Seattle Now & Then: Queen Anne Pioneers

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: This row of homes, right to left, from 2104 to 2110 7th Ave. West were built in 1905-6, and so they are, by some calibrations, antiques. They are well cared for Queen Anne Hill pioneers.  (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
THEN: This row of homes, right to left, from 2104 to 2110 7th Ave. West were built in 1905-6, and so they are, by some calibrations, antiques. They are well cared for Queen Anne Hill pioneers. Public School teacher Lou R. Key lived for time at 2104 7th Ave. West, the second house from the right, if I have figured it correctly.  For notes on these homes – and on Ms. Key too – see the bottom of this feature. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
NOW: Only the small home directly on the northeast corner of 7th Ave. West and Crockett Street has grown with impressive changes.
NOW: Only the small home directly on the northeast corner of 7th Ave. West and Crockett Street has grown with impressive changes.

For those who pay attention to credits and have been following this feature for a few years, Lawton Gowey is a familiar name.  This is another of the probably hundreds of historical subjects that Lawton has shared with Pacific readers because he shared them with me.

Here we look northeast through the Queen Anne intersection of Crockett Street, and 7th Ave W.  The photo was recorded sometime before 1912, when these streets were paved, and after 1905-6 the years the houses were built facing Seventh.  Archivist Phil Stairs at the Puget Sound Regional Archive checked their “tax cards” for remodels and concluded,  “You could say that there was an enterprising asbestos salesman in the neighborhood in 1957.”  That year two of the four were wrapped in that baleful blanket.

By then Lawton Gowey was in his third year as both organist and director of the senior choir at Bethany Presbyterian Church on the top of the hill.  Lawton live all his life on Queen Anne, and he knew its history, especially that side of it having to do with, “From here to there – land transportation.”  That’s the title Lawton used for a lecture on Seattle’s trollies he gave in 1962 at the Museum of History and Industry.

Lawton Gowey's Water Dept Card (one of them - copied 1983)
Lawton Gowey’s Water Dept Card (one of them – copied 1983)

Actually, this accountant for the Seattle Water Department also knew a lot about ships, churches, J.S. Bach, and English history, but it was trolleys that he chased as a boy with his father and a camera.

I met Lawton in 1981, but our friendship was a regrettably brief one. On a late Sunday morning in the winter of 1983 while preparing for church the 61-year-old organist’s heart stopped.  He left Jean, his wife, daughters Linda and Marcia, his father Clarence, scores of rail fans and his collection of trolley photos and ephemera, which Jean directed to the University of Washington Library’s Special Collections.

A Seattle Times adver for a nearby Queen Anne Addition, Jan. 10, 1904
A Seattle Times adver for the nearby Queen Anne Addition, Jan. 10, 1904

Anything to add, Paul?

Surely Jean – but merely what we can find in the time allowed by our shared rush to also assemble and massage our First Hill lectures.  And so a few – only – more pixs of Queen Anne Hill – most of them in the vicinity of the feature above, and also three or four links to former related features, which Ron Edge will gather and apply.  However, we will begin not with the links, but with Lawton’s own “now” for the above look north on 7th Ave. West.  He dates it March 8, 1981.  Then two more Gowey repeats from the same corner – one looking more directly north down Seventh and other other east on Crockett.  We will then show a detail of the immediate neighborhood from the 1912 Baist Map followed by the FOUR CLIPS.  Each of the pictures following the 1912 BAIST MAP, if clicked will take the reader into a many faceted exploration of a related subject.  All, again, have something to do with Queen Anne Hill (and Magnolia too).

Lawton Gowey's 1980 repeat of the feature subject on 7th West.
Lawton Gowey’s 1981 repeat of the feature subject on 7th West.
Looking north on 7th West from Crocket ca. 1911.
Looking north on 7th West from near Crockett, ca. 1911.
Lawton Gowey's repeat
Lawton Gowey’s repeat Feb. 7, 1981
610 West Crockett looking east from 7th Ave West. ca. 1911
610 West Crockett looking east from 7th Ave West, ca. 1911
Lawton Gowey's repeat on Crockett from
Lawton Gowey’s repeat from Feb. 7, 1981
CROCKETT Street runs along the bottom of this detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map.
CROCKETT Street runs along the bottom of this detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map. The corner homes featured at the top are at its northeast corner with 7th Ave. W. and in Block 1, left-of-center at the bottom of the map. (Click Twice to Enlarge)



THEN: Long thought to be an early footprint for West Seattle’s Admiral Theatre, this charming brick corner was actually far away on another Seattle Hill.  Courtesy, Southwest Seattle Historical Society.



