Scandinavian periodicals in Seattle 1885
Skrivet av Greg Lange/HistoryLink.org   
2010-10-25 20:45

Nordvestkusten, an early Swedish publication, is issued in Seattle in 1885.

In 1885, Nordvest Kusten (Nordvestkusten),  an early Swedish publication, is issued.  This file contains a list of early Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish periodicals issued in Seattle.

Nordvest Kusten (Nordvestkusten) (1885- before 1887). Proprietor and editor Frans Lagerlof produced this Swedish periodical twice a month from offices at the foot of Columbia Street below Front Street (1st Avenue). The paper apparently had a tough time surviving in the midst of the 1883-1887 Depression. Sometime before 1887, the publication ceased.

Vidnesbyrdet (1889-1922). Another Seattle publication issued in Norwegian was called Vidnesbyrdet (The Testimony). It was a weekly publication issued for the Methodist church from about 1889 until 1922. In 1905, O. O. Twede is editor and publisher and the publications office is near downtown Seattle at the rear of 112 Pike St. By 1907, Twede had moved Vidnesbyrdet to the city of Ballard at 700 ½ Ballard Avenue. It was this year that Ballard voted to annex to the City of Seattle.

Washington Posten (1889-1961). About May 1889, the first issues of Washington Posten were distributed to Seattle’s Norwegian population. In 1898, it boasted that it was the oldest Norwegian-Danish paper in Washington with a circulation of 2,500. The weekly publication had a very long run. Its last issue was May 26, 1961 when it was sold to Western Viking. In 1890 the weekly’s publisher was Scandinavian Publishing Company, which formed in March 1890, whose officers included L. Hulsether, Nels Anderson, and Andrew Chilberg. In 1890, Washington Posten offices were downtown in the Chilberg block located on the east side of Front Street (1st Avenue) near Blanchard Street. After moving to a number of locations near downtown Seattle, by the late 1910s the offices had moved to the Seaboard Building. It remained at the northeast corner of 4th Avenue and Pike Street until it sold in 1961.

Pacific Posten (1891-1892). In 1891, a weekly called the Pacific Posten was issued in Seattle for the Norwegian and Danish residents. The paper lasted until 1892. In 1892 the publisher was Pacific Printing Company and the editor was Erik Thuland. The offices were located in downtown Seattle at 110 Madison Street.

Den Lutherske Missionaer (1894-ca. 1896). In about 1894, a Norwegian publication called Den Lutherske Missionaer is issued in Seattle. Reverend Simon R. Tollefson, pastor of the Norwegian Danish Church is editor. Martha and Mary Orphans' Home Publishing Company publish the semi-monthly from 402 Pine Street. It ceases publication in 1895 or 1896.

Folketidende (1895). In 1895, a Norwegian and Danish publication called the Folketidende was issued in Seattle. The publisher was the Folketidende Publishing Company and the editor was George Bech. It apparently did not survive a year in the midst of the 1893 to 1897 depression.

The Sambaandet (1923-1928). In 1923, a weekly called >The Sambaandet was issued. C. J. Heckner published the Norwegian and Danish periodical from the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle at 5416 22nd Ave NW. The paper continued there until it ceased publication in 1928.

Scandinavian American (1938-1958). Apparently in 1938, the Scandinavian-American starts publishing in Seattle. E. K. Carlson is the publisher. He stated that the monthly is “Dedicated to the interests of the Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Finnish and Icelandic population of the Great Northwest.” In 1958, after a 20 year run it ceased publishing.

Western Viking (1961- present [2001]). On June 6, 1961, the newspaper Western Viking, serving Seattle's Norwegian community, begins publishing in the Ballard neighborhood. The month before, in May 1961, Western Viking acquired the Washington Posten, a Norwegian-Danish weekly published in Seattle since 1889. Western Viking continues to publish in 2001. The paper's offices are at 1736 NW Market Street. In 1961, the paper was published by Norway Posten of Seattle. The editor was H. C. Boe. The paper’s history is obscure but it apparently started in Tacoma in 1907 under the name of Vestkysten and at some point moved to Seattle.


Sources for Nordvest Kusten (1885): McIsaac & Co Seattle/King Co Directory 1885, p. 38, 108, 128; Marlene Mitchell, "Washington Newspapers: Territorial and State: a Bibliography and Checklist," MA thesis in Communications, 1964, p. 139; Not in Union List; Sources for Vidnesbyrdet (The Testimony): Mitchell, p. 171; Polk's Seattle City Directory, 1905 (R. L. Polk and Co., 1905), p. 133; Polk, 1907, p. 1251; Not in Union List; Sources for Washington Posten: UW Library Catalog; University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Washington State Union List of Newspapers on Microfilm ed. by Gayle Palmer (Olympia: Washington State Library, 1991), p. 405; Polk, 1890, p. 88, 94; Polk, 1898, p. 21; Polk, 1920, p. 2092; Polk, 1960, p. 309; Sources for Pacific Posten (1891-1892): Mitchell, p. 144; Not in Union List; Polk, 1892, p. 96; Sources for Den Lutherske Missionaer: Polk 1894/5, p. 526, 801; Polk 1895/6, p. 489; Sources for Folketidende (1895): Mitchell, p; 126; Not in Union List; Sources for The Sambaandet: Polk 1923, p. 1265; Polk 1928, p. 1468; Sources for Scandinavian American: Washington State Union List, p. 310; Mitchell, P. 152; UW catalog; Sources for Western Viking: UW Library Catalog; Washington State Union List of Newspapers, p. 390, 425; Mitchell, p. 171, 179; Polk 1961/62, p. 94; Ernst Skarstedt, Washington och Dess Svenska Befolkning, (Seattle: Washington Printing Company, 1908).

Note: An earlier version of this essay incorrectly stated that Nordvetkusten was Seattle's first Norwegian publication. Nordvetkusten was a Swedish publication. By Greg Lange, July 04, 2001



Senast uppdaterad 2010-10-25 21:06
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