The well-connected Gladys Barnette and William Bernard started their thirty-two years of married life in the Olympia mansion of Washington state’s first governor, Elisha Ferry. That is, they were married there in 1892. About ten years later the Seattle couple began spending part of their summers on Alki Point, when it still took a steamer or a ferry ride followed by a long walk to get there. The first Midwestern farmers had landed there fifty years earlier, with enterprising intentions of building a city, although they soon fled Alki Point for Piners Point, known now as the Pioneer Square Historic District.
When first vacationing on the Point, the Bernards rented one of the well-wrought and framed tents and furnished it first with Persian rugs spread on a carpentered frame. They soon bought the block extending south from Alki Beach along the west side of Southwest 61st Street and hired Seattle architect Fred Fehren to design for them a rustic and yet baronial log lodge. The couple who founded the Seattle Soap Company, the city’s first, was skilled at both real estate and manufacturing. The Bernards could afford their new Alki home, which they named Fir Lodge.
Built in 1903-04, the lodge was one of the two largest structures on the then still sparsely settled Point. The other, the nearby Stockade Hotel and chicken dinner resort, was built by their friends, Alfred and Lorena Smith. It also was constructed of logs “harvested” off the Point, and both of these Arcadian creations had oversized fireplaces built of beach stones. The Bermards bought their block from the Smiths, because Lorena’s parents, the Hansons, had purchased the entire Alki Point in the late 1860s from Doc Maynard, one of Seattle’s original pioneers. This was, and is, historic ground.
For reasons that are still a mystery to Alki Point historians, the Bernards, after three years of hosting well-appointed parties on the open veranda of their log palace, sold it in 1907 to the then fledgling Seattle Auto Club. After the motorists decamped from the Point in 1911, the lodge served as a residence. In 1950 it opened as a restaurant, the Alki Homestead, which brings us to its scorching and closure in 2009. (See the Log Cabin Museum links on all that, which Jean has attached below.)
This year Jean and I enjoyed the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s 4th of July picnic on the patio beside the Society’s Log House Museum, a restored Carriage House that was part of the Bernards’ estate. Following the potluck, Clay Eals, the spirited executive director of the Society, led us into the damaged Homestead. He had the key and a light heart, too. After the fire the Homestead was left haunted for six-plus years by fears that the log landmark might be razed. Instead, it has been saved, and its new hands-on owner Dennis Schilling has begun the restoration. Now the Society has named its upcoming November 7th Gala, “Coming Home to Homestead.”
Let me throw in a handful of photos that illustrate a few of our previous run-ins with Mr. Eals and his SW Seattle preservationists.
Anything to add, kids?
YUP and sticking to form, Ron Edge starts off with a few not-so-old features that are relevant to the Homestead and-or Alki. [Now Jean, Ron calls to explain that his home sitting high on a knoll overlooking Lake Washington has been a victim of today’s (Saturday morning) storm. So he is waiting for the electricity service to return, but has also learned that it will probably not be until 3 a.m. Sunday morning that he should hope for it. And so we will wait too on our Edge Links. WHEN THEY COME he will position them at the very bottom.
This is the third time was have touched on that landmark for a story, although the first use was long enough ago that we have scaned the clipping and attach it just above. There were five or more glossies of the Homestead from which that one was chosen. Once the Edge Links are up you will find many of the others by exploring their fea tures. Ron is also including at the bottom of this week’s eight chosen links a feature titled “Travels with Jean,” which will, we hope, inspire Jean to share some of the photographs he took on his recent visit to Europe with a cadre of about twenty of his students at HILLSIDE SCHOOL (See the “button” link above right for more on the Bellevue School where Jean teaches.) Berangere Lomont, who is, we hope you know, one of the principals behind this blog, helped out in France. And Jean has responded!!! And here, next, is BB.
