Washington © Author Adventures

Literary Washington

The Washington Author Adventures Trail runs north-south between Seattle and Tacoma with one stop in Puyallup.

Washington’s literary history is in action right now as several current authors make the state their home. However, since we focus on historical landmarks, the Author Adventures trail includes a 19th century town founder and preserver of the Oregon Trail, a prize-winning peace activist, a poet, and a best-selling science fiction writer. All four lived robustly and left a legacy of popular books.

Since two of the five stops are outdoors (Floyd Schmoe’s and Frank Herbert’s), seasonal weather may interfere with visiting all in one trip. In spring and summer, however, it is possible to visit all in one day, depending on how much time is spent at each stop. The first stop is a small park near a busy intersection and it is in close driving distance to the second stop, which is Hugo House. The third stop will take about an hour, two at the most. The final stops include a large park adjacent to Puget Sound and a warehouse-size indie bookstore, together making for a great morning or afternoon.

Click any link below for author and place information.

A. Floyd Schmoe, Seattle
B. Richard Hugo, Seattle (also see our page on Richard Hugo in Montana)
C. Ezra Meeker, Puyallup
D. Frank Herbert and King’s Books, Tacoma

Also Noteworthy in Seattle

The Cayton-Revels House at 518 14th Avenue East (near Hugo House) was the home of Susie Sumner Revels Cayton (1870-1943) and Horace Roscoe Cayton, Sr. (1859-1940), who published the Seattle Republican, beginning in the late 1800s. It is considered to be Seattle’s first successful newspaper for African Americans. He served as publisher and she was its associate editor and a journalist until it folded in 1913. She also wrote short stories for several Seattle-area newspapers.

This house is not open to the public but, according to capitolhillseattle.com, the owners “were careful to convert the home in a way that could easily be returned to its original state” and welcome visitors to “walk by and get your own view of history.”

More Ideas Near Washington

A possible additional stop is the library frequented by author Carol Ryrie Brink in the town where she grew up and where her father was the mayor, near the Washington-Idaho border. Moscow, Idaho, also has a park named for the author of more than 30 books, including the Newbery award-winning Caddie Woodlawn. Read more here: Carol Ryrie Brink.

Similarly, traveling a few miles southwest of Washington will allow a stop at the William Clark and Meriwether Lewis National Historic Park in Astoria, Oregon, accessed via the four-mile Astoria-Megler Bridge. Read about it here: Lewis and Clark in Oregon.

Our Literary Washington Author Adventures Trail appears below.