New and Recent Releases
We Are Aztlan!
Chicanx Histories in the Northern Borderlands
Mexican Americans/Chicana/os/Chicanx form a majority of the overall Latino population in the United States. Scholarship on their presence, experience, and contributions has been focused, until recently, on the Southwest. In this collection, Chicanx scholars, both established and emerging, offer academic and non-academic perspectives specifically on the Pacific Northwest and the Midwest. These multidisciplinary papers address colonialism, gender, history, immigration, labor, literature, sociology, education, and religion. Here El Movimiento (the Chicanx movement) and the Chicanx experience are set beyond the boundaries of the Southwest, illuminating how Chicanxs have challenged racialization, marginalization, and isolation in the northern borderlands.
Contributors to We Are Aztlan! include Norma Cardenas (Eastern Washington University), Oscar Rosales Castaneda (activist, writer), Josue Q. Estrada (University of Washington), Theresa Melendez, (Michigan State University, emeritus), the late Carlos Maldonado and Rachel Maldonado (Eastern Washington University, retired), Dylan Miner (Michigan State), Ernesto Todd Mireles (Prescott College), and Dionicio Valdes (Michigan State).
Editor Jerry Garcia received his PhD from Washington State University, and has had academic appointments at Iowa State, Michigan State, and Eastern Washington Universities. His most recent book is Looking Like the Enemy: Japanese Mexicans, the Mexican State, and U.S. Hegemony, 1897 - 1945 (2014).
What readers are saying:
“This collection sheds light on the often-neglected study of Mexican ancestry people outside California or the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. By highlighting the history of Chicano people in the Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes region, the transnational and translocal links between Mexico, California, Texas, and the vast Mexicano and Tejano diasporas are revealed.”--Marc Rodriguez, author of The Tejano Diaspora: Mexican Americanism and Ethnic Politics in Texas and Wisconsin
Paperback $29.95 list
Voice of the Old Wolf
Lucullus Virgil McWhorter and the Nez Perce Indians
Steven Ross Evans
Originally published in 1996, Voice of the Old Wolf was the first full-length biography of Lucullus V. McWhorter (1860 - 1944). The Yakima area rancher met and befriended Yakima and Nez Perce warriors in 1903, forming deep relationships and accumulating facts, stories, and perspectives that would otherwise have been irretrievably lost. Adopted as a tribe member, he served as a stirring spokesman for non-treaty bands and captured prominent Nez Perce voices in his classic Western histories, Yellow Wolf (1940) and Hear Me, My Chiefs! (1952). This edition includes a new foreword by Trevor James Bond, Associate Dean with the McWhorter collection holder, Washington State University’s Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections.
Paperback $26.95 list
Writing the Northwest
A Reporter Looks Back
Foreword by Jim Kershner
Pasco, Washington native Hill Williams reported Northwest news for decades. Now, in his memoir, he transforms his favorite and most memorable stories into inviting, candid narratives that bestow a remarkable gift—a window into the heart of this affable and seasoned regional journalist.
Employing a genuine, homespun style with a hint of nostalgia, he reminisces about unforgettable people, places, and events he covered, natural and human history, and a vanished time in his chosen profession. He writes about Hanford and a Coast Guard officer’s heroism. He captures what it was like to grow up on the dry side of Washington during the 1930s and 1940s and work before computers became ubiquitous. He shares his own eyewitness accounts--the flooding of Celilo Falls, the first water flowing from the Columbia Irrigation Project, a 1952 nuclear test in Nevada, and a giant displaced rock in the middle of the scablands.
Hill Williams received his BA in journalism and his MA in communications, both from the University of Washington. He began his journalism career at the Kennewick Courier-Reporter in 1948, and subsequently worked as a writer and reporter in the Seattle area. From 1967 until he retired in 1991, he was the science writer for the Seattle Times. His book, The Restless Northwest: A Geological Story, won the Washington State Book Award in 2003. Writing the Northwest is his third--and most personal--title with Washington State University Press.
What readers are saying:
“[Hill Williams’ stories] evoke the tenor and mood of the era better than facts and figures could…I don’t know of any books that cover so much of Washington’s history and natural history, from Tatoosh Island to Pasco. The breadth of subject matter--from basalt to linotype machines to atomic bombs to radiator baby-bottle holders--is one of the things I loved most.”--Jim Kershner, award-winning journalist and senior correspondent for The Spokesman Review. His recent book is Carl Maxey: A Fighting Life
“Hill Williams has traveled so broadly for so many years that he can report captivating aspects of two worlds--the wonders of our globe and the intriguing details of the fascinating Northwest that he so plainly loves.”--Bill Hall, former humor columnist and editorial page editor for the Lewiston Morning Tribune. He is the author of several books, including Frank Church, D.C., and Me
Paperback $22.95 list
A Personal History of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation
Melvin R. Adams
“I have spent a career sifting through the rubble, the abandoned documents, the factories and tools, with the thought of saving what remains of water, land, and animals. But water, wind, and root have their way.”--Melvin R. Adams
Perhaps the first environmental engineer at Hanford, Melvin R. Adams spent twenty-four years on its 586 square miles of desert terrain. His thoughtful vignettes recall challenges and sites he worked on or found personally intriguing, like the 216-U-pond. Nestled among the trees, the pond looks like a pleasant place to go fishing. In reality, it has been contaminated with plutonium longer than any other place on earth.
In what Adams considers his most successful project, he helped determine the initial scope of the soil and solid waste cleanup. The Environmental Restoration and Disposal Facility today covers 107 acres and has a capacity of 18 million tons.
His group also designed and tested a marked, maintenance-free disposal barrier. It uses natural materials that will remain stable for thousands of years. They expanded a network of groundwater monitoring wells to define contaminated plumes, assess treatment effectiveness, and provide relevant data to hydrologists. They also developed a pilot scale pump and treatment plant for use on a four-square-mile carbon tetrachloride plume.
