(click to enlarge photos)
Back when the beaches of West Seattle offered a remote respite from the raucous rebuilding of downtown Seattle, an outpouring of tents, shacks, camps and cottages welcomed visitors for a salty stay. One of the sturdiest of these was in the neighborhood called South Alki, now more plainly Beach Drive. This unique structure was – and still is — called Sea View Hall. It was not really a hall and didn’t sport a view of the sea. But the no-less compelling vision from this 1904 vertical-log home was of Puget Sound, a vista that remains today from the second and third floors over the rooftops of houses that sit closer to the water’s edge.
One year after its 1904 construction in then-unincorporated King County, it hosted “one of the dainty weddings of the season,” the bride being Marguerite Rose Maurer, daughter of the builder, John Mauer. as reported in the Nov. 5, 1905, Seattle Sunday Times, “The house, which is one of the prettiest on the point, was elaborately decorated and lighted only by candles.” With its “Adirondike styled logs set vertical rather than horizontal like the “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House museum. The Lodge and the Museum, with the rustic Bernard Mansion (long the Homestead Restaurant), are Alki Point’s three surviving log houses.
The Sea View Lodge soon became a cherished landmark on South Alki warranting its own colored postcard. One example kept in the archive of the Log House Museum and dated June 17, 1911, reads invitingly “This is a good town having parties here every week. Big time here on the 4th, firing up the street already.”
Our featured “then” photo dates from 1954, five years before Benny Goltz with her two sisters moved into the Hall when their mother, Margaret, acquired it. Benny recalls, the place was then nearly “falling down” so much that banks wouldn’t loan her mother money to purchase it. But “Mom fell in love with it,” tapped her savings and hired a carpenter to return again and again to “straighten it up.” Benny was married at Sea View Hall in February 1968.
This week’s feature is our return to Sea View Hall, having first marked it with the postcard photo for a “now and then” on Jan. 23, 2000. (Its is printed here three or more illustrations up.) We revived our interest because after years of careful restoration and renovation of the Hall and its colorful grounds, it is ready for its starring role in the annual “If These Walls Could Talk” home tour of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. The tour will be both a wonderfully unique exploration of Sea View Lodge and a fundraiser for the 33-year-old organization that promotes the heritage of the West Seattle peninsula and operates from aforementioned log house-turned-museum. Runs from 3 to 5 p.m. next Sunday, June 4, rain or shine. The South Alki address for Sea View Lodge, 4004 Chilberg Avenue, is fittingly one block off the beach and Weather Watch Park.
Those attending (by $10 donation for members, $15 non-members) will be welcomed by proprietors Terry Mann and Glen Poor, as well as volunteer researchers and greeters including Ann McClary, Sandie Wilkinson, Dora-Faye Hendricks, Bobbie Meehan, Molly McNees, Brad Chrisman, Bethany Green, Mary Beth Hatfield. Displays will detail the history of the home and its once-quaint tourist surroundings. For those wanting the benefit of a full presentation on Sea View Hall, plus refreshments and old-time ukulele music, a VIP session is on tap earlier in the afternoon. You can learn more at loghousemuseum.info.
Just shot a gathering of West Seattle High School alums on the 100th anniversary of its opening. Another in a long series of Clay Eals extravaganzas he calls “group hugs.”
Here’s a pretty high resolution version for your enjoyment:
Anything to add, fellahs? Yes Jean and we will begin with a question. How do you reach these heights? I know you purchased a new extender pole of 22&1/2-plus feet for you heavy Nikon, Add to that your about nine-foot reach and perhaps a ladder too, with a wide-angle lens – was that the piggybacking that did it? Or did Clay deliver a cherry-picker to you?
[JEAN ANSWERS HERE: ]
Somewhere in the bunch of related features below, most of them from West Seattle, you will find one that looks at the same front facade of West Seattle Hi. It was graciously shot by Clay Eals years ago – when the story was first published. It was not the first time that Clay helped out with his camera – or more – for this feature. Surely there cannot be many others through the history of West Seattle who have given as much exuberant help to its culture as has this director of the West Seattle Historical Society. I first met Clay thirty-plus years ago when he was the editor of the West Seattle Herald. I gave him minor help with preparing Westside Story, his and the newspaper’s illustrated history of the peninsula. I’ve been fond of him every since.
FIRST a bundle of EDGE CLIPS followed by a few more from ancient features with a reminder from Eda Garena, my mother (also called Cherry) “Repetition is the Mother of All Learning.” (Note: she may have shared it with Horace.)
MOTHER DORPAT SOMEWHERE IN MONTANA
RON’S LINKS FIRST, followed by a few OLDER LINKS