Seattle Now & Then: Lake Ballinger

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Julia and Richard Ballinger owned a “gas-powered” rowboat to reach their summer home on their namesake Lake Ballinger.  This 1911 view looks east from near the tracks of the Seattle-Everett Interurban.  (Courtesy, Ron Edge)
THEN: Julia and Richard Ballinger owned a “gas-powered” rowboat to reach their summer home on their namesake Lake Ballinger. This 1911 view looks east from near the tracks of the Seattle-Everett Interurban. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)
NOW: Jean recorded his repeat from McAleer Lane, named for the family who first took up a post-civil war timber claim around the lake that was then also named for them.
NOW: Jean recorded his repeat from McAleer Lane, named for the family who first took up a post-civil war timber claim around the lake that was then also named for them.
The historical photographs original use in The Times for June 14, 1911.  Curiously the surrounding text is preoccupied with other "Charmed Land" subject.  Perhaps the Lake Ballinger illustration was used to compliment the paid for advertisement, bottom-right.  It is a promotion for the Everett Interurban.  Both it and Aurora appears in the 1936 aerial featured below the main text.
The historical photographs original use in The Times for June 14, 1911. Curiously the surrounding text is preoccupied with other “Charmed Land” subjects. Perhaps the Lake Ballinger illustration was used to compliment the paid-for advertisement, bottom-right. It is a promotion for the Everett Interurban. Both it and Aurora appear in the 1936 aerial featured below the main text.  (To read this, it is best to double-click it.)

Set on a three acre island off the west shore of the largest (160 acres) of five lakes that enchanted the Seattle to Everett Interurban Line, the photograph of this modest “summer home” for Julia and Richard Achilles Ballinger appeared first in the Seattle Times of June 14, 1911.

The photo’s caption does not peddle real estate, but simply describes the lake as “an ideal picnic and camping spot.” Printed on the same page is an advertisement for the Interurban.  Promising local trains every hour, it enabled its “Lake Route” riders to get off the train and make their way “along a sun-flecked trail through the silent arches of the Forest Primeval.”

[Double-click the Clippings below.]

The Seattle Times, June 27, 1910
The Seattle Times, June 27, 1910
The Seattle Times returns to the judge's island home on April 18, 1915 and in greater detail.
The Seattle Times returns to the judge’s island home on April 18, 1915 and in greater detail.

The forest showing here on the lake’s far eastern shore was probably reserved by Ballenger who owned the lake and all around it. Or the fire that destroyed for good the resident Chippewa Lumber Company may have saved it.  As late as 1924 this east side forest of cedars, firs and alders was distinguished with the claim of its then new owner, the Seattle’s Shriners, that “there is probably no prettier grove anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.” From this primeval start the Shriners began planning their golf course, although it took decades to shape the grove into eighteen holes.

[Click, Click to Enlarge] From the Seattle Times of Aug. 10, 1924
[Click, Click to Enlarge]
From the Seattle Times of Aug. 10, 1924
From The Times on November 30, 1924.  [& have you clicked and clicked again?]
From The Times on November 30, 1924. [& have you clicked and clicked again?]
It was along this the Lake’s straight west shore that the former Judge, and Mayor of Seattle (1904-06) started selling lots in the spring of 1914.

Here is the Judge / Mayor / Secretary of the Interior / & Land & Lake Speculator himself.  I believe I copied this from the Rainier Club's Archive of its early members.  Many of them were photographed by Edward Curtis - when he was free of the Indians.  At least part of the time, Curtis lived at the club - perhaps in trade out.  I did this club copy work for Walt Crowley, a club member, while he was preparing his history of the club.  Near the bottom of this week's feature we will insert a clipping from the first Helix published after the Labor Day weekend celebration named the Sky River Rock Fire Festival.  Walt was surely there as was I.  The Weltschmerz feature Walt wrote on returning from the festival says nothing about it, but plenty about Walt's mood and the tone of his temper on the day he wrote his splendid confession of Weltschmerz or "world pain."
Here is the Judge / Mayor / Secretary of the Interior / and Land & Lake Speculator himself. I believe I copied this from the Rainier Club’s Archive of its early members. Many of them were photographed by Edward Curtis – in those hours when he was free of the Indians.  Curtis sometimes lodged at the club – perhaps in trade out. I did this club copy work for Walt Crowley, a club member, while he was preparing his history of the club. Near the bottom of this week’s feature we will insert a clipping from the first Helix published after the Labor Day weekend celebration named the Sky River Rock Fire Festival.  The paper was printed in the first week of Sept. 1968. Walt was surely there as was I. The Weltschmerz feature Walt wrote on returning from the festival says nothing about those three days, but plenty about Walt’s mood and the tone of his temper on the day he wrote his splendid confession of Weltschmerz or “world pain.”
Back from Washington D.C. and on his lake in time to bivouac with the squads of Company D.
Seattle Times, April 24, 1914.  Back from Washington D.C. and on his lake in time to bivouac with the squads of Company D.
Bad Publicity - Seattle Times, March 25, 1919
Bad Publicity – Seattle Times, March 25, 1919

CLICK TWICE – to read the fine pulp print.

Front page notice of past mayor Ballinger gets small mention below current Mayor Browns fight with "reckless autoists."   (Seattle Times, June 7, 1922)
Front page notice of past mayor Ballinger’s death gets small mention below current Mayor Brown’s fight with “reckless autoists.” (Seattle Times, June 7, 1922)

It was a delayed beginning, for with his appointment to President Taft’s cabinet in 1909, Richard Ballinger was preoccupied as the country’s Secretary of the Interior.  Still his publically expressed hopes for developing a “residence park of high character” beside his lake, gave “opportunities by association” for real estate not on the lake but close enough, like the cunningly named Lake Ballinger Garden Tracks that the palmy agents Crawford and Conover began selling in 1910.

Introducing Conover, long-time real estate dealer - beginning in the late 1880s - promoter of the "Evergreen State", his nickname for it, and long-time columnist on subjects of local history for The Seattle Times.  Conover is sitting with an "x" marking his hat.
Introducing Conover, long-time real estate dealer – beginning in the late 1880s – promoter of the “Evergreen State”, his nickname for Washington, and long-time columnist on subjects of local history for The Seattle Times. Conover is sitting with an “x” marking his hat.  Next, thee example of Conover’s Lake Ballinger opportunism. (Double-Click)
Seattle Times, April 24, 1910
Seattle Times, April 24, 1910
Seattle Times, May 3, 1910
Seattle Times, May 3, 1910
Seattle Times, May 18, 1910
Seattle Times, May 18, 1910
Another lake, Soap Lake - hot note from the summer of 1945
A different lake, Soap Lake – A hot note from the summer of 1945

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?  Yup Jean.  For orientation lets begin with another of Ron’s look-from-above: the aerial from 1936.  Snug with that we’ll repeat our past feature about the Seattle Speed Bowl and the thrilling rides of Mel Anthony.  Ron notes that you can see the Speed Bowl “vividly” in the 1936 aerial – in the upper-left quadrant.  Following that I’ll put up a variety of the “and now for something completely different” sort of subjects, pulled from past shoots – most of it pickings from my walks around town – and especially Wallingford from 2006 to 2009.  Finally, we will remember Walt Crowley of Historylink and long ago of Helix too, by including one of his Weltschmerz features – the one that appeared in the Helix for early Sept. 1968.  We intend to put up the entire issue next week in celebration of the 45th anniversary of the 1968 Sky River Rock Fire Festival – the first one.  I also found in my browsing earlier today a 2006 snapshot I took of Walt with a beard – rare indeed.  And I’ll include the teen Walt at the entrance to the courthouse following some demonstration ca. 1965 or 66.

1936 aerial of Lake Ballinger with the Seattle Speed Bowl in the upper-left corner.  (Courtesy Ron Edge)
1936 aerial of Lake Ballinger with the Seattle Speed Bowl, upper-left, and again below on the ground. (Both subjects used courtesy of Ron Edge)

Midget racer Mel Anthony, inducted into the Golden Wheels Hall of Fame in 2002, stands on the pavement of Edmonds' 82nd Ave. West, a few yards south of 230th Street Southwest, and so repeating the historical view, above, of the Speed Bowl.
Midget racer Mel Anthony, inducted into the Golden Wheels Hall of Fame in 2002, stands on the pavement of Edmonds’ 82nd Ave. West, a few yards south of 230th Street Southwest, and so repeats the historical view of the Speed Bowl inserted above.

METHANOL MEL

[First appeared in Pacific not so long ago, in the summer of 2010.]

           After the high bridge over Fremont was dedicated in 1932, Aurora Avenue became the centerline for a wide and long swath of car culture with auto dealers, parts stores, drive-ins for burgers, drive-ins for movies, and more than one race track.  By the figuring of both collector Ron Edge, who lent us this subject, and the by now legendary racer Mel Anthony, this is the first day of racing at the Seattle Speed Bowl.  It opened in 1936 and that’s the date penned on the print.
Anthony, posing in the “now” at the uncannily fit age of 87 [in 2010], first raced here as an adolescent on his big tire bicycle.  He snuck onto the track – the gate was open – and boldly pumped passed a slow-moving grader only to be swallowed and upset in one of the tracks steep turns by sticky bunker oil applied moments earlier.  The operators of both the grader & the oiler enjoyed his fall and laughed.
Through the years Anthony’s wit has made him many friends, and gained him a unique “Sportsman Trophy” in 1950, while his dare-do both won races and put him in hospitals.  Mel always healed and, for our considerable delight, proved to be a very good narrator.  His book “Smoke Sand and Rubber” is packed with stories about racing and pictures too.  The book can be sampled and/or ordered through http://www.hotrodhotline.com/feature/bookreviews/07smoke/.
Before this track closed with the Second World War, Anthony competed on its oval in a 1939 Seattle Star Jalopy Race.  He explains “I was 16 and in the lead and then everything fell off.”
After returning from the war in 1946, Anthony raced the regional circuit until 1955.  I remember reading about his midget class exploits while I, an adolescent, was delivering Spokane’s morning paper, the Spokesman Review in the early 50s.  Anthony notes “In Spokane they gave us a lot of INK.”  Recently “Methanol Mel” returned to the track, and so far has remarkably won every midget race he has entered.  Jean Sherrard, who posed Mel in the “now,” describes him as a “wonder of nature and great testimony for genes, very good ones.”  Mel explains,  “Ten or fifteen laps for me now and my tongue is hanging out.  No fool like an old fool.  I have to be very careful.”

======

A FEW THINGS DIFFERENT

Sunflower at Tilth Gardens, Good Shepherd Center, Wallingford Neighborhood, ca. 2009
Sunflower at Tilth Gardens, Good Shepherd Center, Wallingford Neighborhood, ca. 2009

a - dandilions-white-strip-43-Sunnyside-WEB

CAUTION - southwest corner of N. 43rd Street and Eastern Ave. North
CAUTION – southwest corner of N. 43rd Street and Eastern Ave. North
Southeast corner N. 43rd Street and Eastern Ave. N., Nov. 5, 2009
Southeast corner N. 43rd Street and Eastern Ave. N., Nov. 5, 2009
PARKING DIRECTIONS - U.W. Underground
PARKING DIRECTIONS – U.W. Underground
PREPARATIONS for PATCH - N. 43rd Street, mid-block between Sunnyside and Corliss Avenues North
PREPARATIONS for PATCH – N. 43rd Street, mid-block between Sunnyside and Corliss Avenues North
Worn cover to King County Book of Ordinances  255 to 928. (Courtesy King County Archive)
Worn cover to King County Book of Ordinances 255 to 928. (Courtesy King County Archive)

AVAILABLE LIGHT - intersection of N. 43rd Street and First Ave. Northeast

AVAILABLE LIGHT - Intersection of N. 43rd Street & First Ave. Northeast.
AVAILABLE LIGHT – Intersection of N. 43rd Street & First Ave. Northeast.
SEA OF JAPAN - posing in the gutter on the north side of N. 42nd Street near its northwest corner with Sunnyside Ave. on a rainy fall day.
SEA OF JAPAN – posing in the gutter on the north side of N. 42nd Street near its northwest corner with Sunnyside Ave. on a rainy fall day.
MANDALA for GREEN MEDITATION - from a Wallingord Parking Strip
MANDALA for GREEN MEDITATION – from a Wallingord Parking Strip
MERIDIAN PARK PLUM (Rest in Peace]
MERIDIAN PARK PLUM
(Rest in Peace]
SMITH TOWER from Harborview Parking, ca. 1990.
SMITH TOWER from Harborview Parking, ca. 1990.
Half-broken Olympia Block from the alley, recorded by Frank Shaw, Feb. 7,1974.
Half-broken Olympia Block from the alley, recorded by Frank Shaw, Feb. 7,1974.
Tareyton Tear, on Eastlake ca. 1977
Tareyton Tear, on Eastlake ca. 1977
Golden Arches on Rainier ca. 1985 with cheerful attendant and watchful figure in the window.  (I ordered a cherry pie)
Golden Arches on Rainier ca. 1985 with cheerful attendant and watchful figure in the window. (I ordered a cherry pie)
UNIVERSAL WORK aka Tiger's Tail hanging from the Space Needle on Arts Day ca. 1971.  I collaborated with John Hillding and his Land Truth Circus who were frequent participants at the Bumbershoot Festival in the early year when the arts were more "spread out."  The worm as over 200 feet long and about 7 feet in diameter with inflated.  We got it to the top, but barely.  The plastic hit the concrete "blades" supporting the restaurant and punctured the tail which then flapped to the Seattle Center campus floor.  We made lots of film.  Someday all will be revealed.
UNIVERSAL WORK aka Tiger’s Tail hanging from the Space Needle on Arts Day ca. 1971. I collaborated with John Hillding and his Land Truth Circus who were frequent participants at the Bumbershoot Festival in those golden early years when the arts were more “spread out.” The worm was over 200 feet long and about 7 feet in diameter with inflated. John got it to the top of the needel, but barely. The plastic hit the concrete “blades” supporting the restaurant and punctured the worm which then flapped its way to the Seattle Center campus floor. We shot lots of film and John made many new worms, which we also often filmed as animated forms.   Someday all will be revealed.
Jean Sherrard (our own) reading at one of his Christan shows.
Jean Sherrard (our own) reading at one of his Christmas shows.
Left and right, Emmett Watson and Murray Morgan at the then new Acres of Clams preview in 1987.
Left and right, Emmett Watson and Murray Morgan at the then new Acres of Clams preview in 1987.
Priscilla Long - then Historylink editor, educator and author after meeting with historylink historian and King County archivist Greg Lange at Tullies - now defunct - at the Wallingford corner of 45th Street and Meridian Avenue on August 9, 2008.
Priscilla Long – then Historylink editor, educator and author after a meeting with historylink historian and King County archivist Greg Lange at Tullies – now defunct – at the Wallingford corner of 45th Street and Meridian Avenue on August 9, 2008.

=====

MONSTERS AT THE ID

WALT CROWLEY’S WELTSCHMERZ from HELIX, First Week of September 1968

Bill White and I are resuming – with Ron Edge’s considerable help at the scanner – our reading and commentaries on every issue of Helix.  With Volume Two No. Seven we have made it to the first issue following the first Sky River Rock Festival on Labor Day weekend, 1968.  We will put that issue “up” early this week – perhaps tomorrow, Monday.  Bill and I were both admiring Walt’s feature – we often do – and I decided to excerpt it in advance when I stumbled upon this photograph of Walt in his and Marie’s kitchen during their traditional Christmas season party for friends – lots of them – in 2006.  It is rare to see Walt with a beard, but as Marie explains he grew one while he was undergoing chemotherapy for his throat cancer.

Walt Crowley with beard,  2006
Walt Crowley with beard in 2006.  Behind him is Dan “Tugboat” Kerege.

CLICK TWICE

Walt weltschmerz

A young Walt at the bottom-right leaving a Viet-Nam protest at the Federal Court House, ca. 1966.
A young Walt at the bottom-right attending a Viet-Nam protest at the Federal Court House, ca. 1966.  The negative for this was found in a collection of police surveillance shots.

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