Seattle Now & Then: An Eastlake Cutie

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THEN: A carpenter’s jewel with Victorian ornaments recorded by a tax assessor’s photographer in 1936, nestles at 615 Eastlake beside the surviving Jensen Apartments, aka the O’Donnell Building, on the left. (Courtesy Stan Unger)
THEN: A carpenter’s jewel with Victorian ornaments recorded by a tax assessor’s photographer in 1936, nestles at 615 Eastlake beside the surviving Jensen Apartments, aka the O’Donnell Building, on the left. (Courtesy Stan Unger)
NOW: For a wider perspective on the now crowded address, Jean Sherrard has shot west from the east side of Eastlake, a half block north of Mercer Street.
NOW: For a wider perspective on the now crowded address, Jean Sherrard has shot west from the east side of Eastlake, a half block north of Mercer Street.

For this week’s “then” we have picked another of the tax photos saved from the County Assessor’s wastebasket.  About sixty years ago, Stan Unger, then a young King County employee with affection for the built city, salvaged about three-thousand of these prints.  Like this portrait of 615 Eastlake, most were copied from 2 1/2 by 4 inch negatives, originally exposed for the late-1930s Works Progress Administration’s survey of taxable structures in King County.  On the whole this ambitious study was the work of skilled WPA workers using good cameras with sharp lenses.  For the most part, however, the tax cards and files that described the measurable qualities, including lot sizes, fixtures, building materials, architects, values, and much more, were destroyed, including those for this charming home yearning to be enjoyed as a Victorian landmark. 

A tax card for our feature's first neighbor to the north, the larger four unit apartment house from 617 thru 619 Eastlake. The photo was most likely taken on the same visit to the addition in 1937. Our Gothic "cuties' is hidden behind it, but the part of the Jensen Apartment on the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake is showing on the far left.
A tax card for our feature’s first neighbor to the north, the larger four unit apartment house from 617 thru 619 Eastlake. The photo was most likely taken on the same first visit to the addition in 1937. Our Gothic “cutie’ is hidden behind it, but part of the Jensen Apartments on the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake is showing on the far left.

Often the subject’s date of construction was hand-printed on the back of the surviving prints, but not on this one.  We will need to use other sources to summon an outline of the home’s history.

This detail from the 1893 Sanborn map includes thee footprints of our feature side-by-side with its twin upper-center
This detail from the 1893 Sanborn map includes upper-center the footprints of our feature side-by-side with its twin upper.  They snuggle together to the right of the block’s number “900” and left of the printed “street,” which then was still Albert and not yet Eastlake.  The street running left-right nearly thru the center of the frame, is Mercer.  The blocks to the right of Albert are now taken by I-5.   Compare this to the next Sanborn map, from 1904/5. 
Mercer and Roy are named in thsi 1905 Sanborn detail, and our Gothic twins are still facing Albert/Eastlake, left-of-center, and their block is now joined but two structures to the north. The larger of these is shown on the tax card print two images up.
Mercer and Roy are named in thsi 1905 Sanborn detail, and our Gothic twins are still facing Albert/Eastlake, left-of-center, and their block is now joined but two structures to the north. The larger of these is shown on the tax card print two images up.  Here, bottom left is the footprint for four storefronts at the southwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake.  This corner is shown next below, circa 1909. 
The southwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake, ca. 1911.
The southwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake, ca. 1911.

From earl real estate maps and other photographs (and Ron Edge’s help in uncovering them), we learn that 615 Eastlake had a twin standing beside it from at least the early 1890s until 1906.  It was removed for the construction of the three-story Jensen Apartments and storefronts (601 to 611) at the northwest corner of Eastlake Ave. and Mercer St.  The Jensen, restored in the 1990s, stands on the left of our “now.”  The surviving Victorian cottage, showing in our “then”, was moved west in 1905 or 1906 to create more open space between the new apartment house and the substantial frame residence (617) on the right. 

 

 

Churchill Warner's early 1890s look east across the south end of Lake Union to Capital Hill includes a the Gothic twins on Albert/Eastlake.
Churchill Warner’s early 1890s look east across the south end of Lake Union to Capital Hill includes the Gothic twins on Albert/Eastlake.  They stand out as the two white boxes left-of-center.  Note the two floors of windows. We may imagine their  unobstructed views west to Puget Sound and the Olympics.  The box, far right, also on Albert/Eastlake, sits at its northwest corner with Republican.  This plain home would soon be remodeled (or perhaps rebuilt) with Gothis features.  The Western Avenue trestle begins its run to Fremont at the bottom of the scene.  (Remember to CLICK CLICK to enlarge)
A detail pulled from a mid-1890s McDonald pan, also looking east across the south end of Lake Union and also showing left-of-center the Gothic twins and their not ornamented but bright western facades.
A detail pulled from a mid-1890s McDonald pan, also looking east across the south end of Lake Union and also showing left-of-center the Gothic twins and their not ornamented but bright western facades.  Here also is the bright white home at the northwest corner of Republican and Eastlake, now beginning it second life long into the 20th century as a Gothic landmark.  (We will soon – tonight or tomorrow – include a close-up of its near the bottom.) Note the several tries at grading Republican up Capitol Hill, on the far right.
Here the Gothic twins are no more. Which one survives, we do not know (as yet). The Jensen Apartment, right of center has moved in the from the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake, so perhaps it was the south twin that was razed or moved far away.
Here the Gothic twins are no more. Which one survives, we do not know (as yet). The Jensen Apartment, right of center has moved in from the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake, so perhaps it was the south twin that was razed or moved  away.  The surviving twin has been moved far enough to the west and away from Eastlake to make room for passages between it and both the Jensen Apartments and the smaller four-unit apartments to the north, as well as opening a front lawn.  These changes are revealed  in the featured photo.

Built on the lowest part of Capitol Hill’s western slope and from their many rear windows looking east over the Cascade neighborhood “flats,” these charming Gothic twins were not dainty. Their daylight basements served more like lower main floors, and were fitted with several windows each. (See them  three photos up.)  Still it was their well-ornamented east facades that these Victorians showed-off to Eastlake Avenue.  And on the evidence of the 1893 Sanborn real estate maps, they were also originally closer to the avenue. (See five images up.)  Beginning in the mid-1880s Eastlake was the railed route for horse-drawn cars carrying picnickers and others to Lake Union.  With users assured, immigrant William Jensen developed Jensen Grove, a German beer-garden, boat rental, bowling green and swimming beach attraction at the southeast corner of the lake.

Jensen's' Grove cartooned and nostalgically recalled by a bike shop in the Times for April 27, 1919.
Jensen’s’ Grove cartooned and nostalgically recalled by a bike shop in the Times for April 27, 1919.

When built, we speculate in 1890, the Victorian twins were set at the center of the block between Mercer and Roy Streets with the property line squeezed between them.  But who built the twins and who first lived in them?  The 1892 Colbert Directory has German immigrant, William Koch, at home in the north twin, while living in the snuggling south twin was William Jensen, the same Jensen of the Grove.  Most likely they built them too.  In the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map, Jensen’s name is printed on his south side of the block. By then the south twin (most likely) has been removed to make way for the Jensen Apartments at the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake.

A detail from the 1908 Baist real estate map. Note the red-colored red brick footprint for the Jensen Apartments at the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake.
A detail from the 1908 Baist real estate map. Note the red-colored red brick footprint for the Jensen Apartments at the northwest corner of Mercer and Eastlake.  The surviving Cothic twin is shown here to the right of “19,” the new number for the block.  Its length is disturbing, and probably a mistake.  Or was the missing twin simply attached to the west facade of the surviving one?  The third illustration above, which includes it, it not detailed enough to rule  this speculation in or out.
By the time this tribute was published in The Times on Feb. 25, 1906, the brothers-in-law immigrants from Germany were well known hosts for food, spirits and bowling too.
By the time this tribute was published in The Times on Feb. 25, 1906, the brothers-in-law immigrants from Germany were well known hosts for food, spirits and bowling too.   Jensen is top-left and Koch top-center.

The two Williams, neighbors Koch and Jensen, were partners in the Louvre, a popular café-tavern built quickly at the northeast corner of Madison St. and First Ave. following the 1889 fire.  The partners were also brothers-in-law.  Koch’s sister, Hulda , arrived in Seattle two weeks after its Great Fire, and soon married her brother’s business partner.  In the fall of 1909, the Times reported, “Mrs. William Jensen (Hulda) was hostess at a very pretty reception given in honor of their daughter Gertrud’s eighteenth birthday.”  By 1910 Jensen was sufficiently celebrated to lend, or more-likely sell, his name for use in a local advertisement for rheumatism and lumbago cures.

