture as well as natural history.

• Birthplace of Seattle/Log House Museum, 3003 61st Ave. S.W. in West Seattle. 206-938-5293. A fine collection in a cozy setting a few steps from where the Denny Party landed in 1851.

• Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 N.W. 67th St., Seattle. 206-789-5707. A highly-praised ethnic museum well-supported by its community.

• The Wing Luke Asian Museum, 407 Seventh Ave. S., Seattle. 206-623-5124. Focus is on the history of Asian-Americans in the Northwest.

• Seattle Municipal Archives, 600 Fourth Ave. (Seattle City Hall). 206-684-8353. Some 150 years of city records, photographs, maps and more.

Books recommended by local historians and writers

Jonathan Raban, English-born travel writer transplanted to Seattle

Murray Morgan, "Skid Road."
Theodore Roethke, "Far Fields" (poetry).
Mary McCarthy, "How I Grew."
Vancouver's journals.
Wayne Suttles, "Coast Salish Essays."
Steven Brown, "Native Visions."
James Swan, "The Northwest Coast."
Betty McDonald, "The Egg and I."
Ivan Doig, "Winter Brothers."
Richard Hugo, poetry.

Lorraine McConaghy, Museum of History and Industry

Murray Morgan, "Skid Road."
Walt Crowley, "Rites of Passage."
Arthur Kruckeberg, "Natural History of Puget Sound."
Charles LeWarne, "Utopias on Puget Sound."
John Okada, "No-No Boy."
Diane and Cory Olson, "Black Diamond: Mining the Memories."
Roger Sale, "Seattle Past to Present."
Monica Sone, "Nisei Daughter."
Quintard Taylor, "The Forging of a Black Community."
James R. Warren, "King County and Its Emerald City Seattle."

Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times book critic

Murray Morgan, "Skid Road."
Arthur Kruckeberg, "Natural History of Puget Sound Country."
Bruce Barcott, "The Measure of a Mountain."
David Laskin, "Rains All the Time: A Connoisseur's History of Weather in the Pacific Northwest."
R.H. Thomson, "That Man Thomson."
Jeffery Karl Ochsner, "Shaping Seattle Architecture."
Karen Joy Fowler, "Sarah Canary."
Betty MacDonald, "Anybody Can Do Anything."
Matthew Stadler, "The Dissolution of Nicholas Dee" and "Allan Stein."
Jonathan Raban, "Hunting Mr. Heartbreak."

Nancy Pearle, Seattle Public Library

Lydia Minatoya, "The Promise of Beauty."
John Okada, "No-No Boy."
Annie Dillard, "The Living."
Tim Egan, "The Good Rain."
David Guterson, "Snow Falling on Cedars."
Raban, "Passage to Juneau."
Ruth Kirk, "Sunrise to Paradise: The Story of Mount Rainier National Park."
J.A. Jance, any of her J.P. Beaumont mysteries, based in Seattle.
Earl Emerson, any of his mysteries, all set in Seattle.
Mark Jenkins, "All Powers Necessary and Convenient."

John Findlay, U.W. Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest

Murray Morgan, "Skid Road."
Roger Sale, "Seattle: Past to Present."
Alexandra Harmon, "Indians in the Making."
Richard Hugo, "The Real West Marginal Way."
Monica Sone, "Nisei Daughter."
John Okada, "No-No Boy."
Victor Steinbrueck, "Seattle Cityscape."
Quintard Taylor, "Forging of a Black Community."

Frances McCue, director of Hugo House (writers' center)

Richard Hugo, "The Real West Marginal Way."
John Okada, "No-No Boy."
Charles D'Ambrosio, "The Point and Other Stories."
Matthew Stadler, "The Sex Offender."
Rebecca Brown, "Gifts of the Body."
Richard Hugo, "White Center."
David Wagoner, "Travelling Light: Collected Poems."

Books by topic

Natural History of Seattle

Arthur Kruckeberg, "A Natural History of Puget Sound Country," University of Washington Press, 1991.

Edmond Meany, "Vancouver's Discovery of Puget Sound," Binfords & Mort, 1907 and later printings.

Native Americans in the Northwest
Boyd, Robert. The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence: Introduced Infectious Diseases and Population Decline among Northwest Coast Indians, 1774-1874. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999.

Eells, Myron. The Indians of Puget Sound: The Notebooks of Myron Eells. (editor: George Pierre Castile). Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1985.
Harmon, Alexandra. Indians in the Making: Ethnic Relations and Indian Identities around Puget Sound. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.

Miller, Jay. Lushootseed Culture and the Shamanic Odyssey. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1999.

Pioneer Seattle

Bagley, Clarence B. History of Seattle, From the Earliest Settlement to the Present Times, Vols. I-III, (Chicago, 1916) The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company. Pioneer Seattle and Its Pioneers, (Seattle, 1926) Argus Print. History of King County, Vols. I-IV, (Chicago, 1929) S. J. Clarke Publishing Co.

Bass, Sophie Frye. Pig-Tail Days in Old Seattle, (Portland, 1937) Binfords and Mort, Publishers. When Seattle Was a Village, (Seattle, 1947) Lowman & Hanford, Publishers.

Denny, Arthur A. Pioneer Days on Puget Sound, (Seattle, 1888) C. B. Bagley, Printer.

Denny, Emily Inez. Blazing the Way: True Stories and Sketches of Puget Sound and Other Pioneers, (Seattle, 1909) Rainier Printing Company, Inc.

Morgan, Murray. Skid Road: An Informal Portrait of Seattle,, (New York, 1951) Viking Press.

Sale, Roger. Seattle: Past to Present: An Interpretation of the History of the Foremost City in the Pacific Northwest, (Seattle, 1976) University of Washington Press.

Speidel, William C. Sons of the Profits, (Seattle, 1967) Nettle Creek Publishing Company.

Watt, Roberta Frye. Four Wagons West: The Story of Seattle, (Portland, 1931) Binfords & Mort, Publishers.

Related links
Museum of History & Industry
The Washington State Historical Society
National Register of Historic Places
UW archives
Audio links
"Lady Louse Cleans House"   WAV | MP3
"This land is sacred"  
"Chief Seattle"   WAV | MP3
About audio clips home
Home delivery | Contact us | Search archive | Site map | Low-graphic
NWclassifieds | NWsource | Advertising info | The Seattle Times Company


Back to topBack to top