I had been familiar with the right half of this panorama for nearly forty years, but beyond recognizing that Queen Anne Hill was on the right horizon, it continued to puzzle me. Recently a studious friend, Ron Edge, while reviewing the Webster and Stevens Collection of historical Seattle subjects in the library of the Museum of History and Industry, found the left half, the street scene with the loosely parked array of motorcars. After merging the two parts, Ron was able to match the historical porch of the home on the far left with the existing porch at the northwest corner of N.W. Canal Street and First Avenue N.W. It is mostly hidden behind the landscape in Jean Sherrard’s repeat, again on the far left. [Next, we will include two looks at the same neighborhood that sits, with these, across the canal’s mostly completed ditch perhaps two years or three after the featured photo was first recorded in 1911. The “existing porch,” noted above, can be found in both of the details. ]
The site is about a half-mile west of the Fremont Bridge, on the north side of what, prior to the ship canal, was still called Ross Creek, Lake Union’s outlet to Salmon Bay. Before the Fremont lumber mill was constructed in the late 1880s, this was known as part of Ross, a community named for the truly pioneer family that first settled here in the 1850s. Ross School on Third Ave. N.W. survived until 1940.
We found a clue to the date for this celebration in another Webster and Stevens photo of this event, which included a detail of a Dreamland poster promoting a dance for the 2nd of June. From the evidence of the motorcars, we began our search in late May of 1911, and we were soon rewarded. The smoke rising from the center of the pan marks the moment – or nearly – when, to quote the next day Seattle Times for June 2, 1911, the elderly Judge Roger Greene
“stood on the little platform in the midst of a throng and waving, with all the vigor of his long-past youth … gave the signal which started the steam shovels in their task of digging the canal west of Fremont … It was the most dramatic moment of the entire day, which had been dedicated to the celebration in this city of the Progress & Prosperity events taking place on June 1.” That singular day’s long list of promotions began downtown with a Second Avenue parade celebrating the completion of the 18-story Hoge building, briefly the tallest in Seattle, and the start of construction on the 42-story (more or less) Smith Tower. [For aging eyes like ours click the below twice for reading. It is the Times next day report on the June 1, 1911 celebration.]
The parade, led by Kavanaugh’s marching band, included a long line of motorcars and “at least 400 Ballard citizens” carrying picks and shovels. The Ballardian canal boomers led the auto-less pedestrians up Second Avenue to trolleys waiting on Pike Street to carry them to Fremont and the afternoon program featuring prosperity-succoring VIPs, speaking loudly in counterpoint with the satisfied growling of steam shovels.
The leader of the Progress & Prosperity Day committee was Millard Freeman, the brilliantly pugnacious publisher of the Pacific Fisherman, the Pacific Motorboat and The Town Crier. With federal money at last insuring the canal project, Freeman promoted the Progress & Prosperity Day in part to get even by expressing his political resentments toward the canal’s “lurking foes … and to flay these opponents with the lash of pubic scorn and resentment.” And at the end of the day, “to insure the steady progress of Seattle and the prosperity of all the people,” The estimated 310,00 residents of Seattle were urged to keep their porch lights burning city-wide between 9 and 10 pm.
Additions, mes potes? Several past feature from the canal or near it, Jean. We claim no more.
For reasons that may in part have had something to do with nostalgia for farm life and open mid-western pastures, the young city builders David and Louisa Denny protected from development most of the swale, or naturally cleared wetland, on their pioneer claim. Much of that clearing is included in this look south from the still lightly developed southern slope of Queen Anne Hill, in the foreground, to the extensive scatter of structures on Denny Hill, crowned by its landmark Denny Hotel, at the middle distance. The far horizon extends from West Seattle, on the right, along the ridge of Beacon Hill to First Hill, the ‘Profanity Hill’ part of it, where the brandishing tower of the King County Court House makes a perpetual promotion for law and order.
This week’s ‘then’ is one of a dozen or more panoramas that the photographer A. J. McDonald took of Seattle from a few of its hills during his, it seems, brief stay in the early mid-1890s. (We will attached a few more below.) This is one of the more softly focused of the photographer’s recordings, but it is still outstanding. No doubt, McDonald is standing with his tri-pod on or near Ward Street and sighting south on Second Ave. N. It is about 1895, the year the Seattle Dept. of Public Works regularized and thereby restrained the often imaginative collection of Seattle’s street names.
