About…

…the Dorpat (genus: Tartus Lutheranus), its habitat and behaviors. Often to be found wandering the streets and byways of Wallingford, carrying its palm-sized digital camera. Also identified by its unique cry: a deep-throated chortle.

(you may contact Paul here)

For the purposes of information dispersal and techspertise, some intercession and occasional comment will be provided by Jean Sherrard, a keen observer of the Dorpat in all its nests, dens, and foxholes.

(and here’s Jean’s email)

And finally, Bérangère Lomont, our Paris-based roving correspondent, who will provide luminous photos and insightful commentary from her side of the pond.

38 thoughts on “About…”

  1. Dear Paul, Jean, & Co.:

    My mother Bea, who’s heading towards 99 in June, has a northeast-facing print of Portage Bay –taken shortly after the War (II)–which includes the houseboat row on which she lived in the middle of the Bay.
    It appears to have been taken from about the same elevation and location (above Boyer Avenue?) as your 110 year old photo of the Montlake Isthmus, but aimed slightly more to the north. I suspect from your photographs of 520 (2009-04-25) that the freeway nearly follows the line of the earlier houseboats across the water.
    The accompanying glossy is of an oiled duck in her bathtub. One in this series, following the great oil spill in the Bay in the mid-Forties, appeared as the end photo in Life.

    Let me know if either of these interests you; my email address is jeffaether@gmail.com.

    (Note: I tried to send this as a response to your Portage Bay column, but the CAPTCHA code didn’t like me.)

  2. Paul,

    Your display of the 1912 maps of Seattle is wonderful. I grew up in Seattle and my father grew up in Seattle, went to the Old South School. The maps brought back many memories. Thank you very much for putting them on the net.

    Pat Roe

  3. Paul, Jean,

    Great story about the old municipal building. I remember it also. Friends and I, as teenagers, explored it around 1970-1971. It was fun checking out the medical rooms and labs (I could swear there was a morgue also), my brother collected a few old medicine bottles because they had “bubbles” in the glass.
    The padded cells were scary; small rooms with padded leather walls and door. The padding was a sort of cellulose type material.
    I remember a huge vault on the west end (forget which floor) of the building and noticed something behind it, a sheet of plywood with a laminated Seattle street map on it. The map did not include Boeing field (It looked similar to the 1928 maps from Seattle Municipal Archives). We took it a friend’s garage. A few years later, after serving in the military, I inquired about the old map. My buddy said his Dad through it out as junk while he was away too. So much for that.
    This is just one of many adventures, growing up in Seattle.

    BTW, thank you for the 1912 real estate map. It is wonderfully produced. I have spent hours looking at it.

    Allan

  4. Dear Paul, Jean, & Co.
    I was looking for some recordings by theater organist Oliver Wallace (still looking) and came across your wonderful account of James Q. Clemmer and the Dream Theater with the first theater organ installation in a movie house and played by Oliver G. Wallace. I had coffee with one of his daughters just yesterday and will certainly forward to her.
    I am still hoping to find recordings of Wallace in Seattle or Portland if they exist. Your story surely helps mute my lack of success.
    thank you!
    David

  5. Paul – being the stickler I am, regarding the May 29 article about the Victorian that Mr and Mrs Hachiya restored, you mentioned something about “lathe and plaster” walls – I know you mean “lath.” How did such a glaring error get past the proofreaders?

  6. Web-searches (I’m old enough to know the difference between WWW and internet) don’t work for me to simply identify myself and family (dating back to grandmother and possibly before (we’re talking 1860’s). I’d like to know how to connect with Mr. Dorpat, (probably ‘Paul’ is cool). I may have a bit to contribute and would enjoy the exchange. If you can provide info with Paul’s permission so shepard.sm@gmail.com in West Seattle, I’d much appreciate it. That’s where some of us folks still say Alk_EE instead of alk_I.

    Thanks Much,
    Steve,
    Son of a PTSS WWII War Veteran (who I’m proud of – 2 purple hearts but) who got enough volts through his brain by V.A. doctors being ‘in vogue’ in the 1950’s to run a train from Seattle to Vancouver.

    I watched the Space Needle being built from Bellevue and Olive Way and have fond memories of the ‘Century 21 Exposition’ as well as the hydro races with “My Boyfriend’s Back” blaring in the background.

    Thanks if you can help,
    I live in West Seattle with my East Indian wife in Arbor Heights at 206-244-9349 or shepard.sm@gmail.com.

