Seattle Now & Then: Hole off of Holgate

   (click to enlarge photos)

THEN: The work of filling the tidelands south of King Street began in 1853 with the chips from Yesler’s sawmill.   Here in the neighborhood of 9th Ave. S. (Airport Way) and Holgate Street, the tideland reclaiming and street regrading continue 70 years later in 1923.  (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)
THEN: The work of filling the tidelands south of King Street began in 1853 with the chips from Yesler’s sawmill. Here in the neighborhood of 9th Ave. S. (Airport Way) and Holgate Street, the tideland reclaiming and street regrading continue 70 years later in 1923. (Courtesy, Municipal Archive)
NOW: Jean Sherrard stands snug to the freeway overpass on Holgate Street, named for the Seattle pioneer John C. Holgate who might have appreciated such a convenient ascent to his claim on Beacon Hill.
NOW: Jean Sherrard stands snug to the freeway overpass on Holgate Street, named for the Seattle pioneer John C. Holgate who might have appreciated such a convenient ascent to his claim on Beacon Hill.

The “revelator” here is the hole on the right.  From the guardrail on Holgate Street we get a somewhat rare look down into the old tideflats, or nearly so.  A lot has already been dumped in that hole, but far from enough to yet fill it.  In Jean’s “now” it is as high as Holgate and sturdy enough to support trucks.  Buildings now stand on concrete foundations and not on driven pilings like those supporting, at the 1923 scene’s center, the 45 steam-heated rooms of the Holgate Hotel, and the Alaska Stables, far right.

Asahel Curtis (the more famous Edward’s younger brother) dated this negative May 22, 1923. It is one of Curtis’ many recordings of what was named the “Ninth Avenue Regrade.”  (We will attach more of them below.) Ninth is now long since renamed Airport Way, and here at the end of Holgate, it can just be made out running north and south – left to right. On the far side of Ninth are joined-twin factories that were built like wharves early in the 20th Century above the highest tides that then still reached Beacon Hill behind them.  In Jean’s repeat the

ST-2-12-1905-This-paper-was-printed-off-Great-Western-Smelting-and-WEB..

surviving “inland piers” are partially outlined in white.  As the Seattle Times advertisement printed above reports, its Feb. 12, 1905 edition – and many more – were printed from plates using Great Western Smelting and Refining Co.’s metal.  The Seattle branch of Great Western was housed here, one door south of the Salvation Army’s Industrial Department, in these wharf-like sheds.

Salvation-Army-Industrial-5-22-23-WEB

Above: Looking east across 9th Ave. S. with the north facade of the Great Western factory on the right.  The photo is date 1923.   A year later the Salvation Army’s Industrial Dept. has moved to 914 Virginia Street and 406 12th Ave. S..  Possibly the reclamation work on 9th Ave. S. had something to do with the moves.

Below: Like the subject above, this was also recorded on May 22, 1923 and includes on the right the south facade of the Great Western factory.  The largest structure on the left – on the west side of 9th Ave. S. south of Holgate Street – is the Holgate Hotel.  The two story darker box to the south of the Holgate is the Bon Apartment House.

Lk-N-on-9th-f-top-of-Henry's-Unloading-Shed-5-22-23-WEB

Taken from the trestle that reached 9th Ave. S. from the Great Western factory and looking north with the Salvation Army on the right - but not dated.  I suspect that the reclamation is already underway here and that the tidelands showing here are getting early flooding of salt water enriched with mud blasted further north from the sides of Beacon Hill.
This Curtis was taken from the trestle that reached 9th Ave. S. from the Great Western factory and looks north with the Salvation Army on the right.  it is not dated although surely sometime in 1923. I suspect that the reclamation is already underway here and that the tidelands showing are getting an early flooding of salt water enriched with mud blasted further north from the sides of Beacon Hill.

9th-S.-lk-se-to-Plum-St-WEB

Above: Entrance to the Bon Apartments, on the right.  The sign above the Bon’s open front door reads, “The Bon Apartments, 1915 Holgate, furnished, housekeeping and sleeping rooms.  $1.25 a night and up.  Free gas and lights.”

Airport Way’s first incarnation was in the early 1890s as a 24-foot wide plank trestle called Grant Street.  Approaching the business district at its north end Grant was given the grander name, “Seattle Boulevard.”  For the most part, it ran a few feet off shore from the often-sodden Beach Road that was first surveyed in 1862 at the base of Beacon Hill.  (In the winter travelers took to the hill.) The trestle was soon joined in 1892 by the Grant Street Electric Railway that reached its power plant in Georgetown and beyond that South Park too.

Already in 1919, the Alaskan Stables, far right, began running in The Times classifieds under “Livestock” its horses, harnesses and saddles for sale.  By then the sounds of trolleys, trucks, and motorcars were readily heard on Seattle Boulevard.  Here the great sliding door into the stables is closed above the hole that was once no doubt covered with the stable’s own timber trestle.

WEB EXTRAS

As you know, Paul, the blog has been plagued with server problems which recently seemed to grow exponentially. We have, however, made alternate plans which we hope to put in place over the next week. There may be some downtime, but it should be temporary and certainly shouldn’t be any worse that the interruptions we’ve already encountered. So onwards and upwards! Anything to add, Paul?

