Category Archives: Seattle Now and Then

Seattle Now & Then: Does this make him an Oral Historian?

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THEN: Looking east across Front Street (renamed First Avenue) at its northeast corner with Cherry Street, most likely in the early 1880s. (Courtesy: Wayne Pazina)
NOW: Standing beside the First Avenue façade of the Scheuereman Building, Laurie Mycon Pazina and Wayne Pazina repeat the ca. 1884 pose of hardware store owners Frederick Wald and James Campbell.

Standing side-by-side in the “now” for Jean Sherrard’s Nikon “repeater” are Laurie and Wayne Pazina, a couple that has been married and working together for nearly forty years. Laurie and Wayne met on a blind date arranged and given vision by a friend with good judgment. Wayne Pazina is a graduate of the UW’s School of Dentistry, the class of 1977.  The couple renders its dentistry in a North Seattle clinic.

As anyone who has needed a dentist will know or suspect the DDS profession is fraught with stress. Understandably dentists may be affected by the trembling nerves in the chair beside them. But Docter Pazina has developed a unique assuaging way that helps him settle himself while also soothing the patients’ anxious hand-wringing ways.  He tells them stories.  Not always, of course, but when it seems called for. By now some of his returning patients make requests.

The frequent subject in the Doctor’s repertoire is Northwest history, the early part of it that runs from 1853 the year that Washington Territory was founded to the declaration of Washington’s statehood in 1889.  An avid reader of northwest history, Dr. Pazina also pulls many of his narratives from the territorial ephemera that he collects: the newspapers, correspondences, photographs and art.  With the art, for instance, he has a collection of paintings by Mark Richard Meyers, a Californian whose skilled paintings of Puget Sound pioneer schooners and maritime events are collected world-wide.  Meyers long ago moved to England to help build a replica of Francis Drake’s Golden Hinde and stayed.  He married a consulting historian’s daughter and became president of the Royal Society of Marine Artists.  Appropriately, Prince Philip has one of Meyers paintings while our dentist from King County has several.  That in brief is one of Pazina’s shared stories.

This week’s territorial “then” is another.  It was scanned by Ron Edge from the collection that Dr. Pazina has been assembling  – and narrating – nearly as long as he has been tending to teeth.  He explains that Seattle’s first hardware store had several owners before it was razed in the city’s Great Fire of 1889. Most likely this vested pair posing alt the front door were owners, but which ones?  Pazina found his answer signed on the board propped on the sidewalk to the right of the front door.  With magnification the

Sitting on the boardwalk, a revealing detail.

observant doctor discovered that the hardware store’s initials, “W & C” for the owners Wald and Campbell, were written there.  Pazina concluded that the photo was most likely taken between 1880 and 1886, the years that Frederick Wald and James Campbell owned and ran the store together.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, blokes?   The blokes, neither of whom either smokes or uses snuff,  did poke about their stuff and found some things that are old and not sold and yet could have a price.

Then: Looking north from Pioneer Place (square) into the uptown of what was easily the largest town in Washington Territory. This is judged by the 3218 votes cast in the November election of 1884, about one fourth of them by the newly but temporarily enfranchised women.Tacoma, in spite of being then into its second year as the terminus for the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad, cast 1663 votes, which took third place behind Walla Walla's 1950 registered votes.
Then: Looking north from Pioneer Place (square) into the uptown of what was easily the largest town in Washington Territory. This is judged by the 3218 votes cast in the November election of 1884, about one fourth of them by the newly but temporarily enfranchised women.Tacoma, in spite of being then into its second year as the terminus for the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad, cast 1663 votes, which took third place behind Walla Walla’s 1950 registered votes.
THEN:In late 1855 the citizens of Seattle with help from the crew of the Navy sloop-of-war Decatur built a blockhouse on the knoll that was then still at the waterfront foot of Cherry Street. The sloop’s physician John Y. Taylor drew this earliest rendering of the log construction. (Courtesy, Yale University, Beinecke Library)
THEN:In late 1855 the citizens of Seattle with help from the crew of the Navy sloop-of-war Decatur built a blockhouse on the knoll that was then still at the waterfront foot of Cherry Street. The sloop’s physician John Y. Taylor drew this earliest rendering of the log construction. (Courtesy, Yale University, Beinecke Library)

THEN: For the first twenty years of his more than 40 years selling tinware and other selected hardware, Zilba Mile's shop looked south across Yesler Way down First Ave. S, then known as Commercial Street.

THEN: The Moose float heads south on First Avenue at Columbia Street during the 1912 Potlatch parade of fraternal and secret societies. Behind them are Julius Redelsheimer's clothing store and the National Hotel, where daily room rates ran from 50 cents to a dollar.

THEN: The Terry-Denny Building, better known in its earlier years as Hotel Northern, was part of the grand new Pioneer Place (or Square) neighborhood built up in the early 1890s after the old one was reduced to ashes by Seattle's Great Fire of 1889.

THEN: With the clue of the ornate Pergola on the right, we may readily figure that we are in Pioneer Square looking south across Yesler Way.

THEN: A winter of 1918 inspection of some captured scales on Terrace Street. The view looks east from near 4th Avenue. (Courtesy City Municipal Archives)

THEN: Local candy-maker A.W. Piper was celebrated here for his crème cakes and wedding cakes and also his cartoons. This sketch is of the 1882 lynching from the Maple trees beside Henry and Sara Yesler’s home on James Street. Piper’s bakery was nearby (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: During the few years of the Klondike Gold Rush, the streets of Seattle’s business district were crowded with outfitters selling well-packed foods and gear to thousands of traveling men heading north to strike it rich – they imagined. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: In Lawton Gowey’s 1961 pairing, the Smith Tower (1914) was the tallest building in Seattle, and the Pioneer Square landmark Seattle Hotel (1890) had lost most of its top floor. (by Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Adding a sixth floor to its first five in 1903, the Hotel Butler entered a thirty-year run as “the place” for dancing in the Rose Room, dining at the Butler Grill, and celebrity-mixing in the lobby. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

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A FEW OTHER HARDWARES

Early Seattle Hardware at the northeast corner of Second Avenue and Pike Street.
Show window for Seattle Hardware in the Colman Building at the southwest corner of First Avenue and Marion Street, with the post-fire landmarks at the facing corners reflecting in the plate glass window.  (Can you identify the reflections.  None are yet standing.)

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Woodlawn Hardware in East Green Lake.

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Here is hardware man Campbell’s home at the southeast corner of James Street and Boren Avenue. The photograph was given to me in the early 1980s by Carrie Campbell Coe the girl sitting on the far right and, perhaps, recoiling from the family dog Lee Hung Chang. I visited with Lucy several times in her Washington Park home in the early 1980s. Below is a photo of this couple sitting for tea in her home. 

Seattle Now & Then: Pike Market Soap Box Derby, 1975

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THEN: Either starting or about to start at the Pike Place Market’s 1975 Soap-box derby. Photo by Frank Shaw
NOW: Hillside students in Jean’s video editing class pose here at the Pike Place Market.

Especially on weekends, Frank Shaw, a retired Boeing employee with a Hasselblad camera, would often be pulled from his Lower Queen Anne apartment to the attractions of Seattle’s waterfront and its neighbor the Pike Place Market. Other popular subjects for Shaw were high school soccer matches at Seattle Center, public art works-in-progress, and community festivals, both in Seattle and its suburbs.

Here on May 25th or 26th Shaw found a place along the crowded railing above the landmark block where Pike Alley reaches its intersection with First Avenue, Pike Street and Pike place.  In 1975, Shaw was not yet attracted by the colorful lava-looking montage of posters and the Alley’s gum-splattered sides some of which Jean shows in his “now”.  A weekend earlier Shaw recorded a bongo jam at the University District Street Fair.  Mid-week he snapped the sternwheeler W.T. Preston Leaving Colman Dock, and Shaw also visited Westlake Mall where sculptor Rita Kepner was busy chipping away at her 3600 pound objet d’art commissioned by the city for its “The Artist in The City” program.