His environmental and engineering unit included a biological control group fondly dubbed “The Weeds.” They controlled tumbleweeds, tracked and collected plants and animals found growing or digging in contaminated sites, and caught stray wildlife discovered in Hanford offices.
In Atomic Geography, Adams presents some surprising revelations. He shares his perspective on leaking high-level waste storage tanks, dosimeters, and Hanford’s obsession with safety. He even answers the question he is asked most, insisting he does not glow in the dark. He leaves that unique ability to spent fuel rods in water storage basins--a phenomenon known as Cherenkov radiation.
Melvin R. Adams has published two other books with WSU Press, both on southeastern Oregon: Netting the Sun: A Personal Geography of the Oregon Desert and Remote Wonders: An Explorer’s Guide to Southeast Oregon.
Paperback $22.95 list
ForeWord Magazine Top Ten University Pick!
...intelligent, probing, and strangely poetic”—ForeWord Magazine
Check out the author's contest-winning essay in the national literary journal, Arts & Letters.
Dividing the Reservation
Alice C. Fletcher's Nez Perce Allotment Diaries and Letters, 1889 - 1892
Alice Cunningham Fletcher was both formidable and remarkable. A pioneering ethnologist who penetrated occupations dominated by men, she was the first woman to hold an endowed chair at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology--during a time the institution did not admit female students. She helped write the Dawes General Allotment Act of 1887 that reshaped American Indian policy, and became one of the first women to serve as a federal Indian agent, working with the Omahas, the Winnebagos, and finally the Nez Perces.
Charged with supervising the daunting task of resurveying, verifying, and assigning nearly 757,000 acres of the Nez Perce Reservation, Fletcher also had to preserve land for transportation routes and restrain white farmers and stockmen who were claiming prime properties. She sought to “give the best lands to the best Indians,” but was challenged by the Idaho terrain, the complex ancestries of the Nez Perces, and her own misperceptions about Native life. A commanding presence, Fletcher worked from a specialized tent that served as home and office, traveling with copies of laws, rolls of maps, and blank plats. She spent four summers on the project, completing close to 2,000 allotments.
This book is a collection of letters and diaries Fletcher wrote during this work. Her writing illuminates her relations with the key players in the allotment, as well as her internal conflicts over dividing the reservation. Taken together, these documents offer insight into how federal policy was applied, resisted, and amended in this early application of the Dawes General Allotment Act.
Nicole Tonkovich is Professor of Literature at the University of California, San Diego. Her research interests center around nineteenth-century cultural productions by American women. She has published numerous essays, and her books include The Allotment Plot: Alice C. Fletcher, E. Jane Gay, and Nez Perce Survivance, and Trading Gazes: Anglo-American Women Photographers among North American Indians.
Paperback $29.95 list
Ezra Meeker’s Boom Years
Dennis M. Larsen
Two of Ezra Meeker’s defining traits were his ability to recognize business opportunities and his willingness to take risks. In 1852, the Washington Territory pioneer traveled west over the Oregon Trail, finally settling near Tacoma in the Puyallup Valley.
In the mid-1860s, he planted his first hops, and despite wild price fluctuations, attained modest success. Then he met beer brewer Henry Weinhard and began selling to him directly. Approximately twenty-five acres of hop roots led to $9,000 in sales--$154,000 today. Inspired, other farmers slowly joined in, shipping produce to San Francisco.
Ezra served as a broker and traveled to New York and London to open new markets. Convinced Northwest hops were superior, he hired a respected chemist to analyze the quantity of extract produced from Bavarian and New York hops as well as his own. The results confirmed his claims.
Then in 1882, Meeker quietly bypassed California middlemen, sending Washington hops directly to New York. That same year, Pacific coast growers benefited from widespread crop failure elsewhere. Desperate brewers offered astronomical prices and Puyallup farmers were rich. E. Meeker and Co. became the largest hops exporter in the country, and Ezra the official “hop king.”
Rarely idle, Meeker also managed a large family, became involved in philanthropy and development schemes, promoted Washington and Puget Sound, was active in politics and women’s suffrage, and tried to manufacture sugar from beets. Impulsive and pugnacious, he was an intimidating business opponent who became entangled in numerous lawsuits. Sadly, a combination of bad investments, lack of diversification, the 1893 depression, a financial betrayal, and an aphid plague brought Meeker’s boom years to a close.
This new biography recounts Ezra Meeker’s profitable years as well as the intertwined histories of hops, Puyallup, and Washington Territory.
Dennis M. Larsen is an independent historian and former social studies teacher who has written for historical journals and is author/co-author of four other books. He speaks frequently on the Oregon Trail, Northwest pioneers, and of course, Ezra Meeker.
Paperback $26.95 list
"[Ezra Meeker] was like the Evergreen State's Forest Gump—seemingly a part of every big moment in our early history."—The Inlander
Read the full review
Listen to Dennis Larsen's Washington Ag Network radio interview
Read the Tacoma News Tribune review
Read the Washington State Magazine review
Read the HistoryLink review
The Bridge of the Gods
A Romance of indian Oregon
Frederic Homer Balch with an introduction by Stephen L. Harris
Idealistic New England missionary Cecil Grey’s vision draws him 3,000 miles west. Amazingly, he discovers the exact stone bridge--tomanowos--he saw in his dream. It is a creation of the gods, and legend says that as long as the natural rock arch stands, the Willamettes will rule.
Confident, their chief Multnomah becomes a fierce and ruthless leader, reigning over a network of Pacific Coast tribes from Mount Shasta to today’s British Columbia. But when an old Indian prophet warns of a different future and Grey fatefully encounters Wallulah, Multnomah’s gentle daughter, tragedy follows.
Set in 1690s prehistoric Oregon, this regional classic was the first work of fiction by a Northwest writer to feature Native Americans as main characters. The Bridge of the Gods also evokes an extraordinary sense of place, introducing readers to the Pacific Northwest’s primal forests, untamed rivers, and volcanic peaks. A new introduction by Stephen L. Harris offers interpretive content and a biography of the author.