Yes Jean.  First and directly below Ron Edge (of the sometimes Edge Clippings Service on this blog) has put up three links to other features from this tidelands neighborhood, or nearby it.  They may be familiar for two have appeared here recently.  But, again, we treat these now-then repeats as themselves repeatable –  like musical themes used in different contexts.   Following these pictures-as-buttons I’ll put up a few more Asahel Curtis photos take for this project of raising the tidelands to the level of the streets, here on 9th Ave. S. (aka Airport Way) and connecting streets like Holgate.

And then I’ll reread the text at the top and revisit my notes to see if there may be something in the latter that will add to the former.

[CLICK the PICTURES Below]

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FOLLOWS more photos by Asahel Curtis – or his studio – of the public works on 9th Ave. S. in 1923.

Another look north on 9th Ave.S. on May 22, 1923.  The trolley line on the right and the "wagon road" on the left, between them a pipeline that is most likely installed to help in this tidelands reclamation - giving 9th Ave. W. a platform of high and dry dirt rather than a trestle over tides.
Another look north on 9th Ave.S. on May 22, 1923. The trolley line on the right and the “wagon road” on the left, between them a pipeline that is most likely installed to help in this tidelands reclamation – giving 9th Ave. S. a platform of high and dry dirt rather than a trestle over tides.  The Great Western factory at the Beacon Hill foot of Holgate Street is right-of-center.

9-lk-n-f-s.e-Cor-Henry's-cook-house-7-19-23-WEB

ABOVE AND BELOW:  Two by Curtis looking north on July 19, 1923 from, the captions explain, from the southeast corner of Henry’s Cook House.

9th-s-lk-n-f-SECor-Henry's-Cook-House-7-17-23-WEB

Dated Nov. 27, 1923, and so later than the rest, the fill seems to be here mostly in place both west and east of the trolley tracks now bedded in dirt - it seems.  The pipes on the left may have done the work - in part.  Both the Great Western factory and the Holgate Hotel appear about two block north on 9th.  As the caption indicates, this view looks north from Walker Street, or near it.
Dated Nov. 27, 1923, and so later than the rest, the fill seems to be here mostly in place both west and east of the trolley tracks now bedded in dirt. The pipes on the left may have done the work – in part. Both the Great Western factory and the Holgate Hotel appear about two block north on 9th. As the caption indicates, this view looks north from Walker Street, or near it.
The neighborhood around 9th Ave. S. and Holgate Street, to the east of 9th, from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map.
The neighborhood around 9th Ave. S. and Holgate Street, to the east of 9th, from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map.  This is a fine confession of the errant grandeur of real estate maps.  Holgate in 1912, of course, did not climb Beacon Hill as shown here.  It still doesn’t, but requires a curve.
Holgate and the tidelands to the west of 9th, again or still in 1912.
Holgate and the tidelands to the west of 9th, again or still in 1912.

 A FEW THOUGHTS WHILE RE-READING MY NOTES for the FEATURE ABOVE

John C. Holgate
John C. Holgate

* John Holgate made the first potential settler’s footprint on future Seattle soil in 1850 when he visited that summer and built a lean-two somewhere near the future Pioneer Square – or Place.   He explored the surrounds until October and then returned to Portland and beyond to promote Puget Sound to his family and look for a wife.  When he returned the land he had chosen beside the Duwamish River and near its mouth had been taken in the interim and so Holgate substituted a claim on top of Beacon Hill and in line with his future namesake street.   Holgate’s younger brother Milton also settled in Seattle, tragically.  The teenager was one of two settlers who lost their lives during the Battle of Seattle on Jan 26, 1856.

* The Holgate Hotel, listed at 1901 9th Ave. S., was managed by John and Minnie Wildzumas, who lived in the  hotel.  In a 1917 classified ad is described as a workingman’s hotel with steam heated rooms, and restaurant “in connection.”  The fees for this “modern” hotel were then $1.50 and up.   The Holgate endured.  A May 19,1960 classified lists it as “close to Boeing (with) reasonable, single, housekeeping rooms and parking.”  The Holgate was put up for Public Auction on Dec. 1, 1968, listing “furnishings of 45 room hotel: Curved glass china cabinets, bookcase-secretary, bentwood chairs, brass beds, commodes, dressers, chests, gas and electric ranges, refrigerators, miscellaneous tables, chairs, wardrobes etc.  Preview Sat. 11am to 4pm.  United Auction Service, Bud Chapman., Auctioneer.”

* Great Western Smelting and Refining Co. came to Seattle in 1903, but not directly to this factory on 9th Ave. S., although nearby.  The first factory was at First S. and Connecticut until a roof fire uprooted them.  An adver. for March 3, 1912 puts them at 1924 9th Ae. S.,     The 1924 Polk Directory listing for Great Western makes note that the city directory was printed on metal GW metal.  By 1928 the business has changed its name to Federate Metals Corp and continue to note that the printing of that year’s business directory was done with plates furnished by Federate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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