Having temporarily lost the UDistSt.Fair bongos I’ve substitute another mix of Shaw and drums wit this Pike Market jam.
Meanwhile the leader, we presume, in another heat, The sign attached to the “box” names its sponsor the Duchess Tavern, we assume.

In the mid-1970s, Kepner and many fortunate others – myself included – were supported by the Seattle Arts Commission in the making of public art. I consider it one of the nicest things to ever happen to me.  Much of the art survives delicately scattered about the city.  Ultimately the art was funded by the Nixon Administration, in the year following Watergate and his 1974 resignation. Those of us who were funded continue to enjoy the irony of Nixon’s part in making the daily stresses of life easier for us.  Now nearly a half-century later I can still confess that “Nixon was very very good to me.”

Unidentified contestant No. 69 after the race and perhaps injured. But never mind there’s a can of refreshing Rainier Beer resting beside him on the hood of the car he uses for support.

1975 was year – or one of them – for bell bottom pants.  How many pairs can you count in the horse show of race spectators standing near the starting line?  I figure about nine.  One or more of them may have been purchased at Block’s Menswear, signed here “Block’s Bell Bottoms” on the north side of Pike Street  mid-block between First and Second Avenues.  I had three pairs which I bought not from Block but at the Wise Penny, the Junior League’s thrift store on Capitol Hill’s Broadway Avenue.

Market Mayor Billy King gets a grooming from artist Gertrude Pacific on Pike Place. (P. Dorpat sometime in the early 80s, perhaps)

On the authority of the artist/promoter Bill King, the Pike Place Market Mayor into the 1980s, the Markets soap box races began with perhaps two boxes in the 1970s, but it rapidly expanded. Billy got the idea for a derby from Doug Payson, an architect who lived near the market in the basement of the Bay Building. Next King carried the idea to the owners of the Market’s taverns – three of them.  With their support  began thus a bacchanalian affair but with good manners protected by the prudent friends of the market and also somewhat by a complicit police department.  For his role as mayor master of ceremonies, Billy wore a tuxedo and a PA system.  The race needed a caller at its single dangerous corner, a short block west of First Avenue. Distinguished in his tux, King stood on a chair at the corner describing the progress of the several races to their two collections of spectators, those east of the corner and those south of the corner, on the longer part between the corner and Union Street.  (We share a map on the dorpatsherrardlomont blog.)

This Seattle Times clip from May 27, 1976 makes note of the upcoming “fifth annual Pike Place Market Street Fair, and the running again of the “annual soapbox derby.”

When I asked Bill King if he could identify either of the two racers about to let gravity have its way, or, for that matter, anyone in the crowd, he answered, “Nope, all the regulars were in the taverns!”  Billy had been elected by the regulars sitting on Victrola Tavern stools.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  Features galore instructor Sherrard.

THEN: The Pike Place Market’s irregular block shapes and bluff-side topography joined to create a multi-level campus of surprising places, such as this covered curve routing Post Alley up into the Market. Here, in 1966, the “gent’s” entrance to Seattle’s first Municipal Rest Room (1908) is closed with red tape and a sign reading “Toilet room, closed temporarily for repairs.” The Market was then generally very much in need of repair. (by Frank Shaw, courtesy, Mike Veitenhans)

Montana-Horse-Meat-MR-THEN

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

THEN: The Hotel York at the northwest corner of Pike Street and First Avenue supplied beds on the American Plan for travelers and rooms for traveling hucksters. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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

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THEN: Friends of the Market president, architect Victor Steinbrueck, leads a cadre of Friends marching for Market preservation in front of the Seattle City Hall most likely on March 18, 1971. (Photo by Tom Brownell from the Post-Intelligencer collection at MOHAI)

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

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

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

THEN: The Moose float heads south on First Avenue at Columbia Street during the 1912 Potlatch parade of fraternal and secret societies. Behind them are Julius Redelsheimer's clothing store and the National Hotel, where daily room rates ran from 50 cents to a dollar.

THEN: Seattle Architect Paul Henderson Ryan designed the Liberty Theatre around the first of many subsequent Wurlitzer organs used for accompanying silent films in theatres “across the land”. The Spanish-clad actor-dancers posed on the stage apron are most likely involved in a promotion for a film – perhaps Don Q, Son of Zorro (1925) or Douglas Fairbanks’ The Gaucho (1929) that also played at the Liberty. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Steel beams clutter a freshly regraded Second Avenue during the 1907 construction of the Moore Theatre. The view looks north toward Virginia Street.

THEN: An early-20th-century scene during the Second Avenue Regrade looks east into its intersection with Virginia Avenue. A home is being moved from harm's way, but the hotel on the hill behind it would not survive the regrade's spoiling. Courtesy of Ron Edge.

belltown-moran-then

THEN: Looking west on Pike Street from Fourth Avenue, the variety in the first block of this retail district includes the Rhodes Bros. Ten Cent Store, Mendenhall’s Kodaks, Fountain Pens and Photo Supplies, Remick’s Song and Gift Shop, the Lotus Confectionary, Fahey-Brockman’s Clothiers, where, one may “buy upstairs and save $10.00”. (Courtesy, MOHAI)

THEN:The early evening dazzle of the Roosevelt Theatre at 515 Pike Street, probably in 1941. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Looking south from Pine Street down the wide Second Avenue in 1911, then Seattle’s growing retail strip and parade promenade. (courtesy of Jim Westall)

THEN: Part of the pond that here in 1946 filled much of the long block between Massachusetts and Holgate Streets and 8th Avenue S. and Airport Way. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: Looking southeast over the open acres of the Western Washington Fair Grounds following the matinee performance of Cheyenne Bill’s Wild West Show during the summer of 1909. (Courtesy, Old Seattle Paperworks)

THEN: First dedicated in 1889 by Seattle’s Unitarians, the congregation soon needed a larger sanctuary and moved to Capitol Hill. Here on 7th Avenue, their first home was next used for a great variety of events, including a temporary home for the Christian Church, a concert hall for the Ladies Musical Club, and a venue for political events like anarchist Emma Goldman’s visit to Seattle in 1910. (Compliments Lawton Gowey)

THEN: In 1910, a circa date for this look north on First Avenue across Virginia Street, the two corners on the east side of the intersection were still undeveloped – except for signs. The Terminal Sales Building, seen far right in Jean Sherrard’s repeat, did not replace the billboards that crowd the sidewalk in the “then” until 1923. (Seattle Municipal Archive)

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MORE SOAP – MORE BOXES

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Seattle Now & Then: The Wallingford Historic Home Fair

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THEN: The surviving home at 1306 N. 48th Street was constructed in 1911 by an Austrian immigrant named John Perko, who, with the help of his wife ran the Seattle Cabinet Works. The couple had two daughters. (Courtesy Renee and Jeff Lindstrom.)
THEN: In 2014 Renee and Jeff Lindstrom purchased the property, which has been reconfigured through the years into three units. Rhonda Bush, president of Historic Wallingford, notes that “the reconstruction of this home is a fine example of good stewardship in regards to a historic building, while teaching their daughters (posing here on the sidewalk) how to live simply in a small space, and providing affordable housing for others.”

Beginning with its first Sunday in the winter of 1982, this weekly feature has always been written in Wallingford – in the basement of a vintage Wallingford bungalow.  Surely there are bungalows on every Seattle hill, but hereabouts this often modest architecture with shingle sidings, broad gables, tapered porch posts, wide windows, exterior chimneys, sun porches and more are surely associated with the neighborhood that was – after clear cutting and the persuasion of stretching it some for real estate sales – first called Wallingford Hill.

A prize for the first reader who can identify the Wallingford location of this snapshot. Clue – I do not know the answer. Jean? Ron?     Most likely these bungalows survive.

Since Jean Sherrard took on the often enough joyful responsibility of repeating the historical photographs with his own artful “nows” for this feature, we have needed to identify our productive platform as “Greater Wallingford,” for Jean lives in what we will now risk calling “Upper Wallingford.”  PacificNW students of Seattle history should know that there is a long and vigorous struggle over the names and boundaries of several of our city’s – what shall we call them? – “parts.”  The Sherrard home where Jean and Karen raised their two tall boys, Ethan at 6’4” and Noel at 6’3”, the shorter and younger, who is now 30 years old – is only a brisk three minute walk from the northeast corner of Green Lake.

Noel and I long ago selling books on The Ave at a University District Street Fair.
The closed gas works, with Wallingford and Green Lake in the background, as they appeared before construction of the Gas Works Park in 1971.    Follow the light reflecting from  Green Lake as far to the right as it reaches and you will be close to Jean and Karen’s home.   This is our defense for claiming an “Upper Wallingford” status to his neighborhood.   In this  innocent regard we follow below the above aerial with a rabbit carried and protected by a Wallingford child about ten years ago. It was one of the thousands – yea – of neighborhood snaps I took during my Wallingford Walks between 2006 and 2010.
A Wallingford rabbit dated May 13, 2008.
At the southeast corner of Meridian and 44th Avenue another comely Wallingford box fitted here for a plantation

The generous Jean also understands that from its beginning Wallingford’s north border has always been shaky. It was named for John N. Wallingford, who, like Jean, also lived and plotted his productions at a home near the northeast corner of Green Lake.  And now, I confess that I feel quite at home beside the lake. Many of my earliest now-and-then features were outlined first in my head  while walking briskly around the lake.  In 1982 that took me about 45 minutes, the time now often needed to get out of bed.

Two shows of cherry blossoms at the southeast corner of 46th Street and Corliss Avenue.
Wallingford’s  Meridian Playfield through its seasons.  CLICK TO ENLARGE
Members of Sustainable Wallingford posing in the neighborhood’s pergola on August 9, 2008. Writing now ten years later we can confidently note that Wallingford  has been on the whole sustained.  Sustainable Wallingford may be thought of as prefiguring Historic Wallingford.

Today, and most likely forever, we can leave questions regarding Wallingford’s borders to the new core of enthused historiographers who have appropriately named themselves Historic Wallingford. And this coming Saturday morning, October 6th,  they will be calling out from their sun porches primarily to home-owners – and renters – to gather together at the Good Shepherd Center on Sunnyside Avenue from 9:30am to 4pm for Wallingford’s Historic Homes Fair.  The Fair features exhibitors with tips, experts sharing information about the styles of vintage residential architecture (there are more than bungalows in Wallingford), a showing of the film “Bungalow Heaven,” which is about an honored part of Pasadena, California, that may be uncannily compared to Wallingford, without the intrusion of film stars.  The Fair’s Historic Preservation Discussion starts at 10am.

For more information including the schedule contact: www.historicwallingford.org/events/homes-fair-2018/

before the Swanson family began fixing shoes at 2305 N. 45th St., Peanuts By Heck were to be had there. Thie is another tax photo from the 1930s. Below: I interrupted the shoe leather from the sidewalk on one of my Wallingford Walks. This one is dated September27, 2006.

The older montage dates from a Seattle Times feature on the neighborhood published on October 25, 1925. The repeat is not so recent. You might want to Google a date for the movie Singles.   You may remember that it featured Seattle’s Grunge scene. (click to enlarge)

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, mes frères?  JEAN – WATCH THE BOOKS, WATCH THE BOOKS.

4719 Thackeray Place NE. The 1938 WPA tax photo.

THEN: Looking west down Ewing Street (North 34th) in 1907 with the nearly new trolley tracks on the left and a drainage ditch on the right to protect both the tracks and the still barely graded street from flooding. (Courtesy, Michael Maslan)

THEN: The 1906-07 Gas Works at the north end of Lake Union went idle in 1956 when natural gas first reached Seattle by pipeline. In this photo, taken about fifteen years later, the Wallingford Peninsula is still home to the plant’s abandoned and “hanging gardens of metal.” (Courtesy: Rich Haag)

THEN: Samuel McKnight’s early 1890s panorama of Lake Union also looks north into most of Seattle’s seventeen square-mile annexation of 1891, when the city limits were pushed north from McGraw Street to 85th Street. Fremont, Edgewater, the future Wallingford, Latona, and Brooklyn (University District) were among the neighborhoods included. (Courtesy, Dan Kerlee)

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

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THEN: This look west from the West Woodland neighborhood toward Ballard comes by way of the Museum of History and Industry, with some help from both Ron Edge and West Woodland historian Susan Pierce.

THEN: Before it became a city park, Licton Springs was run as a health spa. The distant home, left-of-center, at the northeast corner of N. 97th Street and Densmore Avenue N., survives in Jean Sherrard’s repeat. It can be found on the left above the Y in the Licton Springs Park pathway. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives)

THEN: The Latona Bridge was constructed in 1891 along the future line of the Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge. The photo was taken from the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway right-of-way, now the Burke Gilman Recreation Trail. The Northlake Apartment/Hotel on the right survived and struggled into the 1960s. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: The historical view looks directly south into the Latona addition’s business district on Sixth Ave. NE. from the Northern Pacific’s railroad bridge, now part of the Burke Gilman Recreation Trail. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Long-time Wallingford resident Victor Lygdman looks south through the work-in-progress on the Lake Washington Ship Canal Bridge during the summer of 1959. Bottom-right are the remnants of the Latona business and industrial district, including the Wayland Mill and the Northlake Apartments, replaced now with Ivar’s Salmon House and its parking. (Photo by Victor Lygdman)

THEN: From 1909 to the mid-late 1920s, the precipitous grade separation between the upper and lower parts of NE 40th Street west of 7th Ave. NE was faced with a timber wall. When the wall was removed, the higher part of NE 40th was shunted north, cutting into the lawns of the homes beside it. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

THEN: sliver of the U.W. campus building called the Applied Physics Laboratory appears on the far right of this 1940 look east towards the U.W. campus from the N.E. 40th Street off-ramp from the University Bridge. While very little other than the enlarged laboratory survives in the fore and mid-grounds, much on the horizon of campus buildings and apartments still stand. (Courtesy, Genevieve McCoy)

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Seattle Now & Then: Labor Parade at 2nd & Seneca, 1945

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THEN: Looking south on Second Avenue through its intersection with Seneca Street, ca. 1945. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: Built in 1902-3 the Lumber Exchange Building on the southwest corner, was replaced by the Second & Seneca Building in 1991.

While the lead sign at the center exhorts one to follow it to the Civic Field, I have not, I confess, as yet figured out when these spry workers were marching.  The carefully dressed cadre of men – and they are all men it seems – are heading north on Second Avenue. It is mostly women watching from the curb. In the historical photo you can see the street signs for the intersecting Seneca Street holding to the comely light standards on the far left.  A Seneca sign is also gripped to the less ornate pole in the now.

Civic Field under construction beside Civic Auditorium and Ice Arena. ca. 1930 (click to enlarge)
Lake Union Dry Dock (an example)

It is the other parading signs that give us some clues to the year they were shown here.  Somewhat hiding behind the “follow the parade” sign is another to “Increase Dry Dock Facilities For Seattle.”  This was a popular call following WW2.  The combination of ships injured in battle and the thousand of military men returning jobless in 1945-46 to the states made labor’s promotion of dry docks beside the famously calm inland sea of Puget Sound both an easy and sensible call.

Hooverville  (Click to Enlarge)

The next professionally inscribed sign reads “No More Hoovervilles!”  As many readers will know Hoovervilles were the ordinarily waterfront communities of rigged shacks politically named for the reflective Republican Herbert Hoover, the first president born west of the Mississippi (in Iowa). The life-long Quaker was inclined to peace but ineffective in battling the first months of the Great Depression that fell during his first year in office, 1929.  His successor Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs for public works and employment were followed by the employment opportunities connected with WW2 and the Puget Sound’s ship building revival. The grandest of the Seattle Hoovervilles sat beside East Marginal Way West of Seattle’s current sports palaces. It was intentionally burned to the ground in 1941.