 

A Jensen testimony from Sept. 15, 1910.
A suffering Jensen with his get relief testimony from Sept. 15, 1910.
Another 1937 tax photo, this one looking southeast at 1317 Roy Street but also showing parts of our three primary subjects, the north facade of the Gothic 'miniature,' far left, above it the rear east facade balconies of the Jensen Apartments, and far left the north facade of the 4- unit apartment on Eastlake. This is another formerly "lost" image released by
Another 1937 tax photo, this one looking southeast at 1317 Roy Street, but also showing parts of our three primary subjects, the north facade of the Gothic ‘miniature,’ far right, above it the rear east facade balconies of the Jensen Apartments, and far left the north facade of the 4- unit apartment on Eastlake. This is another rescued image recently uncovered by Stan Unger.

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, Jimmy (I say Jimmy to honor Scotland’s ‘Remain’ vote – on the streets of Glasgow, if you call out ‘Jimmy’ every male in shouting distance will turn in acknowledgement – it’s the Scots equivalent of ‘fellah’)?   Yes Jean.  Do you imply that Scotland gave its majority to ‘Remain?’  Yes and yes again.  Ron has piled below eighteen past neighborhood features, some of which our readers will remember and then, probably remember again, for we do repeat and repeat.  That’s what we do, hey Jimmy?

THEN: The Cascade neighborhood, named for its public grade school (1894), now long gone, might have been better named for the Pontius family. Immigrants from Ohio, they purchased many of the forested acres north of Denny Way and east of Fairview Avenue.

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)

THEN: Photographed in the late 1950s, the floating restaurant’s huge on deck hooligan got no competition as yet from the Space Needle (1962) in breaking the horizon.

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.

THEN: The now century-old Norway Hall at the corner of Boren Avenue and Virginia Street opened in 1915, on May 17, Norwegian Independence Day. (Courtesy, Nordic Heritage Museum)

THEN: The scene looks north through a skyline of steeples toward the Cascade neighborhood and Lake Union, ca. 1923.

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.

Then: Photographed from an upper story of the Ford Factory at Fairview Avenue and Valley Street, the evidence of Seattle's explosive boom years can be seen on every shore of Lake Union, ca. 1920. Courtesy of MOHAI

THEN: Both the grading on Belmont Avenue and the homes beside it are new in this “gift” to Capitol Hill taken from the family album of Major John Millis. (Courtesy of the Major’s grandchild Walter Millis and his son, a Seattle musician, Robert Millis.)

THEN: Built in the mid-1880s at 1522 7th Avenue, the Anthony family home was part of a building boom developing this north end neighborhood then into a community of clapboards. Here 70 years later it is the lone survivor. (Photo by Robert O. Shaw)

THEN: In 1913, or near to it, an unnamed photographer recorded this view southeast across the Lower Queen Anne corner of Denny Way and First Avenue North. Out of frame to the left, the northeast corner of this intersection was home then for the Burdett greenhouse and gardens. By its own claim, it offered plants of all sorts, “the largest and most complete stock to choose from in the state.” Courtesy, the Museum of North Idaho.

THEN: A.J. McDonald’s panorama of Lake Union and its surrounds dates from the early 1890s. It was taken from First Hill, looking north from near the intersection of Terry Avenue and Union Street. (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry)

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: This portrait of the Seattle Gas Company’s storage tank dates from the spring of 1907, which explains its somewhat steeper topography. Between 1908 and 1911, both Republican Street, here on the right, and 9th Avenue N. were lowered to a grade close to that of Westlake Avenue, which is behind the photographer.

THEN: William O. McKay opened show rooms on Westlake in July of 1923. After fifty-seven years of selling Fords, the dealership turned to the cheaper and more efficient Subaru. Now reconstructed, the old Ford showroom awaits a new tenant.

Seattle Now & Then: The Kenney Home

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Seattle’s famed architects John Graham and David John Myers joined to design the Kenney Home. This view, prior to 1927 when the Seattle Streetcar Co. trestle was removed, looks north from the corner of SW Othello Street and 47th Avenue SW. (Courtesy Richard Wilkens)
NOW: Descendants Stuart and Michele Kenney pose at the same intersection, sans trestle. The former Ashton Grocery building, shown in the “then” view, remains, at left.
NOW: Descendants Stuart and Michele Kenney pose at the same intersection, sans trestle. The former Ashton Grocery building, shown in the “then” view, remains, at left.

The Kenney Home on the western slope of the southern West Seattle ridge was both proposed and first funded by an immigrant couple who never saw it, Jessie and Samuel Kenney. Samuel died in 1894 and Jessie six years later. Her will confirmed the couple’s philanthropic plans for a “home or retreat for such infirm persons of both sexes of above sixty (60) years … who, by reason of poverty, are … unable to adequately provide for themselves, and where such persons, irrespective of their religious or political views, shall be gratuitously supplied as far as may reasonably be, with the shelter, care and comforts of a home, which shall be known as ‘The Samuel and Jessie Kenney Presbyterian Home.’”

The very top is missing here because I shot this a few years ago from a moving car window. Paul
The very top is missing here because I shot this a few years ago from a moving car window.  I see that the color of the tower has changed between this uncertainly dated “now” and Jean’s recent repeat.  Paul

As we might confirm from the featured photo, when the Kenney Home opened its neo-colonial landmark in 1909, the nearby forest of 100-foot firs still rivaled its Independence Hall-like tower at breaking the skyline. Our “then” looks north from the intersection of West Othello Street (crossing left-right) and 47th Avenue. In this long block, 47th has been developed with a 40-foot-high trestle, which carried the Seattle Electric Company’s streetcars over a gully that reached from a spring on the Kenney Home campus to the Puget Sound waterfront. While the Kenney Home was being constructed, the streetcar line was extended from the Junction on California Avenue to the ferries at Fauntleroy and beyond to a neighborhood jovially called Endolyne (end of the line).  [Here we will interrupt this feature with another of the same block.  It first appeared in Pacific on April 9, 2000. ]

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Along with this admired landmark’s tower, the new common carrier was a great convenience to the neighborhood and often was referenced in classified ads and other published instructions. For instance, a Seattle Times “Club Meetings” listing for June 4, 1920, advised that the “Social Service Department of the Women’s Century Club will give its annual tea and entertainment for the old women at the Kenney Home. Bring Basket Lunch. Leave Pioneer Square at 11 o’clock.” The “old women” reference reminds me that it was not so long ago that a “retirement community,” in today’s preferred parlance, was regularly called an “old folks’ home.” Whatever the label, the Samuel and Jessie Kenney Home was one of our local firsts.

This classified for a "big view lot on bluff between Lincoln Beach and Kenny home" appeared in the Times for December 19, 1915.
This classified for a “big view lot on bluff between Lincoln Beach and Kenny home” appeared in the Times for December 19, 1915.
This early social note from the Times for Nov. 26, 1908
This early Thanksgiving note from the Times for Nov. 26, 1908 may be the first news bit to treat of the “inmates” – all sixteen of the early birds – then at the Kenny Home. 

This Saturday, June 25, The Kenney will be open to all of us. On hand to welcome visitors to this benefit for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society will be the founders’ great-great-great nephew and niece, siblings Stuart and Michele Kenney. Also on hand with historical photographs and memorabilia, revealing how The Kenney has been expanded and renovated over its 107 years, will be experts on the subject from the Society. John Kelly will be there, too. A West Seattle historian who moved to The Kenney in 2008, John is an old friend from whom I often take helpful instructions. He explains, “I coast along here at 95. My grandmother lived until 107, and I expect to be here for a while. So think positive, Paul.”

The historical society’s fourth annual “If These Walls Could Talk” home tour, focused on The Kenney, will run from 3 to 5 p.m. (Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for non-members.) More info: loghousemuseum.info.

 

This may be a bit hard to read, but click it with your mouse several times and for some it may enlarge enough to negotiate. It is an early description of the Kenny Home when it was still in planning.
This may be a bit hard to read, but click it with your mouse several times and for some it may enlarge enough to negotiate.  Print in The Times on July 21, 1907,  It is an early description of the Kenny Home when it was still in planning.

Although it would have been a walk, especially for some living in the Kenny, you could approach the retirement home by taking the waterfront trolley to the beach-side terminus south of Alki Point.

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First appeared in Pacific, August 25, 1991 - a quarter-century ago!
First appeared in Pacific, August 25, 1991 – a quarter-century ago!

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, boys? Yes Jean, and at the top of this week’s Edgelinks  is something we did a while ago on the Seattle City Archives.  Your “repeat” shows City Archivist Scott Cline and Assistant City Archivist Anne Frantilla posing in the archive.  This coming Tuesday,  the 21st, Cline is giving a public presentation of examples from the archives, and he will explain how they help us understand the history of Seattle.  I’ll be there and I think Ron will as well.  Can you get away from school Jean and join us?

THEN: The clerk in the city's old Engineering Vault attends to its records. Now one of many thousands of images in the Seattle Municipal Archives, this negative is dated Jan. 30, 1936. (Check out www.cityofseattle.net/cityarchives/ to see more.)

THEN: Built in 1893, West Seattle School kept teaching until ruined by the region’s 1949 earthquake. (Courtesy Michael Maslan)

THEN: The Gatewood Craftsman Lodge was built on a road, in a neighborhood, and near a public school all named for the developer Carlisle Gatewood, who also lived in the neighborhood. The three women posing in the third floor’s open windows are the Clark sisters, Jean, Dorothy and Peggy, members of the family that moved into the home in the late 1930s.

THEN: In 1852 many of Seattle’s first pioneers removed from Alki Point by dugout canoe for the deeper and safer harbor along the east shore of Elliott Bay (our central waterfront). About a half-century later any hope or expectation that the few survivors among these pioneers could readily visit Alki Beach and Point by land were fulfilled with the timber quays and bridges along Spokane Street. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: The Seattle Times in its lengthy coverage of the then new Seattle Steel in the paper’s Magazine Section for Sept. 10, 1905 – the year this photograph was recorded – noted that “the plant itself is a series of strong, substantial, cavernous sheds, built for use, not for beauty.” (Courtesy, MOHAI, the Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: Looking southeast from above Alki Avenue, the Schmitz Park horizon is serrated by the oldest trees in the city. The five duplexes clustered on the right were built 1919-1921 by Ernest and Alberta Conklin. Ernest died in 1924, but Alberta continued to live there until well past 1932, the year this photograph was recorded. (Seattle Municipal Archives.)

THEN: The Craftsman bungalow at 1910 47th Ave. S.W., shown in the 1920s with an unknown adult on the porch and two tykes below, is now 100 years old. The house beyond it at the southeast corner with Holgate Street was for many years clubhouse to the West Seattle Community Club, and so a favorite venue for discussing neighborhood politics and playing bridge. (COURTESY OF SOUTHWEST SEATTLE HISTORICAL SOCIETY)

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A FEW MORE FEATURES FROM OUR PAST & THE NEIGHBORHOOD

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First appeared in Pacific, May 19, 1985,
First appeared in Pacific, May 19, 1985,   Click-Click to Enlarge.

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Appeared in The Times first on January 23, 2000.
Appeared in The Times first on January 23, 2000.

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Alki-Beach-NOW-ne-fm-64th-WEB

Alki-Beach-lk-ne-fm-near-64th-WEB

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First appeared in Pacific on Jan. 9, 2000.
First appeared in Pacific on Jan. 9, 2000.

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=====Maynard-home-st-7-24-1988-WEB copy

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First appeared in the Times on Oct. 17 , 2004.
First appeared in the Times on Oct. 17 , 2004.

Seattle Now & Then: Music at Commercial and Main

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tHEN: An unidentified brass band poses at the intersection of Commercial Street (First Ave S.) and Main Street during the 1883 celebration for the completion of the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad.
THEN: An unidentified brass band poses at the intersection of Commercial Street (First Ave S.) and Main Street during the 1883 celebration for the completion of the transcontinental Northern Pacific Railroad.
NOW: The Seattle quintet Pineola (pronounced Piney-ola) also poses two blocks south of Pioneer Square at our oldest neighborhood’s intersection of First Ave. South and Main Street. L-R: John Owen, Josh Woods, Dirk Lebsack, Leslie Braly, and Ed Brooks. Their second album, Ordinary Things, was released on June 3rd.
NOW: The Seattle quintet Pineola (pronounced Piney-ola) also poses two blocks south of Pioneer Square at our oldest neighborhood’s intersection of First Ave. South and Main Street. L-R: John Owen, Josh Woods, Dirk Lebsack, Leslie Braly, and Ed Brooks. Their second album, Ordinary Things, was released on June 3rd.

[Jean here. As a special treat, we thought we should share a video link to one of our all time favorite Pineola songs! Produced by Trent Siegel -http://www.trentsiegel.com]

With 133 years of local music reverberating between them, this week we compare two bands posing at the intersection of Main Street and First Avenue South.  For our contemporary repeat Jean and I chose Pineola, a quintet we know, admire and enjoy.  But for the uniformed eighteen brass players in the historical photo, we consulted Seattle author-historian Kurt Armbruster, our mentor in diverse matters, including both the early history of Seattle’s music and railroads.  Kurt first offered a complaint that the big drum held in the shadows on the left does not have the band’s name painted on it. Next Kurt dismissed our first assumption that it was Seattle’s most legendary band, Wagner’s.  It seemed a reasonable choice because the stickered caption attached to the flip side of the original print reads, “Groups-musical The Town Band on 1st Ave. and Main, Sept. 14, 1883. Wagner’s Band.” 

 

The flip side of the featured photo, from MOHAI's old McDonald Collection,
The flip side of the featured photo, No. 2495-N from MOHAI’s ‘Old McDonald’ Collection, furthers, or introduced, the mistake that the band posing is Wagner’s.  As the stamp reveals the collector/contributor, Ralph B.McDonald was a local insurance salesman.   Fortunately, he was also a history buff a good ways beyond the  bluff.   His collection is rich with the classics he collected and preserved in the early 20th Century.   McDonald’s  few mistakes are more than forgiven, as, we hope, ours are.  McDonald did a lot of slide-show lecturing around town, and also wrote an occasional essay  for publication.   

 

Another print of Villard's Visit used courtesy of the Museum of History & Industry, its McDonald Collection, showing the same unidentified band this time posing in front of the New Brunswick Hotel, aka the Squire Opera House.
Another print of Villard’s Visit used courtesy of the Museum of History & Industry, its McDonald Collection, showing the same unidentified band this time posing in front of the New Brunswick Hotel, aka the Squire Opera House.  The hotel was on the east side of Commercial Street (First Ave. S.), closer to Main Street (of-frame to the right) than to Washington Street.  A year earlier in 1882 it was the primary venue for welcoming and entertaining Pres. Harrison during his visit to Seattle.
The New Brunswick on another day, taken again from the intersection of Main Street and Commercial Avenue.
The Brunswick on another day, taken again from the intersection of Main Street and Commercial Avenue.
A Hotel Brunswick ad from the Sept 15, 1883 issue of the Post-Intelligencer.
A Hotel Brunswick ad from the Sept 15, 1883 issue of the Post-Intelligencer.

This, Kurt noted, was both too easy and too early, for T.H. “Dad” Wagner did not arrive in Seattle until the peculiarly smoldering day of June 7, 1889, a day after the city’s “great fire.”  Instead, the author of Before Seattle Rocked offered us three possible candidates: the Queen City Band, the Seattle Cornet Band and the Carbonado Band.  All are listed as playing during, and probably repeatedly for, Seattle’s grand celebration on a late-summer weekend.  The city put on a big show when welcoming the Northern Pacific Railroad’s President Henry Villard and his trainload of VIP guests to the last stop on the Northern Pacific’s Inaugural transcontinental run. Because the tracks between the competing cities were not yet laid, they arrived from Tacoma not by train, but on board the steamer, Queen of the Pacific.

The University of Washington decorated for the Villard visit.
The University of Washington decorated for the Villard visit.
The bedecked Arlington Hotel at the southeast corner of Main St. and Commercial St. during the Villard visit of 1883.
The bedecked Arlington Hotel at the southeast corner of Main St. and Commercial St. during the Villard visit of 1883.

Kurt also encouraged us to confirm his own research by repeating it, that is, by reading news coverage of Villard and his entourage’s brief but boisterous visit to Seattle. The Post-Intelligencer of Sunday Sept. 16, 1883, includes a sensational day-after summary of the celebration.  “If Seattle was filled with people on Friday, she fairly boiled over yesterday.  Talk about Fourth of July, yesterday was Fourth of July with a vengeance.” The Saturday parade “surpassed anything of the kind ever attempted on Puget Sound.”  The parade was led by the twenty-piece brass band from Carbonado, the town with Pierce County’s largest coal mine.  Later, the Seattle Cornet Band came before a special carriage carrying “Angeline, daughter of old Chief Seattle . . . for whom the ‘Queen City’ was named.”  The Queen City Band led the parade’s next division, which began with the fire department’s several apparatuses, followed by more horse-drawn floats, VIP carriages, and a “long line of mud wagons and dump carts, concluding with citizens on horseback and on foot.”  Two-miles-long, the procession concluded at the university’s then still downtown campus for grandeloquent speeches, followed by a feast of roasted salmon and steamed clams for the thousands attending.

The campus barbaceu photographed from the main UW building.
The campus Villiard picnic  photographed from the main UW building.

