Washington State Magazine

Fall 2012 Washington State Magazine cover

Fall 2012

In This Issue...


The China Connection :: China buys $11 billion of Washington exports and sells the state $31 billion of imports, in the last few years overtaking Japan as Washington’s second largest export destination. With WSU’s efforts to overcome linguistic, informational, and trade barriers, who knows where that economic relationship might lead? by Larry Clark ’94

Engineers in the Making :: At a time when Washington is a net importer of engineers, a more appreciative vocabulary could tempt a new generation of students into studying engineering. by Hannelore Sudermann

Race, Class, and William Julius Wilson’s World of Opportunity :: Half a century ago, WSU was a national leader in producing black doctors of sociology. Among them, William Julius Wilson ’66 PhD—recipient of 45 honorary degress and the National Medal of Science, and author of landmark works that redefined poverty and race. “Going to WSU,” he says, “was the greatest decision I ever made in my life.” by Eric Sorensen

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: A “Monumental” Impact African American sociologists at WSU }

Life Histories: The Butterflies of Cascadia :: In documenting the life histories of Cascadia’s butterflies, every one of the 158 species represented a separate research project. The result has been a wealth of biological and ecological knowledge that simply did not exist before David Nunnallee and WSU entomologist David James began their monumental task. by Tim Steury

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Story: Elusive butterfly of Cascadia }


{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Vineland }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Stories: Excerpts from WSU oral histories }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Report: The dangers of a big Cascadia earthquake }


:: In Season: Summer Blues

:: Last Words: Mural, mural, on the wall

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Poem: Hanford Reservations by Graham Hutchins}

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Video: Press conferences with WSU football coach Mike Leach }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Video: Visual Fireworks—The making of Pat Siler’s downtown Pullman mural }


{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Photo: The Palouse Country Club, 1975 Architects from the class of ’76 }

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Highlights of Marcus Capers’ WSU basketball career }

New Media

:: Of Little Comfort: War Widows, Fallen Soldiers, and the Remaking of the Nation after the Great War by Erika Kuhlman ’95 PhD

:: Finding the River by Jeff Crane ’04 PhD, ’98

:: Dove Creek by Paula Marie Coomer

:: The Republic of Nature: An Environmental History of the United States by Mark Fiege ’85 MA

:: New & Noteworthy: Images That Injure edited by Susan Dente Ross and Paul Martin Lester; Seaside Stories by S.R. Martin, Jr. ’74; Life Histories of Cascadia Butterflies by David G. James and David Nunnallee

Cover: Collage of Anise Swallowtail butterflies, photos courtesy Roger Jones.

Courtesy WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections


Courtesy WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections

The perfect city

by | © Washington State University

Charles Francis Adams, a wealthy businessman from Boston, envisioned a perfect city. It was to be clean, well-maintained, and economically prosperous. It could not be too crowded. It had to be close to water. It would be somewhere in the West.

Adams and a group of fellow businessmen created the Lewiston-Clarkston Improvement Company and in 1896 chose the site of modern-day Clarkston for their garden paradise. There, they built the community of Vineland.

Now, Vineland’s story is being retold by WSU faculty and students.

 “Vineland: Shaping Paradise” was installed as an exhibit in the WSU Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC) in April. An online version of the exhibit is expected to be launched late this summer.

The history department at WSU sponsors the Greater Columbia Plateau Initiative, dedicated to exploring the history of the Columbia Plateau. With the support of grants, the group was able to create a two-year seminar that allowed students to research the region. 

Students created the Vineland exhibit using MASC’s Lewiston-Clarkston Improvement Company Records, a collection of 150,000 photographs, maps, and other items recording the rise and fall of the community.

“There’re all kinds of really beautiful maps and photographs,” says Associate History Professor Robert McCoy, one of the faculty members involved in the project.

The history of Vineland is not unusual, but is not something many people are familiar with, says McCoy. 

The potential for irrigation along the Snake River drew investors to the area. The Lewiston-Clarkston Improvement Company built a dam and irrigation systems, allowing agriculture to flourish in the region.

However, like most utopias, interests changed. The company passed to different hands in the 1920s. In the 1940s, a local fruit warehouse and commission firm bought out the company.

Each student researched a different aspect of the community, including a series of photographs taken by Asahel Curtis, Edward Curtis’s brother, and the use of Sir Ebenezer Howard’s “Garden City” ideals, which emphasized grace and beauty in urban planning.

Unlike a paper that will only be seen by the professor, the seminar allowed students the opportunity to complete a project that would be seen by a large group of people.

“I think the sense was that they were doing history in public,” McCoy said. “They had to make sure that they knew what they were talking about.

“I think it’s always a challenge to push people to do something new, but it’s very rewarding.”

Categories: History, Library and museum studies | Tags: Exhibit, Utopias, Garden City

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