Washington State History
The State of Washington occupies the far northwest corner of the contiguous 48 United States. It occupies 66,582 square miles (176,600 square kilometers) between the Pacific Ocean on the west and the Idaho border at 117 degrees longitude. Washington borders Canada on the north along the 49th parallel and Oregon on the south along the Columbia River and 46th parallel.
Great Britain and the United States jointly occupied the region between 1818 and 1846, when Britain ceded the Pacific Northwest below the 49th parallel to the U.S. Two years later, the U.S. created Oregon Territory, including the future states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho and a portion of Montana. Washington Territory (including Idaho and western Montana until 1863) was separated from Oregon on March 2, 1853, and gained statehood on November 11, 1889.
The federal government created Oregon Territory on August 14, 1848. The area of the new jurisdiction included the present-day states of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and western Montana. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 triggered a large westward migration, and settlement of Oregon Territory was promoted by passage of the Donation Land Claims Act of 1850, which granted 160 acres to any U.S. citizen who agreed to occupy his or her land for five years.
On August 29, 1851, 27 male settlers met at Cowlitz Landing (south of present-day Olympia) to petition Congress for a separate “Columbia Territory” covering the area between the Columbia River and 49th parallel. The petition was reaffirmed by 44 delegates who met in Monticello on November 25, 1852. Congress approved the new territory on February 10, 1853, but changed its name to “Washington.”
President Millard Fillmore signed the bill on March 2, 1853, and Olympia was named the Territorial Capital and has remained the capital of both Washington Territory and State since 1853. President Franklyn Pierce named Isaac I. Stevens as the first governor of an area that included northern Idaho and western Montana until President Abraham Lincoln established Idaho Territory on March 4, 1863.
Washington’s non-Indian population grew steadily to more than 300,000 over the following decades. Its residents began petitioning for statehood in 1881, and Washington was admitted to the Union on November 11, 1889, with the signature of President Benjamin Harrison.
Thirty federally recognized sovereign Indian tribes and reservations occupy substantial areas in Washington, and there are an additional seven unrecognized but culturally distinct tribes. Native American Indian tribes have occupied this area; now know as Washington State for over 10,000 years and have a rich history in culture and survival. By the 1850s, when the first Euro American settlers arrived at Alki Point and along the Duwamish River, diseases had already taken a devastating toll on native peoples and their cultures. During the 80 year period from the 1770s to 1850, smallpox, measles, influenza, and other diseases had killed an estimated 28,000 Native Americans in Western Washington, leaving about 9,000 survivors. Historian Robert Boyd conducted extensive research on the effect of European diseases on Northwest coast Indians. In his book, The Coming of the Spirit of Pestilence, he states that the 1775 Spanish expedition led by Bruno Hezeta, commander of the Santiago and Juan Fracisco de la Bodega & Quadra, commander of the Sonora was the most likely carrier.
PIHA, Paranormal Investigations of Historic America (www.pihausa.com ), was created specifically for paranormal investigations of public historic sites and museums that have a history of paranormal activity. PIHA is in the process of creating a series of DVD's that feature the museums, public historical sites and communities in Washington State. There are three regions in Washington State that will be featured. The first region is "Western Washington", the second is "The Olympic Peninsula" and the third region is "Eastern Washington".
PIHA is made up of a small group of experienced, dedicated paranormal investigators who have a passion for history and an interest in the phenomena of the possible existence of paranormal activity. Our approach, equipment and procedures for paranormal investigating is primarily based on the use of technologically advanced electronic equipment and scientific logic in obtaining evidence of possible paranormal activity.
On behalf of the volunteer paranormal investigators of PIHA, I invite you to experience Washington State's amazing historical sites and museums like never before. Through our process of networking with local historical societies, museums and registered, public historical sites, PIHA hopes to encourage public interest in Washington State's exciting history and the process and technology utilized in scientific paranormal investigations.
PIHA was created with two goals in mind:
1. PIHA hopes to bring Washington State’s history to life by attempting to obtain significant evidence of these strange occurrences. Utilizing the latest in today's electronic technology and dedicated paranormal investigators, we are accomplishing this objective, one public historical site at a time.
2. PIHA wants to stimulate additional interest in residents and visitors to Washington State's fascinating history. Our goal is to encourage individuals, families, schools and community organizations to visit these (and other) historical locations for a better understanding of our state's history and the people who made it and maybe have a personal paranormal experience along he way!
PIHA is not out to prove or disprove the existence of possible paranormal activity, but to publish any significant evidence collected at an investigation. Many people who think that something paranormal exist, physics and logic can debunk. That said, occasionally PIHA obtains evidence that neither physics nor logic applies. When this occurs, we classify it as paranormal evidence and let each individual decide for himself what to believe or not believe.
Wherever your travels in Washington take you, best wishes for a "Trip to the Extraordinary".