Submitted by Susanne Bacon.
Are you aware how very young, but also colorful Western Washingtonian history is? This region used to be part of all the legends around the Wild West and the Gold Rush after all. In such days of turmoil, people might not even have been aware that they are actually creating a new piece of history, and we would only stand and wonder at what happened and when and why. If it were not for quite a few authors of the region have ascribed themselves to gather historical facts and write them down. Because much of what is known to this day is still held in documents like old newspapers, certificates, letters, and journals, or only by transcription of oral narration.
Reminders of the times of conquest and resilience are certainly the forts in our state. One of the oldest is Fort Vancouver, and the book “Exploring Fort Vancouver” (co-author Heidi Pierson will be there and ready to answer questions) literally digs also into archaeological findings. It sheds light on what colonialism meant to the indigenous people and to the soldiers and on how the lives of homesteaders and traders interwove with their stories. “History of Fort Lewis” by author Alan H. Archambault deals with a fort very much alive to this day, as all from the Lakewood area well know. Camp Lewis was established as the United States entered World War I in 1917 and became the largest military post of the era. In 1927 it officially became Fort Lewis. Numerous historic photographs capture the spirit of this military installment from its beginnings to the present.
Another twist of Washington History is told by author and historian Jerry Ramsey’s diligently researched book “Stealing Puget Sound”. Many of us may be aware that the Hudson Bay company had helped settling the Puget Sound area, but not so much as that by treaty it was British. Using fascinating documents from way back when, Ramsey tells about the legendary pig war and how the British colony eventually became a part of the United States.
Way more recent in military history is the DVD documentary “Blue Devils: Marine Aviation Squadron VMF 451”. It narrates the story of the first pilots taking off from air carriers in World war II and the devastating kamikaze bombing of the “Bunker Hill” which Lakewood resident Raymond Swalley miraculously survived. You might want to hear some of the riveting details told by himself.
The 6th Annual Lakewood Film, Arts, & Book (FAB) Festival takes place on September 28, 29, and 30, 2018 from 12 through 9:30 pm at the Shirley McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Boulevard SW. The book/author section is open from noon till 6 pm. Please, find further information, also on the Philippine Scouts’ presence, at www.facebook.com/lakewoodfilmartsbooks/.