by Monica Wooton
Dale Forbus Hogle has lived her whole life close to the home she was born in on Magnolia Boulevard eight decades ago. Born to Alvero Shoemaker and Lady Willie Forbus, she and her sister Alvara experienced Magnolia in the years before the boulevard was paved, when live ponies kept by a family living in her neighborhood provided rides for the children and picking wild black caps was a summer chore for her mother’s yearly batch of blackberry jam.
Her parents divorced when she was young and was raised by her single, working mother who was the first women lawyer in Seattle, and then represented the 44th district (of which Magnolia was a part then) as a Washington State senator one of three women her first term and the only women senator her second. Dale was raised in the tradition of Franklin Roosevelt progressivism, her mother always taking cases of people without much money but good causes and in need of good defense.
Dale attended Magnolia Elementary just after it opened in 1927 and Queen Anne High School. She married and raised her children blocks from her childhood home. She became a language teacher at Nathan Hale high and traveled.
Dale became associated with the Historical Society through an article done on her mother for Magnolia: Memories & Milestones. Because she had experienced so many things in early Magnolia and had a good memory of it her life as a child and teen her memoirs were documented in the book as well. It was that connection that started Dale on the path of serving as a historical resource, Board member and writer for the second Magnolia book, Magnolia: Making More Memories.
Dale was responsible for a wonderfully researched and written chapter on the archaeology history of West Point and the significant archaeology dig that occurred there in the 70’s: The West Point Dig: A Legacy. After serving as a member on the second book team, she began serving on the Board participating in meetings, event planning and the events. She became the editor of the MHS Quarterly and loved finding a mystery picture of old Magnolia for readers to identify each issue. She became a regular writer of her memories on Magnolia and many of these have been published.
She began a personal history project of using the letters of her grandmother Birdie, a white plantation manager’s wife in the Deep South in Mississippi to write and published for her family a wonderful and well-researched book of her family history and the history of the South at the time.
Dale became a co-teacher in the MHS memoir writing workshops and encouraged and connected with many students in that program. She spoke on her Magnolia roots at events, did book readings of her chapter on The Dig, and participated in the design of the historical sculpture in the Village that the Board donated in its tenth year. She hosted meetings, sold history books at the Farmer’s Market and was ready help for the MHS board she served on for over 10 years.
Dale continues to be a rich source for history on Magnolia from the 1920’s on and is considered the Grand Dame of Magnolia history as one of the few left to tell the stories in such accurate and loving detail.
She loves opera, takes part in the care of her elderly sister, paints and enjoys her family. She still resides on Magnolia still only blocks away from her childhood home. She remains a ready resource when questions of old Magnolia arise and still helps out with the memoir writing class when asked.
This year Dale is the recipient of the 2016 Magnolia Historical Person of the Year Award because of her vast written documentation of Magnolia history and help given in many volunteer hours to the Society. This honor is given only in years when a certain person’s credentials add up to a significant contribution and the Board decides to make the award.
Dale will be honored in a private lunch reception with members of the MHS Board, a few family and friends. She was awarded a plaque and certificate at the MHS annual meeting and her name will be engraved on the permanent plaque honoring MHS Historical Person award designees which hangs in the Magnolia Public Library. Dale will be the 7th winner of the award since the Society started 15 years ago. Along with her mother who was given the award posthumously by the Society she joins a small group of distinguished people who have helped Magnolia make memories.