EDGE CLIPPINGS – UW Program 1863


This – if memory serves – is the second insertion of “EDGE CLIPPINGS.”  For the most part what falls below this logo “Puget Sound Alki” – meaning “Puget Sound Eventually” or “Puget Sound Coming” or bye and bye – will be clippings pulled from old Puget Sound based newspapers.  For instance, No. 2 is taken from The Washington  Gazette (out of Olympia) for August 15, 1863.  It is an announcement of the nearly-new territorial university’s program and its new president W.C. Barnard, out of Dartmouth College by way of La Creole Academy in The Dalles , Oregon and then Willamette University at Salem, Oregon.   A reading of the entire clip will soon reveal that Barnard not only knows his subjects but also how to discipline.  And the clip makes clear that church and state were then still in a devotional embrace.   So thanks again to collector Ron Edge for pulling this clipping from his collection and sharing it.  Be assured dear reader that we will try – always try – to pick clippings that are both entertaining and instructive.  And we confess that we enjoy sharing these in part because it is so easy to do.  They are ready-made delights, revealing narratives and pithy trivia.

CLICK TO ENLARGE – click TWICE to Enlarge the Enlargement!


Procession of the Species IV

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Creator/Director Eli Sterling dons the rhino

The clouds parted.

Many thousands lined the parade route, cheering every float, every costume, every performer.  Quoting from the Procession website:

…on Procession day, residents don their creative expressions and proceed through the streets of Olympia in masks and costumes. Carrying banners, windsocks, and giant puppets, they participate in a cultural exchange honoring the awe and splendor of the natural world.

Congratulations to all involved in this glorious event!

Procession III: Preparation

Dove of Peace waits under glowering skies

On Saturday, hundreds of participants – dancers, musicians, artists, and celebrants – gathered on side streets to prepare for the late afternoon parade.

The streets were filled with chalk drawings, made with chalk freely provided, turning downtown Olympia into a vast tapestry of community art.

The clouds threatened rain.

Procession of the Species, II: Luminarios

Everyone joins the parade

Some may recall my visit to Eli Sterling’s workshop last week.

Friday night, I returned to Olympia for the Procession of the Species luminarios, during which the luminous creations of months of collaborative art are hoisted along downtown streets, culminating at the lake below the capital, enchanting young and old.  Here are a small sample of pix from that evening.

Soon, we’ll have a look at the main event on Saturday.

Seattle Now & Then: 45 Years of Freeway

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THEN: With great clouds overhead and a landscape 45 years shorter than now, one vehicle – a pickup heading east – gets this part of State Route 520 to itself on a weekday afternoon. (courtesy Lawton Gowey)
THEN: With great clouds overhead and a landscape 45 years shorter than now, one vehicle – a pickup heading east – gets this part of State Route 520 to itself on a weekday afternoon. (courtesy Lawton Gowey)
NOW: For his repeat Jean Sherrard moved further south on the Delmar Drive overpass to get around the screen of trees that now shoulders the freeway.

Both Jean and I confess to some disappointment that this week’s repeat did not quite give what we thought it would.

These views look east from the Delmar Drive E. overpass above Highway 520 where it makes its approach or withdrawal from the Evergreen Floating Bridge.  An enthusiastic amateur named Horace Sykes photographed the historical scene on the Monday afternoon of February 24, 1964, which was only a half-year after “the longest floating bridge in the world” first opened on August 28, 1963.  Jean repeated it 45 years later to the day – on a Tuesday.

For estimating when in the afternoon Sykes recorded his Kodachrome slide, Jean and I studied the shadows cast on the pavement from the sturdy post, far right, supporting the sign. Agreeing on an estimate – sometime between 4 and 4:30 pm – we smiled and rubbed our hands with satisfaction.  We expected that the solitary pickup heading west in Sykes photo would by now be joined by a commuter pack hurrying home like bumper cars in a carnival.

Jean arrived at four and waited – and waited.  He recounts, “After standing at the railing for about twenty minutes I got a call from Susan Rohrer, of the State Capitol Museum in Olympia.  I told her of my surprise that the traffic was so light and not as I expected it.  She told me that her husband, who commutes to Seattle about three times a week, thinks the traffic has thinned as well, and wonders if the recession may be the cause of it all.  Feeling consoled I snapped what was given and soon left the overpass a moment short of 4:30pm.”

(We continue with a fascinating and related column about the Montlake Isthmus from August 8th, 1982.  From Paul’s first year at the Times, when he was just a kid with a crazy dream.)

This early century panorama of the Montlake isthmus shows a developing Laurelhurst beyond and Portage Bay used as a mill pond in the foreground. (Courtesy of Seattle Public Library)

Perhaps, no strip of regional real estate has engineered more dreams of empire than the isthmus that used to separate Lake Union from Lake Washington. From the beginning of white settlement it inspired local boosters to imagine the cornucopia of raw materials that would come spilling out of Lake Washington right to the back door of Seattle, once the cut could be made through that little ribbon of land.

