(click to enlarge photos)
This grand three-floor West Seattle lodge-size home with a rustic porch and veranda looks west from about 350 above Puget Sound and six irregular blocks west of the highest point in Seattle. (If you should wish to visit Seattle’s summit you will find it unmarked in the alley between 35th and 36th Avenues Southwest, south of the Water Dept. standpipes on Southwest Myrtle Street. At about 522 feet high, the alley transcends Queen Anne Hill by more than fifty feet.)
The address here is 7446 Gatewood Road S.W., which runs at a slant through the hill’s otherwise generally compass-conforming grid of streets and avenues. Most of these are crowded with homeowners who respect their neighbors open views of the Olympics by landscaping their lots low. Here, however, on Gatewood Road the Olympics are rarely seen, except in winter from the bedroom windows on the third floor. The home is nestled in the shade of one of the clinging greenbelts that interrupt the open sweep of the hill. Only a bird’s call away, the Orchard Street Ravine climbs the hill. It is one of the verdant West Seattle watersheds protected as a Park. By testimony of those who have lived here, the effect is like living in a park,
Surely a good sampling of the residences on this graceful western slope of West Seattle are homes with big families, but few of them also have eight bed rooms like this one had in 1910 when the English/Canadian couple, Francis John and Pontine Ellen Harper, built it for themselves, their five children, John, Frances, Macdonald, Cecil and Margaret, and more. A different Margaret, Margaret Hayes, the present owner since 1987, was told that there were sixteen living in the big house in the beginning.
Five families in all lived and paid taxes here through what the Southwest Seattle Historical Society calls The Gatewood Craftsman Lodge’s 104-year history. Representatives for all of them will be on hand next Sunday June 22 when the Society joins the present owner as interpreting hosts for another of the Society’s annual and enlightening home tours titled “If These Walls Could Talk.” The point is, of course, that next Sunday they will be talking. The public is invited to this fund-raiser. (For details call the Log House Museum at 938-5293.) We give special thanks to the “house history” done by Bethany Green and Brad Chrisman, whom Clay Eals, the Society’s director calls the “core of the home-tour committee this year.” In Jean’s repeat, Bethany is holding her dog Lily in the third floor window.
Anything to add, Paul? A few this evening and perhaps a few more tomorrow. First, again with the help of Ron Edge, we will grace the below with some links of other West Seattle stories pulled from features of the past. Then we will draw on some recent works of the Log House Museum and its energetic director and our by now nearly old friend, Clay Eals. After all that I’ll put up a few more of the by now many features on West Seattle subjects that we have published in Pacific since we started in the winter of 1982. There may be – again & again – some repeats. This week we will spare our readers the music analogy for these repetitions and variations. And Jean may your Hillside theatre dress rehearsal this Sunday afternoon and next weekend’s performances go well, this in your, well, what anniversary of starting these productions on Cougar Mountain?
The LINKS that follow come from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, greater Seattle’s most vibrant of neighborhood-based heritage groups. HERE FOLLOWS with Links a letter we received from Clay Eals its directory this afternoon.
Dear Jean and Paul
Tomorrow’s “Now and Then” is stellar. Saw the printed bulldog edition. Thanks again. The event is not tomorrow but rather the following Sunday, June 22, and it will be helped immensely by your contribution.
[Oops! We gave the wrong address.] Don’t worry about the address. It’s only two digits off (should be 7446, not 7448), but there is no home even close to 7448. The closest one is 7228. So there will be no real confusion.
For your blog, you might want to add these links:
If you want to add stuff about the totem, then here are links to most of what you Jean sent me:
http://www.loghousemuseum.info/ (the five-part series)
http://www.loghousemuseum.info/blog/reaching-the-sky-our-admiral-totem-pole-is-unveiled/ (the big group photo, plus some cool video, including an entertaining time-lapse)
Out the door. Thanks again!