This look west on Wallingford’s N. 34th Street was copied from an album of snapshots taken in 1906 and 1907. Most are of theSeattle Gas Company’s many early-century sites, including the building then of its new factory on the north shore of Lake Union, since 1975 our Gas Works Park. For this cityscape the unnamed photographer, almost certainly employed by the company, left its construction site beside the lake for a short climb north up what real estate agents sometimes referred to as the Wallingford Ridge, but more often the Wallingford district.
On the featured – at the top – snapshot’s border (here cut away), a helping hand has dated the subject April 27, 1907. North 34th Street was then called Ewing Street, and the photographer stands a few yards east of its intersection with Densmore Avenue. The neighborhood in the foreground is a roughed-up construction zone, as were most of the additions then north of the lake. The mill town Fremont was an exception. The mill opened in 1888, and so was almost old in 1907. Using the trolley tracks on the left as a pointer, Fremont’s smoking lumber mill is seen across the northwest corner of Lake Union.
Edgewater, a name rarely used or even remembered today, was Fremont’s suburb to the east. Far right – in the feature photo at the top – the distant structures seen climbing Phinney Ridge to the left and right of the outhouse and behind the blossoming fruit trees, are a blend of Edgewater and Fremont residences. At the beginning of 1907 most locals would have considered this intersection also part of Edgewater, although, because of the rails on the left, not for long.
By February trollies to and from downtown Seattle were swaying on these tracks and along this rutted road. Less than two blocks behind the photographer the tracks turned north up Wallingford Avenue, and thereafter nearly every agent who sold lots between Edgewater and the University District made a point of noting the conveniences offered by the Wallingford Car Line. It was for that gently climbing and, for the passengers, effortless trip up the spine of Wallingford Ridge that the neighborhood took its name. John Wallingford, the namesake developer, former city councilman, and Green Lake resident, was rarely remembered.
Anything to add, Paul?
I like your title for this Jean, “Wallingford Rising.” And I hope to now rise to your request and find some more photos, clips or features lying about. First, Ron Edge will put up three (only) links, which will however include within them other links, and most of these will have something to do with the neighborhood widely cast to include Wallingford and Fremont with the Edgewater valley (or slump) between them. Here’s Ron links. Click to open. Again, I hope to find more – beginning my search now at 7:35 pm Saturday the Sixth.
It is time once again to climb the stairs to Nighty Bears, which we always do also thinking of the world traveler Bill Burden, our California friend who first shared this chummy name for going to bed and who has recently moved to a country home beside the “gold rush river” of 1849, the American River. Nighty Bears to William too. For the record, tomorrow we intend to return with an illustrated feature on the Gasworks, another neighbor.