This, I believe, is the oldest surviving photograph of the Latona Bridge. For the 27 years following 1891 it was the only span where Lake Union conveniently channels into Portage Bay. The pile-driven bridge was constructed to carry David Denny’s electric trolley into the then new Latona and Brooklyn (University District) additions and to real estate as far north as Ravenna Park, the trolley terminus.
The state legislature’s Feb. 23rd 1891 recommendation that this “Interlaken” neighborhood become the University of Washington’s new home was encouraging to all north end developers, Denny included. After the university’s 1895 move to the new campus most of the students rode the trolley to school. However, by then the earnest but in the end naïve younger of the pioneer Denny brothers, was bankrupt.
A combination of the nation’s 1893 financial panic and poor investments quickly led to what Seattle trolley historian Leslie Blanchard rates as “unquestionably the most disastrous venture of its kind in the city’s history.” Much of the route was “inhabited only by squirrels and gophers.” In 1890 David Denny, with Henry Fuhrman, opened the 160 acres of their namesake addition at the north end of Capitol Hill, here on the far south side of the Latona Bridge. But where are the homes? It is hard to find here any potential passengers or purchasers.
But then where are the trolley wires on the Latona Bridge on our “first picture” of it? Perhaps the photo was taken before the poles, rails, wires and hopes were in place for the bridge’s July 1, 1891 dedication. Is that snow in the foreground or an extended spring puddle chilling enthusiasm? By 1913 the spot got hot. The Super of Public Utilities then counted an average of 23,058 passengers crossing the bridge every 24 hours, with the ironic result that in 1919 the at last bustling Latona would lose its bridge on 6th Avenue to the University District and its new and surviving cantilever span on 10th Avenue.
Anything to add, Paul? Surely Jean – a few more pictures and stories from the neighborhood – my neighborhood too, now for more than 30 years. I was awakened by Mt. St. Helens in a Wallingford bed. We wlll begin again with Ron Edge’s enterprise. Ron shook this blog for past features that best fit this feature, which he introduced immediately below with three photo-links. Following those we will lay out more from North Lake.
BRIDGE to BRIDGE
(First appeared in Pacific, Jan. 13, 1991)
The Latona Bridge, in its 11th hour, was two bridges whose antipathetic designs were best detected when they were opened – a here – to permit passage of any vessel that required the bridge tender to plod through the steps required to one bridge(for trolleys) and swing the side (for everyone else).
The original Latona Bridge was simple, with a fixed span.The complicated mechanics shown here were required when the completion of the Ship Canal in 1916 opened Lake Washington to ocean-going ships. (The canal was dedication on July 4, 1917, but its use earlier, in the fall of 1916.)
The Latona Bridge was dedicated July 1, 1891 – 28 years to the day before the University Bridge, which replaced it, was opened with m8sic and speeches.University of Washington history professor Edmond Meany was at both dedications and was the principal speaker at the second.
The above view (with two bridges) was photographed from the University Bridge while it was under construction.(The accompanying photo directly below looks north through the line of the University Bridge during its construction.)The ridge lines of Wallingford and Queen Anne Hill are in the background.
Our old friend (who yet does not seem to age), rock-n-roller, bluesman, front-stage photographer, party-thrower, columnist, incessant wit and politico, Jef Jaisun sends this press-photo and clipping – his creations from a 1979 concert at the Capitol Hill Masonic Temple on Pine Street, the site of the Link Lingenbrink’s Artist League balls covered here earlier this week. Thanks to Jef.
Arthur “Link” Lingenbrink, Seattle’s long-lived commercial artist and show card instructor, is almost certainly posing here on the stage of the Masonic Temple – although, as yet, I have not found him among the about 200 costumed Egyptians.
BELOW: Art offers a lecture on “show card writing” through The Seattle Art Club School in 1921. Below that, he gives an illustrated lecture on his 1941 trip thru Mexico. He has named it, “Our Allies to the South.”
