Seattle Now & Then: Water from Lake Youngs, 1930

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THEN: Between Maple Valley and Renton, the Seattle Water Department’s Lake Youngs Supply Lines No. 4 and No. 5 gleam on May 27, 1930. The parallel, wooden stave pipes carrying Cedar River water reach their intersection with steel-riveted bypasses and connectors. A system-control works had just been built next to the 500-acre lake to screen debris and chlorinate water before delivery. The lake is directly behind the photographer, who points his camera east toward Robertson’s Pond, which, for a time, was connected to the lake. Since drained, it has been returned to its original wetland status.
NOW: The last of the 78-inch wooden stave pipes were replaced with rerouted steel pipes in the early 1990s, says Dave Muto, manager of water system operations, standing atop an obsolete connector (“I don’t know why they never removed that last little stub,” he says). The Cedar River continues to supply most Seattle water, traveling as far north as the Maple Leaf reservoir. For more photos of the Lake Youngs facilities, check out our Web Extras below.

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Jan. 23, 2020
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Jan. 26, 2020)

Connecting thirsty Seattleites with the life blood of water
By Jean Sherrard

Begin with a taste test. Fill a glass with water straight from the tap. Take a sip. Before swallowing, swish it between your teeth and over your tongue. If you’re in or around Seattle, the water you’re savoring likely flows directly from the Cascades, filtered from snowpack down through mountain streams and rivers that have supplied the city and environs for more than a century.

This week’s photos reveal obscure vestiges of the infrastructure that has made it all possible.

Arguably, our earliest water-supply system began with Henry Yesler, who in 1854 ran a suspended V-flume from a spring near Eighth Avenue and Madison Street just past his original homestead (near the heart of today’s Pioneer Square) to his waterfront sawmill.

Other settlers followed suit, tapping the abundant streams and springs of First Hill, then still crowded with virgin timber, improvising a creaky patchwork of wooden pipes and flumes.

As the young city grew, need for a less Balkanized water supply became apparent. The privately owned Spring Hill Water Company, incorporated in 1881, initially fit the bill, integrating sources and expanding to meet the needs of a thirsty population. In a substantial upgrade, the company studded First Hill with large wooden tanks, and a newly built, steam-powered pumping station on Lake Washington kept a 4-million-gallon reservoir on Beacon Hill brim full.

But on June 6, 1889, nearly 30 blocks of downtown Seattle burned to the ground, largely due to the failure of the Spring Hill water supply system. Tanks and reservoirs alike ran dry before the fire could be doused. Out of those flames a public utility was born.

Within months of the fire, the City of Seattle purchased Spring Hill Water Company and planned for expansion. All eyes

turned to the Cedar River, long recognized as a potential source of abundant, pure water, flowing from Cedar (now Chester Morse) Lake, some 35 miles southeast. The proposed gravity-fed water-supply system would be the one of the largest engineering projects yet undertaken by the rapidly rebuilding city.

Politics and economics might have shelved the project were it not for the vision and leadership of a newly appointed city engineer, Reginald H. Thomson, known for a formidable drive and intelligence.

Throughout the 1890s, Thomson lobbied tirelessly for Cedar River water, identifying the liquid as “the life blood of a city.” At last, on Jan. 10, 1900, from the Landsburg timber-crib dam (elevation: 536.4 feet), water coursed through 28 miles of wooden stave pipes around the south end of Lake Washington and north to two city reservoirs on Capitol Hill.

The expansion was just in the nick of time. Over the next decade, Seattle’s population exploded to nearly 240,000 from 80,000, tripling its thirst for pure mountain water.

WEB EXTRAS

First, a huge thanks to Dave Muto of the Seattle Public Utilities, a veritable fount of information and my generous tour guide at Lake Youngs.

I’ll add in a few photos of the water works at Lake Youngs. Dave kindly provided several of the captions.

Our narrated 360-degree video can be found here.

The water department’s Dave Muto examines a section of the old 78″ wooden pipe.
Pipes like this one remained in service until the early 1990s.
From Dave Muto: “The pipes out of the ground are known as the doglegs.  They are the inlet pipes to Lake Youngs. The building in the background is called the Cascade Valve House, and it allows us to bypass the lake.”
Another shot of the doglegs emerging from Lake Youngs
“The interior of the Cascade Valve House.”
“The raw water pump station and discharge pipes.  Water is pumped out of the lake here and into the start of the treatment process.”

Seattle Now & Then: Holy Names Academy 1908

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Two tykes on foot at left eye the unusual gathering on Oct. 10, 1908, of 17 open-air autos loaded with 99 students and others in front of just-opened Holy Names Academy and Normal (teaching) School. In the distance at upper left is the fledgling Aloha Street. (Romans Photographic Company, Courtesy Holy Names Academy)
Holy Names students and staff pose before the building’s landscaped entry, where in 1908 cars had assembled in the dust. Tom Heuser, president of the Capitol Hill Historical Society, stands at right, and Christie Sheehan Spielman, the school’s archivist, peeks out atop the stairs. (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Jan. 16, 2020
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Jan. 19, 2020)

Driving to the future – with a box of candy – from Holy Names
By Clay Eals

Even amid today’s existential climate change, like others I often find the need to hop in my car to drive across town. But on Oct. 10, 1908, when our “Then” was taken, only eight years had elapsed since a car first traveled Seattle streets.

The unpaved street at left is 21st Avenue East, near the eastern edge of Capitol Hill. The setting is majestic, brand-new Holy Names Academy and Normal School, whose first classes for its female Catholic students had begun just one month prior.

There, a rare sight awaited a photographer from William Romans’ studio, possibly the famed Asahel Curtis, who worked for Romans from 1907 to 1911. Facing the elevated lens were 17 buggies ready to escort senior students and chaperones on a Saturday afternoon ride. The Seattle Times reported the next day, “The most interesting parts of the city were visited.”

Organizing the two-hour trek was Dr. Harry Shaw, a Seattle physician and surgeon who, according to the Holy Names Chronicles, provided “a box of candy for the occupants of each machine.”

The outing fit the outgoing personality of Shaw, a courtroom testifier who was hardly shy. When a Chicago professor, Albert P. Matthews, claimed in 1905 that a diet serving “the exact chemical needs of the body” could produce everlasting life, Shaw delivered a blistering indictment to The Times.

“The term ‘chemical need’ is meaningless,” Shaw said. “We understand the chemical construction of the human organism, but the chemical needs differ in each individual and are formed largely by climatic conditions, altitude and a hundred other conditions of environment. … No person is entirely well.”

Shaw’s automotive contingent of 99 people might have looked at things more spiritually, though many are adorned with the earthly attire of fancy hats and other finery. Some wear mortarboards with tassels. One carries a 1910 pennant, perhaps a hoped-for graduation year.

This engaging image is among 100 photos appearing in the definitive book by Jackie Williams, “The Hill With a Future: Seattle’s Capitol Hill 1900-1946,” recently reprinted by the Capitol Hill Historical Society.

It also is among thousands of items carefully catalogued by archivist and former student Christie Sheehan Spielman at Holy Names Academy’s Heritage Center. Opened last June, the center’s spacious exhibit is open to the public by request.

