While none of the names for this team and the driver of this U.S. Post wagon are known, the intersection is. The view looks east-southeast on Marion Street and across Western Avenue, in about 1903, to a three-story stone structure advertising the Seattle Hardware Company. (The business was so prosperous that it required an 1100-page hard-bound catalog to cover its inventory.) James Colman built the rustic stone structure across narrow Post Alley from his Colman Building, and named it, perhaps predictably, the Colman Annex. The Puget Sound News Company, a retailer of stationary, books and periodicals, was the Annex’s first tenant. The hardware store soon followed, the tenant until 1906 when the Imperial Candy Company moved in after Seattle Hardware moved to its own new home at First Ave. S. and King Street. With its popular Societe Chocolates, Imperial became the Colman Annex’s most well-known and abiding tenant.
After the city’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, most of the streets between Yesler Way and Madison were extended east into Elliott Bay, as far as the fire’s dumped rubble would support them. Soon both Post Alley and Western Avenue were extended off-shore and between the streets on rows of pilings driven into the tideflats. More than pilings, heavy stone and/or brick structures like the Annex also needed a hard packing of earth for their foundations. Colman built his Annex from stone delivered around the Horn that was intended for a new central post office at Third and Union, but the stone was rejected as too soft for a government building. Colman got it cheap.
We’ll note that this “studio” location for a mail wagon’s portrait has a fine coincidence. Arthur Denny, the city’s first postmaster, built his family’s cabin two short blocks to the east of this intersection, at the northeast corner of First Avenue (originally Front Street) and Marion Street. It was also the first Post Office. The party of pioneers led by the Dennys, Bells and Borens had moved over from Alki Point early in 1852 to mark their claims. The first mail to arrive in Seattle came later that year by canoe from Olympia. Robert Moxlie, the mailman, may have paddled his dugout through this intersection. The future foot of Marion Street was a low point on the beach where it was easy to step ashore. When Arthur and David Denny’s parents later joined them from Oregon, they built their home at the southeast corner of Union Street and Third Avenue. In 1908 the new Post Office and Federal Building opened on that corner. It was made of nearby Chuckanut sandstone, apparently harder stuff than that salvaged by James Colman.
The Polson Implement Hardware Company, far-right, prospered by facing the Great Northern Railroad’s tracks on Railroad Avenue, here out-of-frame. Established in 1892, Polson sent its farm machinery throughout the west by rail. By 1906, the year this rudimentary structure of corrugated iron was replaced with the brick building on the right in our “now,” Polson had moved south to another train-serviced warehouse on the tideflats.
[DISREGARD the video order DIRECTLY above. I’ve changed my box from the University District to Wallingford where it is Box 31636, which I must right down for I have had a hard time memorizing it. ]
Anything to add, history hucksters? Hubba-hubba-hubba Yes Jean, and once again Ron starts it by rolling out some relevant links. Please Click Them.
To be continued sometimes on Sunday, March 8 . . .
Most likely the first “now and then” treatment this charming pioneer home received was in these pages seventy years ago on Sunday, November 10, 1944. The author, Margaret Pitcairn Strachan, chose the Charles and Mary Terry home as the fifteenth weekly subject of her yearlong series on “Early Day Mansions.” Strachan’s fifty-two well-packed and illustrated essays must be counted as one our richest resources for understanding Seattle’s history. In 1944 many of the mansions built by the community’s nabobs were still standing, and sometimes the original families were still living in them and willing to talk with the reporter. (We will attach the Strachan feature below. Click TWICE to enlarge for reading.)
In the Strachan feature the Terry home faced Third Avenue near its northeast corner with James Street. We can learn something about the family’s history – especially about Charles – from the journalist’s reveries that came upon her as she stepped into the “now” after opening the door to a café near the northeast corner of Third Avenue and James Street. She writes, “The Columbian Café is probably the place which is on the exact spot where the house stood. Sitting at the maroon-colored counter, facing the huge mirror which runs the length of the room and reflects the booths in the background, I listened to the clatter coming from the kitchen and watched the waitresses in their spotless white dresses, as they hurried back and forth over the red tile floor, serving busy Seattle citizens who were unaware that this spot was once the home of the man who named Alki Point, owned its first store, was the instigator of the University of Washington, foresaw a great future for this ‘town of Seattle’ and drafted its first ordinances.” (Next, we have attached an earlier photo of the Terry home before it was pivoted off of Third Avenue to face James Street. Below the home we have added a snap of the 3rd Avenue front door to the Public Safety Building, and below that two photo that include the Columbian Cafe that Strachan visited for her research and/or edification or nutrition. The two cafe photos are public works subjects and have their own captions with dates.)
