Heritage

George Washington owned slaves. Should we rename the state?

Our American legacy of slavery and racism is being wrestled with everywhere. We’ve gone from demanding removal of the Confederate flag to rethinking the Star…

True grit: Alice Lord demanded respect for working women — and won

When Alice Lord arrived to Seattle from New York around 1892, she and her husband were joining the flood of newcomers drawn to the western…

One woman’s quest to see all 59 national parks

Could this really be it? Going to work, staring into a computer screen for hours every day so I could have health insurance and pay…

Can ghosts save Colfax?

Editor's note: Crosscut columnist Knute Berger has been examining the challenges facing Washington's rural communities, even in the middle of a boom for urban areas.…

From the mean streets to the national parks

This story originally appeared in High Country News. Shelton Johnson is the Michael Jordan among people of color engaged in the outdoors. He is the…

Funeral for a piece of Seattle’s atomic past

How do you lay a landmark to rest? Holding a wake is one idea. Advocates of the saving More Hall Annex, aka the Nuclear Reactor Building,…

As Seattle booms, we’re trashing our history

A version of this column appeared in the July issue of Seattle Magazine. It has been updated. The annual list of “most endangered” historic properties…

Is there ancient treasure to be found on our coasts?

The Oregon coast is encrusted with vacationers this time of year, many of them beach combing for items ranging from Japanese fishing floats and tsunami…

True story: Trump’s family roots in Seattle

America is the land of opportunity for all, immigrant or native born. Work hard, get a little lucky, and even a simple barber can lay…

Wildlife refuge renamed for Native American leader

This story originally appeared on KCTS9/EarthFix. Top Northwest officials and a member of President Obama’s cabinet will gather Tuesday for the renaming of a wildlife…

He stole $200K and leapt from a plane. Where is D. B. Cooper?

One way to kill a mystery is to stop trying to solve it. If we stopped looking for Bigfoot, the Northwest wilds would lose some…

In remote North Cascades, bigotry gets beaten back

On a day in early July, Howard Lake in the Stehekin Valley of the North Cascades was the picture of placid. Its blue waters, surrounded…

Mysterious seafloor relic stumps scientists

On a clear day in June 1792, the first tendrils of empire were working their way through the channels and islands of Puget Sound. The…

Orlando shootings were part of a dark American tradition

In the wake of the tragedy in Orlando, the topic of massacres is having (another) 15 minutes of fame. When news outlets billed the shooting…

Exploring a Seattle father’s postwar burdens

For Death Valley, it was a cool spring day — in the mid-90s. We stood on the valley floor, an ancient lake bed of salt…

Preservationists throw in the towel on historic nuclear building

David sometimes beats Goliath, but usually Goliath wins. Outgunned and out financed, preservation advocates have given up on seeking a stay of execution for More Hall…

Remembering Woody Guthrie, warts and all

Woody Guthrie, the legendary wandering minstrel of folk, seems to be having a moment. A new book from Sasquatch documents his time in the Pacific Northwest when…

Saving the language that brought us ‘Seattle’

For several hours each day, Amber Hayward slips out of English, her first language, and into Lushootseed, the Native American language that gave Seattle, Tacoma,…

‘Jim Crow’ no more in Washington

All of the "Jim Crow" names on Washington state’s map could be erased before the end of this year. On May 19, the state’s Committee…

Hanford’s diverse human history deserves to be told

In late April, the Seattle city council unanimously supported the designation of the Stonewall Inn in New York City as a national monument commemorating the gay…

Whitman College ditches Missionaries mascot — part of a fresh look at the West

I recently returned from a 3,500-mile road trip through the American West. By western standards, that’s a jaunt: seven states, multiple national parks, Indian reservations…

How Amazon’s ‘Man in the High Castle’ launched me into a dark Seattle chapter

Many readers have asked me what my inspiration was for digging into Seattle’s Nazi past. Most seemed to assume it had to do with Donald…

A Northwest outdoorsman, a Nazi sympathizer

Sixth in a series Pearl Harbor changed everything for America’s Nazi sympathizers. German diplomats had been expelled from the U.S. earlier in 1941. In the…

UW flips city the bird over historic preservation

The showdown between the University of Washington and the City of Seattle over the city’s landmarks ordinance, and whether it applies to the UW campus,…

Seattle’s working women of World War II: An oral history

How the future of women in the workplace was shaped in Puget Sound