History Map on-line

All places have secrets or stories to tell. How they got settled. Why they went away. Who was there first.

I have been researching the “Lost Cities of Skagit County.”  The county is located in Western Washington, about 50 miles north of Seattle. It’s uncommonly beautiful with hills and flats, rivers and creeks flowing to the Sound and majestic mountains to the east, many in snow year round. Its history goes back nearly 12,000 years with the ancestors of the present day Coast Salish peoples. Recent arrivals started appearing in earnest around 200 years ago.

Last year, the Skagit County Historical Museum mounted a popular exhibit called The Lost Cities of Skagit County.  Some 17 long- forgotten communities were highlighted with photographs and artifacts. The show was very popular with the public asking for more.

To help teachers and folks curious about the history of early white settlement in the county , I researched an additional 100 settlements and with a lot of help from friends in the county IT, saw the launching of  a history GIS map last Monday.  It can be seen at http://skagitcounty.net/museum.   Click on the map icon on the front page to enter, then click on a place on the map and a photograph and text will come up. Follow the instructions to play with it.  Explorer is needed. Have fun. Anyone find Hoogdahl?

Kla-how-yah!

I come from a family of pack rats. History stirs on the shelves in teapots and in boxes full of letters and journals as long ago as 1830. The family story goes back to 1638. But it’s been the stories of my Nana, her mother known as Bongie and my 93-year-old mother that nourished me. There are strong women in my family. Ansenith Parker, Quaker missionary to the Shawnee and Kaw. Martha (Bongie) March, teacher of ex-slaves and Kiowa children and president of the Idaho Womans’ Relief Corps. Mysterious Judith March who was fined for wearing a lace cap above her station in the 1600s. Writing about them has helped me examine my own life and upbringing.

And then there is my great-grandfather, Dr. William F. Osborn, Civil War surgeon from Fairchance, Pennsylvania. I was seven years old when my mother put his journal from Gettysburg in my hands. That began my life-long love of history of many times and places, especially World War II and the Pacific Northwest.

Here at Historyweaver’s, I hope to write about history, writing historical fiction, family story, and the writing craft of time and place.