Frederic Homer Balch (1861 - 1891) grew up in Goldendale and Lyle, Washington, enamored by prehistoric Indian culture. No place was too remote if he could meet a Klickitat or Willamette elder and absorb their stories and customs. Balch learned Chinook and pioneered the use of geomythology.
Paperback $19.95 list
Read the East Oregonian review
Read the Portland Oregonian article for more on why The Bridge of the Gods is such an important work.
Squib-Kick It to a Fat Guy…
and 699 more memorable quotes from the playbook of Coach Mike Leach
Foreword by Barry Switzer
College football coach Mike Leach is known for three things--winning games, producing offenses that gain yards and score points, and finally, speaking his mind and saying things that go far beyond the cliché-ridden speeches employed by his coaching peers.
In Squib-Kick It to a Fat Guy…, Mike Leach is unplugged. Author Alan Burton painstakingly gathered hundreds of his most memorable quotes to offer “Leachspeak” at its best--informative, entertaining, humorous, and even mystifying. Leach fans won’t want to miss this delightful, revealing collection of unforgettable quotes.
Paperback $15.95 list
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The Snake River-Palouse and the Invasion of the Inland Northwest
Clifford E. Trafzer and Richard D. Scheuerman
Originally released in 1986 as Renegade Tribe, this award-winning title sensitively retells the compelling saga of western expansion and Indian-white conflict from a Native American perspective. The Snake River-Palouse resisted immigrant encroachment and fought a losing battle to retain their way of life. The Whitman Massacre, as well as a refusal to enter into U.S. government treaties, left them with a hostile reputation among the newcomers. With settlers increasingly demanding their removal and no reservation of their own, these Inland Northwest Indians faced extermination by the end of the nineteenth century. Examining written and oral evidence left by both indigenous and white cultures, this book presents the Snake River-Palouse as important actors in events and demonstrates how their initiative and decisions influenced the course of history. This revised edition offers a new introduction by the authors and a new foreword by Chief Tilcoax descendent Wilson Wewah.
Clifford E. Trafzer is the Distinguished Professor of History and the Rupert Costo Chair in American Indian Affairs at the University of California-Riverside, and Richard D. Scheuerman is Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Seattle Pacific University.
“Trafzer’s and Scheuerman’s book, in a solid and sometimes eloquent fashion, allows us to know this politically vulnerable people.”
—American Indian Quarterly
Paperback $24.95 list
The Railroad Comes to Seattle, 1853 - 1911
Kurt E. Armbruster
Seattle residents were bitterly disappointed in 1873 when the Northern Pacific selected rival Tacoma as the future Puget Sound terminus for Washington Territory’s first transcontinental railroad. Lavishly illustrated, Orphan Road depicts the growth of railways across the Puget Sound region, including Tacoma’s frantic quest for a saltwater terminal of their own, descriptions of individual lines, and the colorful personalities and urban aspirations that eventually brought Seattle to the forefront of Washington commerce.
”Richly researched and entertainingly told…the book is rich in detail for intense rail fans, [but] has plenty to intrigue the casual rail fan or those just interested in slices of Northwest life.”—Bill Virgin, Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Paperback $32.95 list
All for the Greed of Gold
Will Woodin’s Klondike Adventure
Edited by Catherine Holder Spude
When the steamship Cleveland left Seattle’s docks on March 1, 1898, William Jay Woodin was on board, traveling with his father and several others. They were chasing the nineteenth century’s last great gold rush, but instead of mining, they planned to earn their fortune by providing supplies.
Enhanced with family photographs and skillfully edited, Will’s writings--including diaries, a short story, and a delightfully candid 1910 memoir—record events, emotions, and reflections, as well as his youthful wonder at the beauty surrounding him. Unlike many stampeders, Will’s party chose to take both the White Pass Trail and the Tutshi Trail, and his story offers a rare glimpse into ordeals suffered along this less common route.
Will’s experiences also epitomize a mostly untold story of how working-class men endured a grueling Yukon journey. He was part of an emerging middle class who, with minimal formal education, left farm life to seek urban employment. Whether packing tons of goods on their own backs or building boats at the Windy Arm camp, Will brings to light the cooperation and camaraderie necessary for survival.
Editor Catherine Holder Spude is a historian and archaeologist. Her book about the legend of Soapy Smith was a finalist for a Western Writers of America Spur Award. She has written popular history for magazines and newspapers as well as numerous journal articles.
What readers are saying:
“Will Woodin’s story is new, interesting, and well written. What the editor has given us is truly a gift.”
—Charlene L. Porsild, Ph.D., President /CEO, Montana History Foundation
“A detailed and entertaining description of the ‘other route’ to the Yukon gold fields.”—Dennis Larsen, author of Slick as a Mitten
Paperback $27.95 list
Inside the Walla Walla Prison, 1970-1985
Unusual Punishment details the personalities and astonishing events surrounding the collapse of a decades old prison culture and describes how leaders painfully constructed a modern control system.
The Washington State Penitentiary in Walla Walla was once a place where the warden exercised absolute authority. One word, and a convict could be held for weeks, naked, in an empty dark cell, or sent to the terrifying mental health ward where coercion included torture. Any employee could be fired at will. Guards and prisoners called it “super custody.”
Change began in the early 1970s with well-meaning but naïve reform. Inmates abused new freedoms. Chaos descended. Convicts had the only keys to certain prison areas. Bikers roared prison-made choppers around the Big Yard. Marijuana was everywhere, and hundreds shot heroin. Prisoners took lives with shanks and even bombs. Frustrated and afraid, correctional officers quit or looked the other way.
A new superintendent curtailed the most dysfunctional inmate privileges, and in a dramatic midnight move, sent incarcerated leaders to distant prisons. In the fragile stability that followed, a guard was murdered, a long lockdown began, a cell block rioted, and more than two hundred men spent a long, hot summer outside in the Big Yard. Numerous officers rebelled, demanding a brutal crackdown and return to super custody. When forty-two refused to take their posts, the superintendent fired them all.
