Ancient Places

Author: Jack Nisbet

Jack Nisbet uncovers touchstones across the Pacific Northwest that reveal the symbiotic relationship of people and place in this corner of the world. From rural Oregon, where a controversy brewed over the provenance and ownership of a meteor, to the great floods 15,000 years ago that shaped what is now Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, this is a compelling collection of stories about the natural and human history of our region.

Ancient Places: People and Landscape in the Emerging Northwest

I can think of no better guide to this corner of the west than the lyrical naturalist Jack Nisbet, whose latest, Ancient Places, is a fascinating read.

—Jess Walter, author of We Live in Water


Jack Nisbet peels back the landscapes of the Northwest to uncover layers of meaning in unexpected places. He encourages us to look with a new, but also eons-old, light on mountains and rivers, traditional cultures and more recent settlers. With Ancient Places, Nisbet shows again that he is a leading chronicler of the region.

—Peter Stark, author of Astoria: John Jacob Astor and Thomas Jefferson’s Lost Pacific Empire


Master historian Nisbet has communed with Indians, astronauts, miners, and scientists to reveal a wonderfully personal, engaging, and authoritative picture of the cultural and natural history of the Inland Northwest. Ancient Places takes the reader from the earliest geological events that defined the region to the human and environmental forces at work today.

—John Marzluff, author of Welcome to Subirdia and Gifts of the Crow


In Ancient Places, author Jack Nisbet masterfully illuminates the lively chemistry that exists between people, their history, and the landscape of the Pacific Northwest. Through his copious research of the region’s geology, natural ecosystems, cultural events, and people, Nisbit weaves compelling tales that give insight to this remarkable land.  He explores the forces and events that shaped it and how we in turn are shaped by the places where we live.

—Marcy Houle, author of The Prairie Keepers