The Baroque Revival entry of Holy Names, designed by Breitung & Buchinger, remains intact, though missing its northern tower, earthquake-damaged in 1965. More than 10,000 female students have walked its halls since 1880, including at two earlier edifices: downtown and in the Chinatown-International District (the latter razed for the Jackson Street Regrade).

And unlike 1908, we might say that many of today’s Holy Names girls are in the driver’s seat.

WEB EXTRAS

To see Jean Sherrard’s 360-degree video of the “Now” prospect and compare it with the “Then” photo, and to hear this column read aloud by Clay Eals, check out our Seattle Now & Then 360 version of the column!

Here, from our automotive informant Bob Carney, is an annotation of the vehicles in our “Then” photo:

  • As a reference point, we will use the car in the foreground (unidentified).
  • Behind and to the left of it are 2 1907 or 1908 Pierce Great Arrows.
  • To the left of the Pierces is a 1909 Packard (must have been available early).
  • In the center, in the middle of the pack is a barrel hooded air-cooled 1907 or 1908 Franklin (you can read the name if you enlarge it enough).
  • To the immediate right of the foreground car is a 1908 Pope-Hartford, and there is another one straight down the middle all the way in back by the corner of the building.
  • That was all I was able to identify — and I am only 100 percent sure about the Franklin and the Packard.

Below are two additional photos and 11 clippings from The Seattle Times online archive (available via Seattle Public Library) that, among others, were helpful in the preparation of this column. Enjoy!

Construction workers pose at Holy Names in 1908 or shortly before. They include bricklayer Andrew Schwarz, great uncle of Karen O’Brien, president of the Rainier Valley Historical Society. Dressed in overalls, he stands at lower right with his arm on the scaffolding. The brick contractor, not pictured, was O’Brien’s great-grandfather Joseph Wittman of Austria. O’Brien is a graduate of Holy Names, as was her mother, Mary O’Brien, class of 1942. (Karen O’Brien)
Holy Names archivist Christie Sheehan Spielman and Tom Heuser, president of the Capitol Hill Historical Society, pose inside the Holy Names Academy Heritage Center, which opened in June 2019. (Clay Eals)
July 2, 1905, Seattle Times, page 10
Feb. 10, 1907, Seattle Times, page 93
Feb. 23, 1907, Seattle Times, page 2
Feb. 24, 1907, Seattle Times, page 56
May 12, 1907, Seattle Times, page 41
May 19, 1907, Seattle Times, page 2
May 20, 1907, Seattle Times, page 7
July 5, 1908, Seattle Times, page 22
Sept. 6, 1908, Seattle Times, page 29
Oct. 11, 1908, Seattle Times, page 15
Nov. 7, 1908, Seattle Times, page 4

Seattle Now & Then: A Fallen Seastack at Rialto Beach, 2009

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THEN: In 2009, this 50-foot tall sea stack stood just south of Hole-in-the-Wall at the northern end of Rialto Beach – originally, and accurately, called “Cold Water” by the Quileute people. The aptly named Cake Rock crests the waves at far right. (JEAN SHERRARD)
NOW: During a hike to monitor the outer coastline, physical scientist Bill Baccus snapped this photo. James Island peeks out just left of the fallen sea stack, sheltering the tribal town of La Push. For those who wish to witness the Pacific spectacle for themselves, the Quileute tribe-owned Oceanside Resort offers dramatic ocean views in every season. (BILL BACCUS)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Jan. 9, 2020
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Jan. 12, 2020)

Just as Seattle’s viaduct tumbled, so did a coastal sea stack

By Jean Sherrard

In our rapidly changing cityscape – where viaducts may crumble, buildings may tumble and residents surely grumble – we depend on increasingly fewer fixed points to ground us (the Pike Place Market is here to stay). Out on the coast, however, even the points of reference that we perceive as immutable can give way in our lifetimes.

Today’s example is one of the tough rock spires whittled from coastal bluffs and headlands, surely noted by sea captains Cook, Bodega y Quadra, Gray and Vancouver and other meticulous 18th century mapmakers who sought an elusive Northwest passage and maritime shortcut between Europe and China.

The spires are known as sea stacks. In a landscape slashed and walloped by wind and tide, they generally stand as unyielding sentinels of things past.

Our “Then” photo is one of many I’ve taken at Rialto Beach north of the mouth of the Quillayute River near La Push. It features an intact sea stack, one of many that my extended family have appreciated as we combed the coasts of the Olympic Peninsula for more than 50 years.

Late last summer, however, we initially were oblivious as we passed the jumbled slabs of rock captured in our “Now” photo. Negative space, we discovered, can be hard to comprehend – in particular, the loss of structures of such seeming permanence.

But after a momentary loss of bearings and a literal double take, we noted that one of our reference points – a singular pillar emerging from eroded, softer soils over hundreds of years – had toppled into rubble. Just when did this happen? And was it a rare event?

For answers, I turned to Bill Baccus, the Olympic National Park’s physical scientist. After nearly 35 years, he works in the “vital signs” program, which monitors the parks’ ecosystems over time. His patrols range from remote mountain lakes and glaciers (nearly half of which were lost to global warming during his tenure) to the outer coast’s intertidal zones.

“The coast is a constantly changing landscape, especially in terms of morphology,” he said. “One month, the beach will be totally scoured. You’ll see exposed rocks you haven’t seen for months or years. The next thing you know, the sand or gravel has returned. In contrast, the sea stacks are some of the few static features that don’t really change over time. This is the first time I’ve ever seen one entirely collapse.”

Baccus first noted this stack’s demise in June 2016. He surmises that it must have occurred during an especially violent series of storms the previous winter. The precise date, however, is unknown. We invite readers who regularly visit Rialto Beach to submit an earlier photo of our tumbled spire.

WEB EXTRAS

As promised, here are a few photos snapped over the years, summer and winter, at LaPush.

Another perspective of the fallen stack, with humans. My nephew Kalan is in the foreground, taking a cell phone photo.
Looking north towards Hole-in-the-Wall, seen here peeking through sea stacks.
On First Beach, looking north to James Island on a bright winter day
The mouth of the Quillayute River
Second Beach in February, 2019
Second Beach looking north – First Beach (and LaPush) are beyond the headland
A northerly view at low tide from an temporarily-accessible island off of 2nd Beach. James Island rides the waves top-center.
A detail of a crowded rock at low tide
Driftwood on First Beach just after a storm
Same storm, a few minutes later
Winter calm on First Beach
First Beach wave action
The Sherrards on First Beach, 2013
Sunset on First Beach
Our sea stack in black and white

Seattle Now & Then: Skyline from Magnolia, 1962 or shortly after

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THEN: Taken during — or not long after — the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, this postcard view depicts a calmer waterfront and a downtown skyline of mostly midrise buildings. (Union Pacific Railroad, Clay Eals Collection)
NOW: Afternoon “magic light” illuminates the Seattle skyline, shown from Ursula Judkins Viewpoint Park near the top of the Magnolia Bridge. Dominating the foreground are the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 86 Grain Facility, completed in 1970, and the northern waterfront greenery of Centennial and Myrtle Edwards parks. The new Expedia headquarters peeks out at left, below the Space Needle. (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Jan. 2, 2020
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Jan. 5, 2020)

What shines and what’s hidden? It’s all in the game
By Clay Eals

It’s a game I play with others while on a Bainbridge or Bremerton ferry or at West Seattle’s Hamilton Viewpoint Park down the street from my home: “Do you have a favorite building in the downtown skyline?”