(First appeared in Pacific April 15, 1984)  

            Seattle’s oldest charity is now one hundred (1984). On April 3, 1884, fifteen of the city’s “leading ladies” – Sarah Yesler, Babette Gatzert, Mercie Boone, and Mary Leary included – gathered in the large living room of the Leary mansion at Second and Madison. There they pledged themselves to “the systematic benevolent work of aiding and assisting the poor and destitute regardless of creed, nationality, or color.” Incorporating as the Ladies Relief Society, these women activists gave birth to “one of Seattle’s biggest families,” nurtured now for a century in the Seattle Children’s Home.

            From the beginning the “quality of their mercy” focused on “orphans and friendless children,” those little Nels and Oliver Twists who had seemingly stepped out of Charles Dicken’s novels and onto the back streets of Seattle. 1884 was a depression year, and Seattle, then recently the largest town in the territory, had its depressing and even desperate parts. The women’s charity was needed.

            Within a month, the group’s membership grew to more than 100. The women divided the city into districts and themselves into visiting committees responsible for searching out the “needs of the poor within their districts’ boundaries.” What they uncovered were new accounts of that old story of the runaway father and the distraught mother.

The Society's first home in what is now the Seattle Center, near the southwest corner of Harrison St. and 4th Ave. West.
The Society’s first home in what is now the Seattle Center, near the southwest corner of Harrison St. and 4th Ave. West.

            The Society needed a home, and in August of 1886 the first Seattle Children’s Home was opened to 30 children. The home’s site, donated by Louisa and David Denny, was at what is now [1984] another children’s gamboling ground, Seattle Center’s Fun Forest.


            Pictured above is the charity’s second home and its first at the present location on Queen Anne Hill. “Here,” the Town Crier reported in 1912, “45 children, either orphans or fatherless are cared for  . . . under the gentle guidance of Mrs. Anna Dow Urie and two assistants . . . 700 loaves of bread a month and a jolly old janitor who never lets the furnace die down.”

            This was a kind of family, and the religious Mrs. Urie never had any doubt as to its head. She said, “I have never taught creeds in the home, but all these children have been told of God, and His love, and that He will be a father to them when earthly fathers forsake, as they so often do.”

            Now in its fourth home and 100 years since its founding, this “family” enters its second century with the support of Society volunteers, donations, and the United Way. A professional staff of childcare specialists now adds its earthly skills to Mrs. Urie’s heavenly variety of “kindly custodial care to orphans and friendless children.”





SEVENTH CHURCH of CHRIST SCIENTIST: Secreted and Saved Landmark

On the late morning of Tuesday, May 22nd last (2007), the Washington Trust for Historic Preservation held a press conference intended to turn the fate of one of Seattle’s most exquisite landmarks away from its planned destruction and towards something else – something “adaptive” like another church, a community center or even a home – a big home.

The Trust not only included the Seventh Church of Christ Scientist on its 2007 list of the Washington State’s “most endangered historic properties.”   It then also used the front steps of this Queen Anne landmark as the place to circle the wagons for statewide preservation.  It was an especially strong sign by the Trust and for its extended family of historians, architects, citizens – including sensitive neighbors of the church – of how cherished is the Seventh Church.

Seattle architect and painter Harlan Thomas (1870 – 1953) created the unique sanctuary for the then energetic congregation of Christ Scientists on Seattle’ Queen Ann Hill in 1926.  It was the year he was also made head of the Architecture Department at the University of Washington, a position he held until 1940.

Although a local architectural marvel this sanctuary is not well know because of its almost secreted location.  The address is 2555 8th Ave. W. — at the Avenue’s northwest corner with West Halladay Street.  Except to live near it or to visit someone living near it there are few extraordinary reasons to visit this peaceful neighborhood, except to enjoy this fine melding of architectural features from the Byzantine, Mission, Spanish Colonial and other traditions.

Since the Trust created it in 1992 the “Endangered List” has not been an immoderate tool in the service of state heritage.  Less than 100 sites have made this register, which is really the Trust’s emergency broadside for historic preservation.  [This campaign from 2007 was successful.  The sanctuary was saved.



