Seattle Now & Then: Finding Kikisoblu (aka ‘Princess Angeline’)

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Pioneer Seattle photographer Frank LaRoche’s revealing record of Princess Angeline’s last home is also stocked with clues for finding its location. We have put helpful aids – like a map – in the blog [Courtesy, the Museum of History and Industry]
NOW: Ron Edge shows his back to the spot where Princess Angeline posed on the porch of her new home in the early 1890s. By Ron’s figuring the princess’ home, had it been preserved as a monument with all else the same, would now be protected inside the Market’s new covered parking lot, but not her porch. It would be taking the weather with the small copse of bamboo that has found a break in the built neighborhood about 130 feet north of the Pike Street Hill Climb.

The Northern Pacific Railroad’s photographer F. Jay Haynes included Princess Angeline’s home site during his 1890 visit to Seattle. Soon after his visit Angeline’s new cabin was built for her directly north of this her older one. The shed was removed but not, apparently, the stump that here crowds it on the right. (Courtesy, Murray Morgan)
A “Rosetta Stone” snapshot framed in a circle that shows the remnants of Angeline’s First Cabin and behind it the front facade of her Second cabin, which was also her last.

This Sunday we, Jean Sherrard, myself, and especially Ron Edge, our collector-cartographer with a devotion to details, hope to convince you that we have discovered the correct location for the footprint of Princess Angeline’s home. Angeline, many of our readers will know, was the daughter of our city’s namesake Chief Seattle. Born around 1820, she was in her prime by the time Euro-American settler-interlopers first arrived here to stay in the early 1850s.  The princess got on well with the city’s founders, and it was one of them, Catherine Maynard, who gave her the royal name.  Catherine, a nurse and wife of the village physician, Doc Maynard, explained that her new name better fit her elevated status. (Although surely the princess’s native name, Kikisoblu, was as euphonious as Angeline.)

Angeline supported herself washing clothes and weaving baskets, which she sold. She also posed for pictures, both candid street shots and prepared portraits.  The latter, like the Edwin J. Bailey portrait shown here, were snapped in studios where the native princess was sometimes – although not here – posed with a mix of props and backdrops that promoted her authenticity.  Through Seattle’s first half-century, the princess was easily the most popular subject hereabouts, and when she could, she charged a fee for posing.

The princess also accepted help and may have expected it.  She enjoyed a free grocery tab at Louch’s Market on First Avenue, which was not far from her home, whose true footprint we will now reveal with the help of photographs.  In 1890 the N.P. Railroad photographer, F. Jay Haynes, took what may be the earliest surviving photo of Angeline’s home.  I first used and misused it for this feature on May 13, 1984.  While Haynes did not peg his portrait of the Princess sitting near the front door of her seemingly windowless shed, I embraced the commonplace belief that her home was somewhere near the waterfront, between Pine and Pike Avenues, and probably closer to the latter.  My mistake was in making it a beach shack by interpreting Haynes’ prospect largely on the basis of the patch of horizon that shows to the left of Angeline’s shed. That is not the beach and Haynes was not looking west but nearly northwest through the neighborhood of small warehouses and squatters’ sheds that climbed the western slope of the now long gone Denny Hill.

We must thank Ron for this correction and also for introducing photographer Frank LaRoche’s setting of the Princess and her dog posing on the front porch of her new home, built for her in 1891 by the local lumberman Amos Brown. Printed to its full width, the LaRoche photograph reveals a wide swath of Belltown landmarks that lead us with the help of Ron’s triangulation to within a few feet of Angeline’s last home.  Although the princess died in 1895, her Amos Brown-made home survived and served at least as evidence until the printing of its footprint in Vol.2. page 127 of the 1905 Sanborn Insurance Map.  To follow Ron Edge’s revealing lines and to explore more photographic evidence of Angeline’s home and the neighborhood, please visit the web page  It is so noted every Sunday, including this one, at the bottom of the feature’s text.


Just a few special treats to sweeten the (already sweet) pot. First off, a big thanks to David Peugh, through whose condo we were given access to the site; his son Jeff (pictured below) graciously escorted us.

An alternate NOW: Ron Edge with Jeff Peugh (r)
A bamboo thicket grows in the shadows above Ron’s shoulders
The ‘now’ view from Kikisoblu’s front porch; the Fix/Madore building (originally the Standard Furniture Co. Warehouse) on the left, the concrete walls of the Pike Place parking garage on the right, and the soon-to-disappear viaduct to the west.
Looking back east at the green cut from just in front of the viaduct with Ron Edge at the bottom of the steps…

Below, Paul presents the evidence which led Ron Edge to his discovery.

With this portrait I will imagine Angeline laughing at my clumsy mistake.