The courts intervened, politics changed, and in 1981, a charismatic correctional leader—charming in public and tyrannical in private—took command of a newly created department of corrections. With skill and determination, he imposed his will and transformed Washington corrections. Order returned to the penitentiary.
Author Christopher Murray graduated from Stanford University and the University of Washington. His award-winning consulting firm provided planning, research, and policy analysis to correctional agencies in eleven states.
What readers are saying:
“A terrific, if unsettling, even chilling, read.”
—James B. Jacobs, Warren E. Burger Professor of Law at NYU and author of Stateville: The Penitentiary in Mass Society
“This is the most comprehensive analysis I have ever seen of the evolution of a state prison system.”
—Joan Petersilia, Adelbert H. Sweet Professor of Law at Stanford Law School
“A compact, easily readable, but frightening narrative of an experiment in prison reform that turned a traditional ‘Big House’ prison into a decade-long, slow-motion train wreck.”
—William C. Collins, Editor Emeritus, Correctional Law Journal and former Senior Assistant Attorney General representing the Washington State Department of Corrections
“Murray has woven a compelling story, capturing the drama, complexity, and occasional humor of the years when the ‘inmates ran the joint.’ Both entertaining and enlightening, this is a book that will appeal to a broad audience.”
—Scott Frakes, director, Nebraska Department of Correctional Services
“Murray captures the turbulent, chaotic and violent era of the penitentiary in Walla Walla, Washington as if he were an eye witness.”
—Ned Loughran, Executive Director, Council of Juvenile Correctional Administrators
“[Murray] portrays the key players with a genuine feeling for their strengths, weaknesses and challenges.”
—John A. McCoy, author of Concrete Mama: Prison Profiles from Walla Walla
Paperback $22.95 list
Watch Austin Jenkins interview the author on Inside Olympia
Read the Seattle Times review
Read the Walla Walla Union Bulletin article
The Fur Trade Gamble
North West Company on the Pacific Slope, 1800-1820
Lloyd Keith and John C. Jackson
Before Hudson’s Bay Company domination, two companies attempted large-scale corporate trapping and vied to command Northwest fur trade. On one side were the North West Company’s Montreal entrepreneurs, and on the other, American John Jacob Astor and his Pacific Fur Company.
They were businessmen first and explorers second, and their era is a story of grand risk in both lives and capital—a global mercantile initiative in which controlling the mouth of the Columbia River and developing the China market were major prizes. Traversing the world in search of profit, these fur moguls gambled on the price of beaver pelts, purchases of ships and trade goods, international commerce laws, and the effects of war.
In the process, partners and clerks quarreled, surveyed transportation routes, built trading posts, and worked to forge relationships with both French Canadian and Native American trappers. The loss of valuable natural resources as well as the intermixing of cultures significantly impacted relationships with the region’s native peoples. Ultimately, their expansion attempts were economically unsuccessful. The Astorians sold their holdings to the North West Company, who later accepted a humiliating 1821 merger.
Drawing from a reservoir of previously unexploited business and personal correspondence, including the letters of clerk Finnan McDonald and a revealing personal memorandum by Fort George partner James Keith, the authors examine Columbia drainage operations and offer a unique business perspective. Both have written extensively on related subjects. The late Lloyd Keith’s major work is North to Athabaska: Documents of the North West Company, 1800-1821. The late John C. Jackson’s many publications include Shadow on the Tetons: David E. Jackson and the Claiming of the American West, and Children of the Fur Trade: Forgotten Metis of the Pacific Northwest.
Read the East Oregonian review
Read the BC Studies review
Hardbound $42.00 list
Paperback $27.95 list
Students and Citizenship at Washington State 1892-1942
William L. Stimson
On a frigid winter morning, young men and women proceeded toward a lonely brick building on a windy hill above Pullman, Washington. There to enroll in college, many came from farms and were deeply grateful for the opportunity. It was January 13, 1892, thirty years after the passage of Justin Morrill’s Land Grant Act and opening day for the Agricultural College, Experimental Station and School of Science of the State of Washington.
The new scholars received personal attention, which was not always the case at other institutions. Germany’s renowned universities were insulated by design--no one should disturb a professor while he was thinking. Harvard’s Charles W. Eliot followed that philosophy, as did Henry Philip Tappan, president of the state college in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
But in Pullman, as in the country’s other small institutions, even the tumultuous early years revolved around relationships. Third president Enoch A. Bryan shaped the school from 1893 to 1916 and often greeted individuals by name—even as the student population grew. By 1900 the campus had a dozen red brick buildings, all surrounding “The Quad.”
Bryan believed in teaching through experiences, and hired “active learning” advocates like William J. Spillman. Once, speaking to agriculture teachers, the famous researcher told them to skip lectures about oat diseases and instead take pupils to the field to count damaged oat heads. “You are not teaching agriculture, you are studying agriculture with your students.” Interestingly, the college’s chief scientist was also its first football coach.
The campus championed involvement—whether in music, sports, politics, or debate—until for the majority it became an unquestioned value and essential part of learning. Professors were accessible, often inviting students to their homes in the evening. Even decades later former pupils give glowing accounts of their mentors. As they participated in mascot antics, the Greek system, upheavals in student body politics, and the 1936 strike, state college students also deeply influenced faculty and administrators.
Instilling Spirit traces Washington State University’s early decades, offering a unique perspective on the college experience as it developed in the United States and the Cougar community.
Isaac I. Stevens
Young Man in a Hurry
Kent D. Richards
Washington Territory's first governor remains as controversial today as he was to his frontier contemporaries during the Pacific Northwest's most turbulent era—the mid-1850s. Indian wars, martial law, and bitter political disputes, as well as the establishment of a new, sound governmental system, characterized Isaac I. Stevens's years as governor (1853-1857). Richard’s definitive biography is one of the essential works on the history of early Washington, as well as of northern Idaho and western Montana, which in the 1850s were included in Washington Territory. This revised edition offers a new preface.
Kent D. Richards is an emeritus professor of history at Central Washington University.