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The Villard visit celebration arch erected at the head of Commercial Street where it originates at Mill Street, (Yesler Way). The view looks north from mid-block between Mill and Washington. Photo by Peiser. Courtesy MOHAI.
The Villard visit celebration arch erected at the head of Commercial Street where it originates at Mill Street, (Yesler Way). The view looks north from mid-block between Mill and Washington. Photo by Peiser. Courtesy MOHAI.   The northwest corner of the then new Yesler-Leary  Building is seen above the arch and to right.   We will include near the bottom (after the Edge Links) a description of buildings basement bar in 1883.  It is most revealing of the ‘manly culture’ of the time.  (Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry, MOHAI)

The parade route was decorated with flags, posters, lines of fir trees arranged to both sides of the parade, and three arches. One of the arches is seen in part in our featured photograph that looks north on Commercial Street (First Ave. S.) through its intersection with Main Street.  The Post-Intelligencer described its construction: “For several days workmen have been engaged in putting together this bower of beauty.  The arch, or rather arches, of which there are four, are in the form of a square, one facing the entrance from each street, profusely trimmed with evergreens and Chinese lanterns, and studded with bunches of red mountain ash berries.”  

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First appeared in Pacific May 19, 1996.
First appeared in Pacific May 19, 1996.
 Again, Wagner above, and Mahler below. Both on campus.

Again, Wagner above, and Mahler below. Both on campus.

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Above: Kurt Armbruster sides by two of the three namesakes for this blog, together wearing in proper order the colors of the Swiss flag, while waiting for chowder at Ivar's Salmon House. BELOW: The beating tail of Wagner's marching band heading south on Second Ave. at Madison Street during a Potlatch parade.
Above: “Before Seattle Rocked” author Kurt Armbruster sided by two of the three namesakes for this blog,  wearing in proper order the colors of the Swiss national flag, while waiting for chowder at Ivar’s Salmon House. BELOW: The beating tail of Wagner’s marching band heading south on Second Ave. at Madison Street during a Potlatch parade.

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WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, guys?  LOTS.  Ron Edge has put up twenty-seven (27) links to past features from 2008 to now.   Most have, again, something to do with the neighborhood, including the first two below that begin at this intersection of Main Street and First Avenue South.  At the bottom of this Edge list, nos. 26 & 27 are about music.  The first of these touches Town Hall, where Jean has produced now for many years the Rogues Christmas Show, which now regularly puts on stage the original music of Pineola,  the band featured here at the top.  The last, No. 27, reminds us of Kurt Armbruster and his book on the history of local music (most of it) titled, “Before Seattle Rocked.”   Finally, as time allows tonight I’ll fetch more features from the many more years before the blog began (which was about eight years ago), and a few other ephemeral attractions.   Please except our good intentions to edit all this tomorrow, most likely after many of you have already read it.

THEN: Frank Shaw’s pre-preservation visit to First Avenue South on February 26, 1961. He looks north from Main Street. (photo by Frank Shaw)

When compared to most city scenes relatively little has changed in his view west on Main Street from First Avenue South in the century-plus between them. (Historical photo courtesy of Lawton Gowey)

Then: The Pacific House, behind the line-up of white-gloved soldiers, might have survived well into the 20th Century were it not destroyed during Seattle’s Great Fire of 1889. Courtesy, Museum of History and Industry

THEN: The Lebanon aka Jesse George building at Occidental and Main opened with the Occidental Hotel in 1891. Subsequently the hotel’s name was changed first to the Touraine and then to the Tourist. The tower could be seen easily from the railroad stations. It kept the name Tourist until replaced in 1960 with a parking lot. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

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: At Warshal's Workingman's Store a railroad conductor, for instance, could buy his uniform, get a loan, and/or hock his watch. Neighbors in 1946 included the Apollo Cafe, the Double Header Beer Parlor, and the Circle Theatre, all on Second Avenue.

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: Seen here in 1887 through the intersection of Second Avenue and Yesler Way, the Occidental Hotel was then easily the most distinguished in Seattle. (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.)

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: 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: 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: Between the now lost tower of the Pioneer Building, seen in part far left, and the Seattle Electric Steam Plant tower on the right, are arranged on First and Railroad Avenues the elaborate buzz of business beside and near Seattle’s Pioneer Square ca. 1904.

THEN: 1934 was one of the worst years of the Great Depression. This look north on Third Avenue South through Main Street and the Second Avenue South Extension was recorded on Thursday, April 19th of that year. Business was generally dire, but especially here in this neighborhood south of Yesler Way where there were many storefront vacancies. (Courtesy Ron Edge)

THEN: Sitting on a small triangle at the odd northwest corner of Third Avenue and the Second Ave. S. Extension, the Fiesta Coffee Shop was photographed and captioned, along with all taxable structures in King County, by Works Progress Administration photographers during the lingering Great Depression of the late 1930s. (Courtesy, Washington State Archive’s Puget Sound Branch)

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THE BAR in the BASEMENT of the YESLER-LEARY BUILDING

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Seattle Now & Then: Florists’ Row at 9th & Union

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THEN: Built in the early twentieth century, this two-story corner block of storefronts and apartments was one of the victims of the Interstate-5 Freeway construction in the early 1960s.
NOW: The construction of the Washington State Convention Center over Interstate-5 in the late 1980s included this corrugated concrete façade at the northwest corner of Union Street and Ninth Avenue.
NOW: The construction of the Washington State Convention Center over Interstate-5 in the late 1980s included this corrugated concrete façade at the northwest corner of Union Street and Ninth Avenue.

Aside from its internal evidence, that found in the photo itself, there is no surviving caption or credit for this record of the “N.W. – Cor. of 9th & Union St.”  The 4×5 inch print came to me from Stan Unger, a generous enthusiast of regional history. More than a history buff, he is a preservationist, who more than a half-century ago saved an important part of our recorded heritage.  When Unger was working in the county assessor’s office in the early 1950s, he was invited to retrieve, and so also preserve from the ‘circular file,’ about 4,000 tax photos, most dating from between 1937 and 1941.

The unique intersection (right-center) of 9th Avenue and Union Street in a detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map. Eighth Ave., on the left, is now a viaduct falling through the Convention Center on its span from Seneca Street to Pike Street.
The unique intersection (right-center) of 9th Avenue and Union Street in a detail from the 1912 Baist Real Estate Map.  Eighth Ave., on the left, is now a viaduct falling through the Convention Center on its drop from Seneca Street to Pike Street.

Here at its intersection with 9th Avenue, Union Street completes a 3,000-foot run from the waterfront to a grade on First Hill too steep for a street.  Instead, one must climb a path – behind the photographer – that reaches Terry Avenue one block east and seventy feet higher. Well into the twentieth century the precipitous hill at this point was relatively useless for easy development.  It

Looking west on Union Street from Terry Avenue before the building of the Claremont Apartments.
Looking west on Union Street from Terry Avenue before the building of the Claremont Apartments.  The rooftop of the featured hotel at the northwest corner of 9th  Ave. and Union Street shows in part behind the branches center-right.
I (paul) recorded this about 20 years ago as a repeat of the photo above it. The freeway/conention center was is near the center, and a part of the path down to Ninth Ave. is revealed as a railing, lower-right.
I (paul) recorded this about 20 years ago as a repeat of the photo above it. The freeway/convention center is near the center, and a part of the path down to Ninth Ave. is represented as a railing, lower-right.

stood out and up, covered with a remnant of virgin forest after the land around it was clear-cut in the 1880s.  On the 1904-5 Sanborn Fire Insurance map, the southeast corner’s surviving verdure is marked as home for an “Old Timber Reservoir” and not an  “old timber reserve”, which I first misread from the 1904 map.   (Photos taken from Denny Hill of the evergreen verdure that did

Ninth Avenue runs up through the middle of this detail from the 1904-5 Sanborn Real Estate Map, which also gives an outline to the
Ninth Avenue runs up through the middle of this detail from the 1904-5 Sanborn Real Estate Map, which also gives an outline to the “Old Timber Reservoir  – not reserve – that then still held to the southeast corner of the intersection.   There is, as yet, no other construction on any of the other corners here, but soon would be.  The  addition of our featured hotel at the northwest corner is  marked with a yellow footprint in the 1908 Baist Map, which is included below.
The advertisement we have put to the right of a detail from the 1908 Baist map was print in the Times on April 28, 1907.
The relevant advertisement we have put to the right of a detail from the 1908 Baist map was printed in the Times on April 28, 1907. [CLICK TO ENLARGE]

distinguished this steep section of First HIll  are found in the first of the “Edge Features” lined up below this short report.) Kitty-corner to the antique reservoir, and what landscape endured near it, there was as yet nothing on this northwest corner in 1904, but soon would be.  A foundation outline of the wholesale florist showing here appears on the 1908 Baist Map, above.  (And so also on the 1912 Baist five photos up.  A Works Progress Administration photographer almost certainly recorded the featured photo in 1937.

