Free Online Encyclopedia of WA State History


Welcome to the first and largest encyclopedia of community history created expressly for the Internet. is an evolving online encyclopedia of Washington state and local history. It provides a free, authoritative, and easily accessible history reference for the benefit of students, teachers, journalists, scholars, researchers, and the general public. With a few noted exceptions, all essays and features on this site are original works prepared exclusively for by staff historians, contract writers, volunteers, and consulting experts. All essays and features are vetted by professional staff. has grown to serve the entire state with more than 6,000 original, sourced essays as of October 2011.
It now serves an average of 5,000 unique visitors a day — one third of whom are K-12 teachers and students.
The site debuted with demonstration content on May 1, 1998. Like the communities and state it chronicles, is a work in progress. We add new features and essays continuously to fill gaps and enlarge on selected subjects, and existing essays are often expanded or corrected to reflect new information.We welcome your comments and suggestions submitted via the feedback form at the right.The encyclopedia has three libraries:
  • Cyberpedias (overview essays), found on the left-hand column of any search-results page
  • Timeline essays (events keyed to specific dates), found in the center column of any search-results page
  • People’s Histories (reminiscences, documents, older historical accounts, and interpretations), found on the right-hand column of any search-results page

We encourage citizens to inquire about adding their own stories to our People’s History library through the Feedback page.

History Ink is produced by History Ink, a 501(c)(3), a non-profit tax-exempt corporation guided by a distinguished board of scholars, educators, and community leaders.

History Ink Mission Statement

History Ink is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation established in 1997 to pioneer innovative approaches to historical research, education, and publishing. Its primary public service activity is production of, the free online encyclopedia of Washington state history and the nation’s first original encyclopedia of community history created expressly for the Internet.

Fair Use and Copyright Policies

The content on is owned by History Ink and subject to its copyright. is offered as a public service, and its verbal and visual content may be reproduced for personal use with proper citation and credit. Permission is also granted for reproduction of content for scholarly papers, reviews, news stories, and educational uses with proper credit to History Ink and any noted additional copyright holders (see below). Reproduction of verbal or visual content by any means for sale or commercial purposes is prohibited without advance written permission from History Ink.

Please note that images on are posted at low resolution sufficient to illustrate its files and to protect the rights of the owners. History Ink does not maintain an archive of high-resolution imagery for public use or reproduction. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the sources noted in the captions.

Citation of HistoryLink Content

With a few exceptions, HistoryLink essays are fully sourced, bylined, and dated to provide authoritative references for legal, journalistic, and scholastic use. Different stylebooks, mainly the Chicago Manual of Style, the MLA Style Manual, and the Associated Press Stylebook, have different citation styles. For most purposes, we recommend using the following format (shown with a sample essay) to cite Formal name of the encyclopedia, “Name of the essay” (author’s name), link to encyclopedia (date accessed).


Example of essays and data available on;

Northport Bridge spanning the Columbia in Stevens County opens to motorists on June 13, 1951.

On June 13, 1951, the Northport Bridge, spanning the Columbia River near the Canadian border in Stevens County, opens to motorists. The bridge carries State Route 25 across the great river and constitutes the farthest-north crossing within Washington state. Specially designed to withstand severe flood conditions, the steel cantilever through-truss bridge is the largest human-made structure in Stevens County. File 8024:  See Full Text at:

_____________________________________________________________ is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM) is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email

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