This is a tale of two Stevens, both of them important to our state.
It was 151 years ago that former territorial Gov. Isaac Stevens was killed in a Civil War battle. He was the man who thought he had settled the question of Indian rights in the mid 1850s with treaties.
It led to wars with the tribes. He also carried out a railroad survey of bringing rails to the Pacific Northwest.
Isaac had the ear of President Franklin Pierce, who appointed him governor of the territory.
The other Stevens was John F., for whom Stevens Pass is named. He was an engineer for the Great Northern, located Marias Pass in Montana, and sent C.B. Haskell to look for a way across the Cascade Mountains. Nason Creek proved to be the answer.
It took some imaginative engineering to bring the rails down the west side, specifically the Martin Creek loop, but Stevens did it.
He went on to become the first head of the Panama Canal construction, preceding George Goethals. Stevens lived to be 90, died in June 1943, only 70 years ago.