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Florist David L. Jones appears far  left in this Times photo from the 1954 Rotary International Convention held in Seattle.  
An earlier mention of Jones as a flower man included in a Times clip from March 29, 1933.
An earlier mention of Jones as a rising  flower man included in a Times clip from March 29, 1933.

Below a second floor of steam-heated apartments, and next door to Sing Kee’s Chinese hand laundry (far-left), the Union Street addresses of 820-824 were held by the florist wholesaler David Lloyd Jones.  Born in 1897 in Carbonado, WA, he was the son of a Welsh immigrant coal miner.  David Jones became a Presbyterian leader, beginning in his twenties, of the church’s youth activities and continued into the 1960s as chairman of the planning committee for building the denomination’s Park Shore retirement home on Lake Washington.  In 1933 Jones was named Secretary of the Northwest Florists’ Association. His flourishing sales on Union attracted other wholesale florists to the street.  

David L. Jone, far-right, celebrating the dedication of
David L. Jones, far-right, celebrating the dedication of Park Shore in 1963. 
An artist's rendering of the then proposed Park Shore in 1960. It's high-rise construction was out of character for the Madison Beach neighborhood, which caused some stir at the time and may still.
An artist’s rendering of the then proposed Park Shore in 1960. It’s high-rise construction was out of character for the Madison Beach neighborhood, which caused a little stir at the time and may still.

In one of the cherished “Faces of the City” nostalgic features John J. Reddin wrote for the Times in the 1960s & 70s, the columnist remembered Union Street and “the many wholesale florists with their wares piled high outside on sidewalks, especially during the days prior to Easter or Mother’s Day when retail florists trucks and automobiles made repeat trips to the wholesale house for cut flowers, plants and florist supplies. But, alas, the Freeway’s ‘dog leg’ took part of upper Union Street and ‘Florist Row’ moved to a new location.”  Actually, the surviving florists scattered to varied locations.

A Times clip from June 6, 1960. Note, if you will, just before the "Edge Links" an aerial, also shared by Ron Edge, which shows the neighborhood during the construction of the Seattle Freeway.
A Times clip from June 6, 1960. Note, if you will, just before the “Edge Links” below,  an aerial, also shared by Ron Edge, which shows the neighborhood during the construction of the Seattle Freeway in the 1960s.
Here, again, is David L. Jones as an energetic florest. But here also is a review of our laws on fortune telling in 1931 (and perhaps still) juxtaposed with the header for another report that it is the dollar that "shows your future." This is a jump for the article that started on page one. But you will need to visit the Times Archive for Nov. 15, 1931 to find the beginning of this prescient cash story.
Here, again, is David L. Jones as an energetic florist. Here also is a review of our laws on fortune telling in 1931 (and perhaps still) juxtaposed with the header for another report or claim that it is the dollar that “shows your future.” This is a jump for an article that started on page one. But you will need to visit the Times Archive for Nov. 15, 1931 to find the beginning of this prescient cash story.

In 1974 the 77-year-old David Jones rolled his car twice on Interstate 90 in eastern Washington, 50 miles west of Moses Lake.  He may have been returning from a meeting at Whitworth College in Spokane, where he served as a trustee for forty-one years.  The wholesale florist did not survive the wreck.

(Not fatally but comically, my reverend father, Theodore Erdman Dorpat, also rolled his car in the 1970s, and also on I-90 west of Moses Lake – the long relatively boring stretch before the drop to Vantage and the Columbia River.  But dad rolled once, not twice, and survived as he did ten years earlier when he rolled his car into a snow-bank north of Sandpoint, Idaho  while rushing to get to a scheduled Sunday service sermonizing  in Bonners Ferry.   We never knew if Dad’s frequent Guardian Angel explanation for his survival of mishaps  like these was an expression of his sense of humor, for he was a performer, or his faith.  Or some theological mix of of the two.)

Roger Dudley's aerial was shot, Ron Edge proposed, from an helicopter hovering at what would be the top of the "black box" SeaFirst Tower three (or four) years later when it was completed in 1969. This prospect shows "our corner" near the center.
CLICK-CLICK-To ENLARGE:  Roger Dudley’s aerial was shot, Ron Edge proposed, from an helicopter hovering at what would be the top of the “black box” SeaFirst Tower three (or four) years later when it was completed in 1969. This prospect shows “our corner” at the center and, of course, much else, including Mt. Baker..

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, boys?   Yes Jean including some flowers at the bottom in memory of David Jones – and my Wallingford Walks of years past.  First, however, we hope that our readers will CLICK to open at least the first of the 26 Edge Links directly below.   It includes a few looks at our steep and long forested corner of 9th and Union recorded long ago from Denny Hill across what is now the retail section of the Central Business District.

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: Built in 1909-10 on one of First Hill’s steepest slopes, the dark brick Normandie Apartments' three wings, when seen from the sky, resemble a bird in flight. (Lawton Gowey)

THEN: Looking east on University Street towards Ninth Avenue, ca. 1925, with the Normandie Apartments on the left.

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THEN: In the 32 years between Frank Shaw's dedication picture and Jean Sherrard's dance scene, Freeway Park has gained in verdure what it has lost in human use.

THEN: Looking north-northeast from a low knoll at the southwest corner of Seneca Street and Seventh Avenue, circa 1916. By 1925, a commercial automobile garage filled the vacant lot in the foreground. [Courtesy, Ron Edge]

THEN: A circa 1923 view looks south on Eighth Avenue over Pike Street, at bottom left.

THEN: The scene looks north through a skyline of steeples toward the Cascade neighborhood and Lake Union, ca. 1923.

THEN: Beginning with the Reynolds, three hotels have taken tenancy in this ornate three-story brick block at the northeast corner of Boren Avenue and Pike Street. (Courtesy Lawton Gowey)

THEN: The home at bottom right looks across Madison Street (out of frame) to Central School. The cleared intersection of Spring Street and Seventh Avenue shows on the right.

THEN: The row house at the southwest corner of 6th Avenue and Pine Street in its last months, ca. 1922-23. (Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: As explained in the accompanying story the cut corner in this search-lighted photo of the “first-nighters” lined up for the March 1, 1928 opening of the Seattle Theatre at 9th and Pine was intended. Courtesy Ron Phillips

THEN: The “then” photo looks southeast across Union Street to the old territorial university campus. It was recorded in the Fall of 1907, briefly before the old park-like campus was transformed into a grand commercial property, whose rents still support the running of the University of Washington. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: The Perry Apartments is nearly new in “postcard artist” M. L. Oakes look at them south on Boren to where it intersects with Madison Street. (Courtesy John Cooper)

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THEN: Revelers pose on the Masonic Temple stage for “A Night in Old Alexandria,” the Seattle Fine Art Societies annual costume ball for 1921. (Pic courtesy of Arthur “Link” Lingenbrink)

THEN: Built in the mid-1880s at 1522 7th Avenue, the Anthony family home was part of a building boom developing this north end neighborhood then into a community of clapboards. Here 70 years later it is the lone survivor. (Photo by Robert O. Shaw)

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THEN: An early view of Virginia Mason Hospital, which opened in the fall of 1920 at the northwest corner of Terry Avenue and Spring Street. In 1980 for its anniversary, the clinic-hospital could make the proud statement that it had “spanned sixty years and four city blocks.” Courtesy Lawton Gowey

THEN: At the northwest corner of Columbia Street and Boren Avenue, two of the more ordinary housing stock on First Hill in the 1890s. (Courtesy MOHAI)

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WALLINGFORD WALKS FLOWERS in memory of DAVID JONES and GOOD KNEES

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Seattle Now & Then: Seattle’s First Big Fire

(click to enlarge photos)

THEN:Ruins from the fire of July 26, 1879, looking west on Yesler’s dock from the waterfront. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)
THEN: Ruins from the fire of July 26, 1879, looking west on Yesler’s dock from the waterfront. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry)
NOW: Both the historical and contemporary subjects were recorded from Yesler Way near Post Avenue.
NOW: Both the historical and contemporary subjects were recorded from Yesler Way near Post Avenue.

A detail from the featured photo showing the surviving warehouses at the end of Yesler's dock (or wharf). [Courtesy, Ron Edge]
A detail from the featured photo showing the surviving warehouses at the end of Yesler’s dock (or wharf). [Courtesy, Ron Edge]
The fire started around 9:00 on the Saturday evening of July 26, 1879, in room No. 12 on the second floor of the American House. Only the day before the hotel advertised itself in the Daily Intelligencer as “The best and cheapest House in town for a poor man.” The hotel sat by the waterfront end of Mill Street (Yesler Way), near the Seattle Lumber Mill, which was reduced to rubble smoldering above a few salvageable saws.

Ad for the American House, July 26, 1879
Ad for the American House, July 27, 1879

On Sunday the newspaper opened its first report on the fire with a sensational exaggeration. “The long expected conflagration that was to destroy this wooden town has come and done its terrible work. In an hour a score of business houses were destroyed, half as many men ruined and a hundred and fifty thousand dollars worth of property swept out of existence.” In addition to the cheap hotel where it started, the fire consumed “five saloons, a seamen’s bethel, a machine shop, a marble shop, two sash and door factories, a chair factory, a grist mill, a turning shop” and various other smaller structures. All were soon rebuilt, but to stricter fire codes that were enacted after the fire. Ten years later Seattle’s business district was nearly wiped out with its “Great Fire” of June 6, 1889, which razed more than thirty city blocks, including Yesler’s wharf and most of the waterfront.

Days later the Daily Intelligencer reflected on the combustible qualities of Seattle summarizing its greater losses to fires.
Days later the Daily Intelligencer reflected on the combustible qualities of Seattle summarizing its greater losses to fires.
Yesler's Wharf from the rear of the Peterson and Bros studio at the foot of Cherry Street, upstairs above The Intelligencer offices. "Someone" has dated this 1878.
Yesler’s Wharf from the rear of the Peterson and Bros studio at the foot of Cherry Street, upstairs above The Intelligencer offices.  Peterson -or his brother has dated this 1878.

This Peterson & Bro Studio photograph looks west from near Post Avenue through the ruins of the Seattle Lumber Mill. Volunteers, including sailors from ships in Elliott Bay, saved the several warehouses that were standing at the end of Yesler’s wharf with a great and heroic dousing of the dock. Volunteers armed with buckets and wet blankets also protected the Daily Intelligencer’s frame quarters at the foot of Cherry Street, which was also the home of the Peterson & Bro Studio.

An 1879 advertisement for Peterson and his brother.
An 1879 advertisement for Peterson and his brother.   Their claims were probably true.  They were the best then  operating in town.  We will attach next an 1878 photo that looks north up Front Street (First Ave.) to Denny Hill from the  front or street-side east end of their studio, and another of the extended Peterson family posing at home as if not posing. 
Looking north on Front Street (First Avenue) from the front second floor window of the Peterson & Bros Studio at the foot of Cherry street. The date is 1878 and the hill on the horizon is Denny, although its principal owner, Arthur Denny called it Capitol Hilll in hopes of luring the state capitol from Olympia to this his hill.
Looking north on Front Street (First Avenue) from the front second floor window of the Peterson & Bros Studio at the foot of Cherry street. The date is 1878 and the hill on the horizon is Denny, although its principal owner, Arthur Denny called it Capitol Hilll in hopes of luring the state capitol from Olympia to this his hill.
The Petersons at home.
The Petersons at home with Abraham Lincoln.

The city’s nearly new Gould Steam Fire Engine performed well until its suction lining came loose. The engine had been delivered earlier that year with great fanfare. An enthused and expectant citizenry followed it and the six horses pulling it on parade from its waterfront landing – almost certainly on this dock – to Yesler’s Pavilion for a community dance and a “bounteous repast . . . prepared by the ladies of the town.”

Yesler's hall under the 1880 "Big Snow" (hereabouts the biggest recorded) shot by Peterson either from his studio window or the Intelligencer's front porch on Front Street, here at the foot of Cherry Street.
Yesler’s hall under the 1880 “Big Snow” (hereabouts the biggest recorded) shot by Peterson either from his studio window or from the Intelligencer’s front porch on Front Street, here at the foot of Cherry Street.  We will follow this with another of the 1880 snow, this one from the Peterson’s back window looking somewhat down at part of Yesler Wharf a half-year after the 1879 fire.
The Big Snow of 1880, with the Peterson record centered on a collapsed roof on Yesler Wharf. The King Street Coal Wharf appears beyond the tall ships. It is a West Seattle horizon.
The Big Snow of 1880, with the Peterson record centered on a collapsed roof on Yesler Wharf. The King Street Coal Wharf appears beyond the tall ships. It is a West Seattle horizon.
Most likely another Peterson & Bros shot from their studio window. The mill has been rebuilt and the sheds proliferate. The subject is "conventionally" dated 1884, five years before it all be destroyed by the Great Fire` of June 6, 1889.
Most likely another Peterson & Bros shot from their studio window. The mill has been rebuilt and the sheds proliferate. The subject is “conventionally” dated 1884, five years before it will all be destroyed by the Great Fire` of June 6, 1889.  We will include below a look at the 1889 destruction looking east from near the end of the consumed Yesler Wharf.
The first Yesler Wharf was built on pilings punched into and through fill. The subject looks east from the water end of Yesler Wharf following the 1889 fire that razed about 32 city blocks (depending upon how you define and count blocks.)
The first Yesler Wharf was built on pilings punched into and through fill. The subject looks east from the water end of Yesler Wharf following the 1889 fire that razed about 32 city blocks (depending upon how one defines and counts blocks.)  The backs of the ruined showstrip structures on the west side of Front Street (First Avenue) reach from Yesler Way on the right to Columbia Street on the left.
The 1889 ruins on Front Street (First Ave.) looking north from near where the Peterson and Bros Studio was a tenant in the late 1870s and early 80's. Compare this to the Elephant Store - Denny Hill shot above.
The 1889 ruins on Front Street (First Ave.) looking north from near where the Peterson and Bros Studio was a tenant in the late 1870s and early 80’s. Compare this to the Elephant Store – Denny Hill shot above.

The Daily Intelligencer concluded its Sunday report with a description of the frantic evacuation taken by citizens with their goods from quarters that were never reached by the fire. “Every place of business in the Yesler block, on Mill and Front Streets, [was] stripped of its contents except those in the Intelligencer building . . . Stores were wholly or partially emptied, and the streets were lined with furniture, boxes of groceries, clothing, drugs, jewelry, etc. . . Trusty men and horses and wagons were in demand at high prices. Reckless and ridiculous things without number, as is always the case on such occasions, were done on every hand.”

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  Surely Jean, starting with nineteen Edge links and then followed by whatever we get up after lunch (your time dear reader) on Sunday (this day).  It is 3am, and time for me to prepare to walk the stairs to my horseshoe-shaped pillow in time to hear the birds outside my window welcome the light while I cover my eyes with a black sock for the duration.

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: Frank Shaw’s late winter composition of waterfront landmarks at the foot of Madison Street in 1963. (Photo by Frank Shaw)

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: 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: Seen here in 1887 through the intersection of Second Avenue and Yesler Way, the Occidental Hotel was then easily the most distinguished in Seattle. (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: The driver, lower left, leads his team towards First Avenue up a planked incline on Madison Street. (Courtesy MOHAI)

THEN: The ruins left by Seattle’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, included a large neighborhood of warehouses and factories built on timber quays over the tides. Following the fire the quays were soon restored with new capping and planking. A close look on the far-right will reveal some of this construction on the quays underway. (Courtesy, Seattle Public Library)

THEN: Looking north-northeast from the corner of Main Street and Occidental Avenue two or three weeks after the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889. (Courtesy the Museum of History and Industry – MOHAI)

THEN: The S. S. Suveric makes a rare visit to Seattle in 1911. (Historical photo courtesy of Jim Westall)

THEN: Pioneer mailman Dutch Ned poses on his horse on Cherry Street. The ca. 1880 view looks east over First Avenue when it was still named Front Street. (Courtesy: The Museum of History and Industry, aka MOHAI)

 

Seattle Now & Then: Row of Houses on Broadway

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THEN: A King County Assessor’s tax photo from 1937 aims south on Broadway from Marion Street. (Courtesy, Stan Unger)
NOW: In 1970 the block-long Broadway Parking Lot replaced the five residences and one church in the 800 block on the east side of Broadway.
NOW: In 1970 the block-long Broadway Parking Lot replaced the five residences and one church in the 800 block on the east side of Broadway.

This row of strapping residences on Broadway stands near the summit of the long ridge that locals first referred to as “the first hill.” By the time these roosts were constructed in the early twentieth century, the “the” was increasingly dropped, but not the “first.” Broadway, along with Denny Way and Yesler Way, was so named to mark it as a border for the Central Business District. And it was platted broad too, eighty feet wide rather than the common sixty feet of other streets and avenues on the hill.