I have my own answer at the ready. “It’s easy,” I say with a smile. “It’s the building without which I would not be possible.”

And it figures near the center of our “Then,” a pastel-tinged postcard image that looks southeast from Magnolia on a bright afternoon during the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair or shortly thereafter.

It’s the Terminal Sales Building, the stately, large-windowed, 11-floor Seattle landmark at First and Virginia, seen here mostly from its north side, left of the shaded Seattle Tower.

Designed by Henry Bittman and built in 1923, the Terminal Sales Building is where my dad, Henry Eals, arrived in 1947, from Kentucky by way of Los Angeles, to work as a clothing salesman. His office was on the 10th floor. Soon he met Virginia Slate, a West Seattle lass who worked in a dishware shop on the first floor. The two married in 1950, and a year later I was … made possible.

Also possible is a different game essential to “Now & Then” that Paul Dorpat, originator of this column, likens to “hide and seek.” It’s to discern what in the “Then” appears in the “Now” and what is hidden.

Still in full salute are both skylines’ famous bookends – the Space Needle, in original colors, and the Smith Tower, the pointed sentinel that stood as the tallest building on the West Coast from its completion in 1914 until erection of the Needle in 1962.

Among many hidden edifices in our “Now” are the Terminal Sales Building and Seattle Tower, plus most of the snow-bare Cascade Range. Scores of skyscrapers take their place.

Of course, the angle of a photo and the lens with which it is taken can affect what is visible. For example, in our “Now,” with a slightly different vantage and focal length from our “Then,” the brown Pacific Medical Center (Amazon’s early home) at the northern tip of Beacon Hill at far right is tucked closer to the Smith Tower. Yet it’s also a tad south in relation to its Cascade backdrop.

The top edge of our “Now” is a little higher to accommodate – what else, these days? – a crane atop the under-construction Rainier Square Tower, now Seattle’s second tallest building, fewer than 100 feet shy of the crowning, 937-foot Columbia Center to its right.

Providing solace for our game is a “Then” seaplane cruising north for an eventual landing at Lake Union – a charming reminder that a few things never seem to change.

WEB EXTRAS

P.S. We are grateful that Seattle Times reader Charles Gundersen identifies the ship in the foreground of this “Then” image, thus providing a clue that the photo was taken in 1965 or shortly thereafter:

“The ship looks like a C4-S-1sa Mariner Class cargo ship. It could be either SS Canada Mail or SS Oregon Mail. These ships were laid down in 1963 and delivered to the American Mail Line in 1965. So the ‘Then’ picture was probably taken in or shortly after 1965. You can clearly see the American Mail Line stack insignia. My father shipped out on SS Canada Mail as Second Mate (the ship’s navigator) in 1965 and 1966. I have several photos (taken off the
internet) of SS Canada Mail that show the superstructure, stack and upper mast works that look very similar to those features shown in your ‘Now & Then’ picture.”

Below are four recent photos related to the Terminal Sales Building and the Seattle Tower.

The majestic entry of the Terminal Sales Building, Sept. 16, 2018. (Clay Eals)
Clay Eals poses below the Terminal Sales Building (upper left) on Feb. 2, 2019, when the public was allowed to walk on the closed (and later demolished) Alaskan Way Viaduct. (Jean Sherrard)

An added note from Clay on the Terminal Sales Building:

“As a child, I accompanied my dad on weekends to the Terminal Sales Building when he had moved his office to the sixth floor, then to a larger one on the fourth floor. I had the run of the building (racing him downstairs, he riding the elevator and I running the stairs) and of downtown (favorite spots included the Security Market, the basement bookstore next to the Town movie theater and the Trick & Puzzle shop on First Avenue).”

Clay Eals and daughter Karey Bacon, visiting from Philadelphia, in front of Terminal Sales Building at First and Virginia, Nov. 22, 2019. (Meg Eals)
The majestic entry of the Seattle Tower, Sept. 13, 2018. (Clay Eals)
BONUS: Inspired by the panorama above, Harold Musolf Jr. of Bothell contacted us to share a colorized panorama postcard created by famed Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition photographer Frank Nowell shortly after the 1914 completion of construction of the Smith Tower. (Harold Musolf Jr.)

 

Farewell: Paul Dorpat looks back on nearly 38 years of ‘Now & Then’

Note: While this installment, as printed in PacificNW magazine of The Seattle Times, is labeled as a farewell, this blog will continue to house Paul’s vast contributions to local history, from his columns to his many books. We hope and trust that he will continue making contributions to the blog whenever he has the time and inclination.

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NOW: After 38 years, Paul Dorpat returns to the corner of Pike Street and Fourth Avenue, where “Now & Then” began. Dorpat is stepping away to pursue other interests, but “Now & Then” will carry on. (Jean Sherrard)
THEN: Paul Dorpat’s first “Now” photo has become his final “Then” photo, taken at the southeast corner of Pike Street and Fourth Avenue in late fall 1981. A coffee server at far right holds a “Then” print of the intersection. (Paul Dorpat collection)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Dec. 20, 2019
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Dec. 22, 2019)

Farewell: Looking back on nearly 38 years of Now & Then
By Paul Dorpat

What a fortunate fellow.

Beginning in the winter of 1982, my byline here was first delivered with the Sunday Seattle Times to the breakfast tables of the city. Now here comes the handle to turn this faucet off with my valedictory feature, the last one for me. (Don’t worry, though. “Now & Then” isn’t going away.)

Frankly, at the age of 81, I am tired, but only somewhat. Increasingly, my head is turning. I yearn again to paint and make music, pleasures I had more time for a half-century ago.

Certainly, my best fortune has been the frequent one of meeting many readers and being introduced by them to subjects often pulled from their own collections. Thanks largely to them, I have gathered a sizable archive, which I am now beginning to file and interpret for transfer to two scholarly institutions that I have used repeatedly.

My negatives and slides are headed for the Seattle Public Library, the voice of the people (or vox populi). My film and video (shot and collected) will get an appropriate new home in the University of Washington Library’s Northwest Collection. I once lived in their halls and am now returning with a plethora of cared-for subjects, often attached with carefully devised captions. I’ll continue to encourage others to place their archives with mine in the hands of skilled librarians for sharing with the community.

For this week’s “Then” photo, Jean Sherrard has chosen what was this Sunday feature’s first “Now.” I snapped this shot at the southeast corner of Pike Street and Fourth Avenue on what I remember as an unseasonably warm late fall day in 1981.

