Keeping History Alive on Mercer Island  

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From haunted wilderness to coveted community

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Mercer Island Historical Society

Founded 1954

Keeping History Alive on Mercer Island

A Washington State Non-profit Charitable organization with 501(c)(3) status.

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"Dawn on the Island"

A Video of Interviews about early Mercer Island

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Homewaters: A Human and Natural History
of Puget Sound

Tuesday, May 25, 2021
6:00PM – 7:00PM
Online with Zoom

David B. Williams

Not far from Seattle skyscrapers live 150-year-old clams, more than 250 species of fish, and underwater kelp forests as complex as any terrestrial ecosystem. For millennia, vibrant Coast Salish communities have lived beside these waters dense with nutrient-rich foods, with cultures intertwined through exchanges across the waterways. Transformed by settlement and resource extraction, Puget Sound and its future health now depend on a better understanding of the region’s ecological complexities.

In his book Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound, David Williams uncovers human and natural histories in, on, and around the Sound. He traces how generations of humans have interacted with species like geoducks, salmon, orcas, rockfish, and herring. He also presents an unflinching look at how the Sound’s ecosystems have suffered from human behavior, including pollution, habitat destruction, and the effects of climate change. With wit, grace, and a depth of information, Williams introduces newcomers to the astonishing life that inhabits the Sound and offers lifetime residents new insight into and appreciation of the waters they call home.

David B. Williams is an author, naturalist and tour guide. He is also the author of the award-winning book, Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography, as well as Seattle Walks: Discovering History and Nature in the City and Stories in Stone: Travels Through Urban Geology. He is also a Curatorial Associate at the Burke Museum.

Please register. You will be sent a Zoom link.

In partnership with the King County Library System.

"History at your fingertips!"

Thanks to community donations, we have digitized 26 years' worth of the Mercer Island Reporter, accessible for free on-line -- at The years currently digitized--and key-work searchable--are: 1968-1985, 1994, 1995, 1997-2000, 2004, and 2005.

A special thank you to the donors who've contributed to our digitization project thus far: Cyclemates Bike, the Kiwanis Club of Mercer Island, the Mercer Island Rotary Club and the Mercer Island Community Fund. We welcome individuals' donations on our "Donate" page.