Seattle Now & Then: Sarah Baker’s Hotel

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: A mix of workers, friends and guests pose together on the front porch of Sarah Frances Baker’s hotel at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Marion Street in 1895.  Built ten years earlier by Martin and Elisabeth Stacy as their first mansion, the warring couple never lived in it.  Used in the early 1890s by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, followed by Baker and her hotel, the Second Empire styled mansion’s last tenant was the Maison Blanc Restaurant, which was closed by fire in 1960.  (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
THEN: A mix of workers, friends and guests pose together on the front porch of Sarah Frances Baker’s hotel at the northeast corner of Third Avenue and Marion Street in 1895. Built ten years earlier by Martin and Elisabeth Stacy as their first mansion, the warring couple never lived in it. Used in the early 1890s by the Seattle Chamber of Commerce, followed by Baker and her hotel, the Second Empire styled mansion’s last tenant was the Maison Blanc Restaurant, which was closed by fire in 1960. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: Employees of Northwest Bank stand in as contemporary posers for the spiffy group on the porch of the elegant hotel.
NOW: Employees of Northwest Bank stand in as contemporary posers for the spiffy group on the porch of the elegant hotel.

CAPTION-for-Stacy-Mansion-Hotel-June-25,-1895

A helpful caption pasted to the back of this pioneer print describes its subject as “workers and guests at hotel run by Mrs. Baker.”  Sarah Frances Baker sits near the scene’s center in a striped dress, holding a soft smile, (which is unusual for Victorian era photo posers, who were more often expressionless.)  By the authority of Clara Berg, the Collections Specialist for Costumes and Textiles at the Museum of History and Industry, “with its stripes and darker colors, Baker’s outstanding dress takes its cue from formal men’s wear,” although, she adds, “not from what these men are wearing on this occasion. Rather, they are dressed informally for the warmer season.” The caption agrees; the print is dated June 25, 1895.  Note that there are no stiff collars among them; they are all soft. And three of these men are topped with straw boaters, a jaunty hat fashion that was introduced about this time, and stayed popular well into the 1920s.

An early look to the northeast across the intersection of Marion and Third.  The First Presbyterian Church, at Madison, is on the far left.
An early look to the northeast across the intersection of Marion and Third. The First Presbyterian Church, at Madison, is on the far left.
The Stacy Mansion takes a quarter-block in this 1888 Sanborn map.  The Calvinists are on the left and the Methodists across Marion Street on the far right.
The Stacy Mansion takes a quarter-block in this 1888 Sanborn map. The Calvinists are on the left and the Methodists across Marion Street on the far right.
Looking south on Second Avenue through its intersection with Madison Street to the wooden row distinguished by the Presbyterians, the Stacy's and, one block south at Marion, the Methodists.  (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
Looking south on Second Avenue through its intersection with Madison Street to the wooden row distinguished by the Presbyterians, the Stacy’s and, one block south at Marion, the Methodists. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)
East along a planked Marion Street and thru its intersection with Third Avenue, with the Stacy Mansion on the left and the Methodists on the right, circa 1890.
East along a planked Marion Street and thru its intersection with Third Avenue, with the Stacy Mansion on the left and the Methodists on the right, circa 1891.

The quoted caption is a long one.  Besides the proprietor a few more of these posers are identified, some by role, like the dishwasher, far left, and a few by name, including William Talcott, the man top-center with a big moustache on a thin face.  With help from Ann Ferguson, the Curator of the Seattle Collections at the Seattle Public Library, we learn that in 1891 the then twenty-eight year old Talcott came to Seattle, hired as Chief Engineer for the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad.  In 1895 the Virginian was still with the SLSE, regularly riding the route that we know and enjoy now, in part, as the Burke Gilman Recreation Trail.

The Stacy mansion, ca. 1890.
The Stacy mansion, ca. 1890.

Sarah Baker rests her right hand on her married daughter Edith’s right shoulder, and the proprietor’s son-in-law, William Hickman Moore, stands on the left.  That he is holding or supporting the boy in stripes is evidence of the chumminess of this group.  The boy is not William and Edith’s only son.  Rather, their five-year-old son Vincent Moore is sitting under his firemen’s hat bottom-center, some distance from his parents.

