WASHINGTON STATE AREA HISTORIES
The Greeks in Washington Collection counts among its holdings city and regional histories authored by dedicated members of Greek communities in Washington. Some of these publications also contain excellent summaries of both national and northwest trends.
One will find religious and secular activities combined in most of these publications as more often than not events took place at the respective Greek Orthodox churches. Thus, photos of Greek Orthodox weddings may appear along with those of social events such as picnics and fraternal activities. The Orthodox sacraments and traditions provided the early Greeks with a sense of security in their new homeland. Once the Greeks established their homes and their means of income, the Church played an increasingly important role in their lives.
The hard work of the early settlers and of those who have documented their history is invaluable. These publications plus a growing number of personal and family histories are archived in the Collection and are available for public view and research.
Greater Riverside Organization. Riverside Remembers II. Everett, Washington: 1986. (212 pages)
This is a compilation of the memories of 50 contributors about Everett and its environs, especially the east Everett neighborhood of Riverside. One of the pieces, “The Greek Community in Everett,” (pages 100-105) was written by Panos C. Koutlas, a longtime Everett resident, who captures Greek life in Everett beginning in the early 20th century when there were up to 3,000 Greeks living in the Greater Everett area. The story outlines the integration of these Greek Everettites into the business community of the city.
Adeline, A. R., Adeline, Katherina and Rumpakis, Cleo Adeline. Hellenic Heritage, History of Greek Immigrants in the Yakima Valley through 1950. Yakima, Washington: 2002 (221 pages)
This book covers the history of the Greeks of Benton, Kittitas and Yakima counties from 1887 to 1950. Emphasis is placed on family histories. Professions and businesses, social life, AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association), and World War II participation are featured. The last 100 pages of the book include statistics on railroad workers, census information, restaurateurs, non-Greek spouses, and a Greek file index with vital statistics of the families. Information was gathered from a variety of sources.
Margaritis, Stephen. Greek Americans of Bellingham and their Christian Friends, A Pictorial History. Bellingham, Washington: 1993. (131 pages)
Prefaced by a substantive section on immigration in general (The Immigrant Story, pages 6-20), this book covers the history of Bellingham Greek American families from the early 20th century to 1990. The families are presented in two sections: before and after World War II. The book has a rich collection of photos and includes a bibliography.
Damascus, Mary. Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church: From the Beginning . . . An Informal History of our Parish. Spokane, Washington: 1997. (58 pages)
Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Spokane was founded informally in the late 1920s by a few families who would bring Orthodox priests from neighboring cities to conduct occasional liturgies and sacraments. This book covers the history of that parish up to 1997. Along with the church history, the publication highlights all of the organizations that helped to provide a sense of community for these Greek immigrants—the Hellenic Club, AHEPA and its auxiliaries, Greek school and Greek War Relief, to name a few. The history details the evolution of the church as well as the community that built it.
Fortieth Anniversary Committee. The Assumption Church in History 1939-1979. Ed. Joann G. Nicon. Seattle, Washington: 1979. (44 pages)
Published to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Greek Orthodox Church of the Assumption in Seattle, this publication covers the establishment of the parish and the perceived need of the immigrants that founded it. The book is divided into three sections: the beginning, the development, and the present as future. In addition to worship, many aspects of the community within the church are covered.
The Saint Nicholas 75th Anniversary Book Committee. A 75 Year Journey Through Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, 1925-2000. Ed. Sophronia Tomaras. Tacoma, Washington: 2000. (175 pages)
This book covering the history of Saint Nicholas Church in Tacoma is divided into two sections: Part 1 covers 1925-1975 and Part 2 covers 1975-2000. In addition to the religious aspects of the church, all of the community-building activities are covered—coffee houses, organizations, language and Sunday schools, dance groups, GOYA (Greek Orthodox Youth of America), scouting, AHEPA and its auxiliaries, Greek Festival. The book also contains a speech entitled “The Greeks in the Pacific Northwest” by Father E. Anthony Tomaras originally delivered to the Pacific Northwest History Conference at the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, in April of 1963.
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church. A History of Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church and Her People 1882-1999. Editorial Board. Seattle, Washington: Academy Press, 2005. (440 pages)
This complete history of St. Demetrios Church in Seattle was published in 2005 in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the parish (1921-1996). In addition to the chapter entitled “History of St. Demetrios Church,” a multitude of other aspects of church life are covered: life in the evolving community, education, worship and Divine Liturgy, culture and ethnic organizations among others. The book also includes vital statistics and a bibliography.
Summaries by Helen Georges, July 2011
Book cover photos by John Nicon