Jean here. Let me hasten to add a couple of photos I took a couple weeks ago featuring our remarkable blog partner Berangere Lomont:
FOUR TIMES CLIPPINGS of the BERNARDS’ TWO DAUGHTERS. First on with a fashionable sketch of their oldest, Marie (the concertizing pianist), followed by three of Billie, their youngest. (Billie was one of Ivar Haglund’s friends. He used to pick her up in his Ford convertible with a heated brick on the floor board to warm her feet.)
HERE FOLLOWS THOSE EDGE LINKS – WHEN THE POWER LINES ARE REPAIRED
Here sits Joseph ”Daddy” Standley, one of the best-known self-promoters in Seattle history, relaxing in a real photo postcard beside his West Seattle home. The caption pasted to the print on the right names the home Totem Place. The name also appears on the column to the left of the stairs decorated with potted plants and two large shells.
Standley might be compared to three other local promotional players: Bill Speidel of the Underground Tours, Mark Mathews of First Presbyterian Church, and Ivar Haglund on Pier 54. All were accomplished storytellers and created most of their own publicity, largely by making themselves the news. “Daddy” Standley’s main stage, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, was on the waterfront, where it remains in Ivar’s Pier 54 (soon to reopen, with a remodel and new seawall.)
The curio merchant’s life-long passion for collecting aboriginal artifacts is testimony to the importance of children’s literature. For having the “neatest desk” in his third grade class, young Joseph won a book about Indian life, lore, and crafts. The tome enchanted him so that ultimately the youthful anthropologist, to quote his namesake grandson, Joseph James, “turned his hobby into his business.”
In 1899, the 45-year-old curio collector arrived in Seattle from Colorado with his wife and four children. In Denver he had operated a grocery store, with as much shelf space given to collectibles as to fruits and vegetables. After a few moves and name changes, Standley’s curious collections found a home on Colman Dock. In 1906 the family built a home in West Seattle on Duwamish Head with a clear view across Elliott Bay to Colman Dock with their shop, steamers and ferries.
Joseph James has taken his grandfather’s place for Jean Sherrard’s repeat and also for the upkeep of Ye Old Curiosity Shop’s traditions, both commercial and cultural. Joe grew up in Totem Place and remembers fondly how the house became a second museum for Standley’s collections. Its wide lawn was a sanctuary for his second passion, gardening. A sculpture garden for about fifteen large totem poles and a “six-foot high mound built with shells from the seven seas” were an attraction for both the children of the neighborhood and sight-seeing busses.
Next Sunday, June 28, Totem Place again becomes an attraction when the Southwest Seattle Historical Society assembles there its experts, exhibits – including “totems on loan” – for “Ye Olde Home of Joseph “Daddy” Standley. It is this year’s offering for the Society’s annual event, “If These Walls Could Talk.” For details, call the Log House Museum at (206) 938-5293, or visit loghousemuseum.info.
Anything to add, boys (and that includes Clay Eals)? BY GOLLY YES Jean, but not so timely, except if my excuse for being behind time might be found also in our subject: history. No way that we can fill in this blog by 3AM this Sunday morning. I must write the next Pacific feature for the Times by then as well. The research notes are abundant – too abundant, but what a delight to gather them. So hopefully tomorrow I will return and add to this many neighborly features that can be manufactured with a little scanning of clips.
Scanned clips to follow – sooner than later, we hope.
Here (at the top) is print number 12,920, preserved in the library of the Museum of History and Industry’s collection of historical photographs. Like many of the archive’s early prints, this factory scene is mounted with a generous border to protect it from ‘dog ears’ and other indignities. On the border of the stiff board, with the identifying number, is printed the caption: “Exterior view of Seattle Steel Company shortly after it began operation in 1905.”
The rising smoke and steam of the featured photo on top confirm that the superheated work of transforming the industrial scraps, piled here on the south side of the factory, into useable steel is underway. Much of it was rolled and stretched into bars used to strengthen concrete, like that used in Seattle’s first skyscraper, the then but one-year-old Alaska Building, which stands, both elegant and sturdy, at the southeast corner of Second Avenue and James Street.