It appeared in the Seattle Times’ Pacific magazine (a predecessor of today’s PacificNW magazine) the following January, the first of about 1,800 “Now” photos, most of which made it onto the inside of the magazine’s back cover. It is still a cherished location. I learned the name of this coffee server who posed for me, although I doubt that I then knew anything as yet about the name of her profession: barista.

As late as 1984, I was still delivering my features to the Times by car, not the internet, and I was still writing them on a typewriter that sounded already nostalgic. Within three years, I was no longer delivering my stories in person, which meant I had practically no contact with other Times writers.

I was a freelancer and sometimes lonely. I occasionally hung around The Times’ wonderfully stuffed library in its old building at Fairview and John.

I’m now heading for the piano. Now I ask you, my dear old (at least potential) friends, to imagine your own sounds and send them to me. And please also imagine me motioning in your direction with this, my valedictory wave. Many thanks for your years of help.

And let us all thank this newspaper for continuing the “Now & Then” feature with the vigorous contributions of Jean Sherrard, clearly as fine a writer as he is a photographer, and Clay Eals, a master editor and superb storyteller who has helped me since this weekly feature began in 1982. Many thanks to all old friends and new.

WEB EXTRAS

Check out Jean Sherrard’s 360-degree video of the “Now” prospect with this column read aloud by Paul Dorpat.

Meanwhile, below, in chronological order, are 17 photos of Paul Dorpat and six clippings from The Seattle Times online archive (available via Seattle Public Library) that provide a look back on Paul’s life and “Now & Then” career. Enjoy!

A young Paul (left) with his three brothers, mother Cherry and father Theodore. (courtesy Paul Dorpat)
Paul, 37, poses with his father, the Rev. Theodore E. Dorpat, in about 1975. At right is his mother, Cherry Dorpat. (courtesy Paul Dorpat)
Jan. 5, 1969, Seattle Times, page 45
July 15, 1972, Seattle Times, page 10
April 29, 1977, Seattle Times, page 10
Sept. 17, 1977, Seattle Times, page 13
Paul after a public shave at his 40th birthday party in 1978. (courtesy Paul Dorpat)
Sept. 24, 1981, Seattle Times, Erik Lacitis column
Oct. 1, 1981, Seattle Times, Erik Lacitis column
Paul (left) poses with Seattle’s Murray Morgan, author of “Skid Road,” mid-1980s. (courtesy Paul Dorpat)
Paul makes a self-portrait, mid-1980s. (courtesy Paul Dorpat)
Footprints newsletter, Southwest Seattle Historical Society, 1992.
The Aug. 26, 2001, cover of the Seattle Times’ Sunday magazine, “Pacific Northwest.”
Paul speaks in December 2004 at the Alki Homestead restaurant in West Seattle. (Joey Allman)
Paul pitches July 26, 2009, at the annual Eals Eskenazi Extravaganza birthday softball game at Alki Playfield. (Jean Sherrard)
Paul and Jean Sherrard flank Berangere Lamont, their Paris-based photographer and partner in PaulDorpat.com, 2011.
Paul in Ivar’s baseball hat, Jan. 6, 2016. (screen grab, Jean Sherrard)
Paul presents a talk Feb. 7, 2016, at West Seattle Library on the Alki roots of Ivar Haglund, subject of a future biography by Paul. (screen grab, Clay Eals)
Paul speaks at a history presentation May 31, 2018, at Pike Place Market. (Clay Eals)
Paul speaks at a history presentation May 31, 2018, at Pike Place Market. (Clay Eals)
(From left) Clay Eals, Paul and Jean Sherrard pose before a history presentation Sept. 23, 2018, at Salty’s on Alki restaurant. (Patrick Sand, West Seattle Blog)
Paul displays the 2018 “best of” book he co-authored with Jean Sherrard, Oct. 14, 2018. (Clay Eals)
With the Pioneer Square Pergola as a backdrop, Paul poses May 31, 2018. (Clay Eals)

Seattle Now & Then: Postscripts on Hutch and the (no more) Viaduct

Here are two of what The Seattle Times calls “postscripts” — items that follow up stories (including “Now & Then” columns) printed in 2019 in its PacificNW magazine.

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THEN: Seattle Mariners star outfielders Ken Griffey Jr. (center) and Jay Buhner hoist 5-year-old Joey Hutchinson, grandson of Fred Hutchinson, after Joey’s rounding of the bases before the first M’s game at brand new Safeco Field on July 15, 1999. Watching proudly at left is Joey’s dad and Fred’s son Joe Hutchinson of Anna Maria Island, Florida. (Clay Eals, courtesy Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)
NOW1: Joey Hutchinson, 25, and girlfriend, Sandra Ordonez, pose in commemorative T-shirts prior to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Joey’s grandfather, Fred Hutchinson, on July 7, 2019, at T-Mobile Park, formerly Safeco Field. At rear, Seattle baseball historian Dave Eskenazi (left) chats with Joey’s dad and Fred’s son, Joe Hutchinson. (Clay Eals)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Dec. 20, 2019
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Dec. 22, 2019)

Grown-up Joey Hutchinson’s fire is ‘all part of the legacy’
By Clay Eals

Joey Hutchinson, it turns out, is a chip off the old Fred.

Last June 30, we at “Now & Then” previewed a tribute to Fred Hutchinson held July 7 at T-Mobile Park, home of the Seattle Mariners. The occasion was the 100th anniversary of Fred’s Aug. 12, 1919, birth. We saluted his baseball acclaim and namesake role for the world-renowned Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Fred Hutchinson in 1955 Rainiers uniform. (Josef Scaylea, courtesy Dave Eskenazi))

Fred’s grandson Joey, a real-estate agent from Anna Maria Island, Florida, flew to Seattle with his dad, Joe (Fred’s son), for the tribute. Because of their presence, the tribute also was a 20th anniversary.

On July 15, 1999, when the ballpark (then named Safeco Field) opened, the pre-game ceremony featured Joey, then just 5. His tiny body nearly swimming inside a replica uniform and hat of the 1955 Seattle Rainiers, whom his gramps piloted to the Pacific Coast League title, Joey ran the bases to be greeted at home by his dad and M’s stars Ken Griffey Jr. and Jay Buhner. I was fortunate to be on the field to capture this emotional moment for the Hutch center.

Last July, I reconnected with now-25-year-old Joey, who sported long, curly locks in contrast to the closely shorn, mid-20th century Fred. Joey disclosed later that while he likes baseball, “soccer is my go-to sport.” But the differences end there. Fred’s famed fiery spirit has taken root in Joey’s heart.

“My whole family has a strong athletic background, and we play to win,” he says. “Even playing Monopoly when I was 12 or 13, once I had most of the board filled up with properties, I would take advantage of people, not cutting them any slack. … It can translate to a lot of things in life. It’s good to have that competitive nature.”

What about Fred’s well-known wall-busting at a loss? Joey allows for some Fred-like downsides. “For me, there’s been a few broken benches, a few drywall holes, car doors and doors slammed in the house,” he says. “It’s a little bit more than we want, but that’s all a part of the legacy, good or bad.”

