Category Archives: Seattle Confidential

WRECK NO. 2 &/or Unintended Effects No.2 &/or Seattle Confidential No.6

It is sometimes  difficult for  an associate editor to decide on what page to put a story.  Instead, we give this wrecked Oakland three chances for broader meaning.  It is clearly a WRECK, but it is also an Unintended Effect, and not knowing on whose lawn we have found it, this embarrassment is also somehow confidential, although exposed.   Ron Edge contributed this scene, but Ron, for now, is not able to place it, except to note that it comes from a collection of Seattle-based negatives, which are big glass ones.  Perhaps some reader can figure the location and make it all less confidential.  It seems to me most likely that it is somewhere on the first ridge east of downtown, which is First Hill and Capitol Hill.  It is also Ron who calls this unintended wreck an Oakland.  He explains that because the original is from a large glass negative he could read the name in a detail of the wheel.

There is something strange about this crash scene. The car's frame has been broken near the rear of the engine. Much else is roughed up. And yet the car appears to have skidded to this resting place. Did the car also flip and/or roll before arriving here upright?


Marge Carpenter hangs a graphic - an old Rose Lodge postcard - from Tom and Dave's suspicions that the Two Furred Sawyers were at work on the beach beside Rose Lodge. Marge writes, "Agreeing with Tom and Dave L, my guess is that Paul Dorpat's photo (well not mine Marge) was taken at the same location. Rose Lodge, built in 1900, is located on Wilton Ct. at 63rd Ave. , one block from Beach Dr. However, I can't explain who the ladies are or why they're sawing the log. P.S. I still don't know how to post a photo in a comment." Nor do I Marge, and with this blog's master, Jean off to Stonehenge and other euro-destination for a few weeks I don't as yet know if we can even take comments. I'll print below the original Lob Cabin borrowed photo of the 2-Women-Sawing for comparison. Perhaps they were guests at Rose Lodge paying off a tab with beach labor.

SEATTLE CONFIDENTIAL No. 4 – First Hill Tenaments

Especially during its greatest boom years following the "great fire" of 1889 (Seattle grew from 40,000 to about 230,000 in twenty years) much of First Hill filled in with cheaper housing, some in rows like these duplexes. The general site can be figured from the crown of the Harborview tower peeking over the roof of the middle duplex. The street was busy enough to have meters, and the car showing with a detail, far right, may be post-war chevy. The original slide was produced for a study having to do with first discussions of "urban renewal" in Seattle. These, obviously, were captured as examples of housing in need of renewal. The slide is not sharp enough to read the house numbers, so it will take some sleuthing (aerial photos? tax photos?) to break through what remains of the scene's confidentiality.


(Click to Enlarge) Not as confidential as many. The original for this comes from the Log House Museum - if my memory serves me well. And so this is most likely somewhere near Alki Point. The picture is nearly as old as the museum and the Homestead although not as old, I think. That is, the couple in firs is certainly not helping in either the museum's or the restaurant's construction. I don't think we know the women (who they are) but the photographer's name is printed (the top of it) - Zora? - at the lower left corner. So lots of evidences. Somewhere on Alki Beach, but what part of it. That, and the names of these sawyers in furs are the still confidential parts of this Seattle Confidential No. 3. Now it is time, it seems, to call upon and hope that among its hordes of sensitive readers some or one will know where on the beach this was recorded . . . and then perhaps also go and repeat it like science but with no need to saw. There is a glimpse of horizon, upper-right, to help in the hunt.


You may find some clues in this mysterious party portrait – or you may not – but when all is described the mystery abides.  Who are these people once so confident in their pleasure and now passed or worried perhaps and withdrawn in the past?  I may recognize the back of one head – that in the middle background with a hand on its shoulder.  However, not wishing to influence your speculations I will not name mine.


Scenes from Seattle – or near it – so confidential we don’t know what they are.  Some, we imagine, are erased forever. Others you may know, but we do not.

Tempting here is the street sign posted on the pole at the center. Tempting but not fulfilling. It cannot be read. Note that the street or drive that crosses the scene, left to right, continues on the far right with a steep handrail. The two planks for a sidewalk suggest a neighborhood that was a late addition to the city and so sometimes got the short end of public works support. And this IS a public works photo. So it has a public works purpose - perhaps the gravel messing the boardwalk.