William Pigott, the factory’s founder, was variously described as a “devout Catholic” and “patriarchal capitalist.” As soon as Pigott announced his factory plans in 1903, the small neighborhood on the west side of Pigeon Point began to boom with mill workers moving into new but modest homes. Pigott first named it Humphrey after a town where he had earlier lived and worked with steel, but he soon changed the name to Youngstown, after another patriarchal company town with rolling mills in Ohio. Youngstown resisted
incorporation into its much larger neighbor to the west, West Seattle. When Seattle did annex it in 1907, the unincorporated company town came along, most likely for the better sewerage and water. By then Youngstown supported four saloons and a public school, the latter built by the mill. The community also kept its eye on the frequently flooding Longfellow Creek that flowed and too often overflowed through it into Young’s Cove.
Drawn “from plans only,” a captioned footprint of the factory was printed in the1904 Kroll Seattle real estate map. The map names, left to right, the Stock House, the Heating House (with the smokestacks), the Rolling Mill, and running east-to-west, several attached wings named collectively the Run-out Building and Warehouse. Beyond these the Kroll map notes, “Tide flats, being filled in.” These Young’s Cove tidelands between Pigeon Point, on the east, and West Seattle, on the west, would be reclaimed and covered by the expanding factory. Longfellow Creek is now carried to Elliott Bay via a culvert beneath the fill.
Many years ago I first featured Seattle Steel in the Pacific Northwest Magazine. Here’s a clip of it from the Sunday Times.
Pacific Northwest readers may recall the Pacific Magazine’s recent May 25th cover story on this factory. See it online at http://bit.ly/1y2SKBF. Or click on the next image below.
Anything to add, Paul?
Yes Jean, and some of it is inserted above your request – or will be – illustrating this week’s text itself. As for LINKS there is but one this week, and it reaches back merely a few weeks to the feature SPOKANE STREET from WEST SEATTLE. Ron Edge will put it up next. If explored, this single link will lead the dedicated reader to many more features – more than twenty of them – that relate to the neighborhood widely considered.
I found the prints below while doing research for a legal case years ago. It had to do with responsibilities following damage from the flooding of the Longfellow Creek across Andover Street and into the industrial park, lighted like the inferno and spreading harrowing noises, now run by Nucor Steel Seattle. The prints were all part of an exhibit, which, I figure, was shown at MOHAI, for it is, after all, a museum for both history and industry.
Across the tidelands of Youngs Cove, here at low tide, is Pigeon Point. From central Seattle Pigeon Point is a headland that often blends in with the greater mass of West Seattle and its pronounced Duwamish Head. On the far right, looking over part of the Seattle Steel plant, is a glimpse into the Youngstown neighborhood.
Jogging through Youngstown, trolleys from Seattle first reached the west shore of Elliott Bay in 1907, the year of West Seattle’s annexation into the city. They came by way of a new swing bridge over the Duwamish River that was roughly in line with Spokane Street. After swaying around Pigeon Point, the electric cars turned south into Youngstown. From there the tracks turned north to Duwamish Head, reaching Luna Park on June 27thin time for most of the summer play. Built on pilings below the Head, Luna Park was the grandest of the many Alki Beach attractions that extended to Alki Point, which the trollies reached in 1908.
By 1914 the circuitous route to Alki Beach previously running through Youngstown was straightened. The Spokane Street trestle had been recently extended west across the head of Youngs Cove, reaching West Seattle here at Admiral Way. Captioned at its lower left corner, the feature’s “top” subject’s long look east on Spokane Street was recorded on April 16, 1916.
As evidence of Spokane Street’s development into a West Seattle funnel, city engineers counted the traffic using it between 5 am and midnight on one day in early November 1915. The partial list recorded that two-hundred-and-ninety one street cars carried 11,699 persons, 692 passenger automobiles carried 1,501 persons, 203 jitneys (taxis) carried 744 persons, and 155 horse-drawn vehicles carried 187 persons across the West Seattle Bridge.