Link was one of the Seattle Fine Art Society’s more activist leaders in the 1920s. He had the knack for delivering inspirational messages about art and culture at club meetings while also organizing club events, like their popular costume balls. His illustrating hand was both fine and strong. For instance, for this Nov. 24, 1921 revelry titled A Night in Old Alexandria, Link decorated the Temple with its Egyptian figures and symbols. Arthur was also celebrated for his tableaus, a then popular art form that arranged actors and sets in recreations of famous paintings – with figures – on stage.
Arthur loaned me his cherished print of this ball during one of my many visits to the exotic environment of his Capitol Hill home in the mid 1980s. I managed then to fill up a small suitcase with cassette recordings of Links reminiscences. That the nonagenarian was an often ecstatic narrator was appreciated because Link repeated his best stories.
It was only weeks before his death in 1987 at the age of 94 that Arthur stopped taking the bus to join his brother Paul in their storefront sign shop on the border of both Capitol and First Hills.
For readers so interested, Jean and I will be giving an illustrated lecture on First Hill History at Town Hall at 8th & Seneca St. on Tuesday, June 25th at 7:30 pm. (There’s a $5 fee.) The Masonic Temple, aka The Egyptian, is nearby on Pine Street at Harvard Avenue and so is probably more often identified with Capitol Hill. However, for the sake of both art and culture, during our presentation we will temporarily move the Egyptian over to First Hill or the hill to it. Whatever, the lecture will still be at Town Hall and we plan to be there as well.
Anything to add, Paul? Yes Jean, and most of it holding on to Link, the record-setting sign painter (see the clips of his records far below) I met in the early 1980s and routinely visited until his passing in 1987. Link, aka Arthur Lingenbring, past along most of the film he shot – both films and stills – of the local arts and the “charmed land” that surrounds us. I pull a few examples, and also print a few clippings on Link and/or by him. Link wrote lots of rhyming poetry, but it was not his poems but his opinionated letters to editors that often enough got printed. First however, we will continue on with some more Alexandria and a “Miss Heywood” who judging by the attention he gave her – with his camera – was surely a good friend.
Arthur Lingenbrink’s album readily reveal his interests not only in women but also in civic landmarks, visiting celebrities – he sometimes chased them with his movie camera – and examples of what was then advertised as the “charmed land” that surrounds Seattle. Curiously, while he enjoyed our splendors he was not so ready to share them with tourists, as is revealed in his letter to the Seattle Times editor printed four looks down – below Mt Index.
LINK’s photography – both stills and film – features an abundance of arty figures, often with the subjects posing and acting in lavish sets. Although most of this art was done in the 1920s and perhaps early 30s, still he kept his props on display in the top floor of the Capitol Hill he shared with “ma” his mother. [He did marry – 0nce – briefly, and had a boy.] The Lingenbrink basement was outfitted both for making and showing films. This too was still in place a half-century after it was first regularly used. I visited it. Link led the tour. The subject included here three times as an example of his figure work is posed “tastefully” in front of a hanging that compliments Link’s talent for design. Some of his sets were considerably more lavish than this one. And Arthur also made films in outdoor settings, working, for instance with Cornish School dancers in Volunteer Park. Some day all will be revealed, but for now just this one fit but not named figure.
During the 1980s when Genny McCoy and I together regularly visited Arthur, Mrs. Perry was often there too. This witty widow was always “Mrs. Perry.” Arthur had first met her in the 1920s when she began her own career as the founder-director of a local Ballet school and company. Mrs. Perry is wrapped below in a Persian rug – on the right. Below the rug she poses with Link and I near the back porch of Link’s Capitol Hill home, ca. 1983.
Below, Seattle’s OLDEST SIGN PAINTERS get pretty lavish treatment in the Times both in 1976 and in 1984.
Here – or below – thanks to RON EDGE’S snooping and engineering are links to two previous features that are relevant to this week’s Capitol Hill subject.
The sporty motorcar, here flying north thru Beacon Ave. on 15th Avenue S., is blurred by its speed. And so we cannot read the year on the license plate, but we don’t need to. The original negative has it “Sept. 16, 1937.” It was seven years into the Great Depression.”