The following seven records of architect Willcox’s imaginative Queen Anne Boulevard retaining walls were photographed by Frank Shaw in 1976,


FS-Q.A.-Wilcox-retaining-wall 2-16-76 -#1-WEB









A fine example of "War Brick" that wonder siding sold by door-to-door salesmen in the early 1940s.
A fine example of “War Brick” that wonder-siding sold door-to-door in the early 1940s and later too.







RESEARCH NOTES for the FEATURE at the Top.

Most of these notes on the first four homes on the east side of 7th Ave. West north of Crockett Street were got from the Washington State Archive’s tax cards and key-word searches of The Seattle Times.  Please forgive the typos.  They are the sins of speed typing.  Only one persons listed came forward with a picture – the public school teacher Lou R. Key.  And she is shown with some uncertainty.  The portraits as well as the group shot all come from the Seattle School District’s Archives – thanks to Archivists Aaren L. Purcell.  That is Lou R. Key posing with her in the Campfire group shot, and surely one or more of those in the three remaining single shots are also of Ms. Key.  But not all three.   Nos. 2 & 4 appear in the same informal group photo of teachers.

Public school teacher Lou R. Key with her Campfire group.  (Courtesy, Seattle School District Archive)
Public school teacher Lou R. Key with her Campfire group. (Courtesy, Seattle School District Archive)

Most likely three of these four are Lou Key, but not all of them.

Again, teachers No. 2 and 4 are from the same group photograph, but does either of them look more like Lou R. Key in photo No. 1, far-left, than the other?  To my eye No’s 2 and 3 look alike.

ST April 15, 1956 Rites for Miss Key, res 2104 7th ave. W.b


The house on the east 1/2 of lot 20 (614 W. Crockett) was built in 1914

as a one story house with 3 rooms in the attic.  The first owner noted

is the Seattle Federal Saving and Loan Co., 11/10/1938.  It was

subsequently purchased by Eunice C. Smith in 1941, George & Loa Gratias

in 1952, John H. Wadeson in April 1961 and the Ruth D. Coone (?) in June

1961.  It missed having asbestos siding put on.

2102 7TH AVE. WEST

On the W 1/2 of lot 20 is the house at 2102 7th Ave. W.  It was built in

1905 and apparently remodeled in 1919.  It is a one story house with a

garage in the basement.  The original siding was cedar but that was

crossed out and “Metal 8” was added, possibly in 1957.  The first owner

noted was Elsie M. Schroeder as of 6/27/1922.  Aurilla Doerner et al

bought the property in 1972.

* ST Dec. 19-1909 John Davis listing for Rent, Unfurnished houses”: 2102 7th Ave. W., 4-rm mod cost.16.00 (dollars a month I assume)

* ST July 30, 1978 Wallace & Wheeler, Inc. listing  QUEEN ANNE 2102 7TH AVE. W. $46,500 AN ENCHANTING SMALL HOME, WITH PUGET SOUND view FOR THE SINGLE OR COUPLE WHO WANT a nice neighborhood – in the city, charming living room with fireplace, small dining, I bedroom, basement, garage.  See  today with Marybelle Eggertsen or call 524-6210 or 325-9862 (eves)

* 1938 Polk: A.A.Schroeder  (a.a.schroeder shows up as a realtor in 4-7-29)

2104 7th ave. W

Lot 19, 2104 7th Ave. W., was a two story house built in 1905.  The

first owner noted is Jessie Schwartz who bought it on 8/12/1936.  Harold

F. Anderson bought the property in 1972.  This house also had asbestos

siding put on in 1957.

2104 7th ave. W

* ST 5-7-1906 MB. CRANE & CO. List rentals with us we advertise – we rent. HOUSES $22.00 – 2104 7th Ave. W.   6-room modern house; com. Fix

* ST 7-6-06  CRANE & Co.  2104 7th Ave W. 6-room modern hose; very fine view; on car line

* ST 4-15-56  Rites for Miss Key ex-teacher.  Christian Science funeral service for Miss Lou R. Key, a retire Seattle elementary school teach will be held at 2 in Johnson and Hamilton chapel. Cremation will follow.  Miss Key died Friday at her home, 2104 Seventh Ave. S. She retired about five years ago after teaching in Seattle schools about 40 years.  She taught many years at John Muir School and later at Leschi.  Born in Missouri grad of Cottey Junior College Nevada, Mo.  Member of 4th Church of Christ, Scientist.  Survivors include three sisters and a brother in the East.