In 1916, the year of the feature’s lead photograph, the West Seattle Commercial Club began the long campaign for a “high bridge” to West Seattle, with grades lifting the traffic above the railroad tracks. In 1929 the trestle shown here was replaced and Spokane Street lifted with fill. The concrete Fauntleroy Expressway, high-flying through Jean’s “now,” was added in the mid-1960s. After another high bridge rebuff from city council, The Times for April 22, 1978, polled West Seattle citizens on secession. A majority favored it.
In 1929 the trestle shown here (again, with the featured photograph) was replaced and Spokane Street lifted with fill.
The concrete Fauntleroy Expressway, high-flying through Jean’s “now,” was added in the mid-1960s. After another high bridge rebuff from city council, The Times for April 22, 1978, polled West Seattle citizens on secession. A majority favored it.
Less than two months later, Capt. Rolf Neslund began the rescue of these angry neighbors from their jams and closed bridges on Spokane Street when his gypsum ship Chavez rammed the West Seattle bascule bridge beyond repair. The new high bridge – and heart’s desire – was dedicated on a windy November 10, 1983.
Well, in part. Here we learn from Clay Eals, West Seattle champion and director of its Log House Museum and all that is connected with it, that we are half correct on the date of completion for the high bridge. We quote Clay.
But you may say that a 30th anniversary doesn’t square with the Nov. 10, 1983, date at the end of your column — and it doesn’t. That’s because the high bridge wasn’t fully opened on Nov. 10, 1983. Only the eastbound lanes were opened on that date. The westbound lanes were opened July 14, 1984, making the bridge fully open then, hence the 30th anniversary.
Might you be able to change the Nov. 10, 1983, date to July 14, 1984, if not on the Times page then on yours?
Here is a pertinent paragraph of info, taken from the web link above:
“The high bridge didn’t open all at once. Following the ramming of the low-level bridge by the freighter Chavez on June 11, 1978, construction on the bridge began in 1980. Eastbound lanes opened to the public on Nov. 10, 1983, and westbound lanes opened on July 14, 1984.”
Anything to add, Paul? Surely Jean. In the three features that Ron Edge has posted below with picture-links there is an array of past features that touch on subjects that themselves – most of them – touch on Spokane Street. Here is a general list for what one who clicks the links will find within “Coming Home to Riverside” and the last of the three, “Luna Park Entrance.” The second link is an Addendum to the first.
COMING HOME to RIVERSIDE
* A Riverside Family
* Six Bridges to Riverside (and West Seattle)
* Riverside Junction
* Spokane Street Trestle from Beacon Hill
* West Seattle Ferry at Colman Dock
* Fukii’s Bridge (to West Seattle)
* Elevated Railway on Marginal Way
* The “Shoe Fly” on the West Seattle Bridge
* Trolley Wreck on Spokane Street, Jan 8, 1937
* The Star Foundry, (on Spokane Street)
* Pigeon Point Fire Station No. 36
* Spokane Street Substation – 1926 (on Spokane Street)
* West Seattle High School (not on Spokane Street)
LUNA PARK ENTRANCE: Sept. 10, 2011
* Luna Park
* West Seattle Harbor
* How to Get to West Seattle
* West Seattle Ferry at Colman Dock
* Sea View Hall
* Halibuts Below Duwamish Head
* Novelty Mill
* Luna Park Below Duwamish Head
The THREE EDGE LINKS
1. Coming Home to Riverside
2. Riverside Addendum
3. Luna Park Entrance
MORE FOSTER KLEISER BILLBOARD SURVEY EXAMPLES – with once exception for comparison. All are on Spokane Street an all come with their own captions, which are coded-described in order to put the sign company’s billboards in their proper places for potential clients to imagine their own message. In many of the original negatives for this collection, the billboards have been whited-out so that when the negatives are printed the prints appear without content, the better to imagine your own.