A rock-star moment bolstered the legacy at this year’s Hutch Award luncheon July 18, which raised $575,000 for cancer research. The keynote speaker, retired one-handed pitcher Jim Abbott, asked for a “kid” in the audience to help him display his patented mitt transfer. The “kid” became West Seattle’s Eddie Vedder, of Pearl Jam. (Next year’s Hutch Award luncheon will take place Wednesday, May 6, 2020.)

Joey’s appraisal of the year’s tributes reflects his grandfather’s gentlemanly side and civic stature that offset the fire. “We’re just thankful for the tradition that the Mariners and Fred Hutch keep alive,” he says. “It’s a great thing for us to come back to.”

WEB EXTRAS

Here is an additional “Now” photo.

NOW2: Against a T-Mobile Park backdrop of retired Mariners star Ichiro Suzuki, 25 Hutchinson family members wear commemorative T-shirts while posing for a group photo prior to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Seattle-born baseball great Fred Hutchinson. In the front row, Fred’s son, Joe, in 1955 Seattle Rainiers replica jersey, is second from left. Grandson Joey is third from left. (Clay Eals)

 

Also, here is where to find the original column (June 30, 2019).

And here is a link to video of the July 7, 2019, opening ceremony at T-Mobile Park.

Video: The opening ceremony of Hutch 100 Day on July 7, 2019, at T-Mobile Park,  including a bio of Fred Hutchinson, a field gathering of Hutch supporters and a first-pitch ceremony. 4:35.

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THEN: Looking north on Railroad Avenue in 1920 from a new municipal trolley trestle at Washington Street — some 30 years before the Alaskan Way Viaduct was constructed in this corridor. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)
NOW1: Photographed one week after the Jan. 11 closing of the Alaska Way Viaduct, the pie-shaped 1 Yesler Way is visible at right. (Jean Sherrard)
NOW2: The three-story former Bedford Hotel shines in afternoon sun that never made its way to the building in viaduct days. (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Dec. 20, 2019
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Dec. 22, 2019)

The Alaskan Way Viaduct – gone with a golden legacy
By Jean Sherrard

In 2019, Seattle underwent a public facelift as startling and momentous as any in recent memory.

With the demolition of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the waterfront, after 66 years, is no longer unhitched from the city’s downtown. After a long (and noisy) separation, there are high hopes for the new marriage.

Four of our columns this year commemorated this extended event. At the end of this creative destruction, we revisit two of them (and reference the third and fourth in our Web extras below).

In our Feb. 24 installment, we looked north on Railroad Avenue (now Alaskan Way), wide and busy in 1920. Our “Now,” taken one week after the viaduct closed permanently, was dominated by the grey, elevated structure.

The new “Now” seen here, taken in late November, has the same vantage. Looking north up Alaskan Way from Washington Street, my camera atop a 21-foot extension pole, I drew the admiration of an onlooker leaning from a second-story window in the Washington Park Building (far right, built in 1890, mere months after the Seattle Fire).

I asked him what he felt was the most dramatic effect of removing the viaduct.

“Silence and sunlight,” he crisply replied. “This conversation wouldn’t be possible because of the roar of traffic. And no more concrete shade.”

Further north, we see the three-story, pie-shaped building at 1 Yesler Way (originally the 1911 Bedford Hotel) emerging in golden sunlight from nearly seven decades in the shadows.

The entire waterfront is celebrating the same destiny, says Greg Nickels, Seattle’s mayor from 2002 to 2010, who offers sage advice: “For 66 years, the viaduct served as a placeholder, giving us a unique chance to re-imagine our city’s waterfront. Let’s not waste it.”

Part of that advice applies to chunks of the viaduct itself.

THEN: In 1953, some 180 idling vehicles simulate the worst possible traffic in the northbound Battery Street Tunnel in a successful test of the ventilation system (courtesy Ron Edge).
NOW1: Crowds pass southbound through the tunnel, pausing to view Vanishing Seattle’s video projection, collected and assembled by artist/activists Cynthia Brothers, Jill Freidberg and Rachel Kessler. (Jean Sherrard)
NOW2: Jimmy Vukelich of Kiewit, onsite tunnel superintendent, stands upon gravel-topped fill, just a few feet shy of the ceiling of the Battery Street Tunnel. (Jean Sherrard)

 

In our March 17 installment, we showcased a 1953 interior view of the Battery Street Tunnel, which served as the northern entry to the viaduct. Our “Now” was taken Feb. 2, when we joined tens of thousands of pedestrians walking through the tunnel while visiting the viaduct for the last time.

Today the tunnel, brimful with viaduct debris in the new “Now” seen here, offers a final view before being sealed forever. Bits of the rubble were offered to the public gratis in late November, allowing viaduct supporters one last concrete chance to preserve their nostalgia.

“Nothing about this job was easy,” concludes Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar. “The viaduct stood perilously close to buildings and utilities and a critical rail corridor. We appreciate our contractor, Kiewit Infrastructure West, which finished the job with no injuries and no significant damage. And we’re proud to have cleared the way for Seattle’s new waterfront.”

WEB EXTRAS

Here’s where to find the original Viaduct-related columns referenced above on Railroad Avenue (Feb. 23, 2019) and the Battery Street Tunnel (March 16, 2019).

Also, here are two more “Then/Now” triads, related to Viaduct columns we did in 2019.

The first triad is based on our original column of March 10, 2019:

THEN: Probable members of the Seattle Photography Club, most likely taken by fellow member Horace Sykes in 1953, although we don’t know for sure. (courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
NOW1: Denizens of the waterfront on the final day of public access to the Viaduct, Feb. 2, 2019: (from left) Kevin Clark, owner of Argosy Cruises and Tillicum Excursions; Ryan Smith, third generation manager of Martin Smith, Inc., who own 15 historic buildings throughout downtown Seattle, including Piers 55 and 56; and the ubiquitous Bob Donegan, who helps manage Ivar’s from Pier 54. (Jean Sherrard)
NOW2: Firmly planted on the ground where the Viaduct formerly stood are (from left) Kevin Clark, Ryan Smith and Bob Donegan. (Jean Sherrard)

The second triad is based on our original column of April 21, 2019:

THEN: Soon after this photo was taken in 1962, a section of the Seattle Armory’s western wall collapsed onto the Alaskan Way Viaduct, punching two holes in the northbound lanes and cracking a support beam. Repairs took several days. (Larry Dion, Seattle Times)
NOW1: Immediately north of the view in this March 2019 photo, the viaduct has been completely demolished. (Jean Sherrard)
NOW2: The Murray family enjoys the newly clear view. On Nov. 21, 2019, at the foot of Lenora, a stone’s throw north of the Great Northern Tunnel, the last remaining columns of the viaduct were removed, for good reason. To accommodate the dozens of trains passing through each day, the current owner, BNSF Railway, mandated that demolition near the tunnel be limited to only six hours per week beginning at 11 PM each Saturday, concluding early Sunday morning. (Jean Sherrard)

Seattle Now & Then: The Princess and the Chief, revisited

[A reminder from Paul, Jean and Clay: Signed and personally inscribed copies of our award-winning book, Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred, are available for immediate delivery. Order now to receive your copy in time for the holidays!]