The West Shore magazine's montage of four grand homes built locally in the 1880s.  Clockwise from upper-left they are the homes of Stacy, Yesler, Leary and McNaught.
The West Shore magazine’s montage of four grand homes built locally in the 1880s. Clockwise from upper-left they are the homes of Stacy, Yesler, Leary and McNaught.

CLIP-Church-Row-b-7-11-82a-WEB

First appeared in Pacific, December 16, 1984.
First appeared in Pacific, December 16, 1984. [CLICK to ENLARGE]

By 1921 Vincent would become Seattle City Light’s chief operating engineer for its Skagit River dam project. By then his father, William Hickman Moore, had already proved to be one of Seattle’s most steadfast politicians, first appointed to the King County Superior Court in 1897 and winning many elections as a state senator, city councilman, and between 1906 and 1908 as the mayor of Seattle.  For this last, Moore campaigned as an advocate of the public ownership of utilities.  With the split Republican Part fighting within itself, the progressive Democrat Moore won by a total of 15 votes.  A few months before his sudden death in March 1946 at the age of 84, the then Deputy Prosecutor for King County credited his enduring vitality to the maxim “Don’t worry and live long.”

A TIMES clip from May 24, 1945.
A TIMES clip from May 24, 1945.
From The Times, Jan. 9, 1916.
From The Times, Jan. 9, 1916.

Janitor-Protects-Mayor-ST-2-28-1907-grab-WEB

[A century ago and less some news reporting was open to friendly parody and both readers and editors encouraged it.  .
[A century ago and less some news reporting was open to friendly parody and both readers and editors encouraged it. .
WILLIAM HICKMAN MOORE DEATH & LECTURE NOTICES

A TIMES Clip from March 14, 1946.
A TIMES Clip from March 14, 1946.

 

A TIMES clip from Oct. 22, 1939.
A TIMES clip from Oct. 22, 1939.

THE SEATTLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE tenant in the STACY MANSION – Before SARAH BAKER and her HOTEL. 

[Please CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE]

A clip from 1893
A clip from 1893 – CLICK CLICK to ENLARGE

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  Certainly Jean.  First within the five links that Ron Edge has pulled and placed directly below you will uncover more features from the neighborhood and or near it.   For instance, in the first link below we spy the Stacy Mansion on the far side of the construction pit made for the Central Building, which took the place – and more – of the First Methodist Church that used to rise from the southeast corner of Marion and Third, directly across Marion from the Stacy home and later Sarah Baker’s hotel.  The Edge link following that is another recent offering, one centering on a neighbor also form the mid-1880s, and showing a similar architectural urge.   Following that we’ll put up some more features, ones from the more distant Pacific past.   Those we will scan from their magazine clippings, as is our convenient way.

THEN: Looking north from Columbia Street over the construction pit for the Central Building.  On the left is a rough section of the Third Avenue Regrade in the spring of 1907.  (Courtesy, MOHAI)

THEN:

THEN:  Built in the mid-1880s at 1522 7th Avenue, the Anthony family home was part of a building boom developing this north end neighborhood then into a community of clapboards.  Here 70 years later it is the lone survivor.  (Photo by Robert O. Shaw)

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First in Pacific, Dec. 16, 1984.
First in Pacific, Dec. 16, 1984.

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The Stacy mansion - as Maison Blanc Restaurant - after its 90 degree turn to face Marion Street.
The Stacy mansion – as the La Maison Blanc Restaurant – after its 90 degree turn to face Marion Street.

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First in Pacific, May 2, 2004
First in Pacific, May 2, 2004
Appeared first in The Times on May 11, 2003.
Appeared first in The Times on May 11, 2003.

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LA MAISON BLANC BEFORE & AFTER THE FIRST OF APRIL 30 FIRE, 1960.

Stacy-Mansion-as-Maison-Blanc-WEB

Maison-Blanc-after-fire,-May-1,-1960-WEB

One thought on “Seattle Now & Then: Sarah Baker’s Hotel”

  1. nice column; thanks. that dachsund sign on Marion (see second photo from the bottom, as well as others), presumably, leftover from the rathskeller hung at its place on that building until at least the mid-1990’s, when the place was a Mexican restaurant. I wish I knew what happened to it…. lost to time and progress….

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