Washington

A few years ago the Leu family, the owners of a house there, began construction on a retaining wall at the bottom of their property, which slopes downwards towards the boundary line. The International Boundary Commission became aware of the construction, and...

The Aluminum Corporation of America (Alcoa) opened this central Washington aluminum plant in 1952, one of several smelters the company operates in the United States. Washington produces more aluminum than any other state, a situation which started in World...

Two adjacent refineries are located on March Point, in Anacortes - one operated by the Tesoro Petroleum Corporation, and a larger one operated by Shell. Crude, processed at the plants, comes primarily from Alaska's North Slope, arriving by tankers making the...

The ASARCO copper smelter at Ruston, a small coastal town next to Tacoma, closed in 1985, after 80 years of operation. The closure, which included the felling of a landmark 562-foot tall smokestack, was spurred by concerns about toxic emissions of sulfur...

Bangor Sub Base manages the third largest collection of nuclear weapons in the country, with approximately 1,700 Trident missiles either stored at its hill-top depot, or onboard its fleet of eight Trident submarines which still roam the seas on secret...

The Blaine/Surrey crossing, also known as the Pacific Highway crossing, is the primary commercial crossing on the West Coast, and is among the busiest crossings on the entire border. Less than a mile west is the Peace Arch crossing, where commercial traffic...

The Boeing Commercial Aircraft Division complex at the north end of Paine Field in Everett includes what is called the most capacious building in the world (enclosing a volume of 600 million cubic feet on 96 acres). The 11-story high building was constructed...

Boeing's Military Aircraft and Missile Systems Group is the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer. This division is based in St. Louis, but employs 3,000 people in the Seattle area, most in this complex next to Boeing Field. Work here includes...

In 2005 a drug-smuggling tunnel was discovered by border officials, just a hundred yards east of the Lynden/Aldergrove Port of Entry. It connected a Quonset hut on 0 Avenue, on the Canadian side, to a house in the trees on the south side of Boundary Avenue,...

The Boundary Dam is operated by Seattle City Light, the electrical utility for that city, and provides up to 40% of the power for Seattle, nearly 250 miles away. The powerhouse was built inside the cliff, and generates more than 1,000 Megawatts. This dam is...

Roosevelt Road ends at a small park, built around Monument 1, the last boundary monument on the 49th Parallel (or the first, headed in the other direction). The large ornamental obelisk was made in Scotland, and brought by ship around Cape...

The international boundary comes to Point Roberts from the east, across the bay from Blaine, and hits the last of the range towers marking the boundary across the waters of the bay, known as Range Tower C. The base of the tower has a Boundary Commission...

Boundary Road comes up from the US side, and turns west along the border, and runs next to 0 Avenue, in Canada, for 1.5 miles, before heading south again. For a while just a few feet of grass divides the nations, a kind of international median strip.

Similar to a building construction crane, the Wind River Canopy Crane is set up in a National Forest in southern Washington for forest canopy research. A gondola platform is suspended from the crane, providing three-dimensional access to a six-acre circle of...

History is layered at the southwestern-most corner of the state, where an interpretive center (officially the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center), sits atop an abandoned coastal battery, at the point where Lewis and Clark stood to view the Pacific at the end...

In a state dominated by some of the largest hydropower projects in the world, the big coal-fired power plant at Centralia is an anomaly. The plant was built in 1972, and was fueled by coal mined in the nearby hills, until the mine's closure in 2006. It...

Cherry Point is the fourth largest refinery on the West Coast, and the largest in Washington. 225,000 barrels of crude are processed each day at this plant to produce gasoline for northwest markets. Owned by British Petroleum (BP) the plant makes gasoline for...

This mile-long federal dam on the Columbia is the second largest producer of hydropower in the nation, after the Grand Coulee. Unlike the other dams downstream, there is no fish ladder at this dam, finally stopping the most persistent salmon from migrating...

The sole survivor of the Washington Public Power Supply System (WPPSS) program's ambitious constrution plan of the 1970's, Columbia Generating Station (originally called WNP-2 i.e. Washington Public Power Supply System Nuclear Plant number 2) is the only...

The town of Concrete in the foothills of the northern Cascades once housed the largest concrete plants in the state. Nearly half of the concrete for the Grand Coulee Dam (the largest concrete structure in the world) came from here, as well as material for...

The Port of Entry building at the Danville/Carson crossing, straddles the line, and is shared by both countries. The station opened in the late 1980s, and is one of only five joint Port of Entry facilities built intentionally on the line.

Destruction Island is a soggy, mist-enshrouded outpost three miles off the coast of the Olympic Peninsula. In 1968, when the Coast Guard declared its intention to close the 19th century lighthouse and support buildings, romantic public sentiment prevailed,...

The Seattle City Light Company operates this and the nearby Ross and Gorge dams, which hold back water on the Skagit River in the north Cascades, and generate electricity for Seattle. The Skagit project started in 1919, and the Diablo Dam, reservoir, and...

This interpretive center is located at a point overlooking the Dry Falls site, one of the most dramatic formations of the Great Spokane Flood, a series of massive flooding events that shaped the landscape of much of eastern Washington around 15,000 years ago...

The DuPont de Nemours Company operated an explosives plant at this site for 70 years, until it closed in 1975, after which the property was sold to the Weyerhaeuser Corporation. Both companies are involved in the clean up of the contaminated plant site, and...

This privately owned dam supplied power primarily to the Daishowa pulp and paper mill in Port Angeles. The dam, completed in 1913, blocked passage for an estimated 390,000 salmon and steelhead, altering the ecology of a river and delta that drains 19% of...

Unlike most military bases which have a history dating back at least to World War II, Naval Station Everett was built from scratch in the 1990's. It replaced most of the functions of the Naval Station Puget Sound in Seattle, which was shut down in 1995, and...

Officially known as the Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge—Evergreen Pointis the longest floating bridge in the world at 15,580 feet - 7,580 of which float. It carries State Route 520 across Lake Washington from Seattle to Medina. A major...

A refueling aircraft base on over 6,000 acres in eastern Washington State. Fairchild was a Strategic Air Command bomber base until 1994. Now only KC-135 tanker aircraft are kept here. But with more than 60 of the planes, this is said to be the largest...

This 400MW reactor at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation was built in 1982 for breeder reactor research and enriched uranium production, and is owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. It was closed in 1992, and currently is in a state of cold shut down. It is in...