Tag Archives: history

June 11 1908, Wallace, Idaho, Mysterious Woman Wears Gown and Blows People’s Minds


Here’s a funny story I discovered looking through old Pacific Northwest newspapers.

On June 11, 1908, a mysterious woman appeared on the streets of Idaho in a directoire gown and shocked people enough that she made it into the news a few hundred miles. She must have been one hell of a woman.

The full clip can be read here: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/79405998/

This is part of my Northwest News Nuggets, which explores fun and/or fascinating news stories from the Pacific Northwest’s past.

To LSD or Not to LSD–The Washington State LSD Legalization Debate of 1967 (Another Northwest News Nugget)

In 1967, Mark Litchman, representing Washington State’s 45th District, proposed House Bills 45, 467, and 536, all of which dealt with LSD. Litchman, having been counselled by acid guru Timothy Leary, wanted to keep LSD legal to some degree (not as a street drug).

I stumbled upon these news articles and found it to be a fascinating piece of Pacific Northwest history, as respectable members of society were openly discussing the legalization of LSD, which is something I have a hard time envisioning in our supposedly more enlightened and open-minded society of 2021.

Just a tasty little Northwest News Nugget.



“A Political Viewpoint,” Port Angeles Evening News, February 14, 1967: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/79156020/

“Praise Claimed for LSD Bill,” The Spokesman-Review, February 5 1967: https://www.newspapers.com/clip/79156133/

House Journal of the Fortieth Legislature of the State of Washington at Olympia, the State Capital: https://leg.wa.gov/LIC/Documents/Historical/FloorJournals/House/1967HouseJournal.pdf

Butler Cove, Washington for Sale: January 13, 1893

Most Olympians don’t know the name Butler Cove. If they know the area at all, it’s usually as “that spot over by golf course” or “that neat little neighborhood off Cooper Point Road.”

Butler Cove, Olympia, at sunset
Butler Cove, Olympia, Washington, at sunset.

Historical Hotspot

Butler Cove, however, has quite a bit of history packed into its small space. It’s a beautiful place that emanates calm, contemplative energy.

In 1854 it was the site of the murder of a Queen Charlotte Islands Indian and the probably revenge-murder of Colonel Ebey that resulted. For a time it was also an important center of commerce. In the 1870s it was the site of a long wharf constructed on the properties of the French and Brown families. The road leading to Butler Cove, by the way, is French Road.

Well, that wharf got people going to Butler Cove (then called Butler's Cove), and those people quickly decided that it was a great spot for some picnicking and clambaking (clambakes were apparently a very big thing in early Olympia). That made Butler Cove, for a time, one of the favorite recreation spots in Olympia. 

Not Top Dog Anymore

According to the Olympia Historical Society, the spot fell out of favor after automobiles became readily available and the steam ships became less popular. After that, it became a neighborhood, as it remains today.

Recently I found an interesting news article related to that transformation from recreational spot to residential.

Clipping of 1893 newspaper announcing the sale of Butler's Cove, Washington
The Washington Standard Olympia, Washington January 13, 1893. Retrieved from Newspapers.com.

The article announces that the Butler Cove Land Company will be selling properties at Butler Cove for $125 each, which could optionally be paid with just $10 down and then $5 a month until paid in full. $125 would be about $3,700 in 2021 dollars.

The sales were to be done in rooms 13 and 14 at "Woodruff Block," which I assume to be the Labor Temple where the Brotherhood now is. 

For me, it’s kind of surreal finding this. 1893, in my mind, is ancient history. For whatever reason, I never imagine it having newspapers. I especially never would have guessed that the papers would have survived to be digitally today.

So, there’s your Historical Northwest News Nugget for you.

Happy nomaddig, friends.

Secret Worlds of Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma isN’T what you think it is
Mysterious orange stone in the stone eye of Tacoma.
The Eyes of Tacoma are everywhere, yet no one sees.

I don’t expect to live for very long after posting this blog.

That’s fine. A man has only one Earthly life to live. Best to live it with courage. Cowards have no love or gratitude in their hearts. I refuse to be one. Even in the face of insurmountable evil, I will laugh, love, and dance—and speak.

Two years ago I wrote a piece for Grit City Magazine. It was about the Shanghai Tunnels reputed to run beneath Tacoma, Washington. It was supposed to be just a fun bit of local history, and it was—at first.