(click and click again to enlarge photos)

THEN 1: Of the dozens of photos of Chief Seattle’s daughter, few are as candid as this one. It was taken probably around 1890, by an unknown photographer, on the boardwalk beside Pike Street and a half block west of Front Street, now First Avenue. The Pike Place Market would not be established for another 17 years. (courtesy Paul Dorpat)
THEN 2: A studio portrait of an elderly Chief Seattle, taken in 1864 by pioneer photographer E.L. Sammis. Thirty years earlier, William Fraser Tolmie, a young Hudson’s Bay Company doctor, wrote in his journals that Seattle was “a brawny Soquamish with a roman countenance & black curley hair, the handsomest Indian I have seen.” (Paul Dorpat)
NOW: Chief Seattle descendants Mary Lou Slaughter and Ken Workman pose in today’s Post Alley at Pike Place Market, just west of First Avenue, sporting Mary Lou’s woven cedar garments. Her exquisite design work can also be found in the intricate, inlaid cedar floor of the Duwamish Longhouse in West Seattle. (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Dec. 12, 2019
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Dec. 15, 2019)

From 12,000 years ago comes the nudge of native history
By Jean Sherrard

“For at least 12,000 years, the Duwamish people have been living here. They are buried under the streets and the sidewalks and houses of Seattle. Their DNA rises from the roots of the trees and when the wind blows through the leaves, those are the sounds of our ancestors.”
   – Ken Workman, descendant of Chief Seattle

For our recently published book, “Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred,” we chose 100 subjects from more than 1,800 columns that Paul Dorpat has contributed since he began in 1982. This week’s subject is one of our favorites. Originally appearing in March 2005, we present it afresh and updated with an amended cast of characters.

It features Kikisoblu (c. 1820-1896), eldest daughter of Chief Seattle, leader of the Duwamish and Suquamish tribes. Catherine Maynard, the second wife of Doc Maynard, renamed her Angeline, and in time she became known as Princess Angeline because of her father’s status and her inherent dignity.

Refusing to be transported across Puget Sound to the Suquamish reservation, she lived for many years in a shack on Seattle’s waterfront. To survive, she worked hard, taking in laundry and selling her handmade baskets to settlers who displaced her people.

She lived in destitution but had her protectors. Late in her life, the Board of King County Commissioners instructed a grocer to give her whatever she needed and to send bills to the county.

For our “Now” photo, we enlisted the aid of two direct descendants of Chief Seattle. Mary Lou Slaughter, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Kikisoblu, is a master cedar weaver whose baskets and traditional clothing are prized for their artistry. Ken Workman, whose great-great-great-great-grandmother was Seattle’s second wife, is a Duwamish tribal council member and eloquent spokesman for his people – in both English and Coast Salish Lushootseed.

Mary Lou brought along several of her creations, including a cape for herself and a vest for Ken. During the 10 minutes we spent shooting the photo, both Clay Eals (column partner and our book’s editor) and I noted that Ken seemed uncomfortable, glancing over his shoulder several times.

Ken recalls: “I felt a couple little pushes on my elbow, as if someone was urging me to get out of the way – I said to myself, ‘Jean, take the picture’ — but when I looked around there was no one there.”

Skeptics may be wary, but Ken regards this insistent prod on his arm as yet another reminder of ancestors present, even in the oxygen we breathe. The nudge of history, I would accede (after pursuing many hundreds of photo repetitions), is strong in these parts and now and then gently urges that we step aside and pause to remember what came before.

WEB EXTRAS

To see Jean Sherrard’s 360-degree video of the “Now” prospect and compare it with the “Then” photo, and to hear this column read aloud by Jean, check out our Seattle Now & Then 360 version of the column!

Below is a link to a video interview of Ken Workman.

VIDEO: Ken Workman is interviewed by Clay Eals on Aug. 21, 2016, for the SouthWest Stories series of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. 1:15:39.

Below is a link to a video interview of Mary Lou Slaughter.

VIDEO: Mary Lou Slaughter speaks of her life and work at her South Kitsap home in November 2019 to students of Hillside School Community. 14:17. (screen shot, Jean Sherrard)

 

 

Seattle Now & Then: home on Capitol Hill, after 1902

(click and click again to enlarge photos)

THEN: In addition to a windmill in the distance, this weathered photograph of the rather solitary Allan house at 1421 E. Valley St., taken not long after it was built in 1902, shows cows lounging in the next-door vacant lot, according to Jackie Williams’ book “The Hill With a Future: Seattle’s Capitol Hill 1900-1946,” originally published in 2001 and out of print until this month. (Courtesy Jackie Williams and Capitol Hill Historical Society)
NOW: Standing before the Allan house are (from left) author Jackie Williams, Tom Heuser and Marissa Hiller of the Capitol Hill Historical Society, which has reprinted Williams’ book, and homeowners Jennifer and Andrew Ting. The book, the first and only one focused solely on Capitol Hill history, gets a (re)launch party at 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019, at Vermillion Art Gallery and Bar, 1508 11th Ave. The event is free, with no cover charge. (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Dec. 5, 2019
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Dec. 8, 2019)

From parties to puns to pies, a Capitol Hill home’s story emerges
By Clay Eals

When I broke into professional newspapering in 1973, the time had long passed when dailies printed details of every party, dance and wedding submitted by high society. Such notices were deemed a frivolous use of precious space needed to cover serious issues.

However, digging today into The Seattle Times’ online archive, I find that social squibs often help reveal the story of a vintage edifice. Case in point: the three-story 1902 Queen Anne that stands at 1421 E. Valley St., one of hundreds of houses anchoring what many consider residential nirvana on the north end of Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.

It’s clear the abode of Harding and Emma Allan hosted grand gatherings for family and friends. “Miss Mabel Allen entertained at bridge yesterday afternoon,” intoned one item on July 6, 1911. “Six tables were arranged in rooms decorated with a profusion of summer flowers.” The affair was “complimentary to” Mrs. Joseph Hamilton Hillsman, visiting from Atlanta. Eight years later, 40 attended a dance there to honor Miss Ruth Dovell of Berkeley.

From the same address, the Allans made news for other reasons, consequential and otherwise. They lost a son, age 10, in 1909. Helen Allan won 25 cents in 1911 by sending the Times a “Daffydill” pun: “If Lem-on Friday beet tomato’s head lettuce squash his cocoanut.” Five years later, Robert Allan joined 59 others on a grand jury, “the first sitting of an inquisitorial body” since Seattle’s passage of liquor prohibition.

Harding Allan, a contractor for 26 years, died at age 70 in 1928 while erecting the Exeter Apartments at Eighth and Seneca. His widow, Emma, who won third prize in the Times’ 1931 one-crust pie contest, died in 1948 at age 87.

Meanwhile, grandson John Fenton, a naval aviation cadet, merited six blurbs during World War II, including taking “a course in England designed to bridge the gap between training in the States and soldiering in an active theatre of war.” Later residents of the house were involved in a motorcycle wreck in 1952 and a car-bicycle crash in 1956.