* ST Jan 29, 1920  Lou R. Key mistaken for a man when Key is a candidate for a Times contest to send 6 teachers to Europe battlefields and 4 other teachers to Yellowstone park.  Of the 191 candidates only 18 are men, Times makes the point “ONLY 18 MEN ON LIST OF HONOR – Women Instructors Not only One who Hope to Visit Battlefields of Europe.  Votes are Pouring in . . . Eighteen forlorn gentlemen hemmed in by prejudice and necessity of hearing out their ‘ladies first’ principles, yet wanting to go to Europe as guests of The Times.  That is the status of mere man in the teachers’ selection balloting being conducted by The Seattle Times.

* ST Feb. 28, 1926 Benefit for Orthopedic Hosp. March 15. North Queen Anne Guild to give Bridge and Mah Jong Tea at Olympia.  Spanish Ballroom Among reservations are Mrs. Lou R. Key. (The school teacher Lou Key is mistaken for a man.)

* Lou R. Key listed at Muir school in 1921 and at Leschi school in 1942 & 1944 last times listing before funeral notice.

* Polke 1938 directory: 2104 7th Ave. W.  Richard C. Outsen   ST 10-3-1951 Jesdame Richard C. Outsend listed as member of Dandleers Dancing Club executive committee, beginning its seventh year and will hold its first of six dances sat eve at 8:30 in Women’s Century club.

2108 7th Ave. W.

The house on lot 18, 2108 7th Ave. W. was built in 1906.  The first

owner shown is H. I. Pappe who bought it on 8/19/1926.  It was a two

story building.  It was purchased in 1941 by Frank M. Heyland.  Asbestos

siding was added to the house in 1957.

* Only one listing that on Sept 22, 1946 Frank L. McGuire, Inc. Open for Inspection: 2 to 3 pm 2108 7th Ave. W. $7,000 Queen Anne 3-B R. Home. Full basement garage hdw floors, tiled kitchen, close to school, bus, shopping district. Call Mr. Neal Mitchell SE 1100

* 1938 Polk: Andrew Fyfe, landscape gardener.   ST 2-7-1950 obit.   65 years old died in home at 2138 4th ave w after a short illness. Born in Dundee Scotland, live in Seattle for 31 years. He was a landscape gardener. Survived by wife Elizabeth daughter Betty and Mrs Lillian Hansen, Son Andrew Fyfe Jr. and two grand children all of Seattle.

2110 7th Ave. W.   

For the house on lot 17, 2110 7th Ave. W., it was built in 1905 as a one

family dwelling, one story with attic (two rooms in attic).  There is a

note that a permit was taken out for a new garage.  The only owner shown

is G. S. Hamman who bought the property 10/24/1958.  Unfortunately the

name from c. 1937 was erased.

* ST 10-22-21   Having to do with S.Times sport contest in Upper Woodland Park but with contestant from Q. Anne Hill connected with Coe School –  Stuart Curtis 13 years old 2110 7th Ave. W. / David Curtis 11 years old 2110 7th Ave W.   1921 POLK has a Gold N. Curtis living at 2110 7th Ave.W. and listed as a “driver”   In Stimes for June 12, 1936 under Marriage licenses Gold M. Curtis, Legal , Wenatchee, and Almoa Porter, Legal, Wenatchee are listed.  Don’t know what the “legal” means.  It is commonplace in these listings but not in the majority of them.

* ST 8-16-73 Obit for Harry T. Sappenfield – 63 at 2110 7th Ave. ww2 vet. & retired longshoreman Local 19.  Viola wife. Bleitz funeral home

* 1938 Polk Vacant








2 thoughts on “Seattle Now & Then: Queen Anne Pioneers”

  1. I was searching for a Mrs. Ruth D. Coone and was led to your web-site
    as her name was mentioned in it, but I did not come across her name
    anywhere when visiting this web-site. I was wondering if she had any
    connection to any historical facts of Seattle and how I might contact her
    if she is still alive. I came across an article she wrote in a book I have
    in my possession, and did so wish to contact her to thank her for her
    very thoughtful contribution. It was dated in 1959, so I do not know if
    she is still alive. She did have 5 children at that time. If you know of
    anyone who may know of her, I would like to hear from them.
    Thank you for any information you may have.

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