  7. I finally found your blog! We were acquainted years ago when I believe you were editor at ye ol’ Helix. you also knew my sister Anne at Whitworth College. Our grandfather was Louis B. May and was a pioneer of Seattle and went on the Yukon
    Gold Rush. He wrote a diary which was published I believe in the P.I. Sunday papers in 1972. Unfortunately at the time we had no Gold Rush Museum and my uncle gave it to a museum in Juneau. I have always thought it belonged here in Seattle. I have a copy of it but the original is a true jewel and should be returned to its home. What do you think? Could this be done? Bye the way from what I’ve read this calling is a perfect fit for you! Thanks for doing such a great service to our history.

  8. Thank you so much for your encyclopedic/photographic minds layering Seattle’s today on its past. As a native of Seattle you supply me many hours of fulfilling memories.

    I’ve had an unanswered question for years. Can you answer this question with a photograph? Before First Church of Christ, Scientist on 16th & Denny (featured in 2/12/12 Seattle Times) was built, the congregation built their first church in downtown Seattle, somewhere near 6th and Marion. It seated about 500. I have never been able to find a picture of it. Apparently it was razed when they moved to to Capitol Hill.

  9. Dorps,

    After your Ft. Lawton pic made the Times today, I received this e-mail from my sister:

    “Dad told me that he, mom and our grandparents had a small business at the time making picket fences. He saw this picture in the Times today in the article about the fort closing for good, and said he made those picket fences! Pretty cool, huh?!”

    Inextricably tied to the history of this place, even without a guitar,

    Eric C.

  10. I’m trying to pull pictures of old Fremont together to background a documentary on the Fremont Troll. Would it be possible to share some images? I really like the one on the Interurban statue in particular (Roger Wheeler, depicted, was interviewed in the documentary and provides much historical context at the beginning of the film).

    A link to the trailer for the documentary is below. (Password is Troll)

    Thanks!

    http://vimeo.com/29587103

    -Michael Falcone

  11. Living downtown, walking downtown, seeing the changes to the cityscape of a place where I have lived or known since the mid sixties; that demolition on Second Avenue near Stewart, that decades old parking garage coming down, that creepy like garage where the Addam’s Family might have kept a car. Wondering what might be discovered on the wall of the adjoining building when all that concrete is removed. There is ghost advertising of some sort, written in that script which was popular during those pre WWI years. Advertising something, but not legible to most eyes, probably a secret best revealed at the County Court House and those tax records.
    A crest displayed over the entry and exit bays which upon very close examination (out of desparation as they are soon to go) seems to have that caduceus and apothecary scales featured on both. I would guess that the garage may have been built or partly financed by doctors or a group of doctors working out of the long derelict but historic Eitel Building at Second and Pike.
    Either way, another small piece of old Seattle makes way for new housing. My interest with parking–back in the day I worked for several years for Josef Diamond when parking or being barreled at a Diamond lot could get very personal.

  12. Paul,

    This is more of an email than a comment…

    I have been photographing Lower Queen Anne for a while now. Being all modern and such I have begun to post them at http://unavocesola.wordpress.com/category/lower-queen-anne/. In the near term these images will be the core of my posts.

    Your work over the years gave me the insight to think more carefully about where I live. Thank you for that.

    At any rate, I hope you find these of some interest.

    Regards,

    Katherine

  13. Paul, I am an author living in Richland, WA and I am working on a biography about Sam Volpentest(a), the “Godfather of the Tri-Cities” so-named because of all the federal and state money he was able to attract here in the 1960s to 1990s. He died in 2005 at 101 and worked every day up until two weeks prior to his death.
    Before he moved to the Tri-Cities, he worked as a salesman for Schwabacher wholesale grocery for 20 years (1920-1941) but then managed or worked as a commission salesman for Associated Poultry of Coon-Chichen Inn fame, from 1940-41 to 1945. I’m just wondering if you ever came across his name in your research on the company. I enjoyed your two blogs on the subject.

  14. A question of a historical nature.

    My father had “The Ferry Dock Tavern” in the old coleman dock, before the remodel. I have children that are asking about my father and his early life here in Seattle.

    My question. What year was the coleman dock remodeled, which replaced the Old Curiosity shop, Pacific Fish and tavern?

    I have been looking for a picture of the tavern in several archives on line, but have been unable to find any.

    Thank You

    Jack

  15. Hello Pat,
    I am writing in regard to a recent estate sale here in Moses Lake where I found an amazing collection of hundreds of 4×5 black & white negatives of Seattle from the 1950’s & some earlier I believe. Have not looked thru them all, only a few in fact, but they appear to be mostly street scenes.

