(click to enlarge photos)
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.
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.
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.
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.”
WILLIAM HICKMAN MOORE DEATH & LECTURE NOTICES
THE SEATTLE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE tenant in the STACY MANSION – Before SARAH BAKER and her HOTEL.
[Please CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE]
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.
LA MAISON BLANC BEFORE & AFTER THE FIRST OF APRIL 30 FIRE, 1960.