These pieces depict a puzzle that is far from complete, but they summon a time when physical addresses were part of public identity. Many such episodes surface in the present day only on Facebook, sans addresses.

Today, the Allan home remains largely the same, which relieves Jackie Williams, author of The Hill With a Future: Seattle’s Capitol Hill 1900-1946. Her engaging book includes our “Then” image among its 100 photos and keen insights.

“Capitol Hill has not torn down these lovely old houses and built new, modern buildings,” she says. “It’s retained the integrity. It looks just like it would have looked 50 years ago.”

WEB EXTRAS

Besides the Dec. 8, 2019, (re)launch party for Jackie Williams’ book (see “Now” caption above), the Capitol Hill Historical Society also invites the public to its third annual Holiday Party at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019, at Monique Lofts, 1505 11th Ave. The event is free with $10 suggested donation. To RSVP and learn more details, visit here.

At this event, Tom Heuser and Rob Ketcherside, the organization’s president and vice-president, respectively, will present “Wind of Change: A Photo at the Edge and Beginning of Capitol Hill,” featuring the history of the Allan house at 1421 E. Valley St. with a focus on the structures in the background, particularly the windmill and water tower.

To see Jean Sherrard’s 360-degree video of the “Now” prospect and compare it with the “Then” photo, and to hear this column read aloud by Clay Eals, check out our Seattle Now & Then 360 version of the column!

Below are three photos of the Allan family from the Capitol Hill Historical Society,  two videos and 43 clippings from The Seattle Times online archive (available via Seattle Public Library) that, among others, were helpful in the preparation of this column. Enjoy!

An Allan family portrait on the steps of 1421 E. Valley St. (Courtesy Capitol Hill Historical Society, via ancestry.com)
Harding and Emma Allan (Courtesy Capitol Hill Historical Society, via ancestry.com)
Harding Allan (Courtesy Capitol Hill Historical Society, via ancestry.com)
VIDEO: Author Jackie Williams talks about Capitol Hill integrity. 1:07
VIDEO: Jennifer Ting, co-owner of 1421 E. Valley St., serves coffee to Tom Heuser, president of the Capitol Hill Historical Society. 0:17
Jan. 6, 1902, Seattle Times, page 4
March 2, 1903, Seattle Times, page 10
April 3, 1903, Seattle Times, page 11
May 5, 1907, Seattle Times, page 55
May 18, 1909, Seattle Times, page 13
May 19, 1909, Seattle Times, page 9
Oct. 10, 1909, Seattle Times, page 32
Oct. 17, 1909, Seattle Times, page 18
Oct. 21, 1909, Seattle Times, page 11
July 6, 1911, Seattle Times, page 10
July 9, 1911, Seattle Times, page 51
July 14, 1911, Seattle Times, page 11
Feb. 29, 1916, Seattle Times, page 10
Nov. 12, 1916, Seattle Times, page 5
June 9, 1917, Seattle Times, page 4
July 27, 1917, Seattle Times, page 13
July 29, 1917, Seattle Times, page 50
Aug. 10, 1917, Seattle Times, page 13
Aug. 12, 1917, Seattle Times, page 55
June 29, 1919, Seattle Times, page 76
Aug. 7, 1919, Seattle Times, page 13
Aug. 10, 1919, Seattle Times, page 34
Aug. 17, 1919, Seattle Times, page 38
Nov. 21, 1919, Seattle Times, page 24
Jan. 19, 1928, Seattle Times, page 28
Jan. 20, 1928, Seattle Times, page 30
Jan. 22, 1928, Seattle Times, page 15
Nov. 1, 1931, Seattle Times, page 4
May 5, 1935, Seattle Times, page 29
May 5, 1939, Seattle Times, page 10
May 5, 1939, Seattle Times, page 29
Oct. 17, 1943, Seattle Times, page 22
May 23, 1944, Seattle Times, page 6
June 23, 1944, Seattle Times, page 6
Feb. 10, 1945, Seattle Times, page 7
March 16, 1945, Seattle Times, page 6
May 28, 1946, Seattle Times, page 5
Jan. 13, 1952, Seattle Times, page 4
Sept. 13, 1956, Seattle Times, page 15
Jan. 4, 1957, Seattle Times, page 14
Feb. 19, 1959, Seattle Times, page 54
June 2, 1967, Seattle Times, page 53
April 20, 1972, Seattle Times, page 37

Seattle Now & Then: Washington National Guard in Tacoma, 1935

(click and click again to enlarge photos)

THEN: Eyed by office workers in upper windows, Washington National Guardsmen fitfully use tear gas to ease lumber strikers and spectators back across Pacific Avenue and up the streetcar-tracked 11th Street hill in the late afternoon of July 12, 1935, in downtown Tacoma. The People’s (foreground) and Fisher’s (background) department stores stand prominently on the south (left) side of 11th. (Washington National Guard State Historical Society)
NOW: Backed by banks instead of department stores and posing in the footsteps of their guard predecessors are (from left) Rick Patterson of Dupont, Andy Leneweaver of Tacoma and Bill Woodward of Seattle, authors of “Washington National Guard.” The public can hear their free book presentation to the Pacific Northwest Historians Guild at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, at the Seattle Pacific University library. For more info, visit here, (Clay Eals)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Nov. 28, 2019
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Dec. 1, 2019)

Keeping their (National) Guard up in downtown Tacoma
By Clay Eals

Those who, like me, are charmed by the hillsides of downtown Tacoma may easily place the setting of our “Then” photo. But the activity bespeaks chaos, not charm.

The image looks west up 11th Street across Pacific Avenue in the late afternoon of Friday, July 12, 1935. Non-union men, desperate for Depression-era work and returning from tideflat lumber mills across the 11th Street Bridge, were confronted by angry hundreds who fueled the famed, summer-long Great Lumber Strike of 1935, a fractious, voluminously documented chapter in state labor history.

To preserve order, Gov. Clarence Martin called in part-time citizen soldiers of the Washington National Guard, who traveled 13 miles north from their Camp Murray headquarters, outfitted with rifles and bayonets and wearing World War I uniforms. Strikers jeered them as “tin hats.”

The photo captures guardsmen deploying tear gas. As thousands watched, a few from behind upper windows, some strikers hurled smoking canisters back at the guardsmen, who wore no masks and faced a stiff easterly wind that blew the acrid chemicals into their eyes. Despite the turmoil, the four-hour uproar produced only a few injuries. No shots were fired. No one died.

The 1935 scene evokes memories of my own – and, I suspect, many others – of a vastly different time and circumstance, when an ill-trained and ill-led Ohio National Guard used tear gas and opened fire during a 1970 anti-war protest at Kent State University, killing four students.

Such infamy, however, does not reside in the track record of this state’s guard, one of 54 such organizations in U.S. states and territories, say authors of a new book. The three – Andy Leneweaver, Rick Patterson and Bill Woodward — embody a combined 96 years of local guard service.

In their plain-titled Washington National Guard, the trio uses 200 photos to spin stories spanning a century and a half. They cover a wide swath of guard service, from protecting Chinese citizens during Seattle’s anti-Chinese riots in 1886 to providing police backup – without using tear gas – during the 1999 World Trade Organization protests, again in Seattle. The photos also depict deeply appreciated disaster relief, such when the fabled 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption enfolded guard soldiers in air and road patrols, search-and-rescue and ash cleanup.