    To give you a little background about the man who’s estate was sold, here is a link to an article from our local newspaper. http://www.columbiabasinherald.com/entertainment/art/article_e8c893ee-d5a4-11e1-8e1a-001a4bcf887a.html

    We so enjoy your Now & Then page in the Times each week, you are the first person I thought of to contact. If you are interested in taking a look at what I have, I will be in Seattle August 18th.

    I am in no position to have each of these printed, so my other option would be to sell these negatives online – but as I said, wanted to contact you 1st – although I’m sure you already have a vast collection and access to much more.

    Thanks for your time,
    Paula
    Moses Lake, WA.
    (I TRIED TO SEND THIS I THE FORM OF AN EMAIL BUT YOUR ADDRESS WAS REJECTED?)

  16. Having intense flashbacks of the 1960s, and even the 50s, of the mental recollection type. Surviving these, and the 70s departure from those times, appreciate the archiving and encapsulation for the Future, as it arrives, in reality colling with the Past. That must be what is that rumbling noise in downtown Seattle. And more to follow.
    Thanks, Clark W.
    flashmaster7_99723@yahoo.com

  17. I’ve come across a picture in my families archives like nothing I’ve ever seen before!! It’s of a Balloon Barage in front of my great-grandmothers house in White center in August 1942. If your interested, please E-Mail me and we will get together. Greg Wothing

  18. I volunteer at the Soos Creek Heritage Center in the Soos Creek Botanical Garden (near Green River Community College). We are cataloging tax photos and came across a wooden tower located near Lake Meridian. Have you seen one of these before? What was its use?
    flickr.com/gp/43895815@N06/60e2kG/
    The photographers letters indicate that it was:
    Tax Photo taken 5/26/39 at Lot 10 on Lake Meridian
    Township 22, Section 27, Range 5E, Tax Lot 32
    Any help would be appreciated.

  19. Now and then Sunday July 7
    From the shadow angles and street grade, I believe this house stood at the Northeast corner at the intersection of University and Boren.
    The picture caption states the house sat at the Southeast corner of the intersection.
    Am I wrong?
    Thanks

  20. Paul… It’s been a while since the Evolutionary Films were on your doorstep and now Sally Sawyer and I are curious as to the whereabouts of R.L.Stevenson of Mercer St and Capital Hill — There is a folder of pictures and POSTCARDS id love to share but need a mailing address XO( Gleed

  21. Greetings,
    We acquired an ornate plaster interior pillar from the old Seattle Landmark; the 7th Avenue/Fox/Music Box Theater. As you may know, opened in 1929, the theater avoided the demo ball for many years but finally came to it’s demise in 1992.

    Please see link: http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=4196

    The base of the pillar is of a crouching Griffin, there are 3-center sections with a winged ram’s head at the top. A total of 6-pieces, when stacked reaching approx.15′. We have begun referring to it as a 1929 Art Deco Pillar Totem Pole, the pics will explain…Cast plaster, original paint, beautiful patina. We were wondering what your thoughts might be regarding placing the piece(s) up for sale or auction. The Pillar is currently in climate controlled storage.
    The best way to reach me is via this email address, this Seattle native’s 1st wish would be that the Pillar stay in the Seattle area, if possible. HD pics available.
    Thanks,
    Richard Suertudo, The ipi House
    ipapereye.com, THE PAPER EYE

  22. Greetings,

    For years I have wondered about the to 8″ guns in Shorline’s Hamlin Park. It is well documented that they are from the USS Boston but nobody seems to know why they are there or when they got there. Here is what I have on the Boston in later years:

    Decommissioned Bremerton, WA 07-10-07
    Training vessel for Oregon Naval Militia 06-15-11
    Returned to Bremerton 09-16
    Transferred to the Shipping Board and converted to a cargo carrier by Seattle Construction & Dry dock Co. 03-17 to 02-18
    Re-commissioned as receiving ship at Yerba Buena Island, CA 06-18-18
    Renamed USS Dispatch 08-09-40
    Towed to sea and sunk 04-08-46

    The guns were most likely removed at Bremerton. They vanish until mentioned in the Seattle Times September 2, 1942 when they were reported at the “new Naval Hospital”. They were next reported in the Seattle Times March 23, 1952 as having been left by the navy when the hospital became the new Firlands Sanitarium.

    The two big questions are:
    1. Where were the guns between 1916 and 1942?
    2. When were they moved to their present location?

