The Steilacoom Speakers Series starts the spring season with Dennis M. Larsen talking about Ezra Meeker, the Oregon Trail pioneer who established a hop-growing empire in Washington Territory, and played other key roles in Puyallup and the territory.
Larsen will speak at 2 PM on Friday, Jan. 13 at the Steilacoom Historical Museum. He has written two other books about Meeker and the development of Washington.
In his a new book, “Hop King: Ezra Meeker’s Boom Years,” Larsen offers the first comprehensive biography about the rise of Meeker’s hop empire, his leadership in establishing Puyallup, the rise and fall of his hop-growing empire, his four trips to the Klondike, his support for women’s suffrage and for establishing schools and libraries, and much more. The Meeker family’s first home was a cabin on McNeil Island, where they farmed. Later they moved to Tacoma and ran a general store in Steilacoom. Meeker’s business and community leadership subsequently was focused on Puyallup, where he was the first mayor, and in generally promoting Washington state at international expositions and in Washington, D.C.
The Steilacoom Speakers Series is co-sponsored by Friends of Steilacoom Library and Steilacoom Historical Museum Association on the second Fridays from January through June and September through November. There is no change to attend. For more information, please call the Steilacoom Library at 548-3313 or the Steilacoom Historical Museum at 584-4133.
Larsen’s book is published by Washington State University Press.