Progressive Seattle City Councilman Hugh De Lacy with Henry Wallace

Above the “No More Hoovervilles” poster is an illustrated sign showing uniformed men carrying a war-time coffin captioned with the popular war-time truism that soldiers had died “for our right to vote.”  For labor that referred to Vice President Henry Wallace’s “full employment” proposal that Roosevelt took to and promoted before his sudden death while on vacation in the spring of 1945.  The bill was meant to “link management, labor and government into an effort to guarantee as many jobs as necessary for full employment following the war. The new president Harry Truman’s tag along was ineffective, sand a long menu of post-war progressive bills, including national health and minimum wage rules were not to be.

On his own after the sudden death of F.D.R., Harry Truman campaigns in Seattle, riding an open Cadillac north on Fourth Avenue.

Our last time clue for this photograph falls from the fate of the Civic Field itself.  Built in the late 1920s with the city’s new Civic Auditorium and Ice Arena, by 1946 the field’s roof and timber bleachers were failing.  On Jan 13, 1946 the city and its school agreed to cooperated in building a new covered concrete stadium on the same site. Ground breaking for the Memorial High School Stadium began in late June, 1946.  It seems possible (perhaps likely) that our photograph was taken sometime in 1945 after Roosevelt’s death when labor was still invigorated with the hopeful heat of the Full Employment Bill.

One of many routine Memorial Day patriotic events held beside the names of the WW2 casualties displayed in the Seattle High School Memorial Stadium Plaza. Here the speaker Gen. Joseph Murray , R., Army Reserve, explains to representatives form 14 public high schools that “war has always been hellish, but we must be willing to stand up and be counted and to take the hard road if necessary.”  Taken from another Seattle Times clip.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, ya bums?

THEN: With feet nearly touching the Madison Street Cable Railway’s cable slot, five “happy workers” squeeze on to the front bumper of an improvised Armistice Day float. (Photo courtesy Grace McAdams)

THEN: In the older scene daring steel workers pose atop construction towers during the 1910 building of the Union Depot that faces Jackson Street.

THEN: The Moose float heads south on First Avenue at Columbia Street during the 1912 Potlatch parade of fraternal and secret societies. Behind them are Julius Redelsheimer's clothing store and the National Hotel, where daily room rates ran from 50 cents to a dollar.

THEN: Looking south from Pine Street down the wide Second Avenue in 1911, then Seattle’s growing retail strip and parade promenade. (courtesy of Jim Westall)

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Above: A Seattle Times clip from Dec. 1, 1943

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Seattle Now & Then: The Silver Inn, 1937

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THEN: In 1937 the Silver Inn stood alone on the dirt left by the Denny Hill regrade.
NOW: The Denny Building’s parking garage now holds the corner.

The address “S.E. Cor. 6th & Bell St.” scrawled on the driveway might alert the reader that this is yet another King County tax photo, one of the few-thousand rescued by Stan Unger from the assessor’s office trash nearly a half-century ago. When Jean and I are through scanning and using a selection among them, usually for this column, we will put them in an archival box tied with blue ribbons and guide them to the Washington State Archives, a more responsible home for the greater Works Progresses Administration (WPA) collection.

[ABOVE, 1938 & BELOW, 1946  – The rectangular roof of the SILVER INN at the southeast corner of Bell Street and Sixth Avenue can be found near the center of both the 1938 detail above and the 1946 detail, below.  The nearly vacant blocks to the north of Blanchard Street – it starts in the upper-right corners – is the result of the Great Depression and the little development that followed the market’s bust in late 1929, the years in which the last of the Denny Regrades proceeded east of Fifth Avenue.   The Silver Inn was an exception, although not without its owners struggle. The developed neighborhood west of Fifth Avenue, which crosses the lower-left corner, was built up after the Denny Regrade of 1908-1911.]

The likely date for the steady snapshot of the Silver Inn is 1937, the year that the federally funded WPA began its photo inventory of, it was hoped, all taxable structures in King County.  These first tax photos generally showed acuity and sometimes, as here, great acuity.  That sharpness is the better to read the Silver Inn’s greasy spoon credits: chicken, steaks, and hamburger at depression-time prices that were themselves delicious: “Lunch 35 cents” and “Dinner 50 cents.”

The Twin-T-P’s were not in the Silver Inn’s South Lake Union neighborhood but rather at the northwest corner of Green Lake.   The T-P’s also pushed steaks above their front door – eccentric front door. And they shurely  sold hamburgers, lots of them., here  in 1937, the year claimed by this photograph.

If a reader wishes, he or she will find in the Archive’s tax photos hundreds of hamburger signs hanging high, on or above, the windows of many of Seattle’s more than 800 restaurants listed in the 1938 Polk City Directory.  One may visit the Archives on the Bellevue Community College campus.  Plan for at least a week of afternoons looking through the many thousands of prints.  (We will continue to hope that some happy day they will all be online.)

A clipping from The Seattle Times dated March 13, 1943.

Born in 1938, I was quickly indoctrinated into hamburger hysteria.  With the need for cheap food the “National Hamburger Diet” got off the grill during the Depression, and it kept frying during World War II when many families used their food coupons almost entirely for hamburger. Standing in the kitchen before our mother, my older brother David and I were a devoted duet pleading for hamburgers, but not for their weak substitute mere ground beef.  We very much also wanted the sandwich with the buns.

A Seattle Times clipping for December 23, 1938. Although I was not yet two months old, I could smell the hamburger popping and frying in the parsonage kitchen in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Surely.

When the Silver Inn was built and first opened by Joe and Minnie Barmon in the early 1930sl, the neighborhood was freshly scraped free of what remained of Denny Hill – eighteen years after its regrade had stalled in 1911 at Fifth Avenue.  The new digging in 1929 was inadvertently synchronized with the Great Depression.  The Barmon’s nifty box-like cafe was one of the few structures built above the many blocks of graded dirt left by the regrade.  Soon after opening the Silver Inn was shaken by an unclaimed bomb that exploded on Bell Street.  Thereafter the couple endured several overnight robberies, and then gave up in the spring of 1939 when a beer and wine violation moved the state liquor board to cancel their license.

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Another clip from The Times, this one from March 8, 1928. The public works photographer looks north from the “Old Quarter” cliff that lifted above the east of Fifth Avenue from 1911 to 1929.
Yet another Times Clip, this first appears on June 25, 2000.

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The Times clipping from June 14, 1942.
A Times adver. from October 22, 1944.
Barracks news in The Times from March 13, 1943

During most of World War II, the Silver Inn was rented by the dancer Mary Ann Wells, who was for decades Seattle’s most celebrated dance producer.  Converted for dance classes, Wells described the transformed Silver Inn to the public and her hundreds of pupils as her “beautiful new school.” Wells was not thrilled when in 1943 the Army Corps of Engineers surrounded the school with barracks for homeless workers, newly arrived in Seattle from the Midwest. All were looking for work, expecting it, and finding it at Boeing and in the shipyards.  My second oldest brother Norman was among them.  Ted, the eldest, was far away aboard a destroyer in the Pacific.

A Times clip from May 15, 1943.
Compliments of the Municipal Archive, here’s a Wells’ letter asking for some relief. With the war freshly over It dates from Oct. 19, 1945. Well’s got no relief, it seems, from the military.

[A REMINDER:  Comparing the two aerial details above – nearer the top of this feature – will reveal the character of the Silver Inn’s immediate neighborhood before and after the building of military housing.  Ron Edge distinguishes between the narrow men’s dorms immediately behind the Silver Inn, and the larger women’s housing above the men.]

WEB EXTRAS

On a personal note, I took the ‘now’ for this column on a day when Seattle’s air was rated worst in the world. While shooting the corner, I witnessed one asthma sufferer, bent over, trying to recover his breath before shakily crossing the street. Within a day or so of that photo, I shot another at Lapush’s First Beach, probably one of the most discombobulating sunsets I’ve ever witnessed.

Smoke-darkened sunset at Lapush

In contrast, let me add in a Lapush sunset from a previous year, smoke free:

Lapush sunset, August 2011

Anything to add, lads?  Alas, nothing to compare with you stirring filtered sunsets Jean.   Gosh, we do have more stuff on the neighborhood, beginning first below with with the Dog House and its Hamburgers on Denny Way near Dexter and Aurora and so not far from the Silver Inn at 6th and Bell.

THEN: The Dog House at 714 Denny Way was strategically placed at the southern terminus for the Aurora Speedway when it was new in the mid-1930s. (Photo courtesy of Washington State Archive, Bellevue Community College Branch.)

THEN: Before this the first shovel of the last of Denny Hill was ceremonially dropped to the conveyor belt at Battery Street, an “initial bite of 30,000 cubic yards of material” was carved from the cliff along the east side of 5th Avenue to make room for both the steam shovel and several moveable belts that extended like fingers across the hill. It was here that they met the elevated and fixed last leg of the conveyor system that ran west on Battery Street to the waterfront. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

aurora-broad-speed-web

THEN: St. Vincent de Paul’s first storefront opened in 1926 in Belltown’s grand clapboard hostelry at the corner of First and Battery. Originally the Bellevue Hotel, it’s reduced here to the “house keeping and transient rooms” of the Bay State Hotel. (MOHAI)

THEN: Werner Lenggenhager's recording of the old St. Vinnie's on Lake Union's southwest shore in the 1950s should remind a few readers of the joys that once were theirs while searching and picking in that exceedingly irregular place.

belltown-moran-then

Great railroad signs, theatre signs and ranks of neon were still the greatest contributors to night light at 4th and Westlake in 1949. (Photo by Robert Bradley compliment of Lawton and Jean Gowey)

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THEN: Built in 1888-89 at the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue and Pine Street, the then named Norwegian-Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church marked the southeast corner of Denny Hill. Eventually the lower land to the east of the church (here behind it) would be filled, in part, with hill dirt scraped and eroded from North Seattle lots to the north and west of this corner. (Courtesy, Denny Park Lutheran Church)

THEN: Thanks to Pacific reader John Thomas for sharing this photograph recorded by his father in 1927. It looks north across Times Square to the almost completed Orpheum Theatre. Fifth Avenue is on the left, and Westlake on the right.

THEN: While visiting Seattle for some promoting, silent film star Wallace Reid shares the sidewalk at 4th and Olive with a borrowed Stutz Bearcat. (Courtesy, Museum of History & Industry)

2nd-and-Blanchard-THEN

THEN: Louis Rowe’s row of storefronts at the southwest corner of First Ave. (then still named Front Street) and Bell Street appear in both the 1884 Sanborn real estate map and the city’s 1884 birdseye sketch. Most likely this view dates from 1888-89. (Courtesy: Ron Edge)

THEN: A float for the 1911 Potlatch parade carries piggyback a smaller 1897 version of a Polk City Directory on a much bigger 1911 copy. The fourteen years between them is meant to symbolize the growth of the city since the Alaskan/Yukon gold rush of 1897 that the Golden Potlatch of 1911 was created to commemorate. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Thanks again and again to Lawton Gowey for another contribution to this feature, this ca. 1917 look into a fresh Denny Regrade and nearly new “office-factory” at 1921 Fifth Avenue. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey.)

THEN: The city’s north end skyline in 1923 looking northwest from the roof of the then new Cambridge Apartments at 9th Avenue and Union Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Looking west (not east) on Battery Street from Seventh Avenue, approaching the end of the last of Denny Hill’s six regrade reductions. The dirt was carried to Elliott Bay on conveyor belts like the two shown here. (courtesy Seattle Municipal Archives)

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MORE TO COME LATE SUNDAY

[Now once again, we climb the stairway to the kind of Nighty-Bears we commemorate to Bill Burden, who we have heard is about to open a coffee shop in Nevada City, California and so closer to Reno than to Oakland.]

CLICK TO ENLARGE A. Curtis’s panorama looking east-north-east from the Denny Hotel in the very early 20th century. Denny looks over the hotel’s gorunds to the housing stock on east side of  Fourth Avenue. Olive is far ;;right and Stewart joins it (or vice-versa) out-of-frame at the pan’s bottom-right corner. There’s part of Wallingford upper-left on the distant north side of Lake Union.

 

Seattle Now & Then: 15th Ave NW

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: In 1936 the brickwork on 15th Ave. NW still looked intact from curb to curb, both to the side of its two trolley tracks and between them. (Courtesy of Paula Zanter-Stout)
NOW: The newest Ballard High School is evident here on the center-horizon. Since its construction from 1997 to 1999 and return to the neighborhood, the enlarged school has filled the northeast corner of NW 65th Street and 15th Avenue Northwest.

We hope that it obvious to readers familiar with this weekly feature that this Sunday we offer another scene pulled from a collection of billboard subjects recorded between the late 1920s and the early 1940s.  The snapping by Foster and Kleiser of its Seattle-based billboards began near the start of the Great Depression and ended when everyone’s preoccupation with World War II was both fresh and alarming.

Another FK billboard shot of the same corner but years later. It is dated at the bottom with its own caption: September 1, 1942. By then the U.S.A> is frantically involved in fighting WW2 on two fronts. Here looking north from from the west side of 15h Avenue near 64th Street we can see some changes and revelations. The largest of the latter if Ballard High School on the right.  The northeast corner of 15th and 65th is still plastered with billboards standing next to a Safeway Store. 

In the featured photo at the top, the company’s photographer has included three billboards in her or his negative taken from the east curb of 15th Avenue NW and about twenty yards south of NW 64th Street. The billboard at the center on the north side of the arterial NW 65th Street tempts every motorist heading north on 15th Ave. NW with a dream of conspicuous consumption.   In spite of the

A detail from the featured photo at the top.   Tire War anyone?

Depression, the billboard flaunts a luxurious Lincoln Zephyr V-12.  That 1937 Lincoln reminds me how as a youngster, I was puzzled that car companies were permitted to sell automobiles, which were newer than new.  (The cars they sold were often dated for the coming year.)  Now I also wonder if it is possible that Seattle’s Lincoln dealers did some “spot advertising” and paid extra for this head-on location since a good fraction of Seattle’s most wealthy one percent commuted via 15th Avenue NW to their homes in the gated Highlands.

The Hoge garden, part of the family’s Highlands estate. We now keep the name with the Hoge Building at the northwest corner of Second Avenue and Cherry Street. For about two years it was the tallest structure in Seattle. In 1913 its neighbor the Smith Tower surmounted it.

The featured (at the top) billboard negative was exposed on November 1, 1936.  The Seattle Times noted, “Thousands of hunters are swarming into Eastern Washington for the opening of the deer season.”  Even more affecting, it was two days before the country would extend Franklin Delano Roosevelt into his second term as president.  He won 60.8 percent of the popular vote and 98.49 percent of the electoral votes, the highest percentage of any candidate since 1820 when James Monroe, the last candidate of the Revolutionary generation, had no major opponent.

The Roosevelt Family gathered together by the fireplace of their Hyde Park retreat. We will assume that this is fireplace next to which FDR gave his regular fireside radio broadcasts – but we could be wrong.

During the 1936 campaign Roosevelt sometimes exuded the populist economics embraced by Bernie Sanders.  At Madison Square Garden, on this first of November night, Roosevelt gave his last broadcasted speech before the votes were cast.   Responding to the oft-repeated theme of his Republican opponent, he “welcomed the hatred of ‘organized money’.”  Roosevelt promised that in his second administration “those forces would meet their master.”