The line of the first cut can be faintly see in in our turn-of-the-century panorama. (It was recorded from near where the photographs were taken for the linked story about the freeway in 1964 when it was nearly new.) The first cut diagonally passes through the isthmus at the center of the photograph. The Lake Washington side ingress is just right of the four small and two tall trees. Built in 1883 by Chinese labor under the pay of local promoters David Denny, Thomas Burke and others, it was designed for scooting logs from the big lake into the millpond on Portage Bay, and eventually on to the mills of Lake Union, David Denny’s Western Mill at the south end of the lake included.

Our view continues east across that dividing land, part of today’s Montlake neighborhood, to Lake Washington’s Union Bay, which was then considerably larger than today and would stay so until the big lake was dropped 9 feet in 1916. Just beyond rises the largely denuded Laurelhurst peninsula, and in the distance, Kirkland can be seen across the lake.

Although this setting has its pastoral touches, the signs of development are almost everywhere. Not seen, but to the left of the photograph, is the town of Yesler. There, in the late 1880s, near the present site of the University’s horticulture center, pioneer Henry Yesler put up a namesake mill. Most of Laurelhurst was possibly first clear-cut by Yesler’s saws, then milled and finally shipped to market on the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad. (That railroad’s bed was later transformed into the Burke Gilman Recreational Path.) By 1887, Thomas Burke’s railroad had reached both Ravenna and Yesler at the north end of Union Bay.

The lakes were first joined by name only on July 4, 1854. Most of Seattle gathered then to celebrate Independence Day on Thomas Mercer’s claim near the southern end of a lake the Indians called “little water.” Mercer proposed that the “big water” to the east be named “Washington,” and that the little water on whose refreshing shores they were gathered be called “union.” Someday, Mercer proclaimed, it would surely be the connection for an even greater union between that big lake and Puget Sound. The locals agreed, and from that moment on there was a recurrent agitation to consummate that union.

The first person to actually try it was Harvey Pike. He followed his father John Henry Pike to town in 1861. The elder Pike was employed to help design and build the then new Territorial University at the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Seneca Street. His son was given the job of painting the new school and his wage was a deed to part of this isthmus in present-day Montlake.

Harvey Pike actually tried to split his land in two with a simple pick, shovel and wheelbarrow. This, in the way of tools, was only a little more than Moses used to divide the Red Sea. But Harvey Pike had none of the divine aid, or in his case, federal subsidy, and so he had to give it up. The subsidy wouldn’t come in large amounts until 1910 when a Rivers and Harbors Act passed by Congress included $2,750,000 for the construction of locks down at Shilshole, so long as King County agreed to finance and build the canal that would run from the locks to the “big lake,” and the county consented.

When the channel between the two lakes was opened in 1916 the greatest change was not the opening of the hinterland to the opportunity and exploitation of military and industrial steamers, but rather the lowering of the lake and thereby exposing thousands of acres of fresh bottomland. When the contemporary canal from salt water to fresh was completed in 1917 its Montlake Cut was a few hundred feet north of Harvey Pike’s strip of opportunity. And its primary traffic was, and still is, not ocean-going steamers but pleasure craft.

Union Bay & The U.W. June 1939 – Vertical (Map) Aerial


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Here’s another revealing addition from Ron Edge’s collection.  It may be compared to the ca. World War Two aerial of Union Bay we published on the 20th of this month.  This is also a photo from the sky, but one recorded to read like a map.  In the almost illegible box lower-right it is identified as recorded in June of 1939 for the U.W.’s building department.  Note that the war time housing that would be upper-right  is not yet developed, and neither has the future site of the golf driving range (top-center) been spread with sanitary fill.  These are changes that both appear in the aerial published April 20.

A few things to Look for
* Old Meany Hall (1909) on campus
* The campus lawn between Meany and Suzzallo Library is still not bricked and yes there is no garage beneath it.
* AYP circle on Stevens Way south of Architecture Hall, which was built for the fair to show art.
* Stevens way still continues south under the railroad overpass and into Pacific Street.  This is the line of the old Pay Streak or carnival part of the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition (AYP).
* Showboat Theatre, foot of 15th Ave.
* No University Hospital / Yes golf course.
* No parking on Campus, upper-left and no new Burke Museum. (Although old Burke does show to the right of the Suzzallo Library.)
* Construction work on the 45th Street overpass, top-center.
* No new development “of note” along the eastern edge of the Main Campus above the railroad bed and behind Lewis and Clark halls.
* No upper (north) end of Stevens Way loop to Memorial Way.
* Smith Hall construction on the U.W.’s Quad.
* Southeast access to campus  from Montlake Bridge
* Baseball diamond still – no Intramural Bldg.
* No HUB – Student Union Building
* Some fill work (or dumping) leads into wetland above the baseball diamond and further north where Montlake Blvd begins its turn to join with 45th Street.
* and much more . . .
(Remember to CLICK and enlarge.)