Paperback $29.95 list
An Explorer’s Guide to Southeast Oregon
Melvin R. Adams
“This is a fresh and interesting introduction to the accessible part of southeastern Oregon’s semiarid country...As a 23-year veteran of the region, I found much in the book that is new to me.”—Dr. William H. Lyons, archaeologist
At first glance the landscape looks desolate—a barren realm of basalt rims, high cold deserts, dry lakes, and vast expanses of grass and sage. In fact, it is a place where petite flowers bloom on rock shelves. Tiny organisms thrive in hot springs and water saltier than any ocean. Even some of the soil is unique—a special combination that collects and retains water and allows ancient pine stands to survive. The diminutive pika harvests meadow grass, building miniature haystacks to store food for the winter. When the time is right, thousands of tiny green and black frogs emerge from mud cracks along a lake perimeter. There is also human history, evidenced by petroglyphs and remnants of ranches, mills, and mines. Indeed, remote southeast Oregon is a rich wonderland of mountains, forests, creatures, and more—one well worth exploring
Designed as a road tour guide, Remote Wonders is an ideal introduction to Oregon’s magnificent corner. Individual chapters highlight notable natural and historical features. The book includes essays, numerous photos, and a pull-out map keyed to selected sites. Supplemental information includes side trip recommendations, potential hazards, when to travel, and what to bring.
Born and raised in Oregon’s Outback, the author’s affection for the region shines through. Ultimately, Melvin Adams hopes his book will entice readers to visit and delight in this wild steppe country.
Paperback $19.95 list
Wagons to the Willamette
Captain Levi Scott and the Southern Route to Oregon, 1844-1847
Levi Scott and James Layton Collins
Edited by Stafford J. Hazelett
After the death of his beloved wife, a devastated Levi Scott and his youngest surviving son left Iowa for Oregon. Their overland journey—rife with quarrels, stolen horses, arduous river fords, con artists, and death—ended when he and John finally arrived in Oregon City in November 1844.
In the early 1840s, emigrants who reached The Dalles and chose to continue to the Willamette Valley were required to embark on a perilous raft trip and portage down the Columbia River. Answering the plea of settlers and the provisional government, Scott participated in two expeditions seeking a better, safer way through the Cascades. The first was unsuccessful but the second, organized by Jesse Applegate in June 1846, yielded the southern route through the Umpqua Valley, three mountain ranges, and the Black Rock Desert. Early on a July 1846 morning, the party found the Humboldt River along the established California Trail.
At Fort Hall, Applegate recruited parties to travel the new route. Scott led the initial wagon train west while others went ahead to prepare the road. He details a harrowing trip that included long stretches of unwatered desert, soda plains, mirages, a heroic mother, dense timber, and steep canyons.
In 1847 Scott led a second group to the Willamette Valley over the alternate trail. He retraced it again in 1849 when he served as a guide for the resupply of the Mounted Rifle Regiment. He faced narrow escapes and witnessed several deadly encounters with Native Americans. Later he ran cattle, founded Scottsburg, and participated in Oregon’s territorial legislature.
As he neared his ninetieth birthday Scott employed his friend James Layton Collins to help him record his life story, but the memoir was never published. Now edited and extensively annotated, Scott’s autobiography has become Wagons to the Willamette. An exceptional contribution to Oregon Trail history, his reminiscence is the only first-hand account written by someone who not only searched for the southern route but also accompanied its first wagon train.
Paperback $29.95 list
Chance for Glory
The Innovation and Triumph of the Washington State 1916 Rose Bowl Team
In 1915, American football was still in its infancy. The first Rose Bowl was just in its planning stages. East Coast teams were becoming household names, but what chance did a West Coast team with a losing streak have in achieving any fame or prominence?
Chance for Glory chronicles the untold story of the Washington State University football team of 1915 when William “Lone Star” Dietz, a Native American, was hired as the new coach. His innovative strategies and knowledge would help a group of undersized players to become giants on the football field, and soon Washington State would be a household name across America.
Author Darin Watkins captures the history of the first Rose Bowl tournament. He finds the larger stories behind events and follows this magical 1915 season from its early days to its triumphant conclusion.
What people are saying:
“This game reminds us champions are found within ourselves. Cougs everywhere can stand proud knowing the first Rose Bowl Championship was our championship.”
—Bill Moos, Director of Athletics, Washington State University
“Chance for Glory is Americana at its finest. Against the backdrop of early football history comes a true story of courage and determination that took the Washington State Cougars to the first Rose Bowl. Watkins’ storytelling makes the past come alive as vividly as if we were watching it on the big screen. I can’t wait for the movie.”
—Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., and award-winning author of The Marquette Trilogy
“Whether you’re a football fan, lover of history, or you just enjoy a good story of rising above adversity, Chance for Glory contains everything you’re looking for. After reading this book, you’ll either be proud to be a Cougar or wish you were one.”
—Patrick Snow, Author of Creating Your Own Destiny and The Affluent Entrepreneur
“The Rose Bowl has become a masterpiece of our society and Washington State was there at the very beginning.”
—Keith Jackson (’54 WSU), ABC Sportscaster who coined the Rose Bowl Game’s signature phrase, “The Grand Daddy of Them All”
Aviva Publishing, 2015
Hardbound $29.95 list
Paperback $22.95 list
Encounters with the People
Written and Oral Accounts of Nez Perce Life to 1858
Compiled and edited by Dennis Baird, Diane Mallickan, and William R. Swagerty
Organized both chronologically and thematically, Encounters with the People is an edited, annotated compilation of unique primary sources related to Nez Perce history— Native American oral histories, diary excerpts, military reports, maps, and more. Generous elders shared their collective memory of carefully-guarded stories passed down through multiple generations. One described the level of attentiveness required to preserve their oral history as “so still to listen that you could hear a bird take a drink of water on the other side of the mountain.” The work begins with early Nimiipuu/Euro-American contact and extends to the period immediately after the Treaty of 1855 held at Walla Walla.
