Lying here at low tide in the slip between waterfront Fire Station #5 and the nearly new Pier 3 (54), the little freighter T.W. Lake was built in 1896 by its namesake, Thomas Lake, a productive Ballard builder of “mosquito fleet” steamers for Puget Sound.
On Aug. 25, 1900, its holds stuffed with empty grain sacks, the T. W. Lake steamed north to the LaConner flats where fields of oats were in shock, ready for threshing and wanting sacks. The steamer may have also later helped carry the Skagit Valley’s sacked oats here to Pier 3 (54), and its principal tenants, Galbraith and Bacon. James Galbraith began selling hay and feed on the waterfront in 1891, and Cecil Bacon, Galbraith’s new partner, was a chemical engineer with extra cash to invest in expanding the partnership onto the new Pier 3.
Built in 1900-1901, and seen here all in a row, Piers 3, 4, and 5 were parts of the Northern Pacific Railroad’s contribution to then boom-town Seattle’s elaborate makeover of its waterfront. The Yukon gold rush first heated Seattle with “gold fever” and surplus wealth in 1897. That was also the year that Reginald Thomson and George Cotterill, the city’s brilliant and politically-adept engineers, convinced dock owners and the railroads to conform to the city’s state-sanctioned plans for a uniform waterfront.
These abiding landmarks were part of waterfront changes that were later seriously threatened only once, and that following World War Two when the Port of Seattle considered replacing them with great longitudinal piers for the bigger ships then expected. Instead, the waterfront moved its trans-shipments to new longitudinal piers south on the tideflats. There they built parking lots for containers, with no pier warehouses needed.
A small but steady part of Puget Sound’s “Mosquito Fleet,” the T.W. Lake served well and long, but ended tragically on Dec. 5, 1923. Loaded with 300 barrels of lime and en route to Anacortes from Roche Harbor she ploughed into but not thru winds of 70 miles per hour plus. The T.W. Lake sank off Lopez Island taking with her all 18 men aboard in one of Puget Sound’s greatest maritime disasters.
Anything to add, Paul?
Jean and a lesson in memory too. I began my search for other features
from the “same neighborhood,” in this case Pier 3/54, by a key-word
this blog to see whatwe might have already advanced here. With Ron Edge’s help, I found so many
examples that after seven features I restrained myself, and looked no further.
Here they are in a row – the same row used here first on October 30, 2010.
They are in order,
The Fireboat Duwamish, circa 1912
The sidewheeler Alida 1870 ro 71
The fireboat Snoqualmie
The Norther Pacific Piers on Railroad Avenue ca. 1902
The “Mosquito Fleet” steamer Kitsap, ca. 1910
The sternwheeler Capitol City
and the Gorst Air Taxi that began flying back and forth between Pier 3 and
Bremerton in 1929 – just in time for the Great Depression.
To see/read them all just click your mouse on the photo of the Duwamish Fireboat, directly below.
Beyond these seven features we will conclude with a few more illustrated “notes” on Pier 3/54. (The number was changed in 1944 by the military as an “act of war.” The army hoped to rationalize – put in order – the diverse numbers and letters then used for the piers on Elliott Bay.)
The FOUR (4) Subjects that follow relate to the features that are buried (or trapped) under the BUTTON Above – the button that is the fireboat Duwamish. (Free them – Touch it, tap it, press it)
The Last of the seven features reached by pressing one’s mouse against the Duwamish Fireboat pix above, treats on the Gorst Air Taxi. Here follows are some related subjects.
IVAR at the FOOT OF MADISON
[Disclaimer: I am currently rushing to complete my now one dozen years in the making biography of Ivar Haglund titled – predictably – “KEEP CLAM”! Watch for it in Fish and Chips stands near you.]