The Seattle Waterfront: An Illustrated History

In 2005, Paul wrote an Illustrated History of the Seattle Waterfront on request from the Seattle City Council.  He comments:

waterfront-stampIt took about 5 months to complete, and I forsook Ivar (except for including him and his in the history – even this introduction!) and much else – except the weekly Times features – in order to get it done.  Still it was a great delight to write – or to assemble it from many years of writing on Waterfront subjects and to also use other resources I had not yet studied.

The posting of chunks of this monumental history (heretofore called chapters) will occur when Paul has the time and inclination. Dorpat also affirms that there will be as many as 174 chapters by the time he’s posted them all. (Jean says, Whew!)

Please click here or on the button marked The Seattle Waterfront: An Illustrated History to begin.

Procession of the Species

Consider visiting Olympia this Saturday for the 15th annual Procession of the Species – a delirious and remarkable community arts event (cum parade) with the stated goal of “[elevating] the dignity of the human spirit…through a process of imagination, creation and sharing.”  And it looks like they might just pull it off!

Eli Sterling, founder/director of the Procession
Eli Sterling, founder/director of the Procession

Here are some photos taken during a visit with Procession supremo Eli Sterling in his busy and overflowing Olympia workshop last Thursday.

Paul's 'SEATTLE CHRONICLE' reissued on DVD

sc-stampFirst released on VHS in 1992, ‘SEATTLE CHRONICLE,’ Paul’s acclaimed video tour through the first 90 years of Seattle history has been re-released with a new introduction on DVD.

A real bargain (we think) – originally $29.95, now $20 + $3.50 S&H (lovingly handled by Paul himself).



Here “himself” recounts the curious history of this production. Under the cover art included just below we have also inserted a scan of the formerly two sided flier that was folded in with the VHS tape. (You can still detect the fold creases.)   This was introduced with the second “printing” or run of the tape, and includes some corrections  – errata – that a few sensitive friends suggested.  If I remember correctly those mistakes were the efficient or practical cause for including also an index.  And I do enjoy making indexes because they are so bountiful.  The introduction in the flier below also suggests that after many itinerate years of giving slide shows hither-thither it was time to gather my stones and build a presentable and secure fort: an illustated history of Seattle.   Actually, the “time” was a telephone call from a teacher who taught teachers.  The instructor at Seattle Pacific University wanted a teaching aid – other than a book – on local history and asked “Do you have one.”  I anwsered, “No but I could make one quick enough.”   The result was this two-hour production, which I can thankfully note was very popular for a time – before YouTube and cell phones and digital cameras and many other recreations.

Double click to see full size

Seattle Chronicle also helped put veggies on the table for quite a while.  Seventeen years ago the tape sold for $29.95 – it was a conventional price then, and the margin of profit was more than ever imagined by a free-lance community historian without the monthly support that comes with some portfolio and/or hardwood chair in a faculty lounge. (Imagine, inflation has been nearly 100% since then.)  With the help of the KCTS videographer Tom Speer, my next door neighbor then, I videotaped a specially assembled slide show run on two projectors with a dissolve “unit’ between them.  I purchased these machines used from another road show artist who was then on Jacob’s Ladder to some new technology for showing his happy Christian shows around the state.  (In this I distinguish his shows from the less happy Christian shows we assocate with historical figures like Cotton Mather and Billy Sunday – all long before our time.  Yes, I am imagining all this simply from the smiling exchange between us on my front porch – my cash for his projectors and dissolver.  I have never seen his show.)  Next, I added music (most of my own composition) and some contemporary footage (that “now-then” effect) shot with what was just good enough at the time: a Hi-8 video camera borrowed from another friend.  By contemporary high-definition standards, then, this is not as slick in either technique or special effects as even your average endowed private school media production.  But it is a pretty good story-telling and once you have taken the two hours – or however long you need to watch it all – you will have a pretty good feel for Seattle History and be better ready to read books (some of which we will also soon !!!SELL!!! here) and explore historylink.  Finally, remember times are tough and don’t spend your money needlessly – unless you have lots of it, and then buy buy buy  as if you were a digit on the providential invisiable hand that is suppose to keep this for the most part free economy in line or on track or out of the hole.

Click the art below to enlarge it – and disregard the VHS graphic at the top of the cover art.  That is merely an artifact of the old video tape.  You are getting a DVD not a tape.

Click to enlarge the original cover art

To purchase, either send check for $25.30 (includes tax and S&H) to Tartu Publications, PO Box 85208, Seattle, WA 98145 or use our handy-dandy Paypal button: