Tag Archives: books

Reviving “A History of Bainbridge Island”

Eagle Harbor Book Co. is reviving one of the most wide-ranging books about Bainbridge Island history.

Written by Katy Warner in 1968, “A History of Bainbridge Island” was printed about a half-dozen times before its last printing in 1992. While several books about Bainbridge history have focused on a specific topic or community, such as Croatian immigrant fishermen (“Let It Go, Louie”), the early development of Port Blakely (“Port Blakely: The Community Captain Renton Built”) or Filipino farmers (“Island Grown”), Warner’s book aims to tell a broader island story.

“We felt strongly there needs to be better access to this book,” longtime Eagle Harbor Book Co. employee Mary Gleysteen told me last week for a story I did on her retirement.

Gleysteen’s Eagle Harbor colleagues credit her for pushing the bookstore to republish the 68-page book. It has a new cover, a few footnoted updates and explanations about language usage (“squaw,” for example, is now considered derogatory and is no longer in common usage).

Warner’s outlook on historic events, writing style, and the fact that she would even call Native American woman “squaws” makes the book itself an interesting artifact, Gleysteen said.

“It’s a historic document on its own,” she said. “It’s really dated, and it’s sort of quaint in its writing and attitudes.”

“A History of Bainbridge Island” ranges over various Bainbridge communities, including the Port Madison and Port Blakely mill towns, Creosote and Fort Ward. It also has chapters on the Mosquito Fleet, an Indian princess who married a Slovak sailor and the time when outlaw Harry Tracy took an island family hostage.

Warner wrote the book after several third grade teachers suggested she put together a simple island history that school kids could read on their own.

The Bainbridge Island School District produced the first edition for its social studies classes.

Bainbridge Friends of the Library owns the rights to the book and have produced several of the subsequent editions.

In 2009, the Bainbridge Historical Museum put the book online (Google it and then get ready for several PDF downloads).

Eagle Harbor Book Co.’s edition is available for $20 at the Winslow Way store or on its website.

Inslee on the deficit, Dederer on the yoga mat

Head over here for my coverage of Rep. Jay Inslee’s Monday night speech at a Rotary of Bainbridge Island meeting. He touched on several issues, including health care, the defense of the Clean Air Act and the ballooning federal deficit, an elephant-in-the-room issue he said Republicans and President Obama are avoiding.

And then drop by the Vashon Beachcomber. They have a story about Bainbridge author Claire Dederer’s visit to their island, and about the success of her new book, “Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses.” Its recent stint on the the New York Times’ Bestseller List pushed it into a second printing a few weeks after its initial release, according to the ‘Comber. There’s been plenty more written about Dederer’s book, like this and this.

VIDEO: A walk with BI novelist Jonathan Evison

Jonathan Evison | WEST OF HERE from markmcknight on Vimeo.

Bainbridge novelist Jonathan Evison‘s new book, West of Here, is now available in hard cover at Eagle Harbor Book Co. He’ll officially launch the book with a reading there on Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m.

You can see a quick profile of Evison in the video above. It was made by local filmmaker Mark McKnight.

And here’s my profile of Evison after he won the Washington State Book Award for fiction in 2009.

VIDEO: The ‘Fonz’ stops by Bainbridge

Henry “The Fonz” Winkler made a stop at Bainbridge High School on Sunday as part of a promotional tour for a children’s book he co-authored.

Winkler is best known for playing Arthur Fonzarelli on the 1970s TV show “Happy Days.” In recent years, Winkler has worked on a series of books centered around a dyslexic boy named Hank Zipzer. Many of Winkler’s own experiences with the learning disability were fodder for the series.

For more, read Chris Henry’s story HERE.

Tales of old ‘Ichville’

I wrote a story back in 2004 about how work was starting on a book that would tell the largely unknown story of Bainbridge’s Croatian fishing community.

The book didn’t quite happen according to plan. It took an a few extra years and went through one author change before it would arrive on shelves this month.

Apparently, “Let it Go, Louie” has been well received by the people it aims to document.

“Let it Go, Louie” co-author Barbara Winther told me that Art Mirkovich, whose father came to Bainbridge from Croatia in the early 1920s, had been anxiously awaiting the book for over five years. Hearing that he had fallen ill, Barbara sent a draft that recounted the Mirkovich family’s history. Art’s daughter read it to him in the hospital. A few weeks later, he died.

“His wife said that he had been holding on until the book came,” Barbara said. “That touched me very much.”

Tonight at Eagle Harbor Books, Barbara and co-author Gary Loverich will read from the book and show some of the hundreds of old photos (like the one to the left) they’ve collected.

Check out my full story here.

Lovegreen vs. Lovgreen

Last week, I wrote a story about the revival of “Minnie Rose Lovgreen’s Recipe for Raising Chickens.” The book is an oral history of sorts focused on an old-time islander’s methods of making hens happy (and getting a lot of fresh eggs at the same time). You can read the story here.

While talking to Nancy Rekow, who first published the book in 1975, she mentioned that the road named after Lovgreen’s family has long been misspelled on city street signs. The road, which intersects Highway 305 south of Day Road, is titled “Lovegreen” road. Note the extra ‘e’.

Rekow said several longtime islanders have pointed out the typo, but the city’s been slow to respond.

Fortunately, a new form of government – heralded as the more responsive and effective alternative to the musty old mayor-led kind – is taking shape at City Hall.

Echoing the late Ronald Reagan’s famous Berlin address : “Mr. City Manager, tear down that misspelled street sign.”*

(*Reagan may have actually used slightly different words.)

Addendum: Blog reader Marvin added that the city also misspells Lovgreen as “Lovegren” on other parts of the Road. If memory serves, the city uses “Lovegreen” at the highway intersection and “Lovegren” to the east. By the way, I’ve also heard plenty of different pronunciations of the road – “Love-green,” “Loav-green,” “Loav-grin” and “Lofgren” (which is actually a road south of Murden Cove). According to Rekow, the correct pronunciation is “Love-grin.”

Your commute…only prettier

Bainbridge ferry commuter Michael Diehl doesn’t take his cross Sound commute for granted.

With his camera at the ready, Diehl has focused his attention on what makes the ferry ride to and from Seattle a world-class visual experience. Sunsets rippling on waves, fog-shrouded skyscrapers, glimmering mountains.

Diehl has compiled his best shots into Crossings,” a photo-rich book focused entirely on the Bainbridge-Seattle run.

What Diehl has captured is the what many ferry commuters forget to appreciate. I know I did when I was a ferry commuter. Too often the ride is a taken up by naps, newspaper reading (although that is a very, very worthwhile thing to do), eating, napping, coffee drinking, napping and laptop tapping. We get plenty of this at work and at home. Lost is an opportunity to become familiar with the landscape, getting to know the mountain peaks and the swaths of land that many can identify on a map, but not when it’s right before our eyes.

For more about “Crossings,” read Barbara McMichael’s review and see a sample page below.

Bookmonger: Crossings Celebrates Our Affair with Ferries
By Barbara McMichael

Born and raised locally, I have had a lifelong fondness for ferries, and I have always regarded with suspicion those ferry commuters who seem to be blasé about their daily transits across Puget Sound.

To have those mountains! Those shorelines! The wind in your face! The ever-changing scene in the shipping lanes! The possibility of an orca sighting!

Why some people prefer to huddle inside and do a crossword puzzle or nap is entirely beyond me.
Crossings: On the Ferries of Puget Sound.

Fortunately, Michael Diehl is not one of those ho-hum types. A regular commuter on the Bainbridge Island-Seattle run, Diehl carries his camera with him, and the images he’s captured over the last few years first made their appearance as an Internet posting.

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