Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences

First Advisor

Bonnie J. Clark, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Dean J. Saitta

Third Advisor

Robert Sanford


Boomtown, Historic archaeology, Microhistory, Narrative, Pacific Northwest, Place


This thesis explores the Washington State 1890s railroad boomtown, Ocosta-by-the-Sea through place, microhistory, and narrative theories. Place theory focuses analysis on the townsite. A microhistory is created by the presentation of three narratives on Ocosta: the city-as-imagined, the city-as-built, and the city-as-remembered. The city-as-imagined narrative recounts the city that Ocosta was projected to become by its founders through analysis of historic maps, advertisements, and financial investments of the city's founders. The city-as-built uncovers information about the built environment of the site. The city-as-remembered reveals the city that has and is remembered by the local community. Site memory is explored through 1890s written accounts, 1950s radio transcripts from a local oral history program, a 2007 oral history event, and interviews with current residents in 2008. A fourth narrative is constructed by the reader while they read the text. This narrative contains the meaning of Ocosta that the reader has created for themselves while reading this text. Together, these narratives explore meanings that humans have written on the cultural landscape of Ocosta-by-the-Sea.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Katherine L. Arntzen


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

169 p.


Archaeology, American studies, American history