Monday, March 28, 2011

Tono's landscape

This is an attempt to show how the landscape of the old Tono site has changed in the decades since it was an actual town.

Here is a good a picture as any to show the general flat nature of the town in the early part of the last century (from UW Digital Archives):



Here is a aerial photo of the town in 1940 overlaid in Google Earth with today's topography, at a low angle, so you can see the warped layout of the town.


And, this is nearly the same perspective with the overlay at around 70 percent so you can see the current sediment ponds where roads had been.


This is the amazing part of Tono for me, not that its a ghost town, but that only a small pocket (on the southwest corner of town) was untouched after the it was abandoned and then the site was strip mined.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Tono, in 1920 population perspective

From the Fourteenth census of the United States, Volume 1, a look at Thurston County and how Tono compared at its most bustling:

Olympia 8,537
Tenino 1,420
Yelm 1,224
Tumwater 1,197
Rochester 942
Rainier 776
Tono 625
Bucoda 517

Certainly less than what I assumed when I set out to make the list, Wikipedia had Tono listed over 1,000 in 1920, I was hoping for a top three finish.

Tono, Washington

If anyone is wondering, USGS Earth Explorer sometimes publishes upside down historic aerial photos, thereby making it easy for people to mistake one town for another. On the original version of this post I used an upside down version of Bucoda, Tono's neighbor to the northwest. 


Below is the real Tono, circa 1941, well past its prime. But, you can still see where the town certainly was.



Source: USGS Earth Exporer

Halfway through a random Sunday drive through southern Thurston County, I thought it might be interesting to see if we could get all the way up to the old Tono townsite. I'd read about Tono before, and after looking at where the old town was on a map, I thought there was no way the current landowners (Transalta) left the Tono Road open so anyone could drive up.

The road is no only still open, but paved with plenty of places to pull out and take a look. Transalata would probably prefer you not hike out too far, but let's just say its possible.

We made it all the way to the old town site. From the road you can see at least one old building, but other than that, there is no real evidence that anything at all existed here.


View Larger Map

This is most likely because of the extensive strip mining in the area since the town went into decline in the early 1930s. Tono was a coal town, and specifically, a coal for trains town. When the switch was made to diesel, towns like Tono had no real reason to exist.

The most interesting thing was locating an aerial photo of Tono (above). That shot is from June 1941, a probably catches Tono on its very last steps out. More than 20 years past its peak, there is very little on that photo that still exists today and much of what is the north part of town, is no under water  in two sediment ponds.

Tono from Asahel Curtis Photo Company Photographs from UW Special Collections (more photos):


















Sunday, March 20, 2011

One Billion by Congratulations (in which I try to become a music blogger)

From Congratulations on Bandcamp:
Congratulations is a four piece band from Olympia, Washington. The group consists of Jordan Ingram on piano and lead vocals, Abigail Ingram on bass guitar and backing vocals, Matt Buscher on guitar, and Chad Austinson on drums. The band has been described as "moody indie rock with occasional meanderings into jazz and country, jumbling it all together and spitting forth a sound uniquely their own".

Uniquely their own is probably over-selling it a bit, but they do have a good sound.

I especially like the single "Two of Us," which has a change of pace about 2/3s of the way through that is very cool.



You can download two albums by Congratulations free at Bandcamp. I suggest you do, its good listening. And, when I mean "free," its name your own price, which could be more than $0 if you're not like me.

So, onto explaining what this music blogging thing is supposed to be. Basically, just all local bands. I think there is enough in the Bandcamp Olympia tag category to keep me going. I'll be honest, this is more about another way to approach the Olympia topic than about music.

Yes, some of it, I really do like (like Congratulations), but some I won't at all, but I'll use it to talk about something else.

Also, this is a way for other folks who might not know about this local talent to get out and support it.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

American Celtic clubs (Happy Saint Patrick's Day)

Celtics and Celtic hoops are not an uncommon soccer team name across the world. Most popular obviously is Glasgow Celtic, but there are even some American Celtic teams sprinkled across the Northeastern United States.

Jersey City Celtics lasted five games.

Brooklyn Celtic lasted several years (eventually transforming into Brooklyn St. Mary's Celtic) and even won a U.S. Open Cup.

Kearny Celtic is the most famous and succesful, lasting from the Great Depression well into the post war period. And, now there is a bit of rebirth of the Kearny club, playing in the Northern Jersey Soccer League as the Kearny Irish FC. They even draw their history direclty from the historic Kearny club and play in the same facility.

These folks really need to sell some t-shirts.

There are even Celtics in England and Spain.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Murders in Thurston County, 1854 to 1857

Just a little research from the searchable Washington Digital Archives.


  • 11 total cases
  • 7 are white people killing Indians
  • 1 is Wahoolit, who killed Slugia, who gave up Leschi
  • 1 is Leschi, who was blamed for killing McCallister, but who was later cleared
  • 1 is Alki John, and I don't know who that is

Olympia Time #2: Tumwater Roads (or how I-5 really didn't kill Tumwater's downtown)

Here's the new zine:


Mostly like the first issue I put out, this is generally a collection of the posts I just did about Tumwater. But, there is some new material as well to tie it together.


When I put it together, I did it in a manner so it could be printed out and then folded in half, stapled and then read. So, keep that in mind after you take a look at your downloaded version.

The downloadable version is also pretty choppy because of its scanned nature. If you want a clean version, taken directly from the scissor cut and paste master, just let me know, and we'll arrange me getting one to you.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Olyroads.com, certainly bigger nerds than I am

Their response, certainly parsing it more than I did. Point taken though:
It appears you're describing the differece between a native app (compiled and installed on a device) compared to hybrid and web apps. All three as classified as mobile apps. Wikipedia describes a mobile app as "...software which can be used on a mobile device. It also refers to the creation of special web and applications for mobile devices."

Many of Google's mobile apps are web apps running in web browsers on mobile devices, and Apple has a large collection of web apps on their website. Of course, Apple has popularized native apps and focus all their energy on their App Store, which only contains native apps which they can monetize better than web apps. But it wouldn't be accurate to say web apps cannot be mobile apps.

Olympia Roads was designed specificially to be used on mobile devices and was first released for the iPhone. Then it was modified to become a website. No further development is planned at this point since it serves the purpose it was designed for, but there may be enhancements in the future based on user feedback and the number of people utilizing the app. Let us know if you have any suggestions or ideas for improving OlympiaRoads.com and maybe we'll decide more development is in order.

Thanks, and take care!

- Olympia Roads Team

Who are these guys, though?

Book pictures from my Powells trip

I go to Powells every few months, and this time it was to spend down some Christmas giftcard money. In addition to three books (Content, The Laurels Are Cut Down and The Good Rain), I got these off dust jackets of books I didn't buy:

Archie Binns, the sailing pimp:

And, the only photo evidence I've ever seen of Gordon Newell, probably the best historian of Olympia ever: