Queen Anne Fortnightly Club Celebrates 125 years

 Here is an important bit of local history shared in a press release by Queen Anne Historical Society board member and Fortnightly member Georgi Krom

Nov. 9, 2018

On Thursday, Nov. 8th, the Queen Anne Fortnightly Club celebrated its impressive history during an evening event at the Sunset Club in Seattle. The Queen Anne club was started in 1894, making it one of the oldest women-only organizations still active in Washington state. As Fortnightly enters its 125th year, members reflected together on a successful journey from 1894 to the present day.

Clubs for women were extremely popular throughout the nation beginning in the mid-nineteenth century. Founding Fortnightly member Anna J. Sheafe (1847-1920) started the club as a study group for 10 women living in Queen Anne. Other early members included Anna Herr Clise, Harriet Stimson, and Nettie (Mrs. Charles H.) Black who went on in 1907 to establish Children’s Orthopedic Hospital (now Seattle Children’s).

Today’s club has 27 active members and 11 associate and life members. Several women are daughters of past Fortnightly members. Club meetings are held mostly in private Queen Anne homes from Sept. to June. A yearly topic of study is chosen by committee and individual members give talks on that theme the following year. Recent lectures have focused on technology, non-fiction books of the Pacific Northwest, and historical or living individuals of personal interest. The club has decades of written and photographic archives which are often shared at current meetings.

A love of Queen Anne and deep friendships have served the Queen Anne Fortnightly Club well for 125 years.

Rails to Trails Around the World

I have been amazed by how well people advocating for safe walking and biking streets share good ideas. It is not just Queen Anne Greenways and Ballard folks or even my many friends in Seattle Neighborhood Greenways. The connections are in fact worldwide among pedestrians, bicyclists, urban planners and traffic engineers. Astounding as it may seem, good ideas such as the conversion of obsolete railways to modern safe walking and riding paths is a world-wide phenomenon that I’ve experienced here on Queen Anne and far away in the south of France.

In the U.S., everyone learns about the great transcontinental railroads that connected the cities of the American east with the west. We tend to forget though the profusion of little lines that connected isolated places like Monte Christo, Snohomish or Snoqualmