…the Dorpat (genus: Tartus Lutheranus), its habitat and behaviors. Often to be found wandering the streets and byways of Wallingford, carrying its palm-sized digital camera. Also identified by its unique cry: a deep-throated chortle.
(you may contact Paul here)
For the purposes of information dispersal and techspertise, some intercession and occasional comment will be provided by Jean Sherrard, a keen observer of the Dorpat in all its nests, dens, and foxholes.
(and here’s Jean’s email)
And finally, Bérangère Lomont, our Paris-based roving correspondent, who will provide luminous photos and insightful commentary from her side of the pond.
96 thoughts on “About…”
Dear Paul, Jean, & Co.:
My mother Bea, who’s heading towards 99 in June, has a northeast-facing print of Portage Bay –taken shortly after the War (II)–which includes the houseboat row on which she lived in the middle of the Bay.
It appears to have been taken from about the same elevation and location (above Boyer Avenue?) as your 110 year old photo of the Montlake Isthmus, but aimed slightly more to the north. I suspect from your photographs of 520 (2009-04-25) that the freeway nearly follows the line of the earlier houseboats across the water.
The accompanying glossy is of an oiled duck in her bathtub. One in this series, following the great oil spill in the Bay in the mid-Forties, appeared as the end photo in Life.
Let me know if either of these interests you; my email address is email@example.com.
(Note: I tried to send this as a response to your Portage Bay column, but the CAPTCHA code didn’t like me.)
Thanks so much for posting the digitized map, Paul!
Your display of the 1912 maps of Seattle is wonderful. I grew up in Seattle and my father grew up in Seattle, went to the Old South School. The maps brought back many memories. Thank you very much for putting them on the net.
Great story about the old municipal building. I remember it also. Friends and I, as teenagers, explored it around 1970-1971. It was fun checking out the medical rooms and labs (I could swear there was a morgue also), my brother collected a few old medicine bottles because they had “bubbles” in the glass.
The padded cells were scary; small rooms with padded leather walls and door. The padding was a sort of cellulose type material.
I remember a huge vault on the west end (forget which floor) of the building and noticed something behind it, a sheet of plywood with a laminated Seattle street map on it. The map did not include Boeing field (It looked similar to the 1928 maps from Seattle Municipal Archives). We took it a friend’s garage. A few years later, after serving in the military, I inquired about the old map. My buddy said his Dad through it out as junk while he was away too. So much for that.
This is just one of many adventures, growing up in Seattle.
BTW, thank you for the 1912 real estate map. It is wonderfully produced. I have spent hours looking at it.
Dear Paul, Jean, & Co.
I was looking for some recordings by theater organist Oliver Wallace (still looking) and came across your wonderful account of James Q. Clemmer and the Dream Theater with the first theater organ installation in a movie house and played by Oliver G. Wallace. I had coffee with one of his daughters just yesterday and will certainly forward to her.
I am still hoping to find recordings of Wallace in Seattle or Portland if they exist. Your story surely helps mute my lack of success.
Paul – being the stickler I am, regarding the May 29 article about the Victorian that Mr and Mrs Hachiya restored, you mentioned something about “lathe and plaster” walls – I know you mean “lath.” How did such a glaring error get past the proofreaders?
Web-searches (I’m old enough to know the difference between WWW and internet) don’t work for me to simply identify myself and family (dating back to grandmother and possibly before (we’re talking 1860’s). I’d like to know how to connect with Mr. Dorpat, (probably ‘Paul’ is cool). I may have a bit to contribute and would enjoy the exchange. If you can provide info with Paul’s permission so firstname.lastname@example.org in West Seattle, I’d much appreciate it. That’s where some of us folks still say Alk_EE instead of alk_I.
Son of a PTSS WWII War Veteran (who I’m proud of – 2 purple hearts but) who got enough volts through his brain by V.A. doctors being ‘in vogue’ in the 1950’s to run a train from Seattle to Vancouver.
I watched the Space Needle being built from Bellevue and Olive Way and have fond memories of the ‘Century 21 Exposition’ as well as the hydro races with “My Boyfriend’s Back” blaring in the background.
Thanks if you can help,
I live in West Seattle with my East Indian wife in Arbor Heights at 206-244-9349 or email@example.com.
I finally found your blog! We were acquainted years ago when I believe you were editor at ye ol’ Helix. you also knew my sister Anne at Whitworth College. Our grandfather was Louis B. May and was a pioneer of Seattle and went on the Yukon
Gold Rush. He wrote a diary which was published I believe in the P.I. Sunday papers in 1972. Unfortunately at the time we had no Gold Rush Museum and my uncle gave it to a museum in Juneau. I have always thought it belonged here in Seattle. I have a copy of it but the original is a true jewel and should be returned to its home. What do you think? Could this be done? Bye the way from what I’ve read this calling is a perfect fit for you! Thanks for doing such a great service to our history.
Thank you so much for your encyclopedic/photographic minds layering Seattle’s today on its past. As a native of Seattle you supply me many hours of fulfilling memories.
