Vignettes

7/6/16 – Chronicling the Sinking of the Titanic

You’ve heard it screeched on playgrounds, bellowed at parties, and parodied all over the internet. “I’ll never let go, Jack!” It’s the iconic line Rose (played by Kate Winslet) calls out to her beloved Jack (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) in James Cameron’s 1997 movie Titanic. Almost 20 years on, the line — and the movie…Read the Rest »

2/17/16 – Comets

For thousands of years the night sky has elicited awe and inspiration. Cultures from around the world have drawn spiritual connections to the twinkling stars and the various shapes of the moon, but perhaps nothing has captivated the human population as much as comets. Last month I came across 19th-century sketches of comets while conducting…Read the Rest »

2/10/16 – A History of Valentine’s Day

My husband refuses to celebrate Valentine’s Day. He spits proclamations of it being a manufactured holiday and for years has eschewed the red roses, sparkling jewelry, and rich chocolate. While Valentine’s Day certainly isn’t my favorite holiday, February 14th falls into this lull where the end-of-the-year holidays are over and spring hasn’t quite sprung. So…Read the Rest »

9/30/15 – Defining the Waters of the United States

This past summer the state of our country’s water resources came to a boiling point. As drought pervaded and fires scorched much of the American West, conflict also simmered in Washington D.C. over the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) redefining of the phrase “waters of the United States” under…Read the Rest »

5/20/15 – Cherry Blossoms

Despite my many research trips to Washington D.C. I’ve never had the opportunity to experience the city’s renowned cherry blossoms. Instead, every spring I gaze at the National Park Service’s live feed of the Cherry Blossom Web Cam. While most of the time my thoughts are rather rudimentary (“Golly, those flowers sure are pretty…”) this…Read the Rest »

5/13/15 – Go Fish

Looking at an image of (renowned Washington governor) Isaac Stevens, two things come to mind. First, he has a striking resemblance to Brad Pitt. Second, he looks like a man that gets what he wants, come hell or high water. As the first Territorial Governor of Washington and the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, Stevens did…Read the Rest »

5/6/15 – Early Snow Surveys

While reading correspondence from the Bureau of Reclamation recently, SHRA researchers came across indications that some of the earliest snow surveys, dating back to the early 1920s, were conducted in the Boise River watershed. This piqued our interest in the early history of snow surveys and how technological developments have improved their accuracy. At a…Read the Rest »

4/22/15 – Jackson School

There’s a sign along Highway 20, just northwest of Mountain Home, Idaho, that has caught my attention many times. “Jackson School,” it reads, “1898-1925.” There’s no other explanation, and there’s not much else around aside from fields. After my last trip past the sign, I finally did some research. Jackson School was part of Rattlesnake Station,…Read the Rest »

4/1/15 – Hite’s Cove

Every early March my thoughts turn to Hite’s Cove, a steep-sided canyon along the South Fork of the Merced River just west of Yosemite National Park. For those living in the small town up the road from Hite’s Cove, as I did for three years, there is no better place to spot early spring wildflowers….Read the Rest »

3/25/15 – Fishing with Brando

The Indian Affairs series in the Washington State Department of Fisheries central files was probably the last place we’d have looked for a reference to Hollywood, yet there was Marlon Brando’s name, as plain as day. In 1964, we learned, Brando participated in a fish-in along with a Puyallup tribal leader, defying Washington state law…Read the Rest »

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