This is meant to be – or will be – a feature about our victory in locating the home site of the daughter of Chief Seattle for whom the pioneer settlers adopted the name Princess (and sometimes Queen) Angeline.  We have known with considerable confidence that her cabins – at least two of them for which we have photographs – were set somewhere near Pike Street, below what has been since 1907 the Pike Place Public Market.  But we wanted the footprint – or close to it.

Here from the rear is Angeline’s last home. The Miner Hotel, one of our landmarks that helped Ron Edge put  Angeline’s home in its proper place shows its corner tower, upper right.  The view looks south.   The tree on the left and the cabins there are clues as well.  

After assembling perhaps all available clues – maps and photos – Ron managed to find the home, or proper footprint, for this home, and Jean posed him, as it were, on the front porch of Angeline’s home for the NOW, where she posed with her dog more than once, for she for the boom years before her death in 1896 probably the most popular photographic subject in Seattle.

Here highlighted in yellow is a sign of Princess Angeline’s enduring draw. The adver is from The Times of December 12, 1904, eight years after her death.  [click to enlarge]
One year later developer C.D. Hillman, is proud to imagine that the cabin in which Princess Angeline was born is on property he is offering for sale and and so is free for him to show in the neighborhood with his “Greasy Pole Climbing” for the year’s Independence Day Picnic on Mercer Island.

As if reflecting on the claims of the boomtown that surround her, she, it seems, needs no introduction, ca. 1903.   [click click to read]

Included within the frame of this week’s featured photo are the helpful clues for locating the footprint of Angeline’s cabin.  They are listed in yellow upper-left.  Click to Enlarge.


Both the number and inserted thumbnails should help you orient some of these parts/clues to those notes in the featured photo.  CLICK CLICK CLICK TO ENLARGE



An unidentified photographer looks north thru (and above) the ruins of Angeline’s older home to the front south facade of her new home. This photo was obviously of great help in finding the footprint.


Looking north from the roof of the Standard Furniture Co. Warehouse  with Western Avenue on the right.  The landmark tree is number two.   By this WW1 era shot Angeline’s home is gone.  Most of it – perhaps all – would have been out-of-frame to the  bottom.


The red line is drawn down from the tenement on Front Street at Pine into Angeline’s last home.


The neighborhood looking north along the waterfront from the King Street coal wharf in 1890.   Construction is nearly the as yet not built central tower of the Denny Hotel, upper-right, on the front hump of Denny Hill.  It straddles Third Avenue between Second and Fourth Avenues a few feet more than 100 feet above the regrades.


Angeline’s back yard – again.


Helpful details from both the 1893 and 1904 Sanborn Insurance Maps.   The red circle marks Angeline’s cabin.


A Google Earth space shot superimposed on the 1904 Sanborn Insurance Map.

The Standard Furniture Co. Warehouse c1905 (now  the Fix/Madore building)


And a few links to additional related features:

THEN: Pioneer Arthur Denny's son, Orion, took this photo of popularly named Lake Union John and his second wife, Madeline, sometime before the latter's death in 1906.


THEN: A circa 1920 look north along the tiled roofline of the Pike Place Market’s North Arcade, which is fitted into the slender block between Pike Place, on the right, and Western Avenue, on the left. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Mark Tobey, almost certainly Seattle’s historically most celebrated artist, poses in the early 1960s with some Red Delicious apples beside the Sanitary Market in the Pike Place Market. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN:In late 1855 the citizens of Seattle with help from the crew of the Navy sloop-of-war Decatur built a blockhouse on the knoll that was then still at the waterfront foot of Cherry Street. The sloop’s physician John Y. Taylor drew this earliest rendering of the log construction. (Courtesy, Yale University, Beinecke Library)

THEN: In this April morning record of the 1975 “Rain or Shine Public Market Paint-in,” above the artists, restoration work has begun with the gutting of the Corner Market Building. (Photo by Frank Shaw)

THEN: Charles Louch’s grocery on First Avenue, north of Union Street, opened in the mid-1880s and soon prospered. It is possible – perhaps probable – that one of the six characters posing here is Louch – more likely one of the two suited ones on the right than the aproned workers on the left. (Courtesy RON EDGE)

THEN: The 1974 fire at the Municipal Market Building on the west side of Western Avenue did not hasten the demise of the by then half-century old addition of the Pike Place Market. It had already been scheduled for demolition. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)


5 thoughts on “Seattle Now & Then: Finding Kikisoblu (aka ‘Princess Angeline’)”

  1. Wow!!! Over joyed on this find!!!
    Amazing work and a treasure found by treasured people.

  2. Great job brother, your investigative skills would make Sherlock Holmes proud.
    Next you should tackle the details on Wyatt Earp’s Seattle residency between 1899 and 1900 and his involvement in the White House gambling hall.

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