Previously, Second Ave. N. was Poplar Avenue, and Ward was Villard Street. The last was named for the journalist-capitalist who brought the Northern Pacific Railroad to Seattle in the early 1880s and then promptly lost it.
Running left-right (east-west) above the center of the pan is Harrison Street, which now passes through the fanciful clutter of the irregularly-shaped Seattle Center. Nob Hill Avenue, which was Ash Avenue until 1895, reaches Harrison directly above the center of McDonald’s panorama. Directly below that intersection is the swale, still holding on to its green, but now transformed into part of the artificial grass end zone of the Seattle Memorial Stadium. [There is a good now-then comparison of the swale among the Edge Links that follow this brief exposition.]
The list of historical uses of this clearing begins with the Duwamish Tribe’s both ritual and practical potlatch celebrations, and their catching in nets the low-flying waterfowl passing between Elliott Bay and the then restful tulles at the south end of Lake Union. With the Dennys in the early 1850s came their extensive gardens, which helped feed both their family and Seattle’s produce needs. In the late 1890s the swale was fitted with an army corral filled with horses and mules for help with the Spanish-American War. Soon after McDonald’s visit, the swale repeatedly hosted other horses, with carnivals and traveling circuses. Part of it was also developed into a fenced field with bleachers for professional baseball. In 1927-28 the swale was appointed with the concrete core for Seattle’s arts and entertainment culture: the Civic Auditorium, Arena, and Civic Field.
In 1958, or thirty years later, the Seattle City Council allotted $7,550 for the clearing away of eighteen “dilapidated buildings” from the by then probable site of the Century 21 Exposition, Seattle World’s Fair. It is likely the McDonald’s panorama includes some of the condemned structures in the neighborhood beyond Harrison Street, on the far side of the swale.
Anything to add, kids? Sure Randall. Ron has topped his past clips from the neighborhood with another by McDonald panaorama, one that looks northwest from Terry Avenue and Union Street towards Lake Union with the northeast corner of Queen Anne Hill on the far right. But first we will “trump” Ron by showing a merge he composed of two other McDonald pans that were, like the featured photo, taken from a prospect on or very near Ward Street and looking east over Fifth Avenue. That double pan follows now. Please double click it.
The SARAH B. YESLER HOME (for working girls), AKA the NEW WAYSIDE EMERGENCY HOSPITAL, AKA the CLINTON APARTMENTS, AKA the CLARION APARTMENT HOUSE, all of them at the northwest corner of Republican Street and Second Avenue North, and found in the shadows on the far right of the featured photo at the top, and also below.
ANOTHER MCDONALD PAN – This from DENNY HILL to CAPITOL HILL with the Cascade Neighborhood in between.
THE BAGLEY MANSION, Northeast Corner of Aloha and Second Ave. N.
Here the reader will wonder, we hope, how Jean and I sought and found (we are confident) the site for his contemporary repeat. While the date, “1-4-22,” carefully hand-printed at the lower-left corner of the subject, does not, of course, name the place, the general environs and directions are familiar. The right horizon is Queen Anne Hill with the dark forehead of its Kinnear Park landscape top-center. Magnolia makes the more distant horizon, on the left, and below it the dark elevator on the Great Northern Railroad’s Smith Cove pier stands tall.
Considerable help for our search arrived when we flipped the hard card on which the original print was glued and gratifyingly read another caption: “Streets Western Ave. W. looking N.W. from 1st Ave. W. Jan 14, 1922.” Note that the caption’s author has misread by 10 days the date printed on the print itself, which was most likely both correct and written by the photographer and city employee James P. Lee. Lee’s early 20th-century photography for public works was both prolific and in focus. Obviously, Lee liked his work, and on the fourth of January 1922 he was at it on a Saturday.