With the “kink” at the center, this 1936 aerial shows the intersection of 65 Ave. N.E. and N.E. 15th Street. Ballard High School is upper-right from the odd furn in the arterial.  (Click to Enlarge)

Returning to the pavement – the odd kink in the grid at 15th Ave. NW and NW 65th street was the gift of Ballard’s early development with different additions.  I remember while visiting friends in Ballard during the early 1980s, that the city’s Department of Transportation, after tabulating the crashes, promoted this intersection as Seattle’s “most dangerous intersection.”  Slow down and take care.

Days before the market crash of 1929 the Seattle City Council agreed with the Whittier Heights Improvement Club that NE 15th Avenue was destined to developed into a major arterial, and decided to change “the new paving project on 15th Avenue Northwest between West 65lkth and West 85th Streets and holds that the present offers the best opportunity for building the pavement to the full width [106 feet] which will ultimately be needed.”

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, pardners?  Jean I think it likely that Ron went to bed early his evening but when he does that he also gets up early in the morning, and so we expect that he will add several more old and relevant features below.   However, he will do it after feeding the wild pets that are well accustomed to his nutritious gifts offered on his deck.

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THEN: Looking east from the roof of the still standing testing lab, the Lock’s Administration Building (from which this photograph was borrowed) appears on the left, and the district engineer’s home, the Cavanaugh House (still standing) on the center horizon. (Photo courtesy Army Corps of Engineers at Chittenden Locks)

THEN: Far-left, Playland’s Acroplane, a carni’ flight-simulator, stands admired by future pilots in 1932. Behind them sprawls the amusement park’s fated Fun House. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: Julia and Richard Ballinger owned a “gas-powered” rowboat to reach their summer home on their namesake Lake Ballinger. This 1911 view looks east from near the tracks of the Seattle-Everett Interurban. (Courtesy, Ron Edge)

THEN: With his or her back to the original Ballard business district, an unnamed photographer looks southeast on Leary Way, most likely in 1936.

THEN: James Lee, for many years an official photographer for Seattle’s public works department, looks south over Ballard’s Salmon Bay a century ago. Queen Anne Hill marks the horizon, with a glimpse of Magnolia on the far right. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Ballard photographer Fred Peterson looks south-southeast on Ballard Avenue on February 3rd or 4th, 1916. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

 

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Seattle Now & Then: The Coolest ‘Then’ Ever

(click to enlarge photos)

Novelist Tom Robbins, left, and Paul Dorpat, in 1968 sartorial splendor, hang out at the first Sky River Rock Festival in a field near Sultan. Says Dorpat: “I must ask: Does any reader know who took this photo and/or where I might recover the saffron robe to more carefully stash it? One matter more. That is Inger Anne Hage, her Scandinavian physiognomy barely contained, in the bottom-right corner of the photo. At that time, she and I, with her two young children, were housemates on Boston Street in the Eastlake neighborhood. We met at the Blue Moon.”
Inger in the Helixhaul also in 1968.

Without a crashing piano, there would have been no Sky River Rock Festival over Labor Day weekend 1968 on Betty Nelson’s raspberry farm. Or  was it strawberries? Certainly, there were no oranges.

Fruit farmer Betty Nelson confers with Smokey on how to turn her acres into an inviting grounds for a rock festival without burning it down.
Weighing about 500 lbs the dropped piano’s harp crashed through the instrument’s frame and furniture and except for the loss of its bass strings survived the drop. It is imagined and planned to invite local composers to study the remains and write music for this historic instrument. The Jack Straw Foundation, being both involved in the founding of KRAB RADIO – with Helix the original sponsor of the Piano Drop in the Spring of 1968 – and regularly serving as a venue for new music (and some old) wo;uld be a most fitting place to make this music. (Thanks to Ron Edge for both keeping and moving – in his truck – the dropped piano when needed.

Four months before that weekend, about 2,000 people paid to enjoy the surreal thrill of watching an old, tightly strung piano fall from a rented helicopter scarcely powerful enough to lift it. The exceedingly hip Berkeley, Calif., band, Country Joe and the Fish, provided the music. They had played at the Eagles Auditorium the two nights before, and donated their services for The Drop.

About twenty years ago or so I gifted Paul Heald’s poster for the Piano Drop to Joe McDonald during his visit to Seattle for a performance and but also to Wallingford for the poster. Joe survives. I corresponded with him last week. Paul Heald does not. He passed about three years ago. Paul stands far right in the photograph below this one. Tom Robbins holds the center, and sculptor Larry Beck is far left. Larry died about twenty years ago. His wake at Golden Gardens was a spectacle.  (Note that Paul has marked with an arrow the spot in the sky where he expected the piano to be released.) 

By our request, the pilot aimed to release the 500-pound, swaying instrument from an altitude of more than 100 feet above a large woodpile. A mix of antsy and artsy celebrants had packed into a grand horseshoe around the pile. Using Country Joe’s microphone, I pleaded with them (but with little faith) to step back.

More than any of the Sky River Rock Festival’s rain-spattered performers, this recording of its mud players was the most-often-printed photograph taken during the festival’s three days. During the afternoon of the last day, the sun made a brief visit, confirming, as Tom Robbins
recalls, that everyone was already happy.
Here the mud dancers were used on a Helix cover to promote yet another benefit. We survived with the sales of record album ads, on the street sales of the paper, and benefits.

As the piano fell, my heart took hold of my stomach, and both leapt to my throat. Fortunately, the renta-pilot missed. The piano plopped onto mud that pop doctrine ever-after believed was earlier divinely tamped between the woodpile and the half-built Duvall home of our host and fellow conspirator, Larry Van Over. All flesh was saved from woodpile shrapnel, and only a few piano strings were broken with the crash.

Country Joe and the Fish play for both the Piano Drop and the MEDIA BASH that preceeded it – by one day. It was another benefit, this time for KRAB too. 

A half-century later, the salvaged piano was given to me by the wife of the recently passed strong man who, on the afternoon of The Piano Drop, had lifted the piano into his pickup and driven away. Now, the still-sturdy relic is silently and secretly kept in a locked garage.

A glimpse of the stage at the 1969 Sky River.  The sun has here made one of its rare appearances that Labor Day Weekend.   
The Seattle Times captioned this “Bedraggled Hippies took shelter in tents and under plastic near Sultan. The grounds of the Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair were hazy with smoke from stubborn camp fires.

The resounding but mud-muted success of The Piano Drop inspired us to do something bigger, longer and sometimes louder. A notice in the weekly tabloid Helix (we were the editors) searched for a farm or field on which to stage a three-day music festival.

This is a centerfold spread in The Helix, Seattle’s underground newspaper (founded and edited by Dorpat), advertising the first Sky River event. Dorpat and a few friends created the festival, inspired by another event they hosted: the dropping of a piano from a helicopter four months earlier.
John Chambless relaxing at his desk in the Helix Office, where much of the festival work was also handled. John joined the production after finishing his directing of the Berkeley Folk Festival. I first met John in 1965 when he was teaching philosophy at the University of Washington and I was using the philosophy library as a quiet station for writing a thesis. I dropped out of these to manage the Free University and then start the Helix.

Betty Nelson promptly answered with an invitation to use her fruit farm. We thought that appropriate. Betty’s available acres were suitably inclined on a sloping open grade next to the Skykomish River, about 3 miles south of Sultan. That summer on Betty’s farm, we rapidly squeezed out a campground facing a grand stage with light towers. Skilled volunteers prepared lighted rows for porta-potties, a food circus, space for arts and crafts, and a light-show projection booth.

For a moment on first finding this snapshot in a stack of other prints we wondered if Stormy Daniels might have made it to the festival but then thought better of it for while our profession has somehow endured without much trouble thru the half century since the festival was put forward thru that time Stormy’s labors would have certainly required more flex.  (Search top-center)

We gathered four months later with about two dozen bands, including Country Joe and the Fish; Santana; The Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band; and, for the last act, the Grateful Dead. The benefactors — aka ticket-buyers — gave “for American Indians and Black People.”