That day The Seattle Times reported that the 2,000,000 W.P.A. check in Washington State had just been paid out. It was the fourth year for the “New Deal,” Pres. Roosevelt and the Democrats federal programs to spirit the economy and make work for the out-of-work. The Works Progress Administration (WPA) made the federal government by far the largest employer in the Union.
This Thursday in the late summer of ’37, the Times also reported that the fresh but already effective Congressman Warren G. Magnuson had coaxed WPA funds from Roosevelt for “beautification” of Seattle’s libraries and their grounds. The day’s issue also printed a photo of the newly elected Girls Club officers at Broadway High School. We learn in the caption that they too were committed to beautification. The new officers urged Broadway Co-eds, all 1595 of them, to wear “middy blouses and skirts to school for uniform attractiveness.”
By The SeattleTimes’ theatre listings this day we discover that the Beacon Theatre, here on the left, featured tough guy George Brent in Mountain Justice. Including the Beacon, eleven of King County’s sixteen Sterling Theatres were neighborhood venues, showing features second run.
The Piggly Wiggly, far right, was part of a market chain that flourished by promoting self-service in grocery shopping. By 1937 most of Seattle’s Piggly Wigglys had been converted into Safeway stores, a fate that soon fell on this little Beacon Hill Piggly Wiggly. Beacon Hardware, just beyond the grocery, opened in the mid 1920s, and stayed so though the Great Depression. It is last listed in this newspaper in 1965.
Anything to add, Paul?
Yup Jean. First Ron Edge will again insert a feature – with its own additions – that we put up a few months past, which was for the most part about the Beacon Hill prospect of Seattle. Then from the Washington State Archive I’ll put up a few WPA Tax photos out of of the same Beacon Ave. intersection as our above feature. These additions will feel at home – and also in need – for our primary image has also been pulled from the shadows of the Great Depression. I’ll conclude with a key-word search for “Beacon” and see what might come forward from with tiring MAC worth mounting. No doubt, Ron will have already uncovered some of it in what follows.
TAX PHOTOS HIDE-&-SEEK
We hope – or imagine – that what follows might be treated by the reader as a hide-and-seek. Pull out your Google Earth or slippers and visit the north Beacon Hill intersection of Beacon Ave., 15th Ave. S. and Bayview Street. All of the tax photos that follow – from the Washington State Archive – are of structures at or near that corner, and most of them date from the late 1930s – like our primary feature at the top. And we will begin with two snippets for Beacon Ave. and 15th Ave. S. clipped from the continuous street listings of the 1938 Polk Business directory. [Click to Enlarge – Click Twice, perhaps]
At about 10:20 on the Friday morning of August 21, 1903, a summer picnic in Woodland Park planned by the parishioners of Ballard’s Norwegian Danish Baptist Church was derailed by what that afternoon’s Seattle Time’s named “a boy’s meddlesomeness” without naming the boy.
Both of Seattle’s afternoon dailies, the Times and the Star, printed the story front page and with pictures. The Star’s two illustrations, of which this is one, were credited to the “well-known Fremont photographer, LeRoy Buck.” Buck lived on Aurora Ave, three blocks from the trolley mishap. The Star probably telephoned him. Their appellation of Buck as “well-known” is, perhaps, part of the Star’s payment to this freelancer. (I know of one other Buck photo, also from 1903, an oft-printed classic looking north through the then still low bridge into Fremont. I used it in these pages about a quarter-century ago.)
To “standing room only,” the special but fated trolley was packed in Ballard mostly with women, children and their picnic baskets. After crossing through downtown Fremont and climbing east up Blewett Street (now N. 35th) under full power, the car crossed thru Aurora Ave. and begin its unrestrained descent to what was ordinarily a sharp but negotiable left turn on to Albion Way. This time, however, the trolley’s “controller handle” had locked up with the brake handle, with which the “meddlesome boy” had been playing.
ABOVE: Looking north up Albion from 36th in 1952. The competing power poles for Seattle City Light and Puget Power were still an ungainly feature of Seattle neighborhoods.
