SOUTH BEND, Wash. - The Pacific County Historical Society's annual Pioneer Picnic features a talk by author Linda Carlson on Pacific Northwest company towns. This year's picnic takes place Sunday, Aug. 21 at the home of Beverly and Glenn Olson on South Palix Road, near Bay Center, Wash. A map of the location, just off U.S. Highway 101, can be found in the society's July 2005 newsletter, which is posted on the Web site The picnic starts at noon, with the lecture at 1:30 p.m. Beverages will be provided. Admission to the event is free and open to the public.

Carlson is the author of "Company Towns of the Pacific Northwest" (University of Washington Press). Many communities in the Northwest developed as company-owned towns associated with forest, mining and manufacturing industries. Carlson's lecture will describe the people who lived in company towns and how these communities influenced the social development of the region. Her lecture is part of the Humanities Washington Inquiring Mind speakers program.

The Pacific County Historical Society is a private, nonprofit educational organization devoted to preserving history. The society maintains a museum in South Bend and publishes The Sou'wester, a journal of local history. For more information about the PCHS and its programs, contact the museum director at (360) 875-5224 or visit the Web site above.