The book does not overlook the guard’s many international military missions, and the authors and their 8,000 peers around the state remain fighters. Their slogan – “always ready, always there” – fits.

“We’re trained to go to war and support the national emergencies,” Patterson says, “but we’re also Washingtonians who care real deeply about our communities. When there’s floods and fires and quakes and volcanoes, we’re ready to jump on board, and we really feel proud about that.”

WEB EXTRAS

To see Jean Sherrard’s 360-degree video of the NOW prospect and compare it with the THEN photo, and to hear this column read aloud by Clay Eals, check out our Seattle Now & Then 360 version of the column!

For hundreds of Seattle, Tacoma and labor newspaper stories about the Great Lumber Strike of 1935, including the incident described above, visit this page of the University of Washington site: “Strikes! Labor History Encyclopedia for the Pacific Northwest.”

Also, below are a 1976 column about the incident, a promotional postcard for the Washington National Guard book and a link to a 27-minute video interview of the book’s authors.

1976 “Labor Pains” column
Promotional postcard for “Washington National Guard” book
Video: Authors (from left) Rick Patterson, Andy Leneweaver and Bill Woodward discuss their new book “Washington National Guard.” (Clay Eals)

 

Seattle Now & Then: King Street Coach Yards, 1929

(click and click again to enlarge photos)

THEN: More than 100 workers pose for an Oct. 2, 1929, company portrait on the tracks south of the King Street Station. Casey McNerthney’s great-grandfather, Matt McAlerney, stands just left of center, arms folded, directly above the “S” of “ST.” Emil Martin’s dad, Petar Martincevic, with mustache and suspenders, stands above the “2” in “Oct. 2.” Women posing in the observation cars were cleaners, says Emil, but their “most disagreeable” job was emptying the oft overflowing spittoons. (Courtesy, Casey McNerthney & Emil Martin)
NOW: Most of Matt and Lily’s descendants remain in Seattle, and more than two dozen assemble on the Edgar Martinez overpass looking south above the old coach yards. Casey stands center rear in a blue shirt surrounded by14 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren, as well as spouses and cousins. In an Irish family, he asserts, “You can always count on four things in no particular order: singing, dancing, crying and drinking.” Plus, he adds, “always great stories.” (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Nov. 21, 2019
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Nov. 24, 2019)

What are the odds? Descendants of 2 Seattle immigrants find family members in the same 1929 photo
By Jean Sherrard

More than 30 years ago, my wife and I disastrously hosted our first Thanksgiving feast meant to introduce Vietnamese neighbors to an American immigrant ritual and roasted our first turkey. Benjamin Franklin’s favored bird, bane of chefs and home cooks alike, often emerges from the oven raw or overdone, but our perfectly basted 14-pounder seemed to achieve a happy medium. As I transferred it from pan to platter, however, a previously unnoticed bag of giblets exploded from the neck cavity. We assured our slightly unnerved friends that this was not part of the traditional fare.

In this week’s “Then” portrait of King Street Station coach yard workers and trains, taken 22 days before the Oct. 24, 1929, stock-market crash that launched the Great Depression, we encounter another particularly American story of arrival, immigration and citizenship. Ninety years later and by coincidence, two Seattle descendants of men portrayed here separately presented us with this rare image.

It began when Casey McNerthney, visiting a postcard and photo exhibition in Portland in April, spotted a panoramic print in a dealer’s booth. Its inscription tallied with his great-grandfather Matt McAlerney’s time at the coach yard. Leaning in to examine the photo more closely, Casey delighted in finding Matt’s face in the crowd. “No way,” he thought. “What are the odds of that?” Casey purchased it on the spot.

Having immigrated to Seattle from County Down in Northern Ireland in 1911, Matt McAlerney soon found work with the Great Northern Railroad. In October 1916, he met Lily Kempson, a young fugitive who had fled Dublin after playing a significant role in the failed Easter Uprising. After a whirlwind courtship, the couple married and had seven children. Matt continued his rail work through two world wars, retiring in the mid-1950s.

Our second serendipitous contributor, 96-year old Emil Martin (originally Martincevic), at an October book event in West Seattle, presented us with the identical photo and pointed out his father, Petar Martincevic. Petar arrived in Seattle in 1910 from Yugoslavia and began work as an air-brake mechanic in the coach yards. He died in 1964 at age 86.

As a boy, Emil came to know his father’s co-workers well. He says they were of “many nationalities including Irish, Yugoslavian, Scandinavian, Italian, Belgian” along with “an unusually large number of White Russians” who fled across Siberia following the 1917 Russian Revolution.

In the proud faces of these immigrant men (and a handful of women), many who left behind strife, political oppression and poverty, this Thanksgiving we salute their hope for better lives in a new world.

WEB EXTRAS

For our 360-degree video of the “Now” photo shoot with Jean’s narration, click here!

Also, head over to Casey’s fascinating biography of his great-grandmother Lily Kempson (and a bit about Matt, as well).

Casey thoughtfully sent along photo ID’s of each and every participant:

1. Will Murray
2. Tim McAlerney, grandson
3. Mike McCullough, grandson
4. Connor Bronkema, great-great-grandson
5. Pat McCullough, grandson
6. Alicia Hartnett, great-granddaughter
7. Libby McCullough, grandaughter
8. Shawn Bennett, granddaughter
9. Martin McAlerney, grandson
10. Helen McCullough, granddaughter
11. Sheila Linggi, granddaughter
12. Al Linggi
13. Nicole Russeff
14. Shannon Russeff
15. Casey McNerthney, great-grandson
16. Wendy McNerthney
17. Laird Nelson
18. Pat McNerthney, grandson
19. Adam McAlerney, great-grandson
20. Jennie Bruner, great-granddaughter
21. Trish Edenfield, granddaughter
22. Jacob Bruner, great-great-grandson
23. Jim McAlerney Jr., grandson
24. Reiko McCullough
25. Jim McCullough, grandson
26. Margaret McCullough, granddaughter
27. Joe McNerthney, grandson
28. Vince Murray

Clay Eals visited Emil Martin, the serendipitous provider of the second copy of our “Then” photo, and snapped this portrait:

Emil Martin, holding his own copy of our panoramic photo. (Clay Eals)

To read Emil Martin’s short memoir of his own work at the King Street Station coach yards, click on the embedded page just below. For a much more detailed and fascinating handwritten account of Emil’s life and times, check out this remarkable document he provided. Thanks, Emil!

Emil adds on Nov. 25, 2019: “I would like to make one correction in my reminiscence article. I said the 5 and 10-cent stores were Kress and Rhodes. Rhodes had a department store at the SW corner of 2nd Ave and Pike St. It should have been Kress and Woolworth. Kress was on the SE corner of 3rd and Pike. Woolworth was on the SW corner of 3rd and Pike and was the one with the soda counter, piano music and live birds.”

 

Now & Then here and now