BELOW: The same but recent prospect on Albion north from 36th St. Note the surviving tower from the old City Light sub-station.
Instead of turning at Albion, the speeding trolley then jumped the curving track seen at the center of Buck’s photo, and “plunged down an embankment” into an orchard. The about 62 passengers plunged as well to the buried front end of the car crying out like a broken accordion. Several were hurt badly. One, 80-year-old Maren Eggan, was still in the hospital in September.
The Star concluded its report with “an interesting side light on the character of the average small boy.” After the accident, they picked up the pies, sandwiches and cakes that had filled the picnic baskets and ran to and fro hawking refreshments, which they announced were “fresh from the street car accident.”
Anything to add, Paul? Yes Jean, and we shall start with two Edge Links (attached by Ron Edge sometimes known here for his Edge Clippings) that are relevant to the Edgewater neighborhood and/or to trolley wrecks – lots of them. In this line I am also reminded of the Edgewater Eiffel Tour, a tragicomic episode in North End Life that naturally leads to Paris and the real thing. During our French visit you – Jean – will share some tour pictures with use and perhaps of our Blogbuddy Berangere as well. Closer to home, if I can find it I’ll attach a mid-1960s slide of parents Cherry and Ted Dorpat standing in profile with the famous French tower. I show devotion to my parents and put them up first. You follow with your own Eiffel Tour photos – and Berangere’s – and I’ll conclude the Tour part of this post with the short story – behaving like a fable – of La Tour Eiffel Edgewater. And we might find a few things more to add Jean, like other evidences of our city in 1903. But only a few for we are behind in our commitment to write an introductory essay for Historic Seattle’s up-coming book on First Hill. This Jean reminds me to remind our blog consumers that you and I will be giving a lecture on First Hill history at TOWN HALL late this month. Do you have the details, and will you share them?
I do indeed Paul. We will be lecturing at Town Hall on June 25th at 7:30 in the evening. Here’s the link!
Still Jean here. I’ll set and match with a photo of my own mother just a couple years prior.
I’m also reminded of our blog partner Berangere Lomont’s remarkable photo of the Eiffel Tower disappearing into the clouds, part of our MOHAI Now and Then exhibit from 2011.
And, just for fun, let me toss in a few thumbnails of my own views of and from that evocative edifice, each of which may be clicked to enlarge.
Un jour, l’histoire de la Tour Eiffel Edgewater sera recontee!
“Some day the story of the Edgewater Eiffel will be told.”
Now in a time when such muddles are often brought forward and trumpeted on television with the hope of shaming something or someone, this hidden story was also bound to rebound, and here you have it. We share it for we cannot imagine why anyone should now feel any shame. Still we can at least wonder if any members of the Fremont Historical Society may care to exploit this history.
The photograph below of the nearly near Aurora Bridge was sent along by a concerned person who, for reasons we will not question, wishes to be kept anonymous. They did indicate, however, that before sharing the lantern slide they had attempted to find any surviving members of the club introduced below but without success. They concluded, “Go ahead. I’m sure it will be alright.” Such confidence is comforting.
LA TOUR EIFFEL EDGEWATER
Long ago during an after school treat of cornbread and Ovaltine around the Cornbell family’s kitchen table, Fremont Chamber of Commerce Toastmaster Wally Cornbell’s mother told us, “Some day the story of the Edgewater Tower will be told.” Wally’s mother continue, “But never mind.” We were, she explained, just a few years too young to understand.
The Cornbell’s lived on Whitman Avenue in the Seattle neighborhood of Edgewater, although some now claim it all for Fremont, others divide it between Fremont and Wallingford.Like both Fremont and Wallingford the Edgewater community was never incorporated into or unto itself.
Edgewater got a lot of recognition on maps, and for a while had its own railroad station on the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern line, still it never reached the reputation of its neighbors.By the time the Aurora Bridge was completed in 1932 any sense of a boundary between the east portion of Fremont and the west of Edgewater had blurred and the trend indicated that eventually Edgewater would either slip beneath the eastward tide of Fremont, or from the other direction, the somewhat later push of the Wallingford neighborhood west into Fremont would also overtake it.