I’ve had an unanswered question for years. Can you answer this question with a photograph? Before First Church of Christ, Scientist on 16th & Denny (featured in 2/12/12 Seattle Times) was built, the congregation built their first church in downtown Seattle, somewhere near 6th and Marion. It seated about 500. I have never been able to find a picture of it. Apparently it was razed when they moved to to Capitol Hill.
After your Ft. Lawton pic made the Times today, I received this e-mail from my sister:
“Dad told me that he, mom and our grandparents had a small business at the time making picket fences. He saw this picture in the Times today in the article about the fort closing for good, and said he made those picket fences! Pretty cool, huh?!”
Inextricably tied to the history of this place, even without a guitar,
I’m trying to pull pictures of old Fremont together to background a documentary on the Fremont Troll. Would it be possible to share some images? I really like the one on the Interurban statue in particular (Roger Wheeler, depicted, was interviewed in the documentary and provides much historical context at the beginning of the film).
A link to the trailer for the documentary is below. (Password is Troll)
Living downtown, walking downtown, seeing the changes to the cityscape of a place where I have lived or known since the mid sixties; that demolition on Second Avenue near Stewart, that decades old parking garage coming down, that creepy like garage where the Addam’s Family might have kept a car. Wondering what might be discovered on the wall of the adjoining building when all that concrete is removed. There is ghost advertising of some sort, written in that script which was popular during those pre WWI years. Advertising something, but not legible to most eyes, probably a secret best revealed at the County Court House and those tax records.
A crest displayed over the entry and exit bays which upon very close examination (out of desparation as they are soon to go) seems to have that caduceus and apothecary scales featured on both. I would guess that the garage may have been built or partly financed by doctors or a group of doctors working out of the long derelict but historic Eitel Building at Second and Pike.
Either way, another small piece of old Seattle makes way for new housing. My interest with parking–back in the day I worked for several years for Josef Diamond when parking or being barreled at a Diamond lot could get very personal.
This is more of an email than a comment…
I have been photographing Lower Queen Anne for a while now. Being all modern and such I have begun to post them at http://unavocesola.wordpress.com/category/lower-queen-anne/. In the near term these images will be the core of my posts.
Your work over the years gave me the insight to think more carefully about where I live. Thank you for that.
At any rate, I hope you find these of some interest.
Paul, I am an author living in Richland, WA and I am working on a biography about Sam Volpentest(a), the “Godfather of the Tri-Cities” so-named because of all the federal and state money he was able to attract here in the 1960s to 1990s. He died in 2005 at 101 and worked every day up until two weeks prior to his death.
Before he moved to the Tri-Cities, he worked as a salesman for Schwabacher wholesale grocery for 20 years (1920-1941) but then managed or worked as a commission salesman for Associated Poultry of Coon-Chichen Inn fame, from 1940-41 to 1945. I’m just wondering if you ever came across his name in your research on the company. I enjoyed your two blogs on the subject.
A question of a historical nature.
My father had “The Ferry Dock Tavern” in the old coleman dock, before the remodel. I have children that are asking about my father and his early life here in Seattle.
My question. What year was the coleman dock remodeled, which replaced the Old Curiosity shop, Pacific Fish and tavern?
I have been looking for a picture of the tavern in several archives on line, but have been unable to find any.
I am writing in regard to a recent estate sale here in Moses Lake where I found an amazing collection of hundreds of 4×5 black & white negatives of Seattle from the 1950’s & some earlier I believe. Have not looked thru them all, only a few in fact, but they appear to be mostly street scenes.
To give you a little background about the man who’s estate was sold, here is a link to an article from our local newspaper. http://www.columbiabasinherald.com/entertainment/art/article_e8c893ee-d5a4-11e1-8e1a-001a4bcf887a.html
We so enjoy your Now & Then page in the Times each week, you are the first person I thought of to contact. If you are interested in taking a look at what I have, I will be in Seattle August 18th.
I am in no position to have each of these printed, so my other option would be to sell these negatives online – but as I said, wanted to contact you 1st – although I’m sure you already have a vast collection and access to much more.
Thanks for your time,
Moses Lake, WA.
(I TRIED TO SEND THIS I THE FORM OF AN EMAIL BUT YOUR ADDRESS WAS REJECTED?)
Having intense flashbacks of the 1960s, and even the 50s, of the mental recollection type. Surviving these, and the 70s departure from those times, appreciate the archiving and encapsulation for the Future, as it arrives, in reality colling with the Past. That must be what is that rumbling noise in downtown Seattle. And more to follow.
Thanks, Clark W.
I’ve come across a picture in my families archives like nothing I’ve ever seen before!! It’s of a Balloon Barage in front of my great-grandmothers house in White center in August 1942. If your interested, please E-Mail me and we will get together. Greg Wothing
I volunteer at the Soos Creek Heritage Center in the Soos Creek Botanical Garden (near Green River Community College). We are cataloging tax photos and came across a wooden tower located near Lake Meridian. Have you seen one of these before? What was its use?
