Undertold Histories

Uncovering & Preserving the Underrepresented Histories of
the Northwest


The Undertold Histories Project uncovers and preserves the underrepresented histories of the Northwest through historical research, archaeology, and public history.



In celebration of the 100-year anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, the Undertold Histories Project is primarily focused on feminist history of Territorial Period Washington. Look forward to hearing more on these projects in the coming year!

Forgotten by history, Eliza Woodard Hurd DeWolfe is an exceptional woman from Olympia, Washington's early settlement days. She lead a fabulously scandalous life in the Northwest, blazing a trail for feminism wearing bloomers on horseback.

  • Zine 1: Feminism and FreeLove in Olympia, 1862: The Sensational Marriage of Eliza Ann Woodard Hurd & Charles Henry DeWolfe

  • Zine 2: Very Truly Yours: The Eliza Hurd Letters, 1860-1862

  • Forthcoming: The Sensational Marriage of Eliza Woodard Hurd and Charles Henry DeWolfe: Free-Loveism and Feminism in Olympia, 1862, article to be published in the Thurston County Historical Journal

While conducting archaeological research on the homestead history of dryland farms in eastern Washington in 2017, archaeologist and project director Beth Mathews identified a lack of historic context and research on historic sites associated with women and minority homesteaders across Washington State. The principal goal of this project is to increase understanding and preservation of civil rights history in Washington through the diverse stories of  homesteading experiences.

  • Poster: Washington Women Homesteaders: Finding the Underrepresented History of Land Claimants in Early Washington State poster presented at Northwest Anthropological Conference in Kennewick, WA, March 21, 2019.

  • Forthcoming: A Comparative Study of Women's Homestead Case Entry Files from Washington's Land Offices, article to be published in Archaeology in Washington.

  • Forthcoming: The Washington Women Homesteader History Zine Decalogy is a series of 10 creative nonfiction zines designed to vividly evoke the stories of women homesteaders who independently “proved up” land claims under the Homestead Act in Washington.

News & Events

  • Sat, Oct 26
    The Olympia Center
    Zines 1 and 2 will be available for purchase and pickup at the Zine Fest! Come meet the author and discuss the upcoming series.


Warren Ranch_edited_edited.jpg

Bethany Mathews, director of the Undertold Histories Project, serves as the Principal Investigator for the Washington Homesteaders History and Archaeology Project. She has 13 years’ experience in archaeology in the Northwest, and recently produced two history zines on the history of Olympia’s first feminist: 1) Feminism and FreeLove in Olympia, 1862: The Sensational Marriage of Eliza Ann Woodard Hurd & Charles Henry DeWolfe; and 2) Very Truly Yours: The Eliza Hurd Letters, 1860-1862.