Attendance reached many thousands more than for The Piano Drop. However, we have no ticket count, for the long farm fence between the festival and the highway soon gave way to freeloaders who, no doubt, thought they were entitled to hear “their music” while also helping us lift the sky at the Sky River Rock Festival and Lighter Than Air Fair.

A Sky River ticket, 1968

The price was $6 for three days of round-the-clock music, theater and comedy. (My stage contribution included setting the microphone for comedian Richard Pryor, about whom I then knew nothing.)

The Sultan-based Sky River Festival, the first of three annual events, all on different pastures, has often been extolled as the first multiday outdoor music festival on a rural site, ordinarily on a converted farm, that was prepared for it.

The first Sky River was staged and played a year before Woodstock. Within three years, there were about a dozen more multiday rock-jazz-folk festivals in the Northwest alone. Worldwide, wherever hippies hitchhiked, there were probably hundreds more.

I remember well the evening meeting in a Wallingford home when we easily chose the nearly self-evident name, “Sky River Rock,” for the historical festival. The Lighter Than Air part was a kind of a payoff to Van Over, The Piano Drop host, who hoped to fill the sky with tethered balloons lifting riders above the festival. As one of the larger riders in his hopeful balloon, I easily demonstrated its failings. I was too heavy to lift.

The photographs collected here are all from that first festival, the first Sky River. In the shot with the two fashion plates, the uncombed fellow in the saffron Buddhist robe is me. I remember thinking that the first Sky River would be an appropriate opportunity to abdicate my ordinarily nondescript dress for something eccentric. By the end of the day I had somehow lost the robe — probably intentionally.

An early contribution to the Helix motivated in response to the city’s attempts to stop our light-show dances at Eagles Auditorium. It was a struggle we won.

Standing with me is my friend — now for more than half a century — novelist Tom Robbins. In 1968, we were both in our prime, already beginning our slide into somatic decline. I first met Tom in 1966, five years before the publication of his first novel, “Another Roadside Attraction.” (I suspect and/or hope that most of our readers have followed its whimsical search of the historical Jesus.)

We first met during a Free University course in experimental drama for which Tom staged a “happening” with the help of George, a nearly retired high school art instructor, who carefully covered a spotlighted dining table with a white tablecloth pressed flat for an elaborate setting of dinnerware for six. The happening’s climax came with Tom’s attempt to pull the tablecloth free from the table without upsetting the china. Of course, he failed. However, with Tom’s North Carolinian splash, it was an elegant crash. Above the scattered glass on the floor there stood a comic genius.

CLICK TO ENLARGE – Here’ Seattle in 1968 shot from Beacon Hill. The SeaFirst tower, far right, is under construction but will soon be topped-off. Not so, however the idle freeway parts.

Tom remembers the morning this portrait of the two of us was recorded. After spending most of that summer night writing at the Post-Intelligencer, he visited the Dog House, then the newspaper neighborhood’s most popular all-night greasy spoon, before driving to the Sky River encampment for its second day.

While wearing my saffron Buddhist smock, it was easy to be both found and avoided. Obviously, Tom found me, although I do not know whether he was looking for me.

A Times photo taken after the deconstruction of the site had commenced. I cannot decide if the bus stop poster is thorough farce or if it has been moved from a sensible spot  beside the highway which bordered Betty’s farm.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Paul?

Yes Jean.  Here’s another of Tom, and Inger and I and several other friends taken by the same (now a half-century later) forgotten photographer.  May he or she will come forward – if they can still walk.  Gary Eagle, far lefdt, was one of the most productive and gifted on the artists that helped illustrated Helix.  Far right is Stretch.  We lived together first during my Artist in Residency at Fairhaven College in 1969 and then in a fisherman’s cottage on the west shore of Lummi Island.  I am embarrassed that I no longer remember the name of the woman sitting to Randy’s right, although I SAW her as recently as my 70th Birthday party.   As you can see I am still in my buddhist robe in the photo below, but I am also reaching for what might be a shirt or light coat.  The person standing to my left was Randy’s “girl friend” at the time.  She later moved to Colorado to study Buddhism and changed her name because of it.  (And so I have not named her here.)  Only now It occurs to me that she may have taken my robe for which she will have long ago asked forgiveness of the Buddha and I grant it as well.

Finally, I think, here’s Mt. Baring, only a few miles up the Skykomish Valley, east of Sultan.

Seattle Now & Then: The Place de la Concorde in Paris

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: Paul photographed this look north across Paris’ Place de la Concorde in the late summer of 1955. He was soon on his way as a senior at Portland’s Concordia Academy and bragging about his summer trip to Europe.
NOW: The core of this sidewalk scene on Paris’ Pont de la Concorde is composed of students and teachers from Bellevue’s Hillside Student Community photographed by their arts and drama teacher Jean Sherrard.

Like our recent visit to London’s Big Ben, this look north into Paris’ Place de la Concord is one of the rare photos snapped by me for the historical half of this weekly feature. Both were recorded on a Leica I borrowed during the adventurous summer of 1955.  I was an exhilarated sixteen-year-old snapping my way through Europe, heading with about thirty other Northwest teenagers for a conference at the Cite Universitaire de Paris. (It was hot that summer, too.)

The Cite Universitaire stop in southeast Paris.  1955

Most of the ten ‘older students’ posing this summer for their combined teacher-tour guide, Jean Sherrard, are also fifteen and sixteen.  But not Kael Sherrard, Jean’s smiling brother in the checkered blue shirt on the right.  Kael is the school’s principal.  Probably every one of these Hillside students carries her or his own camera (in their phones) and are regularly sending pictures home to their parents, siblings and friends.  In 1955 we were not equipped to be that smart.

Sixty-five years later I no longer remember the name of the Texan with whom I explored Paris. Here we parody something with our discovery of a box filled with some USA standards. My taste for coffee was awakened with this trip to Europe and a cup of coffee in an Amsterdam basement cafe. It was so wonderfully rich compared to, well, Maxwell House.

Place de la Concord is as elegantly packed with landmarks as those surrounding London’s Parliament Square.  Posing at the north end of the Pont de la Concorde, the Hillside students are standing above the River Seine. Centered above them, the most distant classical structure with its tall columns, is the eglise de la Madeleine. It was conceived as a pantheon in honor of Napoleon’s armies.  The two long and nearly twin classics on the distant side of Place de la

Looking south from Madeleine to Place de la Concord. The women climbing the stairs on the left were part of our northwest delegation.

Concord were completed in the 1770s. Through their two centuries-plus served many purposes including serving as a warehouse for the King’s extra furniture.  The Hotel de la Marine, on the right, with the temporary gray blanket, reminds me how soot-shrouded were the landmarks of Europe when we visited them in the 1950s.

Notre Dame, 1955 in need of a bath and apparently getting it and more on top.

The Luxor Obelisk that stands tall above the Hillside students, was not stolen from the Egyptians but rather given to the French in the nineteenth century.  Removed from its place at the entrance to the Luxor Temple on the Nile, it arrived in Paris on December 21, 1833.  Three years later the 75-ft column was set at the center of Place de la Concord, near where in the 1790s the execution ‘theatre’ of the French Revolution excited the hordes with its efficient guillotine.  Renamed the Place de la Revolution, its blades cut off the heads of hundreds of aristocrats, along with the people’s terrorist Maximilien Robespierre, the King Louis XVI and his queen Marie Antoinette.  By 1795 the square had settled down and was renamed the Place de la Concorde.

