Hop King: Ezra Meeker’s Boom Years, by Dennis M. Larsen


Oregon Trail pioneer Ezra Meeker recognized business opportunities and was willing to take risks. He settled in the Puyallup Valley and planted his first hops, eventually traveling to New York and London to open new markets. In 1882, following widespread crop failure elsewhere, desperate brewers offered Pacific coast growers astronomical prices, and the “hop king’s” firm became the largest exporter in the country. As an outstanding entrepreneur on a local and global scale and through his involvement in regional issues such as women’s suffrage and Chinese expulsion, Meeker helped transform the landscape, economics, and politics of his Puget Sound home.

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