A SOLEMN CALL FROM THE RAMPS – 1937
The subject below looks west not on Spokane Street but on James. That is Trinity Episcopal on the right at 8th Avenue. I am cleaning up and clearing out old stuff and this is one of many hundreds of screened prints – prints exposed through a half-tone screen for off-set printing – I discovered on a bottom shelf in one of my archival cubbies. It was probably printed in the early 1980s for possible inclusion in “Seattle Now and Then, Volume One.” I am testing it here to determine if its like the other screen prints found might be recycled with some tweaked scanning.
This grand three-floor West Seattle lodge-size home with a rustic porch and veranda looks west from about 350 above Puget Sound and six irregular blocks west of the highest point in Seattle. (If you should wish to visit Seattle’s summit you will find it unmarked in the alley between 35th and 36th Avenues Southwest, south of the Water Dept. standpipes on Southwest Myrtle Street. At about 522 feet high, the alley transcends Queen Anne Hill by more than fifty feet.)
The address here is 7446 Gatewood Road S.W., which runs at a slant through the hill’s otherwise generally compass-conforming grid of streets and avenues. Most of these are crowded with homeowners who respect their neighbors open views of the Olympics by landscaping their lots low. Here, however, on Gatewood Road the Olympics are rarely seen, except in winter from the bedroom windows on the third floor. The home is nestled in the shade of one of the clinging greenbelts that interrupt the open sweep of the hill. Only a bird’s call away, the Orchard Street Ravine climbs the hill. It is one of the verdant West Seattle watersheds protected as a Park. By testimony of those who have lived here, the effect is like living in a park,
Surely a good sampling of the residences on this graceful western slope of West Seattle are homes with big families, but few of them also have eight bed rooms like this one had in 1910 when the English/Canadian couple, Francis John and Pontine Ellen Harper, built it for themselves, their five children, John, Frances, Macdonald, Cecil and Margaret, and more. A different Margaret, Margaret Hayes, the present owner since 1987, was told that there were sixteen living in the big house in the beginning.
Five families in all lived and paid taxes here through what the Southwest Seattle Historical Society calls The Gatewood Craftsman Lodge’s 104-year history. Representatives for all of them will be on hand next Sunday June 22 when the Society joins the present owner as interpreting hosts for another of the Society’s annual and enlightening home tours titled “If These Walls Could Talk.” The point is, of course, that next Sunday they will be talking. The public is invited to this fund-raiser. (For details call the Log House Museum at 938-5293.) We give special thanks to the “house history” done by Bethany Green and Brad Chrisman, whom Clay Eals, the Society’s director calls the “core of the home-tour committee this year.” In Jean’s repeat, Bethany is holding her dog Lily in the third floor window.
Anything to add, Paul? A few this evening and perhaps a few more tomorrow. First, again with the help of Ron Edge, we will grace the below with some links of other West Seattle stories pulled from features of the past. Then we will draw on some recent works of the Log House Museum and its energetic director and our by now nearly old friend, Clay Eals. After all that I’ll put up a few more of the by now many features on West Seattle subjects that we have published in Pacific since we started in the winter of 1982. There may be – again & again – some repeats. This week we will spare our readers the music analogy for these repetitions and variations. And Jean may your Hillside theatre dress rehearsal this Sunday afternoon and next weekend’s performances go well, this in your, well, what anniversary of starting these productions on Cougar Mountain?
The LINKS that follow come from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, greater Seattle’s most vibrant of neighborhood-based heritage groups. HERE FOLLOWS with Links a letter we received from Clay Eals its directory this afternoon.
Dear Jean and Paul
Tomorrow’s “Now and Then” is stellar. Saw the printed bulldog edition. Thanks again. The event is not tomorrow but rather the following Sunday, June 22, and it will be helped immensely by your contribution.
[Oops! We gave the wrong address.] Don’t worry about the address. It’s only two digits off (should be 7446, not 7448), but there is no home even close to 7448. The closest one is 7228. So there will be no real confusion.