By purchases and trades with pioneers Carson Boren and Doc David Maynard, the Terrys owned most of the business district and were the wealthiest couple in town. On the sweet side of their pioneer life, they opened Seattle’s first bakery in 1864, the year they also built this jolly home, the “ornament of the town.” In 1867 the couple ran a large advertisement in the Pacific Coast Directory, which read, in part, “C. C. TERRY, Seattle, W.T. wholesale and retail dealer in Groceries, Provisions, Cigars, etc., manufacturer of crackers and cakes of all kinds. Unlimited supply of Ship Bread constantly on hand at San Francisco prices.” Tragically, Charles died of tuberculosis, a mere thirty-nine years old, in 1867. On the day of his death his third daughter was born.
Sometime between the 1878 birdseye view drawing of Seattle and the 1883 Sanborn real estate map, the Terry home was pivoted 90-degrees counter-clockwise to face James Street. At the same time the house was moved one lot east of its corner with Second Avenue, which is where we see it in the featured photo at the top. The home’s second footprint holds on in the 1904 Sanborn but not in 1908. It was demolished in 1907.
Anything to add, boys? Ron Edge begins by putting down a few links – often to the neighborhood. We’ll conclude with the oft-used couples portrait of Charles and Mary, and another full-page feature on their home by Lucille McDonald, once-upon-a-time, The Seattle Times principle reporter on regional heritage. Finally we will drop in a hide-and-seek in which the reader is encouraged to find the Terry home.
If you are inclined to write a history of Seattle then you must include the three bodies hanging here between two of Henry and Sara Yesler’s maples on the early afternoon of January 18, 1882. The trees were planted in 1859; and they appear first as saplings in the earliest extant photo of Seattle, which was recorded that year. By 1882, the shade trees were stout enough to lynch James Sullivan and William Howard from a stanchion prepared for them between two of the Maples.
As ordered by the judge, the accused couple expected to be returned to jail when their preliminary trail in Yesler’s Hall at First Ave. and Cherry Street was completed. Instead the vigilantes in attendance covered Territorial Supreme Court Judge Roger Sherman Green with a hood, bound the guards, and dragged like the devil the doomed couple up the alley to James Street. There the leafless maples suddenly exposed their terrifying landscape to Sullivan and Howard. Soon after being violently pulled from court – in a few pounding heart beats – these two prime suspects of the daylight killing the day before of a young clerk named George B. Reynolds, were lifeless and their swinging corpses played with.
In a few minutes more, the by now hungry mob pulled from jail a third suspect, a “loafer” named Benjamin Paynes, who was accused of shooting a popular policeman named David Sires weeks before. For a while the hanging bodies of the three were raised and lowered over and over and in time to the mob’s chanting, “Heave Ho! Heave Ho!” Children who had climbed the trees to cut pieces of rope from the cooling bodies tied them to their suspenders or, for the girls, to the pigtails of their braided hair. It was, we are told, for “show and tell” in school.
Although there were several photographers in town, none of them took the opportunity to record – or expose – a lynching. Who would want such a photograph? Judging from the local popularity of these killings of accused killers, probably plenty. A few weeks following the stringing, Henry Yesler was quoted in Harpers Weekly, “That was the first fruit them trees ever bore, but it was the finest.” It was Seattle’s first really bad nation-wide publicity.
In Andrew William Piper’s cartoon of the event, the easily identified Henry stands in the foreground busy with his favorite pastime: whittling wood. The cartoonist Piper was a popular confectioner who loved dancing and singing with his wife and eleven children. He was also a practical joker and the first socialist elected to the Seattle City Council. We don’t know if Piper also joined the local chorus of acclaim for the hangings. Judge Green more than objected. Once free of his hood, he rushed to the lynching and tried to cut the ropes, but failed.
On the far right of his cartoon, the cartoonist-confectionaire Piper has included the sign of the Chronicle, a newspaper located in the alley behind the Yesler back yard. It was up this alley that the victims were rushed to their lynching. Printed next is a transcript from an 1883 issue of the Chronicle, which describes a resplendent new saloon in the basement of the new Yesler-Leary Building at the northwest corner of Front (First Ave.) and Yesler Way and so also at the foot of James Street.
Anything to add, Paul? Yes Jean, and most of it, again, links to past features related to the place and/or the subject. Most of extras – if one takes the opportunity to click and read – will be the several links that Ron Edge will be soon putting up directly below this exposition. Then, after the links, we will probably continue on with a few more features – if we can find them tomorrow (Saturday) night when we get to them. We should add that we do not encourage lynching of any sort, or for that matter capital punishment. It is all cruel, pathetic and even useless. Yes – or No! – we do not agree with the wood whittler Henry Yeslers. We have imprisoned within quote marks our title “finest fruit” borrowed from him.