Category Archives: Edge Clippings

Edge Clipping – "A Lazy Dyspeptic" and More

This excerpt is pulled by Ron Edge from the Oct. 17, 1872 number of the Pacific Tribune. This Olympia newspaper was published by Thomas Prosch, the historian-journalist who eventually, seeing the drift of things, moved his newspaper first to Tacoma and then to Seattle and, subsequently here owned and edited the Post-Intelligencer. Prosch also published a few typed copies of a chronological history of early Seattle, which was an important source for the early construction of the web-page Historylink. The full page of Prosch's Olympia paper, from which the "fillers" above were fetched, follows.



“Labor, n. One of the processes whereby A acquires property for B.”

“Mythology, n.  The body of a primitive people’s beliefs, concerning its origin, early history, heroes, deities and so forth, as distinguished from the true accounts which it invents later.”

Both excerpted from Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911


Fifteen years ago or so I was invited to give a lecture at a rod and gun club on Whidbey Island. Since I always liked to fish I was at least half in sympathy with the club’s program and so agreed to attend.  It also helped that the manager was a relative.One of the islanders who attended the show was a retired real estate salesman who had worked most of his selling life in Seattle.  He brought me the gift of this 1912 Baist Real Estate Map, and it was surely one of the finest gifts I have ever received and most useful too.

Although clearly used and sometimes improvised with penciled additions, the 1912 Baist is at this writing (in 2010) nearly a century old and still in good shape – except for the index.  That was curled and creased and even torn in places – not that it matters much.  The index is an overall map of the city on which 34 sections are given marked boundaries and numbered within. It is those 34 sections that are treated individually with their own maps. Those are still clear, and that is what matters.

All 34 plates are wonderfully hand-colored and detailed with information like additions that are distinguished by contrasting colors, numbered blocks and within those blocks numbered lots (and often that is all you need to get going with your research). The maps also show footprints of structures, color-coding for types of construction, lines for utilities, and more.

Many of us are simply in love with maps. For us the cheap thrills of hand-wrought cartography can keep us insensitive to the neighbor’s poodle barking at 3 A.M.  Also with this gift of a Baist at your side it may no longer be necessary to drive to the library.  Although that is not ordinarily an unpleasant journey it does take time.  And parking “tokens” that fold or require signatures add up.

Ron Edge is in charge of this all.  Ron is the techno-wit who took the big and heavy Baist map from my basement and made it the very readable resource you get here.  Eventually and increasingly as time allows we will populate each map with symbols – contrasting dots or squares – that you can click for pop up illustrations of the places marked.  (Somewhat like those blue squares on Google Earth, although, we hope, consistently accurate.)

And here we note and make a plea. If you should like to share a photo of your house or some other part of historical Seattle that can be included then send your scans to Ron at  With few exceptions he will use them on one of the 34 Baist plates – the proper one and in the proper place. So please be pointed about what plate and where on it.   It is Ron who will also first field and interpret your recommendations and complaints.

How can one complain about a century old map?   Turn or click to Plate #4.  There from top to bottom – between Yesler Way and Union Street and about two blocks west of Broadway Ave. – the plate has been frayed or torn.  But for all the blocks this mutilation touches only one of them ruinously.  Block 61 of Terry’s 2nd Addition, between 7th and 8th Avenues and Spruce and Alder Streets, cannot be read.  The information in the remaining torn blocks can generally be inferred.  On two plates users have attempted to sketch in the curves of new city streets that were cut through the printed grid of those plates.  One for E. Olive Way is on Plate 7, and the other, a real impressionistic whopper, is for the long and curving western end of West Seattle Bridge where it climbs the West Seattle ridge.  You will find that scribble on Plate 28.  All the rest of these 34 maps is left to search and enjoy – like the original serpentine course of the Duwamish River (plate 29), the tidelands of Interbay (plate 21), and the place of Foster Island before Union Bay, as part of Lake Washington, was lowered about nine feet for the ship canal in 1916, or four years after these plates were first published.

(Ron Edge is also responsible here for “Edge Clippings,” a blog feature created from historical clippings taken largely from periodicals he has collected.)

Next Ron explains – with illustrations – the “technical story” behind this Baist unfolding.


The first major decision in digitizing Paul’s 1912 Baist’s Real Estate Atlas was to remove all the 24” by 34” Plates from the bound hardcover book that held them.  This allowed complete access to each of the maps.

The copy station design and photographic process evolved over a 2 or 3 month period. In the final process I used a large flat board made from Pergo flooring material to attach the index map and each of Baist’s 34 linen plates. The hard flat surface allowed me to stretch and aligned each map using double stick tape.

After experimenting with camera settings, lighting and image overlap, I settled on taking 42 digital pictures of each map in sections 4.25″ by 5″.  I built a target frame and laid out a grid so I could record 7 pictures across the length in 6 passes of each map. I used my Canon G10 camera controlled remotely from my computer.

The 42 images were hand cropped and loaded into Photoshop where they were merged into one image.
The full map images were then aligned, color adjusted and then converted into PDF format for the web viewer’s pleasure.

In order to provide good detail and readability the size of the PDF files for each map are rather large and may require some time to open based on your cpmputer and internet access speed.  Once opened these maps can be saved to your computer.

To get the latest Adobe Reader click link:

As pictures and information are linked to each of the maps as Paul described above they will be updated on the web.

When Chicken was King

Associated Poultry interior

As mentioned in the text of this weekends pull from Pacific Magazine, its subject, Associated Poultry, roosts on the shoulders of what for a number of years was a popular fried chicken house on Victory Highway, AKA Bothell Way, AKA Lake City Way.  It’s name, Coon Chicken Inn, and its decor, or parts of it, were the products of a Jim Crow culture that started to break up only in the 1960s with the civil rights movement.  As the “Epicurean’s Guile” map below shows, in the 1930s Bothell Way was strung with southern associations: Henry the Watermelon King, Lem’s Corner (at least I imagine Lem as a good ol’ boy),  Dixie Inn and Mammy’s shack. Now it all seems a naive combination of silly and half-witted offensive.   Below Ron Edge has curated illustrations and clippings from a Coon Chicken collection loaned to him for copying.  Read and study.  And now Ron explains.

In the 1930s chicken dinners were the main attraction and Bothell Way their stage.   The star arrived in the summer of 1930 in the form of the Coon Chicken Inn, owned by M.L.Graham and located at 8500 Bothell Way.  Mr. Graham relocated to Seattle in the late 20’s and opened the second link in his chain of “Nationally Famous Coast to Coast” restaurants. His first was opened in Salt Lake City in1924 and his third and last in Portland in 1931. He decided to expand his chain just as the Great Depression started and with his dedication to quality and his unique marketing skills he succeeded where many others failed.

Seattle CCI Opening August 1930

Seattle interior early

I was fortunate enough to meet M.L. Graham’s grandson, Scott Farrar, in 1999 when researching the history of the CCI. Scott generously allowed me to photograph and scan his grandfather’s scrapbooks. Mr. Graham had pasted his life into these two large volumes in the form of ephemera and photos. Many of the pages contained things relating to the Coon Chicken Inn and its history. I think the story of the early Seattle CCI is best told from selected pages from a couple of the trade publications of the time. I have inserted several photos scanned from these scrapbooks to augment the articles.

Western Restaurant May 1933 p6
Seattle kitchen
Seattle exterior
Gas ad December 1933
Seattle exterior
Western Restaurant April 1934 p6
Club Cotton
Club Cotton
Club Cotton
After Club Cotton addition
Soda Fountain Dec 1936 p10
Soda Fountain Dec 1936 p11
Soda Fountain Dec 1936 p12
Seattle bar
Soda Fountain Dec 1936 p13
Hoover Co. December 1936
CCI Post Card
Seattle CCI from the air

Edge Clipping Oct. 25, 1925, Seattle Times


(click TWICE to enlarge)


(CLICK twice to Enlarge)

Also from the Seattle Times Oct.25, 1925 issue, a real estate editor’s montage of progress in local construction. The Skinner Building gets its own essay on the left. Otherwise its No.2, the new Paul H. Lattner residence at Lake Park Drive (no address given), No.3, “group of new residences near the intersection of 14th Ave. Northeast and Victory Way (which, I think, is Lake City Way, aka Bothell Way, aka Red Brick Sunset Highway around north end of the Lake Washington long before the bridge), No. 4, “residence at 914 Epler Place built by F. J. Davidson and sold to Charles Cohen.” The Skinner building, on 5th, east side between University and Union Streets, took the site of the former Hippodrome, a great hall for conventions and dances. (We’ve featured it on this blog, so you can key-word it.) The Skinner Building was designed for its sumptuous 3000 seat theatre, and the first Seattle branch for the uppity San Francisco women’s apparel merchant, I Magnin. The local architect was Robert C. Reamer, who – to show his consistency – was also responsible for the 1411 Fourth Ave. Bldg, on Union, The Seattle Times bldge on Fairview, the Deca Hotel – origianlly the Meany -, the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone, which the Pastor Dorpat family could only wonder at while sleeping in a tent, the Quinault Lodge, where I had my most tastey meal ever after one week of hiking the Olympics with dehydrated veggies, and the grand Fox Theatre in Spokane (still standing) where I saw the wonderfully pathetic movie Broken Arrow three times in 1950. My dad knew the manager.  (Thanks, again, to RON EDGE for our EDGE CLIPPINGS)

A QUEEN ANNE MISSION – An Edge Clipping as Blogaddendum


Ron Edge is sorting through his collections and finding forgotten things.  One of these we print below as an “Edge Clipping”. (Whenever you see the ALKI logo above  you can depend that there will be an Edge Cllipping below it.)  We use the term “Edge Clipping” for Ron’s offerings as wide as  they range, and here it  is an old photo postcard he has lifted from his really well-ordered horde.  And it is yet another early 20th local subject by Oakes, who has appeared “in these pages” many  times past.  The  text below Ron’s “clipping” is from a Times “Now and Then” feature I wrote for Pacific, and it appeared on August  15, 1989.  The “now” photo printed beside a different photograph of the fire station #8 (I mean, not this one) shows that a tennis court replaced the station – or was in its place in 1989.  Perhaps Jean will return to the site again and find out what is there now – if it is something other than the grand new Queen Anne standpipe that we featured here last January 3, when Pacific also ran a sidebar explaining my tongue-in-cheek part in a local hoax. Happy reading and Keep Clam and My oh My.

Another early 20th Century "Real Photo Postcard" by Oakes.  This on of both the Queen Anne standpipe (two of them) and Fire Station No. 8.
Another early 20th Century "Real Photo Postcard" by Oakes. This on of both the Queen Anne standpipe (two of them) and Fire Station No. 8.

(Click to Enlarge)

A QUEEN ANNE MISSION – is the title The Times gave to the story below.

Of the fanciful fire stations built in Seattle in the 20  years or so following the city’s Great  Fire of 1889, Queen Anne Hill’s Engine House No. 8 was a unique creation – although it had its double.  The Mission-style building featured curvilinear gables on the front-center wall over a small balcony  (with flower pots), and to either side (of the gables) there were low-pitch roofs with wide eaves and exposed supporting rafters.  The bell tower with its arched windows also fits the style, although this tower is for hanging hoses, not bells.  It stands next to another “imposter”, the Queen Anne water tower, which is decorated with battlements at its top.   The standpipe was built in 1900 as part of the city’s then-new Cedar River gravity system.  The bleaker steel “beaker” (without pouring spout) was soon added by a water department that  in between No. 1 and No.2 lost its urge for elegance.

Engine House No. 8 was not alone. It had is doppelganger at Minor Avenue and Virginia Street. Engine House No. 15 was its mirror image, with a reverse floor plan and  the hose-drying tower on the opposite side of its otherwise symmetrical presentation.  No. 15 was destroyed in 1951.  Built  in 1908, Engine House No. 8 survived a dozen years more until it was razed in 1963 and replaced by a tennis court.  Engine Company No. 8 then moved into its simple and modern station a few yards south of this its old “Mission.”

Edge Clipping – READ ALL ABOUT IT – The Evening Dispatch for Monday Dec. 24, 1877


For the occasion of this Christmas 2009 Ron Edge has pulled out the full four pages of Seattle’s Evening Dispatch for the Monday Evening of Dec. 24, 1877.   For those with the steady temperament to insert themselves into a small community of well under 4000 citizens – and yet still with five churches and many more bars – a close reading of these pages will take them away.

The Dispatch was not the first newspaper in Seattle, but it was an early one.  Clarence Bagley, the pioneer Seattle historian described its editor, Beriah Brown, as “one of the old school of newspaper men, a writer of editorials worthy of the great papers of the United States.  He was a friend of Horace Greeley . . .  His custom was to go to the case and put his articles in type as he composed them. It is hard to comprehend the difficulty occasioned by the dual processes of thought this brought into play.”

We will include now all four pages of this Dec. 24, 1877 issue, and separate them by short notices of some of what we found on each page.  The reader may, of course, skip our comments and go directly to Brown’s Dispatch.

First – the first page.

In 1877, Christmas fell on a Tuesday.  This made the call for profound messages especially taxing on the small community’s several preachers.  They could not very well avoid the Christ Child with their Sunday the 23rd sermon, but they then would also be expected to come up with new materials, and roughly on the same subject, for Christmas Day services.  Rarely, of course, did they have “new material” but were skilled for the great part in the twisting or adjusting of the old stories – most of them from the Bible.  Still if you read the Page One Evening Dispatch accounts of some of Seattle’s Sunday services, you will find differences of tone or emphasis in how, for instance, Rev. D. Bagley of the “Brown Church” and Rev. I. Dillon of the “White Church” and visiting Congregationalist  Rev. W. Steward handle their subjects.  J. Ellis, the local Congregationalist, also took to the pulpit, Sunday evening.  (The Baptists, Catholics and Episcopal churches were noted in other reports.)

Of these four, it was Steward, the visitor from the north, who after warming up gave the best example of a fire and brimstone sermon noting that “commonsense, sound philosophy and our home experience unite, in tones of thunder, ‘that heaven is no place for the ungodly.  The very thought of the atheist, the Deist, the liar, the murderer or blasphemer going to heaven is absurd.  There is nothing so much out of place and unfit, that would be justified for a moment by any respectable tribunal on earth, much less in the court of heaven, where nothing that defileth or maketh a lie can enter, and where ‘Holiness if the Lord’ is the imprint on every commodity.”  Commodity!?    Jumping forward to page three, we learn that Steward when relaxing with a cup of tea in the living room is a kindly “84 years of age.  He is visiting with Dr. Weed, Mrs. Weed being his niece.  Mr. Stewart has been an extraordinarily temperate (non-drinking) man all his life, and consequently is now in the enjoyment of a serene, healthful and happy old age.”  (You will find an advertisement for Dr. Weed, Steward’s host, on page three below.)

It was Ellis, the other and younger Congregationalist, who was kinder to mankind – and progress too – with his sermon.  Ellis told his congregation “Well, one thing is assured: (The coming of the Christ Child) is not a bolt from far aloft shot athwart the pathway of the race to smite it and cut if off from its onward march.  Christ is not a force antagonistic to man – He is Man Himself.  He gets the momentum of humanity, casts himself into a stream of life and comes to the surface a Babe!”

Also on page one and nearly directly to the right side of Dillon’s sober description of mankind is Fred Gasch’s announcement that he will open his “New Beer Hall” on Front Street (First Avenue) next to the North Pacific Brewery, and so also near the waterfront foot of Columbia Street. And for joyful encouragement Gasch includes in his advertisement his own sermon, of sorts, a rhyming one in song.   It goes . . .

Come to the Fountain to-night, boys, / And fill with foaming beer. / What if your heads get light, boys, / The pleasure of life is here. / Eat, drink and be merry today, boys, / The old-time philosopher said, / Then go to the Fountain and stay, boys, / Till the shadows of the night have fled.

Compared to Gasch’s New Beer Hall, William Lawrence’s Office Saloon and Billiard Room might seem a bit swanky.  It was on the south side of Mill Street (Yesler Way) opposite Yesler’s Mill.  “It is the place to get genuine J.H. Cutter, Old Golden and Gaines’, Old Hermitage Rye Whiskies, Three Star, Hennesy, and Martell Brandies, and the Best Wines and Cigars; also to have a game of Billiards on a first-class table.  We have a number of private Club Rooms for accommodation of guests.”

One more mention for Page one.  The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad is listed with a charming little graphic for the train, and a schedule for its Seattle-to-Renton runs.  Of course, not once did it make it as far as Walla Walla.

(Please DOUBLE-CLICK to enlarge to a readable size.)


Page Two

At the top of page two the Evening Dispatch’s editor, the crusading moralist Beriah Brown, with an editorial on “Political Fault-Finders” makes an analysis of Pres. Hayes administration’s failure, in spite of promises, to replace the spoils system with an apolitical civil service administration.  Page two is also stuffed with advertisements including one for the watchmaker, jeweler and engraver Charles Naher, who is also selling the “largest and best selection of Musical Instruments in the Territory and will be sold at reduced prices.  The public are invited to call and convince themselves.”  The editor appears again on this page with “news” that he is the proprietor of patents of California, Oregon and Washington Territory for the “Great Invention. Lockwood’s Portable Steam Oven.  The Best Cooking Utensil Ever Invented. Burning or Scorching of Food Impossible.”  As witness to the still small size of Seattle, L. Reinig, a well-known pioneer baker, promised groceries, provisions, fruit and vegetables, bread, cake, crackers and goods delivered to all parts of the city free of charge.”


Page Three

So much of page three is simply a “good read.”  This begins with the far left column under the heading “The City, A Merry Christmas” and its spirited report on what to expect with Christmas, 1877.  The page includes a number of shorter reports including one about a tunnel being built below Washington Street near Third Avenue in order to re-route spring water from First Hill directly to the tideflats rather than to the basements of the the homes and establishments in that often sodden part of town south of Mill Street (Yesler Way).   Page three shows a number of notices – e.g. T. Couter asks that “all persons are hereby requested to call and pay up, as I need the money to pay my bills by the First of January. ”  It includes a complete – we assume – list of “Hotel Arrivals.”  There are also more church announcements and one report of a street corner religious service with an assembly of doubtful believers.   When the service was interrupted by a “bunch of fire-crackers” the paper concluded that this “mischief was probably the work of a hoodlum as there were a number of them in the congregation at the time.”  And page three also shows more small advertisements, although not as many as page two.


Page Four

Page Four features more small ads – always enlightening of the times to read.  The biggest among them is for Steel’s Pain Eradicator, which is described as “The Most Wonderful Discovery of the Age.”  The jumbled lesson of this medicine is “The World moves, and unless we Progress we must go Backward.  Nothing remains Stationary.”  The producers claim no intention “to deceive the people” that their medicine is “a cure for every complaint on earth; but a really scientific article of the greatest merit, which will prove a boon to suffering humanity – both on account of its adaptability to both man and beast, [this part an appeal to farmers] its readiness of application, and the price being within the reach of all.”  The list of “aches and pains” for which their solution is a great eradicator is wonderful – from “lameness” to gout and “soar throats.” (Persons who believe that such grandiose advertising is no longer possible are invited to listed to Seattle’s own KING FM through a few ad breaks.) For those Dispatch readers whose pains were not eradicated by this or any of the other promising solutions from bottled beer to Dr. Goulard’s “celebrated foot powders,” another ad on page four for John Keenen’s Seattle Stone Yard offers headstones and tombs.


Christmas (Edge) Clippings


Ron Edge comes forward with a few Christmas related “clippings” from his collection.  They start boldly with three front covers for the once popular and studied Argus Christmas Issues, these from 1903, 1904 and 1907.  At 25 cents a copy it was not cheap, and note that by 1907 it had doubled to four bits i.e. 50 cents.  The weekly Argus began publishing in the 1890s and continued on as a respected and influential journal of local politics and culture.  The last I remember of it is from the 1970s when the then adolescent weekly – The Weekly – made it hard for the old and stiffened Argus to keep up.

(Remember: CLICK to Enlarge.)

The Argus Christmas Issue for 1905.
The Argus Christmas Issue for 1903.
For 1904 Argus again uses a big ship for its Christmas Number cover.  This is "Seattle's Own Battleship Nebraska" manufactured at Moran's Shipyard on the waterfront - near the foot of Dearborn Street.  The keel was launched in 1904, although it took much longer to install the superstructure.
For 1904 Argus again uses a big ship for its Christmas Number cover. This is "Seattle's Own Battleship Nebraska" manufactured at Moran's Shipyard on the waterfront - near the foot of Dearborn Street. The keel was launched in 1904, although it took much longer to install the superstructure, and by then was already obsolete. It was an expensive piece of post-Spanish-American War military hardware and never used except for some steaming about.
The grandly frigid outline of Alaska - terretorial still - is turned to curls and pulchritude for the 1907 Argus Christmas Number.  This was the year that construction on the 1909 Alaska Yukon and Pacific Expostion began in earnest, and as everyone may by now know three young women, although differently composed, were used in the AYPE's principal logo or symbolic bug.
The grandly frigid outline of Alaska - territorial still - is turned to curls and pulchritude for the 1907 Argus Christmas Number. This was the year that construction on the 1909 Alaska Yukon and Pacific Expostion began in earnest, and as everyone may by now know three young women, although differently composed, were used in the AYPE's principal logo or symbolic bug. A few of the many variations are printed directly below.
AYP BUG in Plaster.  The by then old description of Puget Sound as the protected waterway where "rail meets sail" was being turned over as steamships replaced schooners and such.  There was no easy rhyme to replace "rail-sail" but at least once "steam meets steam" was tried.
AYP BUG in Plaster. The by then old description of Puget Sound as the protected waterway where "rail meets sail" was being turned over as steamships replaced schooners and such. There was no easy rhyme to replace "rail-sail" but at least once "steam meets steam" was tried.
An officially staged tableau of the AYP symbol
An officially staged tableau of the AYP symbol
The Bug-Tableau on an AYP stage with chorus and minstrels.
The Bug-Tableau on an AYP stage with chorus and minstrels.
The bug pins were popular.
The bug pins were popular.
Another tableau, this one staged for the front page of the Post-Intelligencer for Sept. 9, 1909.  The caption to the screened photo reads, "From left to right: Miss Koye, representing the Orient; Miss Frances Sarver, representing Alaska and the Yukon; Miss Fannie Sarver, representing the Pacific Northwest."
Another tableau, this one staged for the front page of the Post-Intelligencer for Sept. 9, 1909. The caption to the screened photo reads, "From left to right: Miss Koye, representing the Orient; Miss Frances Sarver, representing Alaska and the Yukon; Miss Fannie Sarver, representing the Pacific Northwest."

Next Ron Edge shares a few clips from the Bon Marche as Santa sanctuary early in the 20th Century.


When the Bon was at Second and Pike.
When the Bon was at Second and Pike.

Every new “big thing” like Northgate needs “the biggest” of something, and the northend mall found it’s.

The "Tallest Christmas Tree" in the world needed a parking lot to parody the mere trees we put up in our mere living rooms.  Both shots - consecutive by their numbers - were photography by the prolific Ellis out of Arlington.
The "Tallest Christmas Tree" in the world needed a parking lot to parody the mere trees we put up in our mere living rooms. Both shots - consecutive by their numbers - were photography by the prolific Ellis out of Arlington.

Ballard & Its Locks from the GNRR Bridge – An "Edge Extra"


(click to Enlarge)

This “Edge Extra” was supplied – again – by Ron Edge. It is surely one of the earliest views of the completed Chittenden Locks. The grounds are still being prepared for the lavish garden that would follow. It was taken from the then new Great Northern Railway’s bascule bridge. Beyond the locks the Ballard waterfront clutters the north shore of Salmon Bay, with the “Ballard skyscrapers” at the Seattle Cedar Mill top-center. The long north-south line of the Ballard Bridge on 15th Ave. N.W. extends to the right of Seattle Cedar’s stacks. The bridge was completed in time for the formal opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal on July 4, 1917, so it is here still a work-in-progress.

Near the center of this “real photo postcard” are all the buildings noted or “implied” in the historical scene included directy below this one, which is dated “1916.” That view looks in the opposite direction as this and includes a glimpse of the GN Bridge from which this scene was recorded. Fresh water is falling from the spillway far right, consequently this view was photographed sometime after July 25th 1916. The gates were closed to the locks on July 12 and it took thirteen days for the water level of Salmon Bay behind them to reach that of Lake Union. It required another three months to lower Lake Washington about 9 feet to the level of Lake Union. The big lake was slowly released through a temporary lock at the east end of the Montlake Cut.

This view to the east was photographed earlier than the one directly below, the one that looks to the west. Here the little grove of evergreens planted on the grounds mid-way between the Lock’s principal structures and the chief engineer’s home is not yet in place. A different grove, one of pioneer farmer Ole Shillestad’s apple trees, can be seen far right on the south shore. It is directly below the largest of the structures on that shore. The trunks of some of these trees are submerged in the rising waters, and you can see their shadows on the water. The last apple crop – the one of 1916 – was picked from a rowboat.

(Someday, perhaps, Jean, who has no fear of heights, will venture out on to the Great Northern bascule bridge to repeat the historic postcard scene above.  It will be tricky.  Ordinarily the bridge is up to allow ships first right-of-way.  The bridge is closed for trains only when needed.   Consequently, with the bridge down, Jean will need to watch for trains.  He may feel differently about those, I mean differently than his attitude to heights.)

Another EDGE CLIPPING – 1878


[As always, please CLICK to ENLARGE.]

Ron Edge pulls below a few clippings from his newspaper collection and some other ephemera – mostly photographs from the Peterson and Bros. studio – that move well with the first fairly faithful litho birds eye of Seattle, the one drawn here in 1878 by E. S. Glover.   The litho will be printed first followed by the text about it’s creation that Ron found in his collection of old Post-Intelligencers, the P-I for May 31, 1878.



This 1878 Birds Eye was the first such for Seattle.  Others would follow in 1884, 1889, and 1891.  The one from 1891 is most understandably the most lavish and the artist, like Glover in 1878, attempts to be impossibly faithful to what in 1891 was a city as jumpy as fruit flies in August.  In 1891 the population here was over 50 thousand.  In 1878 is was under three thousand.  Glover and his partner could reasonably expect that nearly all of them would be eager to search into this birds eye for their home and/or business.  Lots of the lithos were sold and a few of these examples of tender ephemera survive, some are for sale at a dear price.

E.S. Glover and his unnamed salesman partner did not spend all of 1878 in Seattle sketching and soliciting.  That year they did much the same for Victoria, Port Townsend, and Olympia.  (Those who wish to ask the roadshow appraiser “And what might this be worth?” can search the web for examples.  For instance, a local dealer is asking more than $3,000. for the Olympia litho.)  In 1879 the partners move on to Portland.  Ten years later they had sketched and printed their way as far as Anniston, Alabama.  In the three years before arriving in Seattle in ’87, these artful dodgers made and sold birds eyes in Ogden, Helena, San Diego, Anaheim, Santa Barbara and Salem.


Taking a slice from the’78 litho it is easy to appreciate the opportunity for “identity” available to those who owned and studied their own copy.   This slice extends from the King Street Coal Wharf on the far right to the Pike Street Wharf and coal bunkers on the far left.   In the full litho one can find a train heading up from Lake Union to drop its coal at the end of the Pike Street wharf.  Actually, this year the King Street wharf – seen here far right with coal trains heading both to and from the pier – took over the business of coal transhipment on the Seattle waterfront and operations on the two piers – at King and Pike Streets – never overlapped.  The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad was the name of the citizen-promoted line that brought coal to King Street from Newcastle on the east side of Lake Washington and through Renton.  It never made it close to Walla Walla, which was its heartfelt intent, as a gesture of independence from the Northern Pacific Railroad that had put its hip to Seattle while embracing Tacoma.  (There is much more about all this in my Pictorial History of the Seattle Waterfront that is so far seen only in part on this blog.  It and I wait for more time to bring along the rest of that book.)

Below is a 1879 adver for the S.W.W. that appeared in the city’s 1879 directory.   It is followed by a related Edge Clipping from Jan 31, 1878, about the work done in driving piles for the tideflats trestle to the King Street wharf.


Some of the sharpest work of the Peterson and Bros photographers makes wonderful illustration of the 1878 Birdseye.  The brothers’ studio was at the waterfront foot of Cherry Street.  First, below we print a page from the city’s 1879 directory that advances their competence.  And following that we include one of Ron’s recent acquisitions.  It is easily one of the real classics of Seattle historical photography – a wide view of the waterfront taken by the Petersons from the elbowed end of Yesler’s wharf in 1878.  We invite you to compare this pan in detail with the slice of the birdseye from the same year printed above.  You will be rewarded with many correspondences. To help, Yesler’s Wharf at the foot of Mill Street (Yesler Way) is the largest assembly of off-shore construction showing to the left of the King Street Wharf in the birdseye.  [Making it easy, Yesler’s Wharf is at the center of the scene.]  In 1878 it was still the hot spot of Seattle’s transhipment, with hardly any thing else needed in the way of wharfs and waterfront warehouses – except those for coal.


Next Edge takes a small section from the above classic and enlarges it as a witness to the sharpness of the Peterson Bros work. The subject looks through the future location of the Pike Place Market to the western slope of the front hump of Denny Hill, which in 1878 was a mere quarter-century from the beginning of its “humiliation” with the Denny Regrade.  The home on the far right is Orion Denny’s at the northeast corner of Front Street (First Avenue) and Union Street.


Just below is another Peterson look towards Denny Hill, also from 1878.  It shows a smooth Front Street two years after its own regrade.  Again, on the horizon is Denny Hill.  The photo was taken from the front of the Peterson studio at the foot of Cherry Street. The Elephant Store on the right is at the southeast corner of First (Front) and Columbia Street.


Next descending from the studio onto Front Street and turning to the south, the Petersons show the line of storefronts along the west side of Front Street in the long double-block between Columbia Street and Pioneer Place (Square).  Their studio to the rear of one those retailers.  According to Ron Edge this stereo is “something I forgot I had.”  Considering in what good order is the Edge collection this forgetfulness is uncharacteristic.  We print it in stereo so that those among our readers who have a talent for creating three dimensions with these old stereos with out the little hand-held optics most of us need can be about the business of relaxing their eyes into whatever crossing is needed to pull out that always sensational 3-D effect.


Next we visit the Petersons  – some of them – at home, most likely at the steep northwest corner of 8th Avenue and University Street.  This family portrait is most appealing, and the people in it are as well.  On the far wall is a certificate from a musical academy, and above the door in the same wall is an embroidered sign reading “Home Sweet Home.”  The portrait of Lincoln on the right suggests that the Petersons were Republican, the progressives of that day.   The many women of this family  – some looking like sisters – are separated from the but two men beyond.  They – the men – may be in the kitchen.  One of the brothers may be behind the camera.   It is a liberated family decorated with much of the stuff that was a demonstration of Victorian good culture, and with provincial touches too, like the painting of the mountain, lake and dugout canoe on the left wall.


Ron has also pull up P-I clips describing the gathering of information for the city’s 1879 directory.  Directory-making was a task considerably more involved than drawing a birds eye, however fine its verisimilitude. This Edge Clipping concludes then with the first page from the 1879 directory.




Igloo & Dog House Menus – An Edge Clip


Appropriate to the features recently inserted here regarding the Igloo and Dog House, two cafes positioned at the south entrance to the Aurora Speedway, we draw on collector-researcher Ron Edge’s archive for menus that reveal what both were serving and for how much.    First the Igloo covers and inside.  The main menu is copyrighted 1941, and the “special” insert is for July 21, 1946.  For economy new post-war prices have been hand-written next to the old ones.  The several cartoons may be enjoyed as examples of humor that was probably introduced by the cafe before Pearl Harbor rather than after.  The war had its own preoccupations and humor.  One of the drawings uses the popular theme of an out-of-control husband flirting with a waitress in the presence of his peeved wife.  Another honors the old joke of a refrigerator salesman making a pitch to Eskimos outside their igloo.  How appropriate.  There is also a rendering of another popular cartoon subject: the predator food chain.




The Dog House menu below does not reveal its age, although it is about the same as the Igloo’s.  The prices may be compared.  The illustration of the adorable puppy was used probably to good effect many times through the years of the Cafe’s fairly long life.  In dog years it was biblical.



One more Dog House from Edge’s collection – this one in Everett, and considering the prices on the menu it was probably printed during the Great Depression. Imagine! an oyster sandwich with salad for twenty cents, or a Denver or Hickey sandwich for five cents more.  But what is a Hickey sandwich?