The editors scoured archives, federal document repositories, and state and local historical museums in search of little-known documents related to regional cultural and environmental history. Most of the selected material is published for the first time or is found only in obscure sources. Part of the Voices from Nez Perce Country series, Encounters with the People includes a thorough, up-to-date, annotated bibliography. Those interested in the Nez Perce, Native American Studies, Lewis and Clark, early missionary work, and Inland Northwest settlement will find it an essential reference work.
Co-editor Dennis Baird is a professor emeritus at the University of Idaho, and is the author/editor of eight books. Diane Mallickan is Nez Perce and Shoshone Paiute. Following studies at the University of Idaho, she became a park ranger and has served for more than two decades. She wrote a research paper on Starr Maxwell which was used in the University of Idaho Library reprint of Memorial of the Nez Perce Indians Residing in the State of Idaho to the Congress of the United States as well as Snake River Basin Adjudication testimonies. William R. Swagerty is the director of the John Muir Center at University of the Pacific and a contributor to the Smithsonian’s Handbook of North American Indians.
Hardcover $50 list
DUAL AWARD WINNER!
Idaho Book of the Year honorable mention
Western History Association Dwight L. Smith Award
Developing the Pacific Northwest
The Life and Work of Asahel Curtis
William H. Wilson
Asahel Curtis arrived on the Puget Sound in 1888. The teenager labored on farms and eventually in his older brother Edward’s successful Seattle photography studio. By 1895 his extended family resided together in the city. With their support, Asahel set out for Skagway, Alaska,in September 1897. Armed with a box camera, he captured numerous images of the Klondike gold rush, recording the trail, miners, gold creeks, and Dawson City. But after he returned home in 1899, he found himself at odds with Edward over those very photographs.
The conflict led to a lifelong estrangement. Asahel partnered with William P. Romans to form another studio, and in time opened the Asahel Curtis Photo Co. Although he earned his living as a commercial photographer, his major focus was outside the camera lens.
He married Florence Etta Carney and in 1907 purchased a small, irrigated farm in the Yakima Valley. Curiously, Asahel did not drive. But as a man who acted on his convictions, he became a dedicated member of the good roads movement. He battled issues surrounding highway beautification, crumbling roads caused by a burgeoning trucking industry, an international highway connecting Puget Sound with Alaska, and Yellowstone Trail Association activities. His overarching goal was not personal gain, but economic development and increased tourism for Washington.
Asahel had an enduring passion for Mount Rainier. He climbed its spectacular heights on multiple occasions and was a founder of the Seattle Mountaineers Club. He also chaired the Mount Rainier Advisory Board, fighting long and vigorously for the advancement of Mount Rainier National Park.
Developing the Pacific Northwest is the first full-length biography of the photographer/booster/mountaineer. Along with comparisons to work by his brother and other contemporaries, the author devotes attention to Asahel’s earlier years, his family and business relationships, his involvement with irrigation and cooperative marketing in eastern Washington, and his beliefs about resource development. Taken together, they provide a comprehensive study of this premier Pacific Northwest photographer.
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A History of Priest Lake, Idaho
Kris Runberg Smith with Tom Weitz
Remote and rugged, Idaho’s Priest Lake has remained a wild place. Even today, the upper lake is accessible only by foot, mountain bike, or boat. Despite being a favored location for Native American encampments, brutal winters discouraged any permanent settlement. Finally, beginning in the 1890s, adventurous souls—a wide cast of homesteaders, prospectors, speculators, and loggers—all dazzled by its natural resources, tried their best to tame it, with limited success.
Priest Lake’s impressive white pine forests did not escape notice, but grand turn-of-the-century Western expansion bypassed the area, sparing its idyllic beauty. Most venture capitalists considered the ore and timber too expensive to extract. At the same time, forestry leaders like Gifford Pinchot were guiding the country toward new land management and conservation ideals. By creating the Priest River Forest Reserve in 1897, President Cleveland expanded federal influence over the region and introduced an enduring tension between public and private lands. Still, over the ensuing decades industrial and recreational use increased.
The Dalkena Lumber Company won a Forest Service contract in 1914, and within three years, there were thirteen logging camps. The Diamond Match Company was another major lumber harvester. Along with timber, summer cottages were in demand, and rangers doled out national and state land permits in mounting numbers. Families christened their cabins with names like the Playawhile, Sylvan Haunt, Slabsides, and This-L-Du as they created a seasonal community cherished for generations.
Devastating wildfires—especially in 1926—also initiated profound change. During the Depression a few years later, work by the Civilian Conservation Corps centered on fire suppression, although conservation efforts and recreational improvements were also part of their mandate. After World War II, population growth accelerated. Electricity became commonplace in the 1940s, and in 1947, a local newspaper crowed, “Priest Lake has become a cult with many vacationists.”
Today, every privately-owned acre and lot represents past optimism, opportunity, hard work, greed, or politics. Wild Place traces those remnants—focusing on little-known yet captivating stories of the colorful characters who navigated Priest Lake’s demanding physical, political, and economic challenges.
Naxiyamtáma (Snake River-Palouse) Oral Traditions from Mary Jim, Andrew George, Gordon Fisher, and Emily Peone
Collected and edited by Richard D. Scheuerman and Clifford E. Trafzer
Foreword by Carrie Jim Schuster
With color plates by John Clement
“An invaluable treasure of Indigenous insights and experiences not previously publically shared, River Song is a wonderful entry into what is most cherished within the homes of four Naxiyamtáma family traditions.”—Rodney Frey, Professor of American Indian Studies and Anthropology at the University of Idaho and author of Landscape Traveled by Coyote and Crane: The World of the Schitsu'umsh - Coeur d'Alene Indians
For many generations into the twentieth century Mary Jim, her family, and their ancestors lived a free and open life on the Columbia Plateau. They moved on horseback from the Snake River to Badger Mountain to Oregon’s Blue Mountains. They interacted and intermarried within a vast region in the Northwest, and their stories are rich in content, interpretation, and nuance.