The photographers letters indicate that it was:
Tax Photo taken 5/26/39 at Lot 10 on Lake Meridian
Township 22, Section 27, Range 5E, Tax Lot 32
Any help would be appreciated.
Now and then Sunday July 7
From the shadow angles and street grade, I believe this house stood at the Northeast corner at the intersection of University and Boren.
The picture caption states the house sat at the Southeast corner of the intersection.
Am I wrong?
Paul… It’s been a while since the Evolutionary Films were on your doorstep and now Sally Sawyer and I are curious as to the whereabouts of R.L.Stevenson of Mercer St and Capital Hill — There is a folder of pictures and POSTCARDS id love to share but need a mailing address XO( Gleed
We acquired an ornate plaster interior pillar from the old Seattle Landmark; the 7th Avenue/Fox/Music Box Theater. As you may know, opened in 1929, the theater avoided the demo ball for many years but finally came to it’s demise in 1992.
Please see link: http://www.historylink.org/index.cfm?DisplayPage=output.cfm&File_Id=4196
The base of the pillar is of a crouching Griffin, there are 3-center sections with a winged ram’s head at the top. A total of 6-pieces, when stacked reaching approx.15′. We have begun referring to it as a 1929 Art Deco Pillar Totem Pole, the pics will explain…Cast plaster, original paint, beautiful patina. We were wondering what your thoughts might be regarding placing the piece(s) up for sale or auction. The Pillar is currently in climate controlled storage.
The best way to reach me is via this email address, this Seattle native’s 1st wish would be that the Pillar stay in the Seattle area, if possible. HD pics available.
Richard Suertudo, The ipi House
ipapereye.com, THE PAPER EYE
For years I have wondered about the to 8″ guns in Shorline’s Hamlin Park. It is well documented that they are from the USS Boston but nobody seems to know why they are there or when they got there. Here is what I have on the Boston in later years:
Decommissioned Bremerton, WA 07-10-07
Training vessel for Oregon Naval Militia 06-15-11
Returned to Bremerton 09-16
Transferred to the Shipping Board and converted to a cargo carrier by Seattle Construction & Dry dock Co. 03-17 to 02-18
Re-commissioned as receiving ship at Yerba Buena Island, CA 06-18-18
Renamed USS Dispatch 08-09-40
Towed to sea and sunk 04-08-46
The guns were most likely removed at Bremerton. They vanish until mentioned in the Seattle Times September 2, 1942 when they were reported at the “new Naval Hospital”. They were next reported in the Seattle Times March 23, 1952 as having been left by the navy when the hospital became the new Firlands Sanitarium.
The two big questions are:
1. Where were the guns between 1916 and 1942?
2. When were they moved to their present location?
The guns were still at the Firland Sanatorium administration building courtyards as of the early part of September, 1967. According to a January 21st issue of the Bremerton Searchlight the guns were in dead storage at the Navy Yard. Below is a link to a high quality photo of the gun that fired the first shot at the battle of Manila Bay. The photo was taken in the late 1950’s. The other gun was on the east side of the administration building. Their current location is ten blocks north. The Navy created the ball field area of Hamlin Park during World War II.
Chère madame Lomont,
Il est évident que l’adresse électronique de M. Paul Dorpat est soit une erreur ou n’est plus actif. Serait-il possible pour vous de me renseigner sur la façon dont je peux communiquer avec lui. Paul et moi savions il ya les uns les autres années (plus de trente ans, en fait) et je voudrais lui demander une faveur.
Avec mes remerciements les plus sincères,
Hi folks. I’m a collector of paintings of the working waterfronts on both coasts of our country. I recently noticed a piece set in Seattle with Piers 9 and 10 in the background, a clippership unloading lumber in between, and the railroad running directly in front of the Piers. The period seems to be the early 1900’s. I’ve looked at the handful of older Seattle maps that I can find, but haven’t been successful locating the area depicted in the painting. The artist is generally a stickler for technical detail and historical accuracy, so I don’t believe it’s a concocted scene. I’m curious if you can help me locate the area. Thanks for any help.
I’m happy to have seen the picture of the Naramore Fountain. Thank you.
I’m a practicing architect of about 45 years. I was employed at NBBJ in 1965 and worked with George Tsutakawa on the fountain. I had studied under George at UW in charcoal drawing and saw him render this fountain in charcoal.
Perry asked me to build a model of “a round basin with battered concrete sides” on a triangular “leftover space” next to the freeway, which I did, cutting the space saucer like shape freehand on Phil Arnold’s lathe out of a piece of oak. The exposed large sized exposed aggregate finish I believe was Perry’s idea.
I remember that Winkelmann, Bill Bain SR. and Jr., and Perry all loved that model. And of course George Tsutakawa never said an unkind word to anybody in his life.
I saw Floyd Naramore frequently in NBBJ’s model shop, he absolutely loved us. He loved my plaza and Fountain model. He was always immaculately dressed, could have been a twin of Dexter Horton, I always thought.
Maybe the fountain model has survived along with the Plymouth Church models, and all the Project 2010 models (University Properties) completed in those day at NBBJ, in conjunction with architect Minoru Yamasaki .
As a newcomer to the Northwest, I always enjoy your column.
In your latest, you mention that “Apt. No. 4 was used by a practitioner offering ‘woman-to-woman’ consultations about a ‘dependable remedy for every married woman’ that the personal ‘women’s ad’ left unexplained.”
For women of that era who were seeking an abortion, the language used in that ad was perfectly transparent. And, obviously, they didn’t have to be married. Whoever placed that ad was not alone in her offer. Such ads were quite common, although the results were not always effective or safe.
It would be interesting to do further research on that address to see if there were any police or court entries.
Always surprised me that your associate Greg Lange, was once one of my housemates In Wallingford during the 1970’s….
Paul: Today’s Sunday contribution, 2-30-2014, says Seattle General Hospital’s final building was at 5th and Madison. How is it, then, that my two children were born in 1955 and 1957 at Seattle General Hospital which was then further up the hill at about Seneca and Summit? And it was not in a house trailer, but a 6-8 story brick building, now gone.
Your Spokane H.S. friend, Karen says hi.
I was wondering if you remember or heard of ‘Ballard Biscuits’, there was a plant at the northwest corner of the Ballard bridge, I think they were the first to sell those unbaked biscuits in the roll containers, I think they were bought by Pillsbury, I was raised in Ballard, but am I wrong? FRom a golden beaver Ballard Hi grad
As to the Seattle Times weekly delight, a few lurid tales would be fine but we do LOVE the buildings…..
Dear Mr. Dorpat, could you please send me an email, thanks.
Paul…While looking up Eleanor Seigel for a writing project, I found your site and its “snow” entry, with your digression on Thanksgiving 1964. (I believe you are the author, correct?) When I read that you were hired as lunchtime playground supervisor that year at the Little School, I had a moment of panic about my memory. How can I have imagined, all these years, with fulsome detail, that I was the lunchtime playground supervisor during part of 1964-1965? Then I noted that you were supervisor for “the older students.” I was in charge of grade 4-6 students, and also did some tutoring for the grade sixers. Did we know one another? P.S. I was born and raised in Seattle, and, thus, read your “snow” stories with great interest. Living now in eastern Canada, I’ve gone from staring out my childhood living room window for hours on Christmas Eve hoping against hope for snow, to staring with dismay at the six-foot snowbanks in my driveway this past winter. All the best, Richard Lemm
Greetings – I have followed your pictorial history with the then and now for many years. I have done some limited research on my own to locate pictures of the elevated streets in the pioneer square area before the elevated side walks were put in place. I have taken the Seattle underground tour several times and would like to have a visual, (pictures), of what the area looked like with the elevated streets without the elevated sidewalks in place. Can you please refer me to a source that can provide that information. Thank you, Michael Peterson
Hello Paul and Jean,
As a native of Seattle, I always look forward to your ‘Now and Then’ articles. When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time in downtown Seattle after school. There were no malls then, so all your shopping was done there. The Adobe Hut building, [3rd Avenue and Second Ave. South Extension], looked like the same building that used to house a Filipino restaurant called Tommy’s Cafe, [GREAT food!} My mom and dad used to take us there to eat and we did takes out too for many meals. This was in the late 50’s/ early 60’s but the place wasn’t named in your list of ‘use to be’. Am I correct? Was Tommy’s Cafe once housed in that building on that corner?
Greetings Paul and Jean,
Was wondering if you might know about two cauldrons atop cement and wooden structures I discovered under I-405 in Renton? I am guessing it may have been the entrance to the old Longacres Race Track? They are Olympic style cauldrons and perhaps they had flames in them back in the day? I have pictures of them now and also I found an old Longacres sign in the over grown bushes over on Longacres Way. (That sign should be in the MOHAI.)
Anyway, any ideas on the cauldrons?
Also caught your presentation in Sea-Tac on 1-24-15 and you both hit a home run that day! Thank you for what you do so well!
I have found, online, a photo of the U.S.S. Parrott,a “four piper” navy destroyer built in 1919. Although focused on the ship, the photo’s backdrop looks like it might be the Lake Union gasworks. I ‘m curious to know if you are curious!
Gray Pedersen (life-long reader of “Now and Then”)
There is an ugly, old building set in the heart of Belltown, it is dilapidated, filled with crack heads and means the world to me. The Wayne apartments are presently being threatened to be torn down as well as many other buildings that live on that street, it is the heart of the neighborhood as well as some of the oldest buildings in it. On October 7, there is a hearing at the Municipal Court Building with the Preservation Society to try and save this beloved landmark if there was any possibility that you could orate or even send a letter to the counsel it would be greatly appreciated. But I have one more request and I know this is already asking a lot of you but I also would like to try and get the building next to it nominated (2222 2nd ave), if you could send me a lin to some of its history I would forever be in your debt. Thank you for your time.
Dear Mr. Dorpat. I recently read you Now and Then on Uncovering Seattle’s Hooverville history. You might find my two recently published books of interest, given the amount of research I did and the history they provide on Hooverville (in the first one Cold War Roots) and on the creation of the Canwell Committee and the many ironies implicit in the followup UW hearings (in the sequel, Cold War Ironies).
Here is where you can access the books: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00FMJI90C and http://www.amazon.com/Cold-War-Ironies-Sequel-Roots-ebook/dp/B00JQYK7HC/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1397925259&sr=1-1&keywords=richard+pelto
Click on the title page and then read the first four chapters without downloading anything. I think you will find much interesting history involving that era—an era that may have to be understood to fully understand what is happening today.
The books narratively provide the roots and Ironies of events in the 1930s and 40s that provide insight to something very dear in our heritage that may be eroding today. Cold War Roots is about a father whose roots go back to the writing of the U.S. constitution and who is a member of America First, and a son, just returning from flunking out of Cal Tech who sees the 1931 “jungles “and an America that doesn’t fit his father’s vision. Two years later he is the head of the King County Communist Party, and participates in little-known but very impactful events that led to his death fighting Fascism in Spain. Cold War Ironies then shows how the father’s seeking revenge provides local context and many ironies to the international Cold War.
I am looking for information on the four miniature railroads that operated in Woodland Park between 1946 and 1980. The last five years are almost a blank.
Paul and Jean…
I’m doing some repeat photographs of some of the classic earlier images taken across the northwest. When in Washington state, I often have your book in hand. For example, here’s a classic image from just up the Salish Sea on Vancouver Island:
Use the map feature to see others in the collection.
Anyway, I need to include Seattle. Have you reshot the old picture from Beacon Hill that Asahel Curtis collected?? This must be one of the earlier Seattle photos. If you have, I’d be pleased to post it with appropriate acknowledgements, links etc.
Many thanks for info.. Cliff
My father is almost 92 years old. He has dementia and lives in a 5′ x 8′ room in a group home on Mercer Island. In his room hangs a Mark Tobey painting. It has been in our family since my father was a teenager and helped out his father at his second hand store on First Avenue in Seattle. My brother and I (and now my adult children) have been aware of the story behind the painting for as long as we can remember. Selling it is out of the question. It is part of our family and will remain with my father, my brother and I, and later on my children.
A few years ago I had my father dictate to us his recollections of this amazing picture……just in case at some point his memory failed him. I taped it to the back of the painting. Yes, he can still recall the details.
Briefly…..he purchased a suitcase at Bushnell’s auction. Inside the case was the picture. Dad knew it was a Tobey (although it is unsigned) and he displayed it proudly in the window of his father’s store. One day Mr. Tobey walked in and asked how dad came about owning it. He said he wanted to buy it and dad asked why. Mr. Tobey said he wanted to destroy it.
An interesting story, right? We asked dad a few years ago what he saw as to the future of the painting. He said he would love to loan it oneday to a museum….with a little note next to it….on loan from Al Eskenazi.
When we look at the painting it brings back such fond memories….of that part of the city, of my grandfather’s store…and of my father’s choice not to sell it. It sat proudly in the window, never for sale. And now it is in his room, sitting proudly.
That is my story.
There are other minor details which can be shared later.
Wonderful story, Candy!
Thank you for the information on the USS boston guns. This fills in a lot of blanks
My goal is to find out when they were moved to Hamlin Park and who moved them. My thinking is they would have been moved by the end of the 1960’s since I have no solid memories of them across the street.
I have combed the Seattle Times and found no mention of the guns being moved. When I contacted King County Parks they told me to ask Shoreline. When I asked them they said that they had gotten no records on when the guns had been moved. You would think someone whould have noticed.
Each gun weighs 29,100 pounds. Someone had to spend some money to move these guns 10 blocks north to Hamlin Park. It also looks like they duplicated the mounts that were poured in 1942. In August I was researching the hospital administration building and I came across that
photo with the gun in the courtyard. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
Then four weeks ago I found the Seattle Times article that was published on September 10th, 1967. It mentioned “two hulking black cannons flank the administration building”. Total shock that those guns were still across the street in September 1967. I always thought they were at Hamlin Park since the early 1950’s.
What was the date of the article from the Bremerton Searchlight that mentioned the Boston guns being in storage at Bremerton? Someone thought that these guns were somthing special in order to make the brass plaques for them and ship them from Bremerton to the new hospital in the worst hours of WWII. At the same time many other historic guns were going to patriotic scrap drives.
January 21st 1936. I found that information in an article written by Richard M. Anderson. This article was in the June 2000 issue Journal
of the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society. The title of the article
is “The Naval Guns of Hamlin Park”. The author knew that the guns used to be at the entrance to the Firland Tuberculosis Sanatorium. He did not know when they were mounted at the Navy Hospital. I finaly found that Seattle Times article from Sepetember 2nd 1942. It mentioned that the gun that fired the first shot at the battle of Manila Bay
was not going to be scrapped and that it had rescently been mounted at the new Navy Hospital. I found an article in a Chicago newspaper that was published five days later that mentioned old guns being rounded up from parks for scrap metal.It must have been a national directive. At least the guns across the street were saved.
So, the funs were at Firland on September 10, 1967. An article in the October 26, 1977 issue of the Seattle Times mentions them in Hamlin Park. That narrows the move down to a ten year window. A friend thinks he saw the guns in the park in eithor 1967 or 68. There had to have been some paperwork generated by digging up the park for the new plinths and moving the guns.
I saw the 1977 article. I remember the guns at Hamlin Park in the early 1970’s. It wouldn’t surprise me if they were moved shortly after that article was written. I was able to get the King County archives to scan and send me 26 photos they had of Hamlin Park. One of the photos showed the two guns. To me it looked like it was taken in the late 1960’s. The guns were displayed on grass at that time. The swing sets and other playground devices were still in front of the guns. I don’t think those items were still there in the early 1970’s. I sent an e-mail to the King County archives asking if they could date the photos. There was also a photo of the caretaker’s house. Someone spent money to move the guns.
I am going down to the county archives today to look a the parks records. I will let you know what I find.
I found the same file you did in the archives. None of the photos is dated. The concrete plinth under the gun does not look new in the photo. I wonder if they moved the plinths as well as the guns? More questions, no answers.
That ‘s interesting about the concrete plinths. If they did move the concrete plinths how would they do that with out breaking it? Also, how would you rate the quality of the concrete? There is white material in front of the concrete and it’s looks different than the photo from the late 1950’s. Do you know what that white material would be? I wonder now if it was the Navy that moved the guns to Hamlin Park? The commander of the Sand point Naval Air Station would have been living in the big house up in what is now South Woods Park. Are you familiar with the officer housing that used to be in South Woods Park? If the guns were moved by a private entity they could have done that as early as 1949 when state property was purchased and added to the already existing Hamlin Park.
I have never heard of South Woods Park or the Navy housing there. Since the guns were still at Firland in 1967 they couldn’t have been moved earlier. I am going over to the park today and compair the photo to what is there now.
What I meant about a private entity moving the guns is that Hamlin Park was available to receive the guns as early as 1949 when that section of the state property became part of Hamlin Park. The guns weren’t moved until after the early part of September, 1967 which indicates to me that it wasn’t a private entity that moved them. This is why I think that it was the Navy that eventually moved the guns to Hamlin Park. It wasn’t the state, county or city.
Please tell me what you find out.
South Woods Park is located at NE 150th Street and 25th Avenue. It’s also adjacent to Shorecrest High School. There were three houses and a single officer’s barracks built in the woods. They were built at the same time as the Navy Hospital. They were located about five blocks from the Firland administration building. In 1947 when the Navy Hospital was decommissioned the Navy kept the officer housing for use by the Sand Point Naval Air Station. The commander of the Sand Point Naval Air Station would have lived in the biggest house. In 1980 two of the houses were moved to Bainbridge Island and the biggest house was demolished. The entrance to the officer housing was located at the top of the hill on NE 150th Street. The Navy used the houses for about 38 years.
I looked over the two guns yesterday. It looks to me that the guns were cast into the plinths. There is no visable gap where cement meets metal. There is also no chipping as you would expect if the guns were placed after the concrete hardened. Another point of interest is that the guns were modified after Maila Bay. The Boston got a major refit at San Francisco in 1900-1901. The Mark I guns were removed, shipped back to the Washington Gun Factory, converted to Mark II guns and replaced on the ship.
I climbed up on the guns this summer and saw the engravings. I had never seen that before. I have a picture of the U.S.S. Boston at San Francisco during the refit. I didn’t know that they shipped the guns back east.
Do you think the guns and plinths were lifted up and moved as one unit to Hamlin Park? What we see at Hamlin Park are those the plinths from 1942?
I doudt that there was anywhere this side of the Navy gun factory that could have done the conversion. The sleeve with the trunions had to be removed and another sleeve pressed on. It is possible that they were moved as a unit. I noticed that the concrete was formed up with individual boards.
By the late 60s/early 70s I would have expected them to have used plywood.
That’s really interesting. The moving of the guns to Hamlin Park might have been a quick process if they didn’t have to pour any concrete. Do you know what that white material is on the concrete in the front under the barrel?
Probibly calcium leaching out of the concrete.
I received an received an e-mail from a King County Archivist. She found an excerpt on a 1986 Hamlin Park master plan report. “About this same period of time [based on preceding text, appears to be indicating about 1952-1959] a caretaker’s residence, picnic shelters, restroom, children’s play area, and a paved access road with a separated bike path was constructed with City and County funds; a pair of 8” guns used in 1898 at the battle of Manila Bay were mistakenly installed in the park by the Navy; plans were finalized for construction of Morgan Jr High School on the District’s 20 acres . . . “ [Documents Collection, #7826]
How do you mistakenly install two 8″ guns in a park? I guess it could mean that they were placed in the wrong location? It could also mean that they weren’t suppose to be installed in the park? It does specifically reference the Navy as the entity that placed the guns in the park. The caretaker’s house would have be about 40 feet from the current location of the guns. Is it possible that the Navy placed the guns in the park in 1950’s but were forced to bring them back to the courtyards?
