All posts by Clay Eals

Seattle Now & Then: ASUW Shell House 1936

(click and click again to enlarge photos)

THEN: Posing in front of the Shell House doors are “The Boys in the Boat” (from left): Don Hume, Joe Rantz, George “Shorty” Hunt, Jim “Stub” McMillin, John White, Gordy Adam, Chuck Day and Roger Morris, with (front) coxswain Bobby Moch. This image may become more iconic if, as forecast by MGM, a Hollywood film directed by George Clooney commemorates the “Boys” story. (University of Washington Libraries Special Collections, UW2234)
NOW: (Also see identifier photo below.) Family of “The Boys in the Boat” and of famed shell-maker George Pocock and coach Al Ulbrickson pose Feb. 25, 2020, outside the ASUW Shell House. The ramp from the Shell House to Lake Washington extends only a handful of yards, so with the hardiness of an oarsman, Jean Sherrard shed his socks and shoes, rolled his pants to his knees and waded into near-freezing water to secure this wide shot depicting the full girth of the building. Descendants posing between the oars, approximating the positions of their ancestors in the “Then” photo, are (from left) Jennifer Huffman, Judy Willman and Fred Rantz, granddaughter, daughter and son, respectively, of rower Joe Rantz; Nicci Burrell, granddaughter of rower George Hunt; Colby White, John White, Loren White and Colby White Jr., son, great-grandson, great-grandson and grandson, respectively, of rower John White; Jeff Day, Kris Day, John Day, children of rower Chuck Day; Joseph and Susan Hanshaw, son-in-law and daughter of rower Roger Morris; (front, from left) Marilynn Moch, Maya Sackett and BJ Cummings, daughter, great-grandchild and granddaughter, respectively, of coxswain Bobby Moch. Other descendants are (far left) Lindsay and A.K. Ulbrickson, great-grandchildren of coach Al Ulbrickson; (right rear, from left) Alvin Ulbrickson III and Rinda Ulbrickson, grandchildren of coach Al Ulbrickson; Ray Willman, son-in-law of rower Joe Rantz; (right front, from left) Nathan Pocock, Jim and Beth Pocock, Sue Pocock-Saul, Dave and Katie Kusske, great-grand nephew, grand nephew and grand niece-in-law, granddaughter, grandson-in-law and granddaughter, respectively, of famed shell-builder George Pocock; and Chris Eckmann, grandson of athletic director Ray Eckmann. (Jean Sherrard)


(Published in the Seattle Times online on March 26, 2020
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on March 29, 2020)

The rowing ‘home’ that launched a repudiation of pre-war Hitler

By Clay Eals

Imposing outside, cavernous inside, yet somehow out of sight – that’s the ASUW Shell House.

Tucked behind tall trees near Husky Stadium at the end of a secluded hairpin lane, it anchors a bucolic scene that faces Lake Washington’s shore. Bordering State Route 520, pell-mell traffic and frequent construction near the intersection of Montlake and Pacific, the Shell House is mainly hidden. The most likely way to notice it has been from the water.

That’s changing, given the publishing phenomenon of “The Boys in the Boat.” Since Daniel James Brown’s bestselling book burst on the national scene in 2013, the now-102-year-old barn-shaped structure, named for the University of Washington student government, has garnered acclaim for having launched a breathtakingly implausible feat.

From this ex-World War I naval seaplane hangar, an unassuming nine-member UW men’s crew from then-backwoods Seattle trained in 1936 on Montlake Cut, won a berth in the Summer Olympics in Berlin, overcame illness and intimidation and snared a gold medal, embarrassing an overconfident Adolf Hitler and uplifting a Depression-saddled, pre-war America.

In an era when speedy, synchronized rowers roused wide fascination, this true-life David and Goliath story became a race against the concept of a master race, providing potent symbolism for the ages.

Today, the Shell House is redolent with a legacy as intense as the swelter of its famous “Boys.” They’re all gone, but the senses of their descendants swell as they enter this local and national landmark.

Jeff Day, son of oarsman Chuck Day (in position #2 on the 1936 team), gets wide-eyed as he surveys the rafters, “I imagine these guys yelling and shouting and carrying the boats out with all the energy that they had. This building was hearing all of that energy. This is the building.”

Likewise, the Shell House makes the hair on Judy Willman’s neck stand on end. For her father, Joe Rantz (#7 in 1936), “this was a home, a place to come to, a place he could be, a place to be safe and a place where he could trust again.” Abandoned as a child in Sequim, her father found crew at the UW “and got the trust back.”

UW rowers now toil from newer headquarters to the north, so the Shell House is largely empty. But the university, represented by buoyant Nicole Klein, is mounting a drive to preserve and restore it as an inspiring waterfront venue to last, as the slogan goes, “the next 100 years.” The campaign is $2 million toward its $13 million goal.

Because of the descendants’ passion, not to mention Seattle’s affection for all things connected to the water, the Shell House soon may, so to speak, come out of its shell.


To see Jean Sherrard‘s 360-degree video of the “Now” prospect and compare it with the “Then” photo, and to hear this column read aloud by Clay Eals, check out our Seattle Now & Then 360 version of the column, once it’s posted!

Below are several clippings from The Seattle Times online archive (available via Seattle Public Library) that, among others, were helpful in the preparation of this column.

Also below is an identifier photo for our “Now” image plus other “Then” images, some with “Now” counterparts. There also is a trio of bonuses at the bottom — a photo of barefoot Jean Sherrard taking the “Now” photo, a 2002 Paul Dorpat column featuring the Shell House, and a link to a recent story indicating that George Clooney will direct a film version of “The Boys in the Boat” for MGM.

(10:30 p.m. Thursday, March 26, 2020: I’ve added one more “extra,” a photo collage courtesy of a good friend from my Mercer Island High School class of 1969, Bob Ewing, plus a related clipping mentioning Bob’s dad’s name. They’re at the very bottom. Enjoy! –Clay)

April 5, 1936, Seattle Times, page 20
July 26, 1936, Seattle Times, page 12
Aug. 13, 1936, Seattle Times, page 8
Aug. 14, 1936, Seattle Times, page 1
Aug. 14, 1936, Seattle Times, page 14
Identifier photo for the “Now” image at the top of the column. (Jean Sherrard)
Early planes are parked in late 1918 or early 1919 in the Shell House during the short time it served as a hangar. (Courtesy University of Washington)
Female rowers at the University of Washington pose with oars in the 1920s. (Courtesy of University of Washington)
Legendary shell maker George Pocock works in 1922 or 1923 in his upstairs shop in the Shell House. (Courtesy of University of Washington)
An unfinished shell rests in upstairs shop at the Shell House in 1924. (Courtesy University of Washington)
Shell maker George Pocock works on May 15, 1938, in his upstairs shop at the Shell House. (Seattle Times archives, courtesy of University of Washington)
Family of George Pocock pose Feb. 25, 2020, inside the Shell House (from left): Katie Kusske, grandaughter; Dave Kusske, grandson-in-law; Sue Pocock-Saul, granddaughter; Nathan Pocock, great-grandnephew; Beth Pocock, grandniece-in-law; and Jim Pocock, grandnephew. (Jean Sherrard)
Family of George Pocock pose Feb. 25, 2020, in Pocock’s upstairs shop at the Shell House (from left): Dave Kusske, grandson-in-law; Katie Kusske, grandaughter; Nathan Pocock, great-grandnephew; Beth Pocock, grandniece-in-law; and Jim Pocock, grandnephew. (Jean Sherrard)
Children of rower Chuck Day — (from left) Jeff Day, Kris Day and John Day — pose before a standee that shows 1936 rowers Chuck Day (left) and Roger Morris. (Jean Sherrard)
Sportswriter George Varnell walks the ribbed apron of the Shell House in the 1920s. (Courtesy University of Washington)
Katherine Varnell Dunn, great-granddaughter of George Varnell, approximates the pose and position of her sportswriter ancestor. (Jean Sherrard)
Aug. 20, 1936, Seattle Times, page 22
The Montlake Cut in 1936, the year the University of Washington crew won a gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games. (Seattle Municipal Archives, courtesy University of Washington)
Future coach Al Ulbrickson as a University of Washington student rower, 1924. Notice his name, “Al,” on the oar handle.(Courtesy University of Washington)
A.K. Ulbrickson, great-grandson of coach Al Ulbrickson, repeats his ancestor’s pose on Feb. 25, 2020. (Jean Sherrard)
A.K. Ulbrickson adds a smile to his pose. (Jean Sherrard)
Coach Al Ulbrickson on Feb. 19, 1941. (Courtesy University of Washington)
Lindsay Ulbrickson, great-granddaughter of coach Al Ulbrickson approximates the pose of her ancestor outside the Shell House on Montlake Cut on Feb. 25, 2020. (Jean Sherrard)
Lindsay Ulbrickson speaks into the megaphone toward Montlake Cut on Feb. 25, 2020. (Jean Sherrard)
Card commemorating the football career of Ray Eckmann, later University of Washington athletic director. (Courtesy University of Washington)
Plaque at ASUW Shell House (Clay Eals)
Shell House campaign poster. For more info, contact Nicole Klein. (Courtesy University of Washington)
Standing in near-freezing water on the ramp of the Shell House, barefoot Jean Sherrard photographs family of rowers and associates on Feb. 25, 2020. (Clay Eals)
July 7, 2002, “Now & Then” column by Paul Dorpat features the Shell House.
Click the photo of George Clooney to read about his plan to direct a film version of “The Boys in the Boat” for MGM.

Oct. 6, 1935, Seattle Times, page 25


Seattle Now & Then: National Archives and Records Administration on Sand Point Way, 1960

(click and click again to enlarge photos)

THEN: Behind chain-link fence and west of Sand Point Way from an undeveloped bluff at Northeast 61st Street stands the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) building circa 1960, three years before its dedication. It was built in 1946 as an airplane-parts hangar for nearby Sand Point Naval Air Station. Rising above the structure is the Hawthorne Hills neighborhood. (Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration)
NOW: Standing on a deck across Sand Point Way from NARA Seattle are Peter Jackson (left), son of the late U.S. Sen. Henry Jackson, and KIRO Radio journalist and Columbia magazine editor Feliks Banel, who broke the news about the proposed property sale on Jan. 15. Jackson says, “Let’s hope there’s a happy coda to this story.” (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on March 12, 2020
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on March 15, 2020)

If our historical records aren’t here anymore, do they still exist?

“Public access to government records strengthens democracy by allowing Americans to claim their rights of citizenship, hold their government accountable and understand their history.” – from the mission statement of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

By Clay Eals

If we can’t readily put our hands on something, does it have a purpose?

The question fits the proposed demise of the 1946 federal warehouse that for 57 years has had a sole and distinguished use, as the NARA repository for the Northwest states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Hawaii and (starting in 2014) Alaska. Our revered former U.S. senators, Warren “Maggie” Magnuson and Henry “Scoop” Jackson, helped dedicate it in 1963.

With a rectangular footprint on 10 acres, the former airplane-parts hangar stands on the farmland of Japanese who were relocated and incarcerated during World War II. It’s tucked along abandoned rail track, now Burke-Gilman Trail, west of Sand Point Way, north of Children’s Hospital and south of the ex-naval air station that is Magnuson Park.

Executing a 2016 law enabling speedy land disposal, the Public Buildings Reform Board last fall targeted the Seattle archive (which is operated by the National Archives and Records Administration) and 11 other sites nationwide to sell off. Why? The parcels are high-value and “underutilized.” Nearly 1,000 people visited NARA Seattle to dig up info last year, which might belie such jargon.

The building is hardly charming, and its deferred maintenance is estimated in the millions of dollars.

What counts is inside – some 800,000 cubic feet of boxed records, 17% of which are permanent and stored in secured, climate-controlled chambers. More significant is what public and agency access to the records would look like if, as proposed, these boxes are shipped at no small expense to federal records centers in Kansas City or Riverside, California (near Los Angeles).

No wonder many historians, news outlets, genealogists, plus eight U.S. senators from four Northwest states, eight of our state’s House members and our state’s attorney general are aghast. Particularly egregious would be the effect on 272 native tribes as well as other non-white groups whose stories are captured in Bureau of Indian Affairs documents and immigration interrogation and photo files.

Notice of the plan was scant at best. It came to light nine days before a supposedly final decision on Jan. 24, but opposition is intensifying. Tellingly, none of the other 11 targeted sale sites is a NARA archive, and none, says Adam Bodner of the Public Buildings Reform Board, is generating dissent.

The situation triggers questions both practical and rhetorical: How many could travel 1,200 or 1,900 miles from Seattle to research their past? Would the NARA sale have gained traction in the days of Scoop and Maggie? Will protests alter the outcome? Is there a question that history cannot answer?


To see Jean Sherrard‘s 360-degree video of the “Now” prospect and compare it with the “Then” photo, and to hear this column read aloud by Clay Eals, check out our Seattle Now & Then 360 version of the column!

Our automotive informant Bob Carney provides us with the years and makes of the cars in our “Then” photo: In the foreground is a 1956 Ford Fairlane. In the background are (from left) a 1956 Chevrolet, a 1949-1952 Chevrolet sedan delivery, a 1959 Ford station wagon and a 1948-1953 Chevrolet pickup.

Below are 10 links to related articles, an additional photo plus seven clippings from The Seattle Times online archive (available via Seattle Public Library) that, among others, were helpful in the preparation of this column. There’s also a bonus as the bottom. Enjoy!

Advisory panel recommends putting 12 high-value federal properties up for sale

Federal panel recommends closure and sale of Seattle National Archives facility

The latest from the Public Buildings Reform Board

Seattle Times column by Trish Hackett Nicola, Jan. 24, 2020

Seattle Times story by Eric Lacitis, Jan. 25, 2020

Seattle Times follow-up story by Eric Lacitis, Feb. 12, 2020

Seattle Times follow-up story by Eric Lacitis, Feb. 26, 2020

Seattle Times editorial, Jan. 31, 2020

Seattle Times editorial, March 8, 2020

International Examiner story by Chetanya Robinson, Feb. 4, 2020

Here’s an alternate “Now”: Peter Jackson (left), son of the late U.S. Sen. Henry Jackson, and KIRO Radio journalist and Columbia magazine editor Feliks Banel, stand at the entrance to NARA Seattle. (Jean Sherrard)
Protesters at a Feb. 11, 2020, demonstration at NARA Seattle sought retention of Native American records at the Sand Point facility. (Jean Sherrard)
Protesters at a Feb. 11, 2020, demonstration at NARA Seattle sought retention of Native American records at the Sand Point facility. (Jean Sherrard)
Covering the Feb. 11, 2020, demonstration at NARA Seattle was Feliks Banel (extending microphone) of KIRO Radio, who broke the story about the proposed sale of the facility. (Jean Sherrard)
Also covering the Feb. 11, 2020, demonstration at NARA Seattle was (right) historian Knute Berger of Crosscut. (Jean Sherrard)
Aug. 26, 1945, Seattle Times, page 8
May 25, 1958, Seattle Times, page 137
Aug. 24, 1958, Seattle Times, page 78
Sept. 1, 1963, Seattle Times, page 72
Nov. 17, 1963, Seattle Times, page 17
Aug. 31, 1969, Seattle Times, page 89
Aug. 31, 1969, Seattle Times, page 90
Feb. 26, 1980, Seattle Times, page 1
A quote from former President Thomas Jefferson that hangs inside NARA Seattle. (Clay Eals)

Seattle Now & Then: Seward Park, 1903

(click and click again to enlarge photos)

THEN: With Bailey Peninsula (later Seward Park) behind them, a trio looks west from the dock of the summer cottage of Tekla Nelson, widow of Nels Nelson (co-founder of downtown’s Frederick & Nelson department store, now Nordstrom), circa 1903, some 13 years before the water level dropped nine feet with the opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal. On the far side of the dock and house, the water sometimes rose high enough to make the peninsula an island. (Courtesy Marilyn DeWitte and Rainier Valley Historical Society)
NOW: A cyclist skirts two leaders of the Wild Isle in the City project, author-researcher Paul Talbert (book in hand), president of Friends of Seward Park; and photographer-archivist Karen O’Brien (with dog, Buddy, hidden), president of the Rainier Valley Historical Society, as they pose on South Orcas Street near the park entrance. They will present an illustrated talk at 7 p.m. March 10 at Third Place Books, 5041 Wilson Ave. S. (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Feb. 27, 2020
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on March 1, 2020)

The future of a pristine peninsula through the eyes of the city
By Clay Eals

Playing outlaw Butch Cassidy in 1969, Paul Newman nonchalantly expressed one of my favorite movie maxims: “Boy, I got vision, and the rest of the world wears bifocals.”

Of course, vision pertains as we struggle with today’s urban development maelstrom. But go back more than a century to when much of Seattle’s destiny was uncertain. Take South Seattle’s Bailey Peninsula, not yet known as city-owned Seward Park.

Many, indeed, wanted to take it – city government picturing it as a park in 1892, as did the famed Olmsted Brothers landscape consultants a decade later. Other interests touted it as a golf course, a stockade and a scout camp. It even was pronounced by a nearby land agent to be the “logical” site for our first world’s fair, the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. “The majority of the people of Seattle would like this location,” Columbia Realty claimed June 17, 1906, in an ad in The Seattle Times.

The fledgling fair quickly opted for the University of Washington, rejecting “beautiful” Bailey Peninsula as “badly isolated, and there is no positive assurance that the grounds can be had from the private owners.” The Pennsylvania-based Bailey family and owners of other smaller portions of the peninsula held out for a high price, and in 1911, four years after the land was annexed to Seattle, the city stuck to its vision. Leveraging condemnation and court proceedings, the city bought the parcel for a whopping $322,000.

Crucial to the pristine peninsula’s appeal was its size, nearly 200 acres. Instantly it became the city’s largest park. Boosters called it “a wonder of the West.” No surprise, then, that the city named it for statesman William H. Seward.

In 1867, as President Andrew Johnson’s secretary of state, Seward had purchased for the United States (from Russia) the enormous Alaska territory. A white expansionist, Seward drew native criticism near Ketchikan, but his endearment to Seattle grew after the late 1890s when the city exploded as the jumping-off point for the Gold Rush, which lured 100,000 prospectors through Alaskan ports.

Like a thumb penetrating Lake Washington, Seward Park always has embodied unusual geography. In early days during spring runoff, water covered its isthmus, and the peninsula became an island. But when the new Lake Washington Ship Canal dropped the lake level by nine feet in 1916, any future island status evaporated.

From planning to politics, from geology to greenery, emphasizing the beloved park’s diversity of uses and users, its story is told precisely and pictorially in the 336-page coffee-table book Wild Isle in the City: Tales from Seward Park’s First 100 Years, published last fall by Friends of Seward Park. Even read with bifocals, it’s clearly a validation of vision.


To see Jean Sherrard‘s 360-degree video of the “Now” prospect and compare it with the “Then” photo, and to hear this column read aloud by Clay Eals, check out our Seattle Now & Then 360 version of the column.

Below are three additional photos plus 27 clippings from The Seattle Times online archive (available via Seattle Public Library) that, among others, were helpful in the preparation of this column. There’s also a bonus at the end. Enjoy!

The cover of Wild Isle in the City, which will be the subject of an illustrated talk at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 10, at Third Place Books Seward Park, 5041 Wilson Ave. S.
A 1913 south-facing view of the Nelson cottage, far in the distance. (Seattle Municipal Archives)
A portion of the 1908 Baist Map of Seattle showing then-privately owned Bailey Peninsula. (Courtesy Karen O’Brien)
Sept. 24, 1905, Seattle Times, page 20
May 27, 1906, Seattle Times, page 28
June 5, 1906, Seattle Times, page 4
June 17, 1906, Seattle Times, page 29
June 23, 1906, Seattle Times, page 2
Sept. 28, 1906, Seattle Times, page 10
Feb. 10, 1907, Seattle Times, page 8
April 8, 1909, Seattle Times, page 8
May 2, 1909, Seattle Times, page 14
May 15, 1910, Seattle Times, page 28
June 3, 1911, Seattle Times, page 16
June 4, 1911, Seattle Times, page 6
June 11, 1911, Seattle Times, page 6
Feb. 10, 1912, Seattle Times, page 5
March 3, 1912, Seattle Times, page 72
April 6, 1912, Seattle Times, page 3
Nov. 5, 1912, Seattle Times, page 7
July 13, 1913, Seattle Times, page 11
Aug. 12, 1913, Seattle Times, page 6
Aug. 15, 1915, Seattle Times, page 4
Aug. 22, 1915, Seattle Times, page 4
Sept. 23, 1915, Seattle Times, page 5
Jan. 14, 1917, Seattle Times, page 30
Jan. 28, 1917, Seattle Times, page 32
Oct. 27, 1917, Seattle Times, page 2
Jan. 5, 1919, Seattle Times, page 16
Jan. 5, 1919, Seattle Times, page 21
Nels and Tekla Nelson’s residence was in the Capitol Hill neighborhood best known by its “granite pile,” Broadway High School, seen here behind and to the right of the Nelson home. Most of the residences in this part of Capitol Hill have been replaced by apartments, and Broadway High (most of it) was razed for Seattle Community College.

(This column first appeared in Pacific magazine
of The Seattle Times on March 15, 1992.)

Nelson home on Boylston
By Paul Dorpat

Standing on his front lawn, Charles Whittelsey aimed his camera across Boylston Avenue toward Nels and Tekla Nelson’s home at the northeast comer of Olive and Boylston. The Nelsons’ was the most lavish residence on the block. Nels was C.D. Frederick’s partner in what was one of the Northwest’s largest mercantile establishments: Frederick and Nelson. Whittelsey, an accountant for the city’s water department, photographed this view in 1906.

The city directory lists the Nelsons at their new home at 1704 Boylston in 1901, the year construction began on Seattle High School (Broadway High). Whittelsey’s snapshot includes, behind and right of the Nelson home, a good glimpse of Broadway High’s western stone facade.

Born in Sweden in 1856, Nels Nelson crossed the Atlantic as a teenager. In the years before his arrival in Seattle, he farmed in Illinois, mined for gold and raised livestock in Colorado, and there met C.D. Frederick.  In 1891 Nelson visited Frederick in Seattle and stayed as his partner. The following year Nelson helped found the local Swedish Club and in 1895 he married Tekla, another Swedish immigrant.

Nelson was C.D. Frederick’s second partner. J.G. Mecham, his first, left their then still-mostly-used-furniture store soon after Nelson arrived with his $5,000 raised in Colorado on cattle. The three, however, remained friends. After Nelson died in 1907 on the Atlantic while returning from an unsuccessful attempt to renew his health at a Bavarian spa, Mecham remembered him as “truly one of God’s noblemen. With his passing I lost a valued friend.”

The Nelsons had three sons, but no grandchildren by them. In 1913 Tekla married Daniel Johanson, another Swedish immigrant, a mining engineer, fish wholesaler and ship builder. They lived in the Boylston home until Daniel died in 1919. Daniel and Tekla had two children of their own, Sylvia and Tekla Linnea, and ultimately one grandchild, Marilyn DeWitte, a Kirkland resident.

Seattle Now & Then: All roads lead to Roadhouse at Fall City, mid-1930s

(click and click again to enlarge photos)

THEN1: About to cross the Snoqualmie River and cruising northbound on U.S. Highway 10 past the Riverside Tavern is a 1934 Ford Model 40 Deluxe Tudor Sedan, according to our auto informant, Bob Carney. An eye-catching corner sign advertises Alpine Ice Cream, produced by Alpine Dairy, formerly Northwestern Milk Condensing Co. and Issaquah Creamery and later part of the Darigold Cooperative. (Fall City Historical Society)
THEN2: A multi-pointed sign depicts mileage to various locales from Fall City, adjacent to the two-floor Riverside Inn, in this photo published July 23, 1950, in The Seattle Times. Room prices at the Riverside started at $1.25, and meals at 50 cents.
NOW: Braving the snowy chill of mid-January are (from left) Donna Driver-Kummen and Sheryl Gibler of the Fall City Historical Society, with Cynthia Heyamoto and John Manning, owners of The Roadhouse Restaurant and Inn. The two worked there a half-dozen years before partnering to buy the business. Says John: “We’re passionate about food, we’re people persons, it’s a historic building, and out here you’re really not that far from anything. It was a no-brainer.” (Clay Eals)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Feb. 13, 2020
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Feb. 16, 2020)

In riverside Fall City, all roads lead to The Roadhouse
By Clay Eals

What comes to mind with the word “roadhouse”? For me, the answer is cinematic – the scenes of Madonna and others in the 1992 film “A League of Their Own” dancing raucously to a big band in a World War II-era saloon called the Suds Bucket. For others, the term may summon the 1990-1991 and 2017 episodes of TV’s mystery/horror series “Twin Peaks,” set partly at a seedy rural outpost known as The Roadhouse.

In either incarnation, a roadhouse bore a smear of the unsavory, given that an isolated establishment along a country highway could produce experiences as fleeting as the travelers it served.

Such may have been true at times for the business depicted in our 1930s “Then,” the Riverside Tavern, built between 1916 and 1920 (accounts vary). It perched in Fall City along the Snoqualmie River and U.S. Highway 10, better known as the cross-state Sunset Highway in the decades before Interstate 90 bypassed the burg 2 miles south.

But as ownerships changed and the Riverside gained a second floor (mid-1930s), morphed to the Colonial Inn (1966) and evolved with an extensive renovation (2008) to the name it bears today, The Roadhouse Restaurant and Inn, it became a community hub. Known for fine food and likeable lodging, it primarily serves locals and the surrounding, increasingly suburban cities fueled by our region’s tech boom. (It doesn’t hurt that the “Twin Peaks” producers filmed exteriors at this very spot.)

It stands near a unique crossroads, what might be called a double-Y intersection that straddles the river and leads motorists to nearby Preston, Redmond, Carnation and Snoqualmie. A 1950 Seattle Times photo depicts a multi-pointed sign outside the building denoting mileage to those Eastside destinations as well as to Seattle (25), Ellensburg (87) and Spokane (270).

Fall City itself possesses a curious nomenclature. The hamlet of 2,000 never formally incorporated, and while it sits less than 3 miles downstream from Snoqualmie Falls, its name may have nothing to do with that spectacular cascade. Robert Hitchman, writing for the Washington State Historical Society in 1985, asserts that the name derived from a fellow named Fall who started a ferry nearby in the 1870s.

Ruth Pickering

The 14-year-old Fall City Historical Society, led by the indefatigable Ruth Pickering, keeps track of this ambiguity while shepherding a searchable online collection and producing a stuffed slate of events and projects, including 520-page and 350-page history books and an annual calendar.

Though the historical society operates from the second floor of Fall City United Methodist Church, fittingly its most prominent display of photos and artifacts can be found inside – you guessed it – The Roadhouse.


To see Jean Sherrard‘s 360-degree video of the “Now” prospect and compare it with the “Then” photo, and to hear this column read aloud by Clay Eals, check out our Seattle Now & Then 360 version of the column.

Here is video about The Roadhouse Restaurant and Inn:

VIDEO: John Manning and (briefly) Cynthia Heyamoto, co-owners of The Roadhouse Restaurant and Inn in Fall City, tell the story of their business. (8:32)

Below are two additional photos plus two clippings from The Seattle Times online archive (available via Seattle Public Library) that, among others, were helpful in the preparation of this column. Enjoy!

Riverside Tavern, circa 1930. (Fall City Historical Society)
Colonial Inn, post-1966. (Fall City Historical Society)
Feb. 11, 1950, Seattle Times, page 2
July 23, 1950, Seattle Times, page 77

More glass-neg images from Tom Reese

Tom Reese identifies this as Portland, Oregon. See the caption for his waterfront detail below. (Courtesy Tom Reese)


Bonus round — three more glass-neg images
By Clay Eals

Remember last week’s post with 15 unidentified glass-negative images submitted by Tom Reese, former longtime photographer for The Seattle Times, who bought the negatives from the Antique Mall of West Seattle?

Many of you commented with clues to when and where the photos were taken.

To further the discussion Tom has scanned three more glass negs from the same batch, and they appear here, with captions supplied by Tom. Please add further comments. It’s possible that one or more of these could become the basis of a future “Now & Then” column!

This is a detail of the Portland, Oregon, waterfront depicted in the uncropped scan at top. Says Tom, “The side-wheel paddle steamboat T. J. Potter looks to be in its original state, before remodeling in 1910, and since it’s still in Portland that probably means it’s in its first years after going into service, 1888 or so. Wikipedia says it moved to Puget Sound after running the Columbia River. Looks like the remains are on a beach near Astoria.” (Courtesy Tom Reese)
Says Tom: “Another Northwest-looking town.” (Courtesy Tom Reese)
Says Tom: “Absolutely no idea. What an immense building. European? The figure at the top looks like a soldier hoisting a rifle.” (Courtesy Tom Reese)

Seattle Now & Then: August Engel Grocery, 1918-1922

(click and click again to enlarge photos)

THEN: In this photo, likely taken between 1918 and 1922, August Engel’s Grocery operates at 110 W. Republican St. (now 503 First Ave. W.). In the foreground is track originally built for the West Street & North End Railway Co. streetcar running from downtown to Ballard. To learn more about Queen Anne mom-and-pops, visit the Queen Anne Historical Society website and search for “grocery.” (Courtesy Hugh Engelhoff)
NOW: A cyclist rides where a streetcar used to run, as the all-brick Grex Apartments, built in 1930 according to the property record card held by the Puget Sound Regional Branch of Washington State Archives, take the place of August Engel’s Grocery. (Clay Eals)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Jan. 30, 2020
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Feb. 2, 2020)

Every Seattle mom-and-pop store stocked its own story
By Clay Eals

Do you recall a mom-and-pop grocery from your younger years, perhaps a favorite where you actually shopped?

For my grade-school friends and me on Mercer Island, that store was Bill Muncey’s Roostertail, owned by the hydroplane hero and nestled in the Shorewood apartments. The store provided no sustenance for our family dinner table. Rather, it was a measure of our maturity when our moms let us ride our bikes that far from home. Our bounty was five-cent packs of baseball cards. (I threw away the cardboard-tasting gum.)

The point is that a mom-and-pop evokes stories, and such stores – and stories – once dotted our cityscape. At the dawn of the Roaring Twenties, when our “Then” image was taken, Polk directories indicate that Seattle had nearly 1,000 identifiable grocers – one for every 315 residents.

This store, August Engel’s Grocery, specializing in dry goods, fronted on a private streetcar line running from downtown to Ballard, at the northwest corner of First Avenue West and West Republican Street in Lower Queen Anne.

Bellingham paralegal Hugh Engelhoff is Engel’s great-great grandson. When he submitted this photo for “Now & Then” consideration, a century-old story came along for the ride.

As family lore has it, August, a German immigrant who operated the store until his death in 1921 at age 73, also ran a grocery “down the street.”

“Whenever he had dissatisfied customers,” Hugh says, “he would tell them, ‘If you don’t like it, you can take your business elsewhere,’ and would direct them to his other store down the street.”

The photo hints at other aspects of the enterprise. A sign facing Republican promotes Olympic flour, cereal and feed from Northwest mills. Window lettering (“MJB Coffee WHY?”) reflects the coffeemaker’s intriguing national slogan. Sears & Roebuck Co. touts itself on the front bench, while banners announce a temporary move to precede a building project.

Keen insights on mom-and-pops fill detailed articles written by archivist Alicia Arter and Jan Hadley, board members of the Queen Anne Historical Society. Their interviews with store-owner families and ex-delivery boys affirm that neighbors patronized a store because of its mix of products, gossip and the grocer’s personality. Also popular were stores that offered credit and were near a butcher or bakery.

Mom-and-pops began to dissipate in the 1930s. The culprits? Depression-induced business failures, plus the onset of electric refrigeration, which brought larger stores with lower prices and longer open hours. Another factor – no surprise – was society’s deepening love affair with the convenience of cars, diminishing proximity as a top reason for where to shop.

Scattered mom-and-pop grocery stores still survive in Seattle. But reflecting our bigger-is-better modern mentality, across the street from the former Engel’s Grocery now stands a mega-Safeway.


To see Jean Sherrard‘s 360-degree video of the “Now” prospect and compare it with the “Then” photo, and to hear this column read aloud by Clay Eals, check out our Seattle Now & Then 360 version of the column.

The car in our “Then” is from 1915 or 1916, according to automotive informant Bob Carney. Our thanks to other helpers Mike Bergman and Rob Ketcherside.

Below are two additional photos plus nine clippings from The Seattle Times online archive (available via Seattle Public Library) and other newspapers that, among others, were helpful in the preparation of this column. Enjoy!

An undated photo of August Engel (Courtesy Hugh Engelhoff)
Here is an alternate, wider “Now,” which takes in the Safeway at right. (Clay Eals)
Sept. 21, 1886, Evening Telegraph
July 17, 1897, Pullman Herald
June 25, 1903, Evening Statesman
April 7, 1904, Evening Statesman
May 7, 1921, Seattle Times, page 3
May 11, 1921, Spokane Spokesman-Review
July 18, 1922, Seattle Times
Sept. 28, 1958, Seattle Times
Sept. 6, 1971, Seattle Times


Any clues to the years and locations for these glass-neg images?

(click and click again to enlarge photos)

Where are these horses lined up? Near what waterway? In what year? (Courtesy Tom Reese)
Unidentified history – in glass!
By Clay Eals

Tom Reese, former longtime photographer for The Seattle Times and the photographer for the 2016 book Once and Future River: Reclaiming the Duwamish, has a mystery that he would like help solving.

Actually, he has 15 mysteries. They are the stunning scans of 15 glass negatives that he recently purchased at the Antique Mall of West Seattle.

When and where were they taken? The clues are few. Perhaps one of you reading this blog can help.

The Antique Mall had no information about the negatives other than they came by way of an estate sale, perhaps from a family in Magnolia.

Most are of exteriors – showing horses, logs, sailboats, falls and settlements. (A “Jonks Bros” sign peeks out from one. The image with tents shows men in uniform waiting in line. A left hand protrudes in another image.)

Two show interiors – a kitchen and some dishware. (A blow-up of the hanging phone book is little help. In the dish photo, two boxes in the background say “Specially manufactured for Case, Gravelle & Ervin Co, Butte, Mont. by William Liddell Co, Belfast, Ireland.”)

A scrap of a 1901 newspaper clipping (below) was slipped between two of the negatives — a clue?

Are these from the Northwest? Is there a thread among them? Even if only one image were identifiable, it might make for a great “Now & Then” column!

We ask ye of endless curiosity and skill to help us piece together this story – or stories. To do so, please reply below. The first person to reply with at least a partial and substantive solution to these mystery photos will receive an inscribed copy of Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred!

(Courtesy Tom Reese)
(Courtesy Tom Reese)
A detail from the kitchen photo. (Courtesy Tom Reese)
(Courtesy Tom Reese)
(Courtesy Tom Reese)
A detail from the previous photo. (Courtesy Tom Reese)
(Courtesy Tom Reese)
(Courtesy Tom Reese)
(Courtesy Tom Reese)
(Courtesy Tom Reese)
(Courtesy Tom Reese)
(Courtesy Tom Reese)
(Courtesy Tom Reese)
(Courtesy Tom Reese)
A detail of the previous photo. (Courtesy Tom Reese)
(Courtesy Tom Reese)
(Courtesy Tom Reese)
A newspaper scrap that was tucked between two of the glass negatives. (Courtesy Tom Reese)






Seattle Now & Then: Holy Names Academy 1908

(click and click again to enlarge photos)

Two tykes on foot at left eye the unusual gathering on Oct. 10, 1908, of 17 open-air autos loaded with 99 students and others in front of just-opened Holy Names Academy and Normal (teaching) School. In the distance at upper left is the fledgling Aloha Street. (Romans Photographic Company, Courtesy Holy Names Academy)
Holy Names students and staff pose before the building’s landscaped entry, where in 1908 cars had assembled in the dust. Tom Heuser, president of the Capitol Hill Historical Society, stands at right, and Christie Sheehan Spielman, the school’s archivist, peeks out atop the stairs. (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Jan. 16, 2020
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Jan. 19, 2020)

Driving to the future – with a box of candy – from Holy Names
By Clay Eals

Even amid today’s existential climate change, like others I often find the need to hop in my car to drive across town. But on Oct. 10, 1908, when our “Then” was taken, only eight years had elapsed since a car first traveled Seattle streets.

The unpaved street at left is 21st Avenue East, near the eastern edge of Capitol Hill. The setting is majestic, brand-new Holy Names Academy and Normal School, whose first classes for its female Catholic students had begun just one month prior.

There, a rare sight awaited a photographer from William Romans’ studio, possibly the famed Asahel Curtis, who worked for Romans from 1907 to 1911. Facing the elevated lens were 17 buggies ready to escort senior students and chaperones on a Saturday afternoon ride. The Seattle Times reported the next day, “The most interesting parts of the city were visited.”

Organizing the two-hour trek was Dr. Harry Shaw, a Seattle physician and surgeon who, according to the Holy Names Chronicles, provided “a box of candy for the occupants of each machine.”

The outing fit the outgoing personality of Shaw, a courtroom testifier who was hardly shy. When a Chicago professor, Albert P. Matthews, claimed in 1905 that a diet serving “the exact chemical needs of the body” could produce everlasting life, Shaw delivered a blistering indictment to The Times.

“The term ‘chemical need’ is meaningless,” Shaw said. “We understand the chemical construction of the human organism, but the chemical needs differ in each individual and are formed largely by climatic conditions, altitude and a hundred other conditions of environment. … No person is entirely well.”

Shaw’s automotive contingent of 99 people might have looked at things more spiritually, though many are adorned with the earthly attire of fancy hats and other finery. Some wear mortarboards with tassels. One carries a 1910 pennant, perhaps a hoped-for graduation year.

This engaging image is among 100 photos appearing in the definitive book by Jackie Williams, “The Hill With a Future: Seattle’s Capitol Hill 1900-1946,” recently reprinted by the Capitol Hill Historical Society.

It also is among thousands of items carefully catalogued by archivist and former student Christie Sheehan Spielman at Holy Names Academy’s Heritage Center. Opened last June, the center’s spacious exhibit is open to the public by request.

The Baroque Revival entry of Holy Names, designed by Breitung & Buchinger, remains intact, though missing its northern tower, earthquake-damaged in 1965. More than 10,000 female students have walked its halls since 1880, including at two earlier edifices: downtown and in the Chinatown-International District (the latter razed for the Jackson Street Regrade).

And unlike 1908, we might say that many of today’s Holy Names girls are in the driver’s seat.


To see Jean Sherrard’s 360-degree video of the “Now” prospect and compare it with the “Then” photo, and to hear this column read aloud by Clay Eals, check out our Seattle Now & Then 360 version of the column!

Here, from our automotive informant Bob Carney, is an annotation of the vehicles in our “Then” photo:

  • As a reference point, we will use the car in the foreground (unidentified).
  • Behind and to the left of it are 2 1907 or 1908 Pierce Great Arrows.
  • To the left of the Pierces is a 1909 Packard (must have been available early).
  • In the center, in the middle of the pack is a barrel hooded air-cooled 1907 or 1908 Franklin (you can read the name if you enlarge it enough).
  • To the immediate right of the foreground car is a 1908 Pope-Hartford, and there is another one straight down the middle all the way in back by the corner of the building.
  • That was all I was able to identify — and I am only 100 percent sure about the Franklin and the Packard.

Below are two additional photos and 11 clippings from The Seattle Times online archive (available via Seattle Public Library) that, among others, were helpful in the preparation of this column. Enjoy!

Construction workers pose at Holy Names in 1908 or shortly before. They include bricklayer Andrew Schwarz, great uncle of Karen O’Brien, president of the Rainier Valley Historical Society. Dressed in overalls, he stands at lower right with his arm on the scaffolding. The brick contractor, not pictured, was O’Brien’s great-grandfather Joseph Wittman of Austria. O’Brien is a graduate of Holy Names, as was her mother, Mary O’Brien, class of 1942. (Karen O’Brien)
Holy Names archivist Christie Sheehan Spielman and Tom Heuser, president of the Capitol Hill Historical Society, pose inside the Holy Names Academy Heritage Center, which opened in June 2019. (Clay Eals)
July 2, 1905, Seattle Times, page 10
Feb. 10, 1907, Seattle Times, page 93
Feb. 23, 1907, Seattle Times, page 2
Feb. 24, 1907, Seattle Times, page 56
May 12, 1907, Seattle Times, page 41
May 19, 1907, Seattle Times, page 2
May 20, 1907, Seattle Times, page 7
July 5, 1908, Seattle Times, page 22
Sept. 6, 1908, Seattle Times, page 29
Oct. 11, 1908, Seattle Times, page 15
Nov. 7, 1908, Seattle Times, page 4

Seattle Now & Then: Skyline from Magnolia, 1962 or shortly after

(click and click again to enlarge photos)

THEN: Taken during — or not long after — the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, this postcard view depicts a calmer waterfront and a downtown skyline of mostly midrise buildings. (Union Pacific Railroad, Clay Eals Collection)
NOW: Afternoon “magic light” illuminates the Seattle skyline, shown from Ursula Judkins Viewpoint Park near the top of the Magnolia Bridge. Dominating the foreground are the Port of Seattle’s Terminal 86 Grain Facility, completed in 1970, and the northern waterfront greenery of Centennial and Myrtle Edwards parks. The new Expedia headquarters peeks out at left, below the Space Needle. (Jean Sherrard)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Jan. 2, 2020
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Jan. 5, 2020)

What shines and what’s hidden? It’s all in the game
By Clay Eals

It’s a game I play with others while on a Bainbridge or Bremerton ferry or at West Seattle’s Hamilton Viewpoint Park down the street from my home: “Do you have a favorite building in the downtown skyline?”

I have my own answer at the ready. “It’s easy,” I say with a smile. “It’s the building without which I would not be possible.”

And it figures near the center of our “Then,” a pastel-tinged postcard image that looks southeast from Magnolia on a bright afternoon during the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair or shortly thereafter.

It’s the Terminal Sales Building, the stately, large-windowed, 11-floor Seattle landmark at First and Virginia, seen here mostly from its north side, left of the shaded Seattle Tower.

Designed by Henry Bittman and built in 1923, the Terminal Sales Building is where my dad, Henry Eals, arrived in 1947, from Kentucky by way of Los Angeles, to work as a clothing salesman. His office was on the 10th floor. Soon he met Virginia Slate, a West Seattle lass who worked in a dishware shop on the first floor. The two married in 1950, and a year later I was … made possible.

Also possible is a different game essential to “Now & Then” that Paul Dorpat, originator of this column, likens to “hide and seek.” It’s to discern what in the “Then” appears in the “Now” and what is hidden.

Still in full salute are both skylines’ famous bookends – the Space Needle, in original colors, and the Smith Tower, the pointed sentinel that stood as the tallest building on the West Coast from its completion in 1914 until erection of the Needle in 1962.

Among many hidden edifices in our “Now” are the Terminal Sales Building and Seattle Tower, plus most of the snow-bare Cascade Range. Scores of skyscrapers take their place.

Of course, the angle of a photo and the lens with which it is taken can affect what is visible. For example, in our “Now,” with a slightly different vantage and focal length from our “Then,” the brown Pacific Medical Center (Amazon’s early home) at the northern tip of Beacon Hill at far right is tucked closer to the Smith Tower. Yet it’s also a tad south in relation to its Cascade backdrop.

The top edge of our “Now” is a little higher to accommodate – what else, these days? – a crane atop the under-construction Rainier Square Tower, now Seattle’s second tallest building, fewer than 100 feet shy of the crowning, 937-foot Columbia Center to its right.

Providing solace for our game is a “Then” seaplane cruising north for an eventual landing at Lake Union – a charming reminder that a few things never seem to change.


P.S. We are grateful that Seattle Times reader Charles Gundersen identifies the ship in the foreground of this “Then” image, thus providing a clue that the photo was taken in 1965 or shortly thereafter:

“The ship looks like a C4-S-1sa Mariner Class cargo ship. It could be either SS Canada Mail or SS Oregon Mail. These ships were laid down in 1963 and delivered to the American Mail Line in 1965. So the ‘Then’ picture was probably taken in or shortly after 1965. You can clearly see the American Mail Line stack insignia. My father shipped out on SS Canada Mail as Second Mate (the ship’s navigator) in 1965 and 1966. I have several photos (taken off the
internet) of SS Canada Mail that show the superstructure, stack and upper mast works that look very similar to those features shown in your ‘Now & Then’ picture.”

Below are four recent photos related to the Terminal Sales Building and the Seattle Tower.

The majestic entry of the Terminal Sales Building, Sept. 16, 2018. (Clay Eals)
Clay Eals poses below the Terminal Sales Building (upper left) on Feb. 2, 2019, when the public was allowed to walk on the closed (and later demolished) Alaskan Way Viaduct. (Jean Sherrard)

An added note from Clay on the Terminal Sales Building:

“As a child, I accompanied my dad on weekends to the Terminal Sales Building when he had moved his office to the sixth floor, then to a larger one on the fourth floor. I had the run of the building (racing him downstairs, he riding the elevator and I running the stairs) and of downtown (favorite spots included the Security Market, the basement bookstore next to the Town movie theater and the Trick & Puzzle shop on First Avenue).”

Clay Eals and daughter Karey Bacon, visiting from Philadelphia, in front of Terminal Sales Building at First and Virginia, Nov. 22, 2019. (Meg Eals)
The majestic entry of the Seattle Tower, Sept. 13, 2018. (Clay Eals)
BONUS: Inspired by the panorama above, Harold Musolf Jr. of Bothell contacted us to share a colorized panorama postcard created by famed Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition photographer Frank Nowell shortly after the 1914 completion of construction of the Smith Tower. (Harold Musolf Jr.)


Farewell: Paul Dorpat looks back on nearly 38 years of ‘Now & Then’

Note: While this installment, as printed in PacificNW magazine of The Seattle Times, is labeled as a farewell, this blog will continue to house Paul’s vast contributions to local history, from his columns to his many books. We hope and trust that he will continue making contributions to the blog whenever he has the time and inclination.


(click and click again to enlarge photos)

NOW: After 38 years, Paul Dorpat returns to the corner of Pike Street and Fourth Avenue, where “Now & Then” began. Dorpat is stepping away to pursue other interests, but “Now & Then” will carry on. (Jean Sherrard)
THEN: Paul Dorpat’s first “Now” photo has become his final “Then” photo, taken at the southeast corner of Pike Street and Fourth Avenue in late fall 1981. A coffee server at far right holds a “Then” print of the intersection. (Paul Dorpat collection)

(Published in the Seattle Times online on Dec. 20, 2019
and in the PacificNW Magazine print edition on Dec. 22, 2019)

Farewell: Looking back on nearly 38 years of Now & Then
By Paul Dorpat

What a fortunate fellow.

Beginning in the winter of 1982, my byline here was first delivered with the Sunday Seattle Times to the breakfast tables of the city. Now here comes the handle to turn this faucet off with my valedictory feature, the last one for me. (Don’t worry, though. “Now & Then” isn’t going away.)

Frankly, at the age of 81, I am tired, but only somewhat. Increasingly, my head is turning. I yearn again to paint and make music, pleasures I had more time for a half-century ago.

Certainly, my best fortune has been the frequent one of meeting many readers and being introduced by them to subjects often pulled from their own collections. Thanks largely to them, I have gathered a sizable archive, which I am now beginning to file and interpret for transfer to two scholarly institutions that I have used repeatedly.

My negatives and slides are headed for the Seattle Public Library, the voice of the people (or vox populi). My film and video (shot and collected) will get an appropriate new home in the University of Washington Library’s Northwest Collection. I once lived in their halls and am now returning with a plethora of cared-for subjects, often attached with carefully devised captions. I’ll continue to encourage others to place their archives with mine in the hands of skilled librarians for sharing with the community.

For this week’s “Then” photo, Jean Sherrard has chosen what was this Sunday feature’s first “Now.” I snapped this shot at the southeast corner of Pike Street and Fourth Avenue on what I remember as an unseasonably warm late fall day in 1981.

It appeared in the Seattle Times’ Pacific magazine (a predecessor of today’s PacificNW magazine) the following January, the first of about 1,800 “Now” photos, most of which made it onto the inside of the magazine’s back cover. It is still a cherished location. I learned the name of this coffee server who posed for me, although I doubt that I then knew anything as yet about the name of her profession: barista.

As late as 1984, I was still delivering my features to the Times by car, not the internet, and I was still writing them on a typewriter that sounded already nostalgic. Within three years, I was no longer delivering my stories in person, which meant I had practically no contact with other Times writers.

I was a freelancer and sometimes lonely. I occasionally hung around The Times’ wonderfully stuffed library in its old building at Fairview and John.

I’m now heading for the piano. Now I ask you, my dear old (at least potential) friends, to imagine your own sounds and send them to me. And please also imagine me motioning in your direction with this, my valedictory wave. Many thanks for your years of help.

And let us all thank this newspaper for continuing the “Now & Then” feature with the vigorous contributions of Jean Sherrard, clearly as fine a writer as he is a photographer, and Clay Eals, a master editor and superb storyteller who has helped me since this weekly feature began in 1982. Many thanks to all old friends and new.


Check out Jean Sherrard’s 360-degree video of the “Now” prospect with this column read aloud by Paul Dorpat.

Meanwhile, below, in chronological order, are 17 photos of Paul Dorpat and six clippings from The Seattle Times online archive (available via Seattle Public Library) that provide a look back on Paul’s life and “Now & Then” career. Enjoy!

A young Paul (left) with his three brothers, mother Cherry and father Theodore. (courtesy Paul Dorpat)
Paul, 37, poses with his father, the Rev. Theodore E. Dorpat, in about 1975. At right is his mother, Cherry Dorpat. (courtesy Paul Dorpat)
Jan. 5, 1969, Seattle Times, page 45
July 15, 1972, Seattle Times, page 10
April 29, 1977, Seattle Times, page 10
Sept. 17, 1977, Seattle Times, page 13
Paul after a public shave at his 40th birthday party in 1978. (courtesy Paul Dorpat)
Sept. 24, 1981, Seattle Times, Erik Lacitis column
Oct. 1, 1981, Seattle Times, Erik Lacitis column
Paul (left) poses with Seattle’s Murray Morgan, author of “Skid Road,” mid-1980s. (courtesy Paul Dorpat)
Paul makes a self-portrait, mid-1980s. (courtesy Paul Dorpat)
Footprints newsletter, Southwest Seattle Historical Society, 1992.
The Aug. 26, 2001, cover of the Seattle Times’ Sunday magazine, “Pacific Northwest.”
Paul speaks in December 2004 at the Alki Homestead restaurant in West Seattle. (Joey Allman)
Paul pitches July 26, 2009, at the annual Eals Eskenazi Extravaganza birthday softball game at Alki Playfield. (Jean Sherrard)
Paul and Jean Sherrard flank Berangere Lamont, their Paris-based photographer and partner in, 2011.
Paul in Ivar’s baseball hat, Jan. 6, 2016. (screen grab, Jean Sherrard)
Paul presents a talk Feb. 7, 2016, at West Seattle Library on the Alki roots of Ivar Haglund, subject of a future biography by Paul. (screen grab, Clay Eals)
Paul speaks at a history presentation May 31, 2018, at Pike Place Market. (Clay Eals)
Paul speaks at a history presentation May 31, 2018, at Pike Place Market. (Clay Eals)
(From left) Clay Eals, Paul and Jean Sherrard pose before a history presentation Sept. 23, 2018, at Salty’s on Alki restaurant. (Patrick Sand, West Seattle Blog)
Paul displays the 2018 “best of” book he co-authored with Jean Sherrard, Oct. 14, 2018. (Clay Eals)
With the Pioneer Square Pergola as a backdrop, Paul poses May 31, 2018. (Clay Eals)