Denied a place on their ancestral lands, the original Snake River-Palouse people were forced to scatter. After most relocated to Nez Perce, Umatilla, Warm Springs, Yakama, and Colville reservations, maintaining their cultural identity became increasingly difficult. Still, elders continued to pass down oral histories to their descendants, insisting youngsters listen with rapt attention.
Beginning in the 1970s and continuing over three decades, Naxiyamtáma elders—in particular Mary Jim, Andrew George, Gordon Fisher, and Emily Peone—chose to share their stories with a research team. They hoped to teach American Indian history in a traditional manner as well as refute incorrect versions. In the process, multiple themes emerged—a pervasive spirituality tied to the Creator and environment; a covenant relationship and sacred trust to protect and preserve their traditional lands; storytelling as a revered art form that reveals life lessons, and finally, belief in cyclical time and blood memory.
All four of the featured elders had ties to the Plateau people’s leadership families and had lived in the traditional way—gathering, hunting, and fishing. They participated in the ancient Wáshani religion and were raised to honor the Creator through First Food ceremonies. In their retelling, the authors have endeavored to capture their original voices and remain true to Snake River-Palouse oral traditions.
Creation stories include “The Creatures of Cloudy Mountain,” “Why Coyote Made the Palouse Hills,” and “The Origin of Palouse Falls.” Although narratives told by other groups are similar to Mary Jim’s “How Coyote Learned to Fish,” and Gordon Fisher’s “How Beaver Brought Fire to the People,” the versions in River Song offer a distinct Naxiyamtáma perspective.
Authors Richard Scheuerman, Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Seattle Pacific University, and Clifford Trafzer, Distinguished Professor of History and Costo Chair in Native American studies at the University of California-Riverside, previously paired up to write the award-winning book, Renegade Tribe: The Palouse Indians and the Invasion of the Pacific Northwest. In River Song, they also describe their method and approach—one that will serve as a model for conducting Native American cultural research.
Touring with the Wylie Camping Company in America's First National Park
Jane Galloway Demaray
“The author [tells] an important story here, not just of her great great uncle’s contributions to the history of Yellowstone, but also of the fascinating politics and economics of park concessions administration...a thoroughly readable and engaging study.”—David Wrobel, professor of history, University of Oklahoma
In 1872 Congress established Yellowstone National Park, and its vast wonders soon mesmerized early sightseers. One of them, William Wallace Wylie, visited in July 1880. The school superintendent was immediately smitten. He returned to Bozeman, Montana, and arranged his first tour group a few weeks later. His initial effort evolved into a full-fledged business, and from 1896 to 1905 the Wylie Camping Company fed, sheltered, and guided thousands of Victorian vacationers through relaxed week-long tours of geysers, hot pools, waterfalls, and trails.
Despite the park’s wilderness setting, Wylie lured travelers with promises of comfort, ease, and delicious meals, claiming such luxuries as “woven wire springs under fine mattress beds; no sleeping on the ground…fine covered buggies to ride in.“ His “new method of caring for tourists” embraced separate dining tents, partitioned sleeping tents heated with stoves, informative outings, and fresh-air bonfires. His policy of hiring honest, hard-working college students and teachers who utilized the park as an outdoor classroom set an example for concessions throughout Yellowstone and other national parks.
But operating the Wylie Camping Company was a formidable task. There were bears, runaway horses, and cantankerous stage coach drivers. Anecdotes include observations of wildlife, the arrest of a bison poacher, and an altercation with the park’s game warden, Buffalo Jones. In order to serve his unique clientele, Wylie contended with park superintendents, railroad officials, Washington, D.C., legislators, and various other political personalities. Eventually the demands became too great, and he sold his business. But the Wylie Camping Company and its owner’s unswerving efforts helped develop, define, and preserve tourism in the West, particularly in America’s first national park.
Uniting the Salish Coast through Cross-Cultural Marriages
Throughout the mid-nineteenth century, single men arrived in what is now Washington’s Whatcom County and its adjacent areas. The Euro-American settlers noticed the young, pretty women who were part of the Samish, Lummi, S’Klallam, Sto:lo, and other indigenous groups. Hoping to establish mutually beneficial ties, elite Coastal Salish parents arranged strategic cross-cultural marriages between their daughters and the newcomers. Some pairs became lifelong partners while other unions lasted only a short time, but these crucial alliances helped immigrants survive and even thrive. The resulting bonds played a critical role in sparing Puget Sound’s upper northwest corner from the kinds of tragic conflicts other regions experienced.
Accounts of the men exist in a variety of records, particularly since they often held public positions--army officer, Territorial Supreme Court justice, school superintendent, sheriff. Or, like the nephew of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, they came from prominent eastern families. Yet the contributions of their native wives remain mostly unacknowledged. Theirs were lives marked by the hardships and heartbreaks common for the day, but each of the four profiled--Caroline Davis Kavanaugh, Mary Fitzhugh Lear Phillips, Clara Tennant Selhameten, and Nellie Carr Lane--exhibited exceptional endurance, strength, and adaptability. Far from being helpless victims, they influenced their husbands and controlled their homes. Uniformly remembered as loving mothers and good neighbors, they ran successful farms, nursed and supported their family members, served as midwives, and operated profitable businesses. They visited relatives and attended ancestral gatherings, often with their children. Each woman’s story is uniquely her own, but together they and other intermarried women helped found Puget Sound communities and left lasting legacies. They were peace weavers.
Author Candace Wellman hopes to shatter stereotypes surrounding these relationships as well as encourage additional scholarship. Over 200 collaborators--descendants, local historians, archivists, and more--across the U.S. and Canada graciously participated in her seventeen-year effort. Wellman holds a B.A. in Sociology, a B.Ed in History and Secondary Education, and has pursued graduate work in sociology. She makes regular public appearances related to women’s history and early regional settlement. Active in multiple historical organizations, she received the 2013 State Volunteer Recognition Award from the Washington State Genealogical Society.