See, I published that story with a magazine titled Grit City. I like to think it’s a well-written piece, though perhaps unextraordinary, and certainly not anything that would shake anyone’s sense of reality.

The truth, though, is that I never shared what I actually found during my research for that piece. Nor have I shared what I continue to find, as this seemingly endless horror story continues to unroll before me.

It’s my life now, the real, secret history of Tacoma. I’m as tied up in it as is the Maury Island Incident, the Servants of Awareness, or Fred Crisman.

The biggest myth about Tacoma isn’t that the Shanghai Tunnels were or are real. They exist—in a way few can comprehend, in fact.

The biggest myth about Tacoma is, instead, that the Shanghai Tunnels are abandoned.

The tunnels are very much active and very much active. They’re much bigger than they used to be, in fact.

They are home now to alien-made baboon-mutant species I call “unhumans,” because I don’t know what else to call them. Some dark occultists, too, whose connection to the unhumans is unclear to me even now.

Then there’s the Cabal, the Eyes, the Pythians, and the Chatter. Others. Too many. More than even I know.

It’s a goddamn rat’s nest of monsters and lunacy down there.

Yes—I said it, and I meant it, and I don’t give a damn who believes me, anymore.

The unhumans live mostly off of barnacles scraped from the bottoms of ships in Thea’s Inlet, though they aren’t opposed to snatching some of that delicious human meat when the opportunity arises. That’s only one of their secrets, though, and the least terrifying of all.

They aren’t the end of Tacoma’s madness. Not even close. They were the way I entered into this nightmare, however.

That’s the thing I never told the blissfully ignorant publishers of Grit City magazine. I didn’t just read history about the tunnels when I wrote that piece. I went inside them.

One starless, fateful night, when I unwittingly stepped out of the fake Tacoma and into the real one.

That was where this all began. Twenty feet below the surface of Tacoma. Two years ago. Ten lifetimes ago. I was a different man, then.

But, ah, I’m rambling.

If I’m going to tell the true story of the secrets of Tacoma, Washington, then I’d best start with that night I went down into the tunnels.

So be it. I’ll tell as much as I can before this blog is shut down—or I am.

I am the Northwest Nomad. I hide from no man and no monster.

If these are to be my final days, then let me spend them finally telling my story.

A Visit to Point Robinson Light

Point Robinson is the Kind of Place People Call Cute

Listen, friends, I do not use the word “cute.” As far as I’m concerned, such a word has no place in any self-respecting nomad’s vocabulary. However, as I visited Point Robinson on Maury Island, I was fully aware it was the kind of place that many people, most of them women, would happily call “cute.”

That’s fine and good, by the way. Nothing wrong with “cute.” It’s just not a word I’d use, so I’m saying it through saying what other people would say. Dig?

Point Robinson: it’s cute…but I’m not the one who said it.

For my two cents, Point Robinson is interesting and relaxing. This is an easy trip and an opportunity to see a lighthouse up close, as well as to learn a little history.

Point Robinson: Providing Light Since 1885

Point Robinson has been operating since 1885. It’s located on the east shore of Maury Island, which is itself located just off Vashon Island, which can be accessed by ferry at Point Defiance Park. You drive from Vashon onto Maury, so no further ferrying is required.

In addition the “cute” (as others would call it, not me) lighthouse itself, Point Robinson has hiking trails, a long and walkable sandy beach, saltwater marsh (for the bird lovers), and woods. This also happens to be the spot at which I witnessed some of the biggest banana slugs I’ve ever seen.

A short walk from the lighthouse are the Keeper’s Quarters, which is basically the house in which the lighthouse keeper used to live (the lighthouse was fully automated in 1978). You can also rent boating supplies there.

According to Point Robinson website, they give ours mid-May to mid-September. I have never taken those tours myself and so can’t offer any personal information to you, dear readers. However, I can also say that I see no reason to doubt their proficiency!

I’m embedding a Google Map to lead you to the site if you choose to check it out. Robinson is a nice little day trip, and a good addition to any visit to Vashon Island, which is a place so charming that it’s unofficial motto is “Keep Vashon Weird.”

Weird…I can deal with that. “Cute,” on the other hand, I’ll leave to the good graces of others.