When European explorers began their exploration of the Pacific Northwest in the 1700s, they saw a land filled with resources and opportunity. The Northwest, filled with a rich natural resources, became one of the top suppliers of raw materials for the United States, Britain and France. In the 21st century, the integration of nature with the urban cities or the rural countryside is part of the cultural heritage that makes the Northwest.
The photographs shown in this collection are of towns of varying sizes across the state of Washington, which were all founded for the gathering of these raw materials, including minerals, lumber, and agricultural goods. These pictures illustrate the growth of Washington from purely a resource supplier to a functioning, industrialized society from the 19th century to the middle of the 20th century.