PROJECT DETAIL

Revisiting Washington

Updating the 1941 WPA road guide

In partnership with the Washington State Historical Society, the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation, and funding from multiple government agencies as well as the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Artifacts Consulting revisited the scenic outlooks, communities and landmarks described in A Guide to the Evergreen State. In the Revisiting Washington project, team members drove the old tours in order to update them for the 21st century. With the help of Rusty George Creative, the guide also became an interactive digital tool, with audio and enhanced visuals/graphics. Artifacts provided project and data management, design direction and oversight, research, and field survey coordination and participation.

First published in 1941, A Guide to the Evergreen State began as a Federal New Deal project during the Great Depression of the 1930s. This statewide tourism guide was part of a national series, the Washington volume being one of the last and largest to be published.  Photographers such as Dorothea Lange contributed images from around the state. Journalists and historians collected stories and points of interest. Brief histories of communities large and small were written in the flowing, narrative style of pre-war documentaries. Driving routes were mapped, with an eye to the burgeoning age of automobile touring. As a whole, A Guide to the Evergreen State captured a moment in time.









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Greetings from the State of Washington
Greetings from the State of Washington

One of the historic postcard images used to illustrate the Revisiting Washington project.

Snoqualmie Falls
Snoqualmie Falls

Historic postcard image of Snoqualmie Falls, Washington.

Chinook Pass
Chinook Pass

Early view of the paved highway crossing Chinook Pass, near Mount Rainier.

Lake Crescent Cabins
Lake Crescent Cabins

Historic postcard view of the Lake Crescent Cabins, an example of early 20th century tourist lodging in present-day Olympic National Park, Washington.

Road Hazard
Road Hazard

Historic view of a motorist meeting rain-soaked, muddy road conditions - and a tractor providing early 20th century roadside assistance.