That is very odd. It is possible that the guns were moved to the park then back to Firlands in the 50s. The realy strange thing is that all of this went unmentioned in the official records and the press.
I have new information about the USS Boston guns. The Navy Hospital created a publication called the Stethoscope. In one of these publications is a photo of the gun that was at the east courtyard. When the guns were at the courtyards more of the concrete was in the ground. I’m estimating about 16 inches. When the guns were moved to Hamlin Park the movers just dumped them down. I prefer how they were displayed at the courtyards. I wondered why the lower area of the concrete looked so bad. That area had been in the ground for at least 25 years. It looks like to me that the guns were moved because they had to be moved. My thinking now is that there could have been a construction project and at least one of the guns was just in the way.
It also doesn’t look like the Navy moved the guns. I contacted the former
Commander of NAS Sandpoint and he told me he didn’t receive any information about the Boston guns during tenure which was 1967 – 1969.
The information on the 1986 Hamlin Park master plan report about the guns accidently being moved to the park was incorrect information. Looks like it was made up. There was no mention about the fact that the guns were originally placed at the two hospital courtyards.
We are looking for this particular film location from Cinderella Liberty, and was hoping you may have an idea of where this was.
I have no idea where that film was shot. Why is it running backwards?
It’s in reverse, to avoid the automatic copyright blocks on youtube.
Anyway, this was definitely filmed in Seattle, or nearby — Cinderella Liberty was filmed entirely local in 1972/1973. At one point in the video, you can see the front sign “U.S. Naval Receiving Station: SeaTac”, though it might have been a made-up sign for the movie.
Thanks for the response.
The film was uploaded backwards with music added to prevent being taken down by youtube.
For anyone else reading this this, these scenes were filmed in 1972/1973 at a Navy base (or they added the signs to make it look like a Navy base). Theories include somewhere on the east side of Seattle (where Magnuson Park / Sand Point is now), or somewhere in SeaTac (at one point in the video, you can see the entrance sign that reads “U.S. Navy Receiving Center: SeaTac”.) Any ideas?
The “Navy Base” was the old Navy Hospital (Firland Sanatorium) that was located right across the street from where I live. The movie was filmed in the summer of 1973. James Caan’s mobile home was parked
right next to the house here. The entrance to the Firland Sanatorium was on 20th Ave NE and NE 150th Street. They built a bus shelter at the
entrance for the movie.
Wow, I’m impressed! Thank you for helping us pinpoint this location!
Here’s original Seattle footage from “Cinderella Liberty” in 1973, alongside the same footage from today. This includes where the Firland Sanatorium / Navy hospital was.
The guns being moved with the concrete intact explains how the look today. The hospital was taken over by King County in 1947 and the state in 1971. It was closed in 1973. There is a chance the county moved the guns before the state took over. Still seems strange that there are no records and nobody saw nothing.
I have new information about the guns. I just looked at two aerial photos from 1968 and 1969 and the guns were still located across the street at the two courtyards that flanked the administration building. It looks now that they weren’t moved until the state took over in 1971. There was a Seattle Times article about Firland from March, 1972 and they used the officer housing to communicate to the readers that the facility had a Navy history. There was also a photo of the administration building but no mention of the guns.
I did not know that the state took over in 1971. I can think back 50 years ago walking to my friend’s house. I walked up NE 150th Street and then took a left at 17th Avenue NE. That was the entrance to the Firland Sanatorium. I have no solid memories of the gun that would have been close to the entrance area. I would really be surprised if they were still there in the summer of 1969. All the people that I knew back then who were older than me indicate the guns were always at Hamlin Park. That indicates to me that they were moved shortly after that September, 1967 Seattle Times article. The fact that the state took control in 1971 is very interesting. There was a March, 1972 Seattle Times article about the Firland Sanatorium and in that article they mentioned the officer housing to communicate to the reader that the facility used to be a Navy Hospital. They had a picture of the administration building and made no mention of the guns. Is it possible that the state moved them in 1971? They were hidden by trees, shrubs, parked cars and buildings. The obstructions dissipated over time. The entrance was moved to 20th Avenue NE in 1969. I rented the movie Cinderella Liberty and watched
the bus scene that started at 20th Avenue NE and went west on NE 150th Street. There was a good view of the west courtyard and there was no gun there. There was no evidence that it had ever been there. That scene was filmed June, 1973. Here is the link to the Stethoscope article. Thanks for all of you information. The display is a lot better.
I acquired aerial photos from 1970 and 1971. On May 18th, 1970 the two guns were still a the two courtyards that flanked the administration building. On July 3rd, 1971 they were not. The area where they used to be was just dirt. It’s possible that it was a recent move since there was no evidence of grass seeding at their old location. The 1971 photo was
taken at high altitude but it does confirm that the guns had been moved.
It makes sence that the guns were moved at the time the property was transfered from King County to the State. The big surprize is that there are no records of any kind of the move. I am glad the date of the move is finaly narrowed down to such a degree.