MAPS AND AERIALS OF CONCERNED CORNER FROM 1904, 1912, 1929
Lee is looking from where First Avenue North and Denny Way would have formed an intersection except for this bluff. If we draw lines (or consult Google Earth) west on Denny Way and south on First Ave West, they meet here. First West and Denny “met” by extending Western for a half block between them, while not yet cutting it through to the waterfront, which in 1904 and 1912 was still the beach. In Jean’s repeat, the sidewalk along the west side of Western Avenue West continues down and north to the waterfront. What the municipal photographer is showing his engineers is where they will be both cutting and filling to extend Western Avenue down to the also new Elliott Avenue, part of the tidelands regrade and reclamation then under way below the bluff.
The decision to continue Western on to the waterfront north of Denny Way was made in 1917 but prevented by the city’s preoccupations with building ships and handling transshipments during World War I. By then, Seattle had become the second busiest port in the nation (after New York), and it was hard to keep city employees from fleeing for better work in the shipyards. Here, below, the Elliott sanitary fill is taking form, lifting the old tidelands to three feet above high tide. In 1923, both Elliott Way and Western, reaching with 15th Avenue N.W. to the then new Ballard Bridge, created a new speedway to the north end for a commuting population then riding rubber wheels, not hooves.
In the late 1920s, O.M. Kulien built the Northwest Industrial Buildings that still stand here on the west side of Western Avenue West. Later, the Andrews family purchased the buildings, and later still, in 2000, remodeled them with a new name: the Northwest Work Lofts. Sid Andrews explains, “The Andrews family have by now owned the buildings for three generations – with the fourth in training.”
I’m going to divert attention from our historical remit for just a moment to wish Stu Dempster a very happy 80th birthday!
Anything to add, lads? Surely Jean, and an joyful excuse. (You might might have included more of tonight’s photos of Stu and the crew. It was because we enjoyed tonight’s orchestral tribute to Stu at the Chapel performance space in Historic Seattle’s Wallingford venue at Good Shepherd, and preluded it with a visit to a private affair celebrating Historylink’s prexy Marie McGaffrey’s 65th Birthday that we did not get as far into this week’s blog as we might have. The neglect was worth it. We start these “adds” with more links panned-out by Ron Edge, and will turn tomorrow with more discoveries including a dozen looks along Elliott Avenue mostly in the 1930s. We will put it then to our readers to repeat any of them with their smart phones or other digital hardware and send them along to us and we will will slip them in. All of them and with much credit and thanks. What fun. I may do it too Jean. Ron? (These mildly manic proposals are probably influenced by Fats Domino to whom I am now, by coincidence. listening, “all by myself” at 3am Sunday morning.)
TIMELY INTERRUPTION from JAN 25, 1922 (The Times)
AN ELLIOTT REPEAT CHALLENGE (or Game)
We invite you dear readers to take your digital cameras and repeat the dozen or so recordings below of Elliott photographed by/for the Foster Kleiser Billboarders between 1938 and 1942. All of them have their own captions, however beware. The descriptions are of the billboards and their positions in relationship to the nearest streets that intersect with Elliott. Most of the captions also include company code. If you have the gumption to partake in this Repeato-Exploration then please send us your digits and we will insert them with credits. Include any insightful or heart-felt captions you like. Jean where do they send them? Paul, they should send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here they are in no particular order.
[BEWARE and careful with the traffic]
No. 8 [Elliott Ave. lk. n. to 4th W., 1940]
No. 9 [Elliott near Roy and Prospect, Feb. 12, 1940]
No. 10 [Elliott lk s. fm 4th Ave. W. Sept 21, 1939]
Yesterday night, we watched the EURO 2016, at « Delmas » the large café located place de la Contrescarpe in the 5th arrondissement. For great sports events, it is very usual in Latin Quarter, to share one’s emotions in cafés .
Hier soir, nous avons regardé l’EURO 2016, au” Delmas “le grand café situé Place de la Contrescarpe dans le 5eme arrondissement . Pour les grands événements sportifs , c’est habituel au Quartier Latin de partager ses émotions en chœur et au café.
During the match
Durant le match
At the end of the match after « the Bleus » ( french team ) had beaten Germany 2 – 0 and so they reach the final facing Portugal on next Sunday.
