My grandmother recently gave permission for me to share this collection of family clips from Washington state in the late 1930s. The star of the show is my grandpa Tom, who grew up to be a wonderful, outdoorsy person, and his family. I barely had a chance to know my great-grandparents, so it’s a real joy to be able to watch them in their prime and see what a happy life they shared.

Besides the smiling babies, there are a few familiar places featured here that might be of interest to others. This footage travels across Washington just before World War II and shows little snippets of life at the time, from the swanky old cars to handmade popcorn for Christmas. It’s particularly interesting to see how far Woodland Park Zoo has come over the decades.

If you don’t have a full hour to watch the whole thing, I noted a few major points of interest at the following timestamps:

  • 22:30 - Woodland Park Zoo

  • 24:55 - Woodland Park Zoo again

  • 26:10 - Seattle docks

  • 26:45 - Airplanes at Boeing Field

  • 27:51 - Point Defiance, Tacoma

  • 28:25 - Hood Canal

  • 30:50 - Port Angeles

  • 31:55 - Victoria, BC

  • 33:35 - Nanaimo, Vancouver Island, BC

  • 34:18 - Seattle and Naches Pass

  • 52:20 - More docks & Seattle

  • 54:00 - More Woodland Park Zoo

  • 56:00 - More Boeing Field

  • 57:26 - Discovery Bay

  • 58:41 - Deer Park, Olympic National Park

  • 59:15 - Deception Pass

  • 60:21 - A nice Christmas, 1940

  • 65:15 - One of the dams

  • 66:58 - The Wizard of Oz moment (color film!)

I hope you will enjoy this glimpse into Washington’s past as much as I have.

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