Company Towns of the Pacific Northwest

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Overview

2004 Washington State Book Award Finalist

"Company town." The words evoke images of rough-and-tumble loggers and gritty miners, of dreary shacks in isolated villages, of wages paid in scrip good only at price-gouging company stores, of paternalistic employers. But these stereotypes are outdated, especially for those company towns that flourished well into the twentieth century. In Company Towns of the Pacific Northwest, Linda Carlson provides a more balanced and realistic look at these "intentional communities."

Drawing from residents’ reminiscences, contemporary newspaper accounts, company newsletters and histories, census and school records, and site plans, Carlson looks at towns in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. She examines how companies went about controlling housing, religion, taxes, liquor, prostitution, and union organizers. This vibrant history gives the details of daily life in communities that were often remote and subject to severe weather. It looks at the tragedies and celebrations: sawmill accidents, mine cave-ins, and avalanches as well as Independence Day picnics, school graduations, and Christmas parties. Finally, it tells what happened when people left--when they lost their jobs, when the family breadwinner died or was disabled, when the mill closed.

An ample selection of illustrations, most never previously published, broadens the appeal of this lively and well-researched book.

University of Washington Press

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Editorial Reviews

Harvard Business History Review

This amply illustrated local history is entertaining and readable.

Economic History Services

Carefully researched.. One actually wonders why so little has been said about the development of company towns as part of the economic growth of the [Pacific Northwest] region.

Western Folklore

Company Towns in the Pacific Northwest is a fine source of information about daily life in the days of early industrial towns of the region.

Washington State Grange News

Carlson has put together an entertaining and insightful portrait of these long-gone communities that played such an important role in the development of the Pacific Northwest. It's well worth reading.

The Western Historical Quarterly

The result of Carlson's considerable research is a valuable study of life in company towns in all its basic variations..This book is a fascinating and highly useful study of community building in the American West.

Washington State Magazine

A fascinating human account of small town ingenuity and community spirit. Erudite in its analysis, yet easy to read, it's just what you'd want to find in a history book of any kind.

Journal of the West

A well-written, informative, and thoughtful study. Carlson's book ensures that these places and their residents are not forgotten.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780295983325
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 1,405,149
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.67 (d)

Meet the Author

Linda Carlson has written or contributed to several books on business, including Services Marketing, The Publicity and Promotion Handbook: A Complete Guide for Small Business, and nine job-search guides. A graduate of the Harvard Business School, she has a special interest in company towns and social histories.

University of Washington Press

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Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsWhen the Boss Built the TownBunkhouses, Tent Houses, and Silk Stocking RowWho Lived in Company Towns?When the Dinner Bell ClangedEducation in the Company TownReligion in the Company TownBaseball, Bowling, Bands, and Bridge TournamentsThe Importance of the Company StoreForty Miles from NowhereGetting the News in Company TownsWhen the "Dead Whistle" BlewDepression and World WarsFame -- Even If FleetingThe Paternalistic Company Town BossWhen the Town Shut DownThe Bottom LineGazetteerNotesBibliographyIndex

University of Washington Press

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