WEB EXTRAS

Berangere sent us these spectacular repeats just this morning:

Berangere notes: A month after Jean’s photo, the peristyle of the Hôtel de la Marine appears. The restoration of the historical monument will be finished in 2019, the less glorious parts of the monuments will be rented for offices, at the ground floor there will be a café, restaurant and bookstores, also exhibitions of French Art de vivre; on the first floor, visitors could discover « l’enfilade des salons d’apparat » the following of ceremonial salons and the charming Marie-Antoinette’s cabinet… In summertime the place de la Concorde is free of cars…

And a special series, thanks to BB, her repeats of a number of Paul’s 1955 photos.

The Paris Opera, in need of a cleaning, 1955
Berangere’s remarkable repeat of a gloriously restored Opera…
The Pantheon, 1955
BB’s photo of a recently restored Pantheon with its brand new dome – and on the façade, Simone Veil’s photo ( the ex-minister and survivor of the Shoah ) and her husband who were  just buried in Pantheon.
Today, on the north side of the Pantheon, open space and benches have replaced parking…
The Carrousel of the Louvre, 1955
Today’s Carrousel

Anything to add, mes compères?  More Paris from 1955 Jean.

Looking west up the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triumph.
The Seine
Versailles palace, the entrance
The Bastille memorial column
Another of the Opera House, 1955
Looking northwest from the Eiffel tower, 1955.
Carrousel looking west to the Arc de Triumph.
Under the Arc Triumph with a parade at sunset.
After  nearly three months of travel completed with ten days exploring Paris (and sometimes sitting in on conference meetings) we board our bus to the airport and a DC6 still propeller-driven flight back to the U.S.A..  Now I climb the stairs to nighty-bears. I’ll return late this afternoon with some proofreading for proper Fench spellings unless BB gets to it first.

Seattle Now & Then: The Knights Templar take Seattle, 1925

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN: From the Smith Tower (1914), far left, to the Frye Hotel (1911) and its ranks of American flags, far right, this 1925 recording looking east from the corner of Second Avenue and Yesler Way is filled with mid-summer commotion sponsored by the Masonic Knights Templar. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: Both terra-cotta landmarks, the Frye Hotel and the Smith Tower, survived the ninety-three years that have passed between our “now” and our “then” and promise to serve well for some time to come.

Through Seattle’s so far brief history (when compared to Jerusalem), one of the most flamboyant invasions of this well-defended city of about seventy-seven hills came in late July 1925 when 30,000 “members and families” of – and the name is long – “The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta of England and Wales and Its Provinces Overseas.“

Two frames lifted from a clip of Pathe Newsreel photographer Will Hudson’s 16m film of the Knights Templar parade marching south on Second Avenue in 1925.  The cross-topped arch straddled Marion Street.  (More of this below.) 

Appeared first in The Times on March 18, 1984.

These Masons were better known as the Knights Templar, named for the medieval crusading Christians who attempted to break the Moslem grip on Jerusalem and most of the eastern Mediterranean.   These twentieth-century marching Protestants –mostly – reached Seattle by land and sea (but not quite yet by sky) for the “conclave of the grand encampment of the United States of America for the 36th Triennial of the Knights Templar.”

Some of the bleachers constructed to either side of Fifth Avenue north of Virginia Street when much of Fifth was still free for “adjustments” during the years of pause (1911-1928) in the Denny Regrade.

Surely the most enduring vestiges of these warriors –preachers, super-salesmen, educators, disciplined clerks, meat-packers, and other ambitious protestants – were their uniforms, which they took care to keep brushed.  Make a quick on-line visit with “Masonic Knights Templar” and you will be treated with a polished flood of fraternal regalia, most of it for sale.  The on-line show includes, but is not limited to, shoulder boards, sleeve and collar crosses, swords, pins of many sorts, stars centered with crosses, and chapeaux.

These chapeaux are the fancy plumed caps we see here heading east up Yesler Way from Second Avenue like a disciplined flock of low-flying ostriches. Here the marching is in order, and you will not find any mason out of line or step. They are moving up First Hill to their fort.  I imagine them singing the still popular, uniquely militant, hymn that goes, in part “Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before.”

A clip from The Times for May 3, 1929. (Enlarge to read = of course.)

A cross is hanging over Yesler Way center-right, nearly lost in the shadows of First Hill.  It is but one of scores of crosses the Templars raised in Seattle during their July visit.  The largest sat atop the grand-sized welcome arch that covered the intersection of Second Avenue and Marion Street.  (See above)  The cross mounted on the roof of the then brand new Olympic Hotel competed with the cross on the welcome arch for dominance on the cityscape.

Not able for now to find the Olympic topped with a cross, here’s an early record of its sumptuous lobby.  CLICK TO ENLARGE

It is likely that the warriors in our featured photo are headed to their faux fort and headquarters constructed for their visit on City Hall Park, seen at the center of the photograph below. The fort’s drawbridge on Terrace Street was “manned” by Boy Scouts, some of them, most likely, future knights.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lodge members? 

Jean, do you remember when we lectured to a Masonic group at its home in Greenwood and had a good time?  With the new NOW-THEN book scheduled for release in late October we should start calling the lodges and clubs and schools and churches about putting on our show and selling books – books which we both will sign.  Of course the value of the book is thereby increased by our estimate – and we have noted this often when lecturing and signing – 20 Cents.   We could reconsider this.  Normally the value of one of our books inflates a dime when we sign it.  With two signatures it seems to me that the value is doubled.  What do you think – if you have read this far? 

(Howz about putting up an inquiry of interests (for illustrated lectures) and such on this BLOG?  Show our interested readers some of the pages.)

THEN: The Sprague Hotel at 706 Yesler Way was one of many large structures –hotels, apartments and duplexes, built on First Hill to accommodate the housing needs of the city’s manic years of grown between its Great Fire in 1889 and the First World War. Photo courtesy Lawton Gowey

THEN: Harborview Hospital takes the horizon in this 1940 recording. That year, a hospital report noted that "the backwash of the depression" had overwhelmed the hospital's outpatient service for "the country's indigents who must return periodically for treatment." Built in 1931 to treat 100 cases a day, in 1939 the hospital "tries bravely to accommodate 700 to 800 visits a day."

THEN: The address written on the photograph is incorrect. This is 717 E. Washington Street and not 723 Yesler Way. We, too, were surprised. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: A winter of 1918 inspection of some captured scales on Terrace Street. The view looks east from near 4th Avenue. (Courtesy City Municipal Archives)

THEN: This Seattle Housing Authority photograph was recorded from the top of the Marine Hospital (now Pacific Tower) on the north head of Beacon Hill. It looks north to First Hill during the Authority’s clearing of its southern slope for the building of the Yesler Terrace Public Housing. (Courtesy, Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Sometime around 1890, George Moore, one of Seattle’s most prolific early photographers, recorded this portrait of the home of the architect (and Daniel Boone descendent) William E. Boone. In the recently published second edition of Shaping Seattle Architecture, the book’s editor, UW Professor of Architecture Jeffry Karl Ochsner, sketches William E. Boone’s life and career. Ochsner adds, “Boone was virtually the only pre-1889 Fire Seattle architect who continued to practice at a significant level through the 1890s and into the twentieth-century.” (Courtesy MOHAI)

THEN: This “real photo postcard” was sold on stands throughout the city. It was what it claimed to be; that is, its gray tones were real. If you studied them with magnification the grays did not turn into little black dots of varying sizes. (Courtesy, David Chapman and otfrasch.com)

THEN: Looking north from Yesler Way over the Fifth Avenue regrade in 1911. Note the Yesler Way Cable rails and slot at the bottom. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: Adding a sixth floor to its first five in 1903, the Hotel Butler entered a thirty-year run as “the place” for dancing in the Rose Room, dining at the Butler Grill, and celebrity-mixing in the lobby. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The original for this scene of a temporary upheaval on Mill Street (Yesler Way) was one of many historical prints given to the Museum of History and Industry many years ago by the Charles Thorndike estate. Thorndike was one of Seattle’s history buffs extraordinaire. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry.)

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              TO BE CONTINUED …