  23. Chère madame Lomont,

    Il est évident que l’adresse électronique de M. Paul Dorpat est soit une erreur ou n’est plus actif. Serait-il possible pour vous de me renseigner sur la façon dont je peux communiquer avec lui. Paul et moi savions il ya les uns les autres années (plus de trente ans, en fait) et je voudrais lui demander une faveur.

    Avec mes remerciements les plus sincères,
      Matthew Lubic

  24. Hi folks. I’m a collector of paintings of the working waterfronts on both coasts of our country. I recently noticed a piece set in Seattle with Piers 9 and 10 in the background, a clippership unloading lumber in between, and the railroad running directly in front of the Piers. The period seems to be the early 1900’s. I’ve looked at the handful of older Seattle maps that I can find, but haven’t been successful locating the area depicted in the painting. The artist is generally a stickler for technical detail and historical accuracy, so I don’t believe it’s a concocted scene. I’m curious if you can help me locate the area. Thanks for any help.
    Ed

  25. I’m happy to have seen the picture of the Naramore Fountain. Thank you.

    I’m a practicing architect of about 45 years. I was employed at NBBJ in 1965 and worked with George Tsutakawa on the fountain. I had studied under George at UW in charcoal drawing and saw him render this fountain in charcoal.

    Perry asked me to build a model of “a round basin with battered concrete sides” on a triangular “leftover space” next to the freeway, which I did, cutting the space saucer like shape freehand on Phil Arnold’s lathe out of a piece of oak. The exposed large sized exposed aggregate finish I believe was Perry’s idea.

    I remember that Winkelmann, Bill Bain SR. and Jr., and Perry all loved that model. And of course George Tsutakawa never said an unkind word to anybody in his life.

    I saw Floyd Naramore frequently in NBBJ’s model shop, he absolutely loved us. He loved my plaza and Fountain model. He was always immaculately dressed, could have been a twin of Dexter Horton, I always thought.

    Maybe the fountain model has survived along with the Plymouth Church models, and all the Project 2010 models (University Properties) completed in those day at NBBJ, in conjunction with architect Minoru Yamasaki .

  26. As a newcomer to the Northwest, I always enjoy your column.

    In your latest, you mention that “Apt. No. 4 was used by a practitioner offering ‘woman-to-woman’ consultations about a ‘dependable remedy for every married woman’ that the personal ‘women’s ad’ left unexplained.”

    For women of that era who were seeking an abortion, the language used in that ad was perfectly transparent. And, obviously, they didn’t have to be married. Whoever placed that ad was not alone in her offer. Such ads were quite common, although the results were not always effective or safe.

    It would be interesting to do further research on that address to see if there were any police or court entries.

  27. Paul: Today’s Sunday contribution, 2-30-2014, says Seattle General Hospital’s final building was at 5th and Madison. How is it, then, that my two children were born in 1955 and 1957 at Seattle General Hospital which was then further up the hill at about Seneca and Summit? And it was not in a house trailer, but a 6-8 story brick building, now gone.

    Your Spokane H.S. friend, Karen says hi.

  28. I was wondering if you remember or heard of ‘Ballard Biscuits’, there was a plant at the northwest corner of the Ballard bridge, I think they were the first to sell those unbaked biscuits in the roll containers, I think they were bought by Pillsbury, I was raised in Ballard, but am I wrong? FRom a golden beaver Ballard Hi grad

  29. As to the Seattle Times weekly delight, a few lurid tales would be fine but we do LOVE the buildings…..

  30. Paul…While looking up Eleanor Seigel for a writing project, I found your site and its “snow” entry, with your digression on Thanksgiving 1964. (I believe you are the author, correct?) When I read that you were hired as lunchtime playground supervisor that year at the Little School, I had a moment of panic about my memory. How can I have imagined, all these years, with fulsome detail, that I was the lunchtime playground supervisor during part of 1964-1965? Then I noted that you were supervisor for “the older students.” I was in charge of grade 4-6 students, and also did some tutoring for the grade sixers. Did we know one another? P.S. I was born and raised in Seattle, and, thus, read your “snow” stories with great interest. Living now in eastern Canada, I’ve gone from staring out my childhood living room window for hours on Christmas Eve hoping against hope for snow, to staring with dismay at the six-foot snowbanks in my driveway this past winter. All the best, Richard Lemm

  31. Greetings – I have followed your pictorial history with the then and now for many years. I have done some limited research on my own to locate pictures of the elevated streets in the pioneer square area before the elevated side walks were put in place. I have taken the Seattle underground tour several times and would like to have a visual, (pictures), of what the area looked like with the elevated streets without the elevated sidewalks in place. Can you please refer me to a source that can provide that information. Thank you, Michael Peterson

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