This by now oft-used detail of a pan of First Hill taken from the Coppins Waterworks in the early 1890s looks east on Columbias Street from the tower's home on the block between 9th Avenue and Terry Avenue. The latter crossed the bottom of the print. The future location of the row houses featured here is close to the evangelist's (we figure) tent appearing
This by now oft-used detail of a pan of First Hill taken from the Coppins Waterworks in the early 1890s looks east on Columbia Street from the tower’s home between 9th Avenue and Terry Avenue. The latter crosses the bottom of the print. The future location of the row houses featured here is close to the evangelist’s (we figure) tent appearing upper-right, which is near (again, we figure) where Marion Street, the next street north and so to the right of Columbia Street, reaches Broadway Avenue.  (CLICK TWICE TO ENLARGE)

The size of the five big residences on show in this 1937 tax photo is a tribute to the late nineteenth century ambition of First Hill to distinguish itself as Seattle’s exclusive neighborhood of mansions. Usually raised above big double lots, these are exceptions, as each occupies a single lot. With the turn of the century, any exclusivity in this neighborhood was soon overwhelmed by Seattle’s muscular growth, and its needs for workers’ housing “within walking distance” or quick trolley rides to their employers beckoning. In addition to apartments, institutions such as schools, hospitals, and churches crowded First Hill in the early 1900s, so that its luxuriance was more in human stories than family wealth.  The pan shown just above reveals the early diversity of housing on First Hill.  It shows a mix of mansions, row-houses and apartments, but not institutions as yet.

The first page of the assessor's tax card created for the WPA registration and photography of all taxable properties in King County. We will next repeat the feature photo set beside a detail of the same row taken from a 1936 aerial photograph made - along with hundreds of others - to help map the city. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archive and the Washington State Archive, Bellevue Branch on the Bellevue Community College campus.)
The first page of the assessor’s tax card created for the WPA registration and photography of all taxable properties in King County.  Below the feature photo is set beside a detail of the same row taken from a 1936 aerial photograph made – along with hundreds of others – to help map the city. (Courtesy, Seattle Municipal Archives and the Washington State Archive, Bellevue Branch on the Bellevue Community College campus.)  CLICK TWICE TO READ
The 1937 tax photo and a detail from the 1936 mapping aerial side-by-side.
The 1937 tax photo and a detail from the 1936 mapping aerial side-by-side.   Including the Methodist church at the corner of Columbia (and at the bottom of the aerial detail) there were six structures on this east side of Broadway between Marion and Columbia. CLICK TO ENLARGE THE AERIAL PHOTO DETAIL!

On the featured photo of the Marion Street end of the block we have kept the tax record’s address, 832 Broadway, that has been scribbled by the assessor’s staff on the grass.  It is a “family dwelling” with eight rooms built by Jennie and Frederick Hope in 1900.  After her husband’s early demise, she continued to live in the home until her death in 1938. The surely zestful Jennie Hope liked to host all-French parties with no English speaking allowed. She also hosted a salon in her living room for Seattle’s Progressive Thought Club. The Times reported that for the gathering on January 23, 1910, Rev. J.D.O. Powers, a Unitarian minister, addressed the club on “The Purpose of Life.” On March 12, 1912, the Club’s question was equally big: “Why Are We On Earth?” (Regrettably, in neither instance did this newspaper publish any of the Club’s answers.) Jennie Hope also liked to take extensive trips, long enough to offer a few of her rooms for subletting during her absence.

An extension of the card first used in 1937 includes this later look at the
Above: an extension of the card first used in 1937 includes this later look at the Hope Home in 1951, long after both were no longer living.  Below: tax card for funeral home two lots south of the Hope home.
Two doors south of the Hope home, the residence converted for a funeral home first
Two doors south of the Hope home, the residence converted for a funeral home. (Courtesy, Washington State Archive, on the Bellevue Community College Campus)

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Although it cannot easily be deciphered in the featured photo at the top, even in the original, there is just left of the Maple tree a neon sign attached to the roof of the porch at 824 Broadway, two doors south of the Hope home. The sign reads F. V. Rasmusson Funeral Home. The mortuary was easily the most reported and promoted of addresses on this east side of the 800 block. In 1942 John Kalin, its new owner-mortician, spread his hegemony by first purchasing the

Some first hill news including an ad for the
Some first hill news including an ad for the “Catholic Funeral Director” John Kalin and his “lady assistant.”   This is clipped from a January 21, 1938 issue of the Spectator, a publication allied to Seattle University. 

larger residence north of his and then the Hope home a few years after Jennie’s death. Kalin advertised his funeral home as Catholic, and his final paid listing in the Times was a “last rosary” for Marcelino Ubaldo Lyco, a WWII veteran. The service was held in the John Kalin Chapel on November 22, 1965. A requiem mass was to follow the next day at St. Mary’s and finally a burial at Washelli Cemetery.

THE OTHER TAXED HOLDINGS ON THIS BROADWAY BLOCK – ONE ONE CHURCH

At 824 Broadway and next door to the Hopes. This tax photo from 1937 and the one below it from
At 828 Broadway, next door to the Hopes. This tax photo is from 1937 and the one below it from 1951. 

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Above: 816 Broadway from 1937. Below: from 1954.
Above: 816 Broadway from 1937. Below: from 1954.

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808 Broadway one lots north of the northeast corner of Broadway and Columbia.
808 Broadway one lots north of the northeast corner of Broadway and Columbia.
At least by 1908 the year this classified was printed in The Times, the home at 808 Broadway was divided into flats.
At least by 1908 the year this classified (above) was printed in The Times, the home at 808 Broadway was divided into flats.   Below, in the 1959 tax photo, 808 has four front doors leading from the front porch.  
808 Broadway with the northwest corner of the former home of Westminster Methodist on the right. As the clipping below reveals the church thru its pre-garage life was home to many tenants including the Jehovas Witnesses and the Seattle University Theater named Teatro Inigo.
808 Broadway with the northwest corner of the former home of Westminster Methodist on the right. As the clipping below reveals the church thru its pre-garage life was home to many tenants including the Jehovas Witnesses and the Seattle University Theater named Teatro Inigo.
A Time clipping from April 21, 1962.
A Time clipping from April 21, 1962.

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THE LAST TENANT AT 808 BROADWAY – and on it. 

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WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, lads?  A few mostly neighborhood features, which promises that some of these will repeat others of these this week and earlier and so be familiar to some readers of this blog.   But let us be considerate of those for whom this is somewhat new, also remembering that for our seasoned selves “repetition is the mother of all learning.”

THEN: This detail from the prolific local photographer Asahel Curtis’s photograph of the Smith/Rininger home at the northwest corner of Columbia Street and Summit Avenue dates from the early twentieth century when motorcars, rolling or parked, were still very rare on the streets of Seattle, including these on First Hill. (Courtesy, Historic Seattle)

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THEN:The front end damage to the white Shepherd Ambulance on the right is mostly hidden behind the black silhouette of either officer Murphy or Lindberg, both of whom answered the call of this morning crash on Feb. 18, 1955.

THEN: Looking across Capitol Hill’s Broadway Avenue during its 1931adjustments. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

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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: First Hill’s distinguished Old Colony Apartments at 615 Boren Avenue, 1910.

THEN: Built in 1887, the Minor-Collins Home at the northeast corner of Minor Avenue and Cherry Street was one of the grandest and longest surviving pioneer mansions on First Hill. (Courtesy Historic Seattle)

THEN: At the northwest corner of Columbia Street and Boren Avenue, two of the more ordinary housing stock on First Hill in the 1890s. (Courtesy MOHAI)

THEN: Built in the early twentieth century at the northeast corner of Jefferson Street and Boren Avenue, Bertha and Frank Gardner’s residence was large but not a mansion, as were many big homes on First Hill. (Courtesy Washington State Museum, Tacoma)

THEN: An early view of Virginia Mason Hospital, which opened in the fall of 1920 at the northwest corner of Terry Avenue and Spring Street. In 1980 for its anniversary, the clinic-hospital could make the proud statement that it had “spanned sixty years and four city blocks.” Courtesy Lawton Gowey

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THEN: The brand new N&K Packard dealership at Belmont and Pike in 1909. Thanks to both antique car expert Fred Cruger for identifying as Packards the cars on show here, and to collector Ron Edge for finding them listed at this corner in a 1909 Post-Intelligencer. (Courtesy Museum of History and Industry.)

