Longtime residents of the West End of the Olympic Peninsula have lived through some turbulent days and survived. They are a resilient generation.
In truth, Forks and the West End has been resilient for most of the 20th Century. The story of the town that continues to bounce back is depicted in depth in a new book: Strait Press: A History of News Media on the North Olympic Peninsula.”
West End peninsula residents will have three opportunities in April to hear author Bill Lindstrom talk about his book:
• Tuesday, April 16, noon at a meeting of the West End Historical Society at the Congregational Church, 280 S. Spartan Ave.
• Wednesday, April 17, 7:30 a.m. at the West End Business and Professional Association meeting, also at the Congregational Church.
• Wednesday, April 17, noon, Forks Chamber of Commerce meeting, Blakeslee’s Bar and Grill, 1222 S. Forks Ave.
The public is invited to attend any of these meetings. Books will be available for purchase at all events and will be signed by the author. Christi Baron, Forks Forum editor, and civic leader will be with Lindstrom at all events, which will also include a question and answer period.
In his 617-page book, Lindstrom devotes more than 60 pages to newspapers in Forks and on the West End. Also, it includes the broadcasting history of KVAC and other stations. Readers will learn how the city bounced back after a devastating blowdown in 1921, two horrific fires in 1925 and 1951, the collapse of the Bogachiel River bridge in 1974 and the spotted owl crisis in the early 1990s that led to the economic downturn and an eventual switch from total dependence on timber to a more-diverse lifestyle.
The book, which was commissioned by Brown M. Maloney, the former Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum owner, details the history of the Forum and other West End newspapers, the interesting quad-marriage ceremony involving a former Forum owner and the mayor of the city, and of course, the effect a story about vampires had on the peninsula: how the Twilight books and movie series turned the small town into a tourist destination.
Lindstrom, 76, is a veteran newsman with more than 55 years in the industry, including a short stint with the Peninsula Daily News, 11 years with The Daily Olympian at Olympia and more than 20 years as city editor for The Daily World at Aberdeen. In 2014 he authored his first book, “John Tornow: Villain or Victim?” a story about a recluse, who in 1911, was accused of murdering his two nephews. This ignited a 19-month manhunt before Tornow was killed in a shootout. The book is a nonfiction novel or mystery, intrigue and tragedy.
The author is single and lives in Olympia.