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Window to the Past: The Washington State Historical Society's First Century, by John McClelland, Jr. - Washington State Historical Society

Window to the Past: The Washington State Historical Society's First Century, by John McClelland, Jr.

  • 2999


Window to the Past: The Washington State Historical Society's First Century, by John McClelland, Jr. 

"Events in Western history, including Washington's, happened in waves. One of these periodic bursts occurred in the 1880s, just after the completion of the Northern Pacific Railroad ended Washington Territory's social and economic isolation. It was no coincidence that the long road to statehood culminated in the last year of that tumultuous decade, one in which the rate of population growth far exceeded that of our own time.

There were so many newcomers in the last decades of the nineteenth century that the kinship and cultural structures of the pioneering generation dating back to the Overland Trail days were swept away. From this sense of loss of a way of life was born the Washington State Historical Society. Propagated by the pioneers themselves and their immediate descendants, the Society was called into being to preserve reminders of what otherwise might have passed into oblivion. This sentiment is in part what still defines the Society's mission, though organizationally we are more consciously educational in purpose than was true at the outset.

Because of the rate of change in our day, I believe an understanding of history will become ever more valued and thus our Historical Society and ever more important institution.

History counsels our personal lives, helping us to understand ourselves and others. Studying history is pleasurable, too. History can strengthen our professional lives, enabling us to analyze economic, social and political circumstances. History guides our civic lives, aiding us, individually and collectively, in our endeavors to make good decisions about community and county.

This book is a testimonial to the thousands of members, trustees, volunteers, staff members and friends of the Washington State Historical Society who have gone before us, advancing the cause and upon whose shoulders we stand."

Preface by Dave L Nicandri


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