THEN:

THEN: Faced, in part, with brick veneer and stucco, and opened in 191l, the Comet Apartments at 170 11th Avenue have made it nicely through their first century. (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: 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)

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THEN: Revelers pose on the Masonic Temple stage for “A Night in Old Alexandria,” the Seattle Fine Art Societies annual costume ball for 1921. (Pic courtesy of Arthur “Link” Lingenbrink)

THEN: An early portrait, circa 1911, of The Silvian Apartments, one of Capitol Hill’s abiding architectural jewels. (Courtesy, Bill Burden)

THEN: A half-century after they reached the top of First Hill, electric streets cars and cable cars prepare to leave it. (Courtesy, The Museum of History and Industry)

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Below: THE 800 BLOCK ON BROADWAY FOOTPRINTS in both the 1908 & 1912 BAIST REAL ESTATE MAPS.  [click to enlarge]

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Seattle Now & Then: Hanson Avenue, 1913

(click to enlarge photos)

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THEN: First named Hanson Avenue, for Hans Hanson, an Alki Point settler, 63rd Ave. SW extends about a third of a mile across the Point. In 1908 an electric trolley line first crossed the Point on 63rd. The tracks can be found here in the graded dirt street. This view looks north. (Courtesy: Walt Baker Williams)
NOW: Jean Sherrard recorded his “repeat” in the late summer of 2015.
NOW: Jean Sherrard recorded his “repeat” in the late summer of 2015.

In spite of its soft focus, I delight in this week’s historical subject.  It is rare: a nearly pioneer look into the heart of the Alki Point neighborhood early in its development.  Photos of the Point’s early beach life are nearly commonplace, but not off the waterfront shots like this one of its interior along what was then still called Hanson Avenue. 

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The featured print at the top and the few more above this writing were copied from a cord-bound album of by now mostly scruffy photos originally gathered to promote and revive Rose Lodge in 1913. That was a dozen often struggling years after Benjamin and Julia Baker opened the lodge and its pleasure grounds on the Puget

A Times clip from March 3, 1911.
A Times clip from March 3, 1911.
A Times clip from June 9, 1912.
A Times clip from June 9, 1912.

Sound waterfront south of the Point.  Among the dozen or so photographs included in the album, the featured  one declines to promote the Lodge’s advantages or pose its recreating tenants and fifty neatly-framed tents. (The next print below includes some of those tents and playful guests.)  Rather, the photographer turns her or his left shoulder away from the resort to look north-northeast on what was then, six years after West Seattle’s incorporation into Seattle and its conformity of street names, 63rd Ave. SW.  Of course, some of the locals continued long after to call it by its original name, Hanson Avenue. 

Rose lodge and a few of its housekeeping tents seen from the beach.
Rose lodge and a few of its housekeeping tents seen from the beach.

Norwegian immigrants Anna and Hans Hanson, with their brother-in-law Knud Olson, and their families, purchased Alki Point from Seattle Pioneer Doc Maynard in 1869.  The extended family farm, here in the featured photo at the top off camera to the left, kept producing into the 1930s, while rentals on the Point property helped its members through the Great Depression.  This Hanson-Olson “Alki-Aristocracy” included the Clam Digger, future restaurateur Ivar Haglund, whose mother Daisy was the Hanson’s youngest child, the only one born (in 1870) on the Point.

The intersection of Olson and Hanson seen here near the center of a Alki Point detail lifted from the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map. The two yellow footprints to the right of the circle "15", bottom-left, mark - inadequately - the primary structures at Rose Lodge.
The intersection of Olson and Hanson seen here near the center of an Alki Point detail lifted from the 1908 Baist Real Estate Map. The two yellow footprints to the right of the circle “15”, bottom-left, mark – inadequately – the primary structures at Rose Lodge.  Johan Haglund and his son Ivar’s first addition to the point is marked (& marketed) in blue, right-of-center.  CLICK TO ENLARGE

Daisy’s uncle Knud Olson had his own namesake street that intersected Hanson Avenue where now Admiral Way does the same with 63rd SW.  That intersection is a few lots north of the large white-box-of-a-home that stands above the center of this streetscape. It was for many years the family home of Asa and Irene Schutt.  Irene

The Schutt home sits on lot 5 of the A.A. Smith addition. Lena Smith was Ivar's aunt and helped raise him after his mother's early death.
The Schutt home sits on lot 5 of the A.A. Smith addition to Alki Point.  Lena Smith was Ivar’s aunt and helped raise him after his mother’s early death.  CLICK TO ENLARGE

was an activist in the Alki Women’s Improvement Club and club meetings were often held in her home at 3226 63rd SW.  The home, now painted green, survives.  Across the street from the Schutt’s home were still undeveloped acres that a pair of Los Angeles showmen proposed in 1927 to develop into a twelve-acre amusement park.  Its neighbors were mostly not amused and the necessary rezone failed.     

A Seattle Times coverage of the point's ambivalence toward the proposed amusement park. Note that Ivar Haglund is quoted.
The Seattle Times 1927 coverage of the Point’s ambivalence toward the proposed amusement park notes that both Ivar Haglund and Rose Lodge developer Benjamin Baker were in favor of the park.  (They were, after all, both entertainers too.)  Their names are  noted at the bottom of the left column.  The most spirited opponent was Rev. A.O. Kuhn, pastor of the Alki Congregational Church, which was a beach rock’s throw from  Rose Lodge, and still is. Kuhn did some “profiling” when he remarked “We all know the kind of people that an amusement park draws.”  

This featured photo and the others from the album were first shared with me in 1997 by Walter Baker Williams at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s then recently opened Log House Museum.  We met in the courtyard paved with bricks named for and contributed by donors, Williams included. In the 1960s, the Harvard educated attorney was a member of the state senate.  He was what was then called a “moderate Republican.”  For a middle name, his parents handed him Baker, the name of his grandparents.  Again, it was the Bakers that had opened Rose Lodge, and quite possibly grandpa Benjamin Baker who took this week’s featured historical photograph. 

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Electrical Storms?  above and financial struggles below.

By 1918 Baker was ready to sell lots. The struggles of running a still remote and somewhat minimal attraction may have managed electrical storms but not familial ones. They got a divorce.
It seems that by 1918 Baker was ready to sell lots while still renting furnished tents. The struggles of running a still remote and somewhat rugged attraction may have vanquished  electrical storms but not familial ones. The Bakers got a divorce.  The above clip is from August 4, 1918.   The one below  from Sept 25, 1918. 

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THE WILLIAM and/or KENNETH MORRIS Rose Lodge Month of May Example for 1928 & 1929

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NEARLY THE END: A Times clip from June 12, 1932.
NEARLY THE END: A Times clip from June 12, 1932.   Not just another clean and reasonable large room near the beach.  But single too. 

WEB EXTRAS

Anything to add, les mecs?  Yes Jean, yes yes.  Ron begins this week with some Alki Beach wear and then with a few more West Seattle features.  Following those we will tie some clippings to the tail of this week’s blog.

THEN: Looking southeast from above Alki Avenue, the Schmitz Park horizon is serrated by the oldest trees in the city. The five duplexes clustered on the right were built 1919-1921 by Ernest and Alberta Conklin. Ernest died in 1924, but Alberta continued to live there until well past 1932, the year this photograph was recorded. (Seattle Municipal Archives.)

THEN: The Seattle Times in its lengthy coverage of the then new Seattle Steel in the paper’s Magazine Section for Sept. 10, 1905 – the year this photograph was recorded – noted that “the plant itself is a series of strong, substantial, cavernous sheds, built for use, not for beauty.” (Courtesy, MOHAI, the Museum of History and Industry)

THEN: In 1852 many of Seattle’s first pioneers removed from Alki Point by dugout canoe for the deeper and safer harbor along the east shore of Elliott Bay (our central waterfront). About a half-century later any hope or expectation that the few survivors among these pioneers could readily visit Alki Beach and Point by land were fulfilled with the timber quays and bridges along Spokane Street. (Courtesy Seattle Municipal Archive)

THEN: Built in 1893, West Seattle School kept teaching until ruined by the region’s 1949 earthquake. (Courtesy Michael Maslan)

THEN: The Gatewood Craftsman Lodge was built on a road, in a neighborhood, and near a public school all named for the developer Carlisle Gatewood, who also lived in the neighborhood. The three women posing in the third floor’s open windows are the Clark sisters, Jean, Dorothy and Peggy, members of the family that moved into the home in the late 1930s.

THEN: Included among the several detailed photos taken for the Bernards of their new and yet rustic Fir Lodge, was this one of the living room with its oversized fireplace and the piano on which Marie, their older daughter, learned to play well enough to concertize. (Courtesy Doris Nelson)

THEN: Totem Place, at 1750 Palm Ave. S.W., was home for Joseph Standley proprietor of Ye Old Curiosity Shop on Colman Dock. His death notice in The Seattle Times for Oct. 25, 1940 described the 86-year-old “Daddy” Standley as “almost as much a part of Seattle’s waterfront as the waves that dash again the seaweall.” =========

First appeared in The Times on 7-24-1988
First appeared in The Times on 7-24-1988

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First appeared in Pacific, Jan. 9, 2000.
First appeared in Pacific, Jan. 9, 2000.

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First appeared in Pacific, January 23, 2000.
First appeared in Pacific, January 23, 2000.

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First appeared in Pacific April 10, 1994.
First appeared in Pacific April 10, 1994.

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Now & Then here and now

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