Another thing that I’ve been thinking about is how the two guns are displayed at Hamlin Park. The gun that fired the first shot was at the west courtyard and the other gun was at the east courtyard. At Hamlin Park it’s reversed. Was that by accident or did the movers do that on purpose? It indicates that the gun that was at the east courtyard was moved first. Why did they move that gun first? Did they want the labels on the guns to be on the inside or was it just by accident? To me it would look better if the labels were on the outside of the guns.
On May 19, 1971 it was announced that the State would be fully state financed. The legislation took effect August 9, 1971 so removal of the guns in May or June looks likely.
Thanks for your information on the State takeover in 1971. When I saw the guns still at the two courtyards in the August, 1969 photo then I figured they must have been moved in 1971 when that State was in charge. How difficult do you think it would have been to move the guns
to Hamlin Park? Would they have been required to use a crane or would
they have just jacked them up and then placed wheels on them. They could have been moved from within the hospital complex since there is a gate at Hamlin Park. They were placed right in front of the caretakers house. I wonder if that guy was involved in this project? The way it looks now is that Hamlin Park was just a convenient long term home for the guns.
I would like to talk to you about the old Buick Dealership at Westlake & Denny way, years ago. I have quite a few pictures and it would be great for then and now. My info is below. Best, Martin Rood 206 713 1304.
We are seeking a fairly high resolution scan of an image of Frederick & Nelson that we found at this link: https://www.facebook.com/187125948039/photos/rpp.187125948039/10154116979273040/?type=3&theater
citing your archives as the source. Do you have a higher quality image available?
Thank you so much,
Our organization, the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington would like to use the 1925 real estate map of the Pioneer Square area in your article July 11 2015 at our community event in November, and I was wondering if you could let me know how to get permission.
We are planning to create an exhibit on Monica Sone’s book, “Nisei Daughter”, and her parents ran the Carrollton Hotel before and after the war, and I am collecting information on the hotel.
Our event, Bunka no Hi (Culture Day) is a free and open to the public.
Dear Paul Dorpat. First–your Now and Then is THE reason I resubscribed to the delivered Times. After 33 years at St. James Cathedral, I am now at Christ Our Hope at the Josephinum. Curious if you have “visited” the speak-easy in the basement. I have some questions about folks who left autographed items attached to the walls.
Dr. James Savage
Choir of Hope Director, Christ Our Hope
As I was reading your Now & Then from October 28, 2018 on “The fate of the Rhodes Stores turned on a dime,” i came to the realization that my mother worked at two of the Rhodes buildings during her career in Seattle. She started part time in 1958 in customer service at the Rhodes Department Store (Albert Rhodes store?) on 2nd avenue. One of her responsibilities was to wrap gifts, so Christmas time was hectic for her but all her life she could really make a gift wrap job look like a million dollars. When my sister and I would come down to the store we liked playing with the pneumatic tube system. It was how they send cash and receipts to the main office. We would write a note to each other and then send it across the office.
In 1963 Mom moved uptown to work for the Washington Natural Gas Company in the Gasco building. I would take the bus from Beacon Hill to Capitol Hill for a dentist appt. when i was in elementary school (who would allow their 9-10 year old son to do that today in Seattle). When done i would take the bus back down town to the Gasco building and mom would drive us home (sometimes she would surprise me and take me to a movie). I remember the Gasco building being really old with old furniture, it was kind of stuck in the 40’s. Then mom announced that the company was moving to mercer street into a brand new state of the art building and she was being trained on an IBM Selectric typewriter. And the building had a big blue flame on it. It was in the Washington Natural Gas Cafeteria where in 1973 I told Mom that I was dating a really nice girl whom I married in 1975.
I just found it personally historical that my mother Margaret Foote worked in two of the Rhodes Seattle Buildings.
I enjoy your Now & Then Seattle history pieces each Sunday. I hope Santa Claus brings me your new book.
Beacon Hill resident 1952-1989
Also…my dad played the organ that was on the main level of the Rhodes store several times. He worked for Emmanuel’s Rug & Upholstery. First they were on N. 45th then moved to Leary Way in Ballard. I loved to crawl all over the rolled rugs in their back room. And I loved the smell of the rugs drying in the big warehouse dryer. My dad got written up twice in the Seattle Times. Once for helping save a man from jumping off the Aurora Bridge & another time for playing piano at a popular auction house. I believe it was somewhere in the Belltown district. The pianos always garnered more money at auction when Bob Foote was playing them. Not sure if he got a tip for doing so, but he just loved to tickle the ivories…
Seeking information on the Chittenden Logging http://www.nprha.org/NP%20AFE%20Scans3/0515-10.pdf (c1910-1913). They logged between 115 and 145 st. east of I5. Glad to share what I have found so far.
With your photo collection at the Seattle Public Library, what do you do with all your spare time… Walking I hope.. Shooting photos I hope..
Paul, I am not sure this is the right place to post, but I have a collection of family photos memorabilia and 8mm films from my family who lived in West Seattle from the 1950′ through the 60’s and 70’s. Wondering if there is a archive or library that this great stuff could be donated?