A la fin du match, après que “les Bleus ” ( l’équipe française ) aient battu l’Allemagne 2 – 0 , et donc parviennent en finale contre le Portugal dimanche prochain
Certainly many PacificNW readers are familiar with the elegant Rhodes residence at the northwest corner of 10th Avenue E. and E. Howell Street. Although a fortress-sized hedge largely guards the house gardens from sight, the street is by now a busy arterial. It is a century since the couple moved into this Capitol Hill prospect. From plans by local architect Augustus Warren Gould, the mansion was built big but not vast. Albert and Harriet Rhodes were childless. Their ‘dependents’ were the 500 employees who worked in their Rhodes Department Store. Before the move to Capitol Hill, the
Rhodes lived for a few weeks in the New Washington Hotel (now the Josephinum Apartments) on Second Avenue, conveniently only three blocks north of the couple’s prosperous store at Second and Union Street. Their intention to leave the hotel for the hill was announced in the Society section of The Times for December 11, 1915, where it was also reported that Hotel management had hosted a complimentary goodbye banquet for the couple and their friends. On the next day, the 12th of December, the paper’s classified section included a notice that the Rhodes were seeking “a thoroughly competent girl for general housework: references required; apply 1901 10th Av. N.”
We have learned from Carolyn Marr, librarian for the Museum of History and Industry, that this week’s featured historical photograph was recorded by the Webster and Stevens studio, for years the editorial photographer for this newspaper. If this photo was used in The Times, we have not found it. However, we do know the car. With help from Fred Cruger, our Granite Falls–based antique cars expert and collector, we know that this is a battery powered Detroit Electric. (For goodness sakes, Fred owns one.)
But is that Harriet Rhodes pausing at the open door to the battery-powered hardtop? Or is it, perhaps, a hired model posing for the local Detroit Electric dealer (also on Capitol Hill) promoting the dealership’s pride in front of a status-radiating mansion? Actually, we do think it is Harriet, based on the somewhat soft evidence of two later portraits of the department store owner. (You might consult the blog listed below, and there compare the ‘resemblances’ and decide for yourself.)
Albert met Harriet in the Dalles, Oregon, while he was working as a traveling salesman of household goods for a Portland firm. They married in 1893, living first in Tacoma, where Albert was joined by his three brothers who had followed him west from Wisconsin. Together they started several stores, from populist five-and-dime dispenseries to posher shops, all with the family name attached. After their move to Seattle the couple was consistently charmed with both business and social successes. What Albert lacked was longevity. The front-page banner headline of The Times for February 17, 1921, reads: “A.J. Rhodes Dies in New York.” He succumbed to the flu while visiting New York on business for the Seattle Chamber of Commerce. He was fifty-six.
Harriet began her remaining twenty-three years by expanding their department store. One of the additions was an impressively large Aeolian Duo Art organ in the lobby dedicated to the memory of Albert. Harriet also travelled often, collecting art. She returned to her Capitol Hill home with what an unnamed Times arts reporter described on August 9, 1931, as “endless treasures, yet each so complementing the other and partaking so surely in the dominating personality of the house that it is a home of rare beauty, not a museum.” Harriet Rhodes died in 1944 after visiting New York and staying in the same hotel where her Albert had died. Her obituary reads, “Close friends believe that Mrs. Rhodes knowing she was ill, made the journey out of sentiment.”
Seeing that the high shrubbery concealed all but the top of this lovely mansion, I peeked around the leaves and grabbed a snapshot of the front of the house.
And here Jean to compliment your innocent peek is an advertisement from April 19, 1931 that uses the Rhodes manse and its landscape to promote Babcock Sprinklers. The Rhodes big home was used by many as a handy landmark for piggy-backing prestige with directions. Following the sprinklers, we will follow with two examples.
Anything to add, mes braves? Yes, again and again we discover more than we have time to scan and put in place. Again, Ron Edge has saved the day and found a dozen-or-so features to add from the neighborhood. These are all grabbed from past blog posts. There are about 50 others that have yet to be scanned, earlier features from before 2008.
MORE RHODES AND ELECTRIC TRANSPORT
Harriet Rhodes gave a lot of her time, wealth and study traveling the world to collect art and artifacts for her home. She was also a frequent sponsor of local art events and programs, and hostess to groups that were similarly disposed. Included in the clips below is by any standard a wonderfully rich one describing what was inside the Rhodes home. And the author is not credited?