What readers are saying:
“The primary and secondary research is wide-ranging and by every measure exhaustive. [Peace Weavers is] a detective story of sorts, weaving together fragments of the past.”--Jean Barman, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia and co-editor, Indigenous Women and Feminism: Politics, Activism, Culture
Paperback $27.95 list
Carry Forth the Stories
An Ethnographer’s Journey into Native Oral Tradition
Foreword by Leonard Bends
In this “ethnographic memoir” Rodney Frey, a seasoned anthropologist/ethnographer, offers personal and professional insights into the power and value of indigenous storytelling, and describes what he has learned over forty years of working successfully with tribes and Native peoples.
He frames his story as “the quest of an ethnographer to learn from his hosts and engage in collaborative, applied, ethical-based research, writing, and classroom pedagogy.” He addresses issues of permissions and cultural property rights, tribal review, collaboration, applications of research, and “giving back” to the host community. He considers Indigenous learning styles and perspectives, and their research, writing, and teaching. His own experiencse with collaborative research projects offer a model for others seeking to work with tribal communities.
Intertwined throughout are stories: gathered from interviews, oral histories, and conveyed by elders, as well as Frey’s personal story about his experience with cancer drawing from both Native and Western healing traditions.
Rodney Frey is professor of ethnography and director of general education at the University of Idaho. He holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Colorado, and since the mid-1970s has worked in collaboration with tribal communities including the Crow, Coeur d’Alene, Nez Perce, Warm Springs, and Wasco. He is the author of Stories That Make the World: Oral Literature of the Indian Peoples of the Inland Northwest and Landscape Traveled by Coyote and Crane: The World of the Schitsu'umsh--Coeur d'Alene Indians
What readers are saying:
“This book offers something very rare and very important: a reflection on what the author has learned over a long career as a professor and as a human being. His ability to weave together central ideas within his scholarly work (orality, literacy, ethnographic methodology, the ethics of scholarship, pedagogy, traditionalism) with his own personal narrative is striking, and often simply beautiful.”--Suzanne Crawford O’Brien, Pacific Lutheran University, author of Coming Full Circle: Spirituality and Wellness Among Native Communities in the Pacific Northwest
“An impressive exploration of indigenous storytelling and culture…in a distinctive style consistent with indigenous storytelling methods. Dr. Frey invites the reader to indulge, not as a casual observer, but as an active participant. This is the heart of indigenous storytelling.”--Randall Schleufer, Coeur d'Alene Tribe, Board of Directors, Salish School of Spokane
“A summing up of the life, wisdom, and even pedagogy of a highly respected teacher and ethnographer. It was a pleasure to read, and is a book that taught me a great deal.”--Dennis Baird, University of Idaho (emeritus), author/editor of eight books, most recently, with Diane Mallickan and William Swagerty, the multiple award-winning Encounters With the People: Written and Oral Accounts of Nez Perce Life to 1858
Paperback $29.95 list
In the News
In the Path of Destruction
Eyewitness Chronicles of Mount St. Helens
A napping volcano blinked awake in March 1980. Two months later, when that mountain roared, Jim Scymanky was about twelve miles northwest, logging a north slope above Hoffstadt Creek. “Rocks zinged through the woods, bouncing off trees, then the tops of trees snapped off… Suddenly I could see nothing…it got hot right away, then scorching hot and impossible to breathe. The air had no oxygen, like being trapped underwater…I was being cremated, the pain unbearable.”
Mike Hubbard was further away—sixteen miles northwest, near Green River. “It was hard to breathe, my mouth hot and full of dust. I was on my knees, my back to the hot wind. It blew me along, lifting my rear so I was up on my hands…It was hot but I didn’t feel burned—until I felt my ears curl.”
Ken Sugarman’s encounter came on a highway near Yakima. “My wife and I drove toward Tieton fifteen miles northwest. Only five minutes since the kids mentioned the cloud, ash rained heavily, the sky so dark I had headlights on.”
Steve Malone, at the University of Washington Seismology Laboratory, was inconsolable. “We’d failed. For two months we’d counted and located thousands of earthquakes, looked for changes to anticipate an eruption. Then it just happened. It killed many people. It killed David Johnston. We could hardly work.”
Author Richard Waitt was part of a U.S. Geological Survey team doing volcano research in the Cascades, and was one of the first to arrive following the mountain’s early rumblings. His journey collecting eyewitness accounts began with a conversation in a bar the third week after Mount St. Helens erupted. The couple he met barely outraced a searing ash cloud, and Waitt realized their experiences could inform geologic studies. He eventually conducted hundreds of interviews—sometimes two and three decades later—often making multiple visits to gather additional details, correct errors, and resolve discrepancies.
A meticulous scientist with intimate knowledge of Mount St. Helens, Waitt delivers a detailed and accurate chronicle of events. He tapped numerous primary sources—interviews, legal depositions, personal diaries, geologists’ field notes, radio logs, and police records. Newspaper stories and even sun shadows on photographs revealed additional intricacies. In the Path of Destruction’s eruption story unfolds through unforgettable, riveting narratives—the heart of a masterful chronology that also delivers engrossing science, history, and journalism.
Listen to Richard Waitt's interview about how eyewitness accounts helped scientists on OPB's Think Out Loud.
Made in Hanford
The Bomb that Changed the World
In 1942, a small plane carrying Lt. Col. Franklin T. Matthias and two DuPont engineers flew over three farming communities in eastern Washington. The passengers agreed. Isolated and near the powerful Columbia River, the region was the ideal site for the world’s first plutonium factory. Two years later, built with a speed and secrecy unheard of today, the facility was operational. The plutonium it produced fueled the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945. Hill Williams traces the amazing but also tragic story—from the dawn of nuclear science through World War II and Cold War testing in the Marshall Islands.
What readers are saying:
“This slim volume covers considerable ground… It is highly recommended, since it presents information not previously noted in atomic bomb histories.”--The Journal of America’s Military Past
“An interesting work for readers in numerous disciplines including science/technology, history, and political and social sciences.”--CHOICE
Paperback $22.95 list
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