Seattle Artifact

Illustration by Arthur Mount

Seattle Artifacts: The Mystery of Chief Seattle’s Death Mask

Is it real? Where did it come from?

In different parts of the world, and throughout the course of history, death has been memorialized in a variety of different ways. One of the more intriguing was death masks. Typically, a wax or plaster cast was made of a deceased person’s face, which then served as a model for sculptors when creating statues and busts.  …

Illustration by Arthur Mount

Seattle Artifacts: The Derelict League

An obscure, amateur baseball league grew from Seattle’s hippie culture

Somewhere, deep in the archives of local sports history, sits a curious entry regarding a forgotten baseball league that once dominated Seattle’s playfields and ballparks. You will not find any trading cards for this particular franchise, nor will you find any of its memorabilia on eBay. The top players were never recruited to the major…

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Seattle Artifacts: A Man of History, Walt Crowley, Influenced Seattle’s Future and Preserved Its Past

Crowley worked tirelessly to promote civil liberties for people of all backgrounds and wasn’t afraid to reach across the political aisle for solutions

Nestled slightly above the hustle and bustle of Pike Place Market sits the office headquarters for HistoryLink, which has provided Washington state history for online readers since 1998. It predates Wikipedia by more than three years. My first visit there happened after a chance lunch encounter with Marie McCaffrey, the site’s cofounder and executive director. …

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Seattle Artifacts: The Spotify of its Day

The Multiphone was Puget Sound’s first streaming music service

Deep in the heart of Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood sits a turn-of-the-century brick building that was originally used as horse stables for a nearby racetrack. Its restored interior now serves as a museum of sorts, with an eclectic mishmash of antique coin-operated machines, vintage signs and old Seattle memorabilia. The curator of this unique collection is…


Seattle Artifacts: Crime, Politics and Pinball

Competing factions resorted to bombs during Seattle’s pinball war

Back in the 1950s, Seattle was rocked by a series of late-night bombings that were connected to regional crime syndicates battling for control over the city’s lucrative pinball market. In this article — my first for “Seattle” magazine — I take a look at how a small trove of brass amusement licenses discovered during a…


Meet Brad Holden, Seattle’s Unofficial Historian

Virtually anything that represents the past is fair game

Historian and author Brad Holden holds an original Prohibition-era closure notification police would post on businesses caught selling alcohol.

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