September, 2012

Hemlines to Hairstyles

In the midst of a time of social and cultural upheaval, fashions in clothes and hair also changed abruptly.  In the space of a decade, ladies’ hemlines rose from the ankle to the knee.  Hair, which previously had been allowed to grow more or less unchecked, was bobbed–in barbershops!  Ladies’ hairdressers didn’t typically cut hair.

The heavy makeup used by silent film stars like Louise Brooks encouraged the more daring ladies of the 1920s to wear cosmetics themselves.  Women smoked, drank in mixed company, and scandalized their elders by wearing flesh-colored stockings and using birth control.



My New Website

Cate Campbell

This is my new website where I’ll post updates and information about my work. I’m especially looking forward to the premiere of my forthcoming historical fiction novel, Benedict Hall, in June of 2013.

About the book:  Benedict Hall, by Cate Campbell (Kensington):  Seattle, 1920, a city in flux in the aftermath of WWI.  Introducing the Benedict family, wealthy, patrician, wicked, and admirable–an American Downton Abbey.


Pioneer Square

Pioneer square 1917

Pioneer square 1917

Pioneer Square is a neighborhood in the southwest corner of Downtown Seattle, Washington, USA. It was once the heart of the city: Seattle’s founders settled there in 1852, following a brief six-month settlement at Alki Point on the far side of Elliott Bay. The early structures in the neighborhood were mostly wooden, and nearly all burned in the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. By the end of 1890, dozens of brick and stone buildings had been erected in their stead; to this day, the architectural character of the neighborhood derives from these late 19th century buildings, mostly examples of Richardsonian Romanesque.

The neighborhood takes its name from a small triangular plaza near the corner of First Avenue and Yesler Way, originally known as Pioneer Place. The Pioneer Square-Skid Road Historic District, a historic district including that plaza and several surrounding blocks, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


Downtown Post Office

Downtown Seattle Post Office circa 1914

Because Seattle was established during an economic boom fueled by the timber industry, the city’s early years were characterized by hasty expansion and development, under which residential areas were loosely defined by widely scattered plats. This arrangement was further solidified by the establishment of locally-initiated community clubs, public libraries, public schools, and public parks, which created a sense of community and civic participation.

At the beginning of the 20th century, Seattle’s community clubs became influential in the organization of public improvements. These had a significant effect upon the character of their neighborhoods and allowed them to remain distinct from the surrounding areas. Some community clubs used covenants to restrict the ethnicity of residents.

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