Since Stone Way, ran north and south along the trough of a small watershed that got contributions from both Wallingford and Fremont it seemed most likely that Stone Way would be eventually identified as the border between the two neighborhoods and that then Edgewater would be forgotten.The Stone Way division was, however, confused by the construction of the Pacific Coast Limited Access Speedway north from the new bridge on Aurora.It was an artificial border, but a handy one.The story of what followed had considerable effect on these questions of neighborhood identity and on the ultimate fate of Edgewater.
As you may know, in 1933, the Eiffel Tower celebrated its 50th anniversary for the 1889 Centennial of the French Revolution. It was a few years early. The early scheduling took advantage of the cheap construction costs of the Great Depression that touched the French economy as much as ours. Worldwide French Societies were encouraged to fall in line early and do something to celebrate the building of the Eiffel Tower, which was dedicated in 1889.
Here in Seattle the Edgewaterian Eiffelers were the only local group at all prepared and they were encouraged to take the lead by the local French consul. The club was originally formed and continued to take encouragement from the fact that like the Eiffel Tower in Paris rising high above fleuve de Seine, their neighborhood stood beside a great waterway, the Lake Washington Ship Canal.
The French Clubs of the nearby Wallingford, and Green Lake neighborhoods were ready to help and happy to follow the Edgewater lead. Similarly, the French Department of the University of Washington was pleased to be included in this endeavor of mixed patriotism. They helped with translations. Only Fremont residents were cool to the idea, for they were generally not willing to recognize the legitimacy of Edgewater as a neighborhood not enfolded in their own, and with the 1933 construction of the Aurora Avenue north approach to the new bridge these anxious concerns were heightened for, as noted, the new highway effectively created a new border.
It is safe to say that the Edgewater tower would have been celebrated from Seattle to the Seven Arrodissement were it not for an unfortunate turn in events. A combination of haste, cheap labor, and liters of drinkable free champagne contributed by the local French consulate resulted in shoddy work and la Tour started to collapse soon after it was topped off. Rather than risk dismantling its uncertain parts, de l’Edgewater Eiffel la Tour was torched after neighboring homes were first covered with wet sheets and traffic was stopped on the new Aurora Speedway for the duration. Understandably feelings for the French dipped some after the fire. It was also the end of the Edgewater club and perhaps of the identifiable neighborhood.Certainly, one did not hear much about Edgewater or Edgewaterians after this unfortunate turn of events.The fated memorial was an embarrassment and forgotten except for spontaneous although guarded references like that from Wallace’s mother, Mrs. Cornbell. But now is later and, at last, the story is told – a matter of record.
(With discipline, that is with frequent visits, one can still find an Edgewaterian Eiffelers Bowling Club shirt in a north end second-hand store.)
The next two photos are, again, Ron Edge links to first a variety of rail’s mayhem on Seattle’s streets, followed by a now-then tour of Edgewater’s Woodland Park Avenue, 1937/8 repeated in 1911. Both groupings, the trolleys and the homes, appeared earlier on this blog. We return then for “context.”
The year of the Fremont derailing, and more.We have pulled a few photographs of events from 1903 for illustration here with short captions.
The IVARY TOWER
The Tour Eiffel Edgewater reminds us of Ivar – twice.First, of course, his valiant attempts to prepare for Trans-Sound Submarine Commuting (TSSC) with underwater billboards promoting his ever-rejuvenating clam chowder, and second, of course, for his daring-do to fly a salmon-sock from the top of what he described as his “last toy,” the Smith Tower, aka the Ivary Tower.
The bold white writing on this stone-clad row house at the northeast corner of Marion Street and Minor Avenue confesses that this is a tax photo. As many Pacific readers no doubt know by now, during the Great Depression the Works Progress Administration (WPA) made work for photographers with its ambitious and ultimately completed project to strike a picture of every taxable structure in King County.
Even without the captioned address, 1200 Marion St., we could find these seven attached townhouses by their legal description, here also hand-written on the negative by, we presume, the unnamed photographer. Reading backwards this corner real estate is lot 8, of block 121 in A.A. Denny’s Broadway Addition. Jeffrey Karl Ochsner, U.W. professor of architecture, first shared this subject with me, hoping that I might know of an earlier intimate “portrait” of this The Stone Row, its name when Architect John Parkinson designed and developed it in the early 1890s. Alas, I didn’t.
The WPA photo and the professor’s reflections on it are shared on page 243 of his and Dennis Andersen’s book, “Distant Corner, Seattle Architects and the Legacy of H.H. Richardson.” Published by the U.W. Press in 2003 it has not, of course, grown old, and deserves to be read by persons interested in those architecturally zestful years of recovery and mostly rampant growth following Seattle’s “Great Fire” of 1889.
In 1900 – or thereabouts – The Stone Row was named anew The Graystone, and promoted variously as a residential hotel (with waitresses and chambermaids and music room) and as an apartment house in the “choicest residence neighborhood, between the Madison and James St. car lines.” With the boisterous arrival of the Graystone Athletic Club on the scene in 1910 – the men’s club staged smokers with boxing – the name “Graystone” and its connotations fell from favor. Its elegant Tenino “bluestone” finish may have seemed tarnished, although it looks fine here in 1937.
Anything to add, Paul? Yes Jean, some ephemera from the Times and some photographs too.
We must, however, begin with a confessional response to Brandon and Steve, both of whom correctly instructed that I was wrong with last week’s feature on the Four Winds aka Surfside 9. Rather I should have “confused” the Golden Anchor, another and earlier dinner-boat, with both the Winds’ and the Surfside’. They are the same vessel – originally the City of Everett – although with elaborate changes for different services. Long ago I believed a much and only recently abandoned that Anchors part of it. The reason is Margaret Pitcairn Strachan’s 1946 feature that had the Golden Anchor converted out of the Lake Washington Ferry, Lincoln. I should have known better, and did. I’d written about the Lincoln often enough and knew that it’s last service continued after WW2 both on the big lake and on the Sound, and not as a restaurant. I supposed it was in part my haste but more my respect for the heritage writing of Pitcairn Strachan that fogged my watch. I’ve used the Marine Digest often enough but missed the contradicting history offered there. It is also curious that I found so little in my maritime library about the Golden Anchor. The Pitcairn Strachan history was found – you are correct to assume – with another key-word search of the Seattle Times through the Seattle Pubic Library. As many of you know the addition of this resource makes such a difference in doing/research on regional history – it is suddenly like taking a trip to Mars when earlier you were only carried to Ballard. But that comparison is misleading. I would always prefer a visit to Ballard over any of the known planets. Directly below is a cut from the Pitcairn Strachan feature of 1946. She is best known for a year-long weekly feature on Seattle’s grand homes and their families, which she researched and authored in 1944-45. That was earlier enough to involve direct contact with informants that were also pioneers – often the persons who built the homes.
Below and in order, the progression implied from the Times clips on the Anchor’s “experienced waitress” search in 1945, to attempts to sell the – get this – “Nationally known boat” early in 1947, do not bode well for the Anchor’s chances of staying golden. The crude illustration of the City of Everett aka Ferry Ballard aka diner-ship Golden Anchor tied to a bank on the Duwamish River near the old highway to SeaTac on the freezing afternoon of Jan. 15, 1950, reveal a moment in its new metamorphosis as quarters for the West Seattle Athletic Club. The Four Winds followed and the old mosquito fleet steamer turned ferry went terminal with the Surfside 9.
========== RETURN to FIRST HILL
The PATHETIC or PITIFUL STORY of the German immigrant girl BERTHA HOPKINS
As told – nearly – by the CLIPS ALONE!
GIVE CLIPS for SWEDISH HOSPITAL
Seattle Times clips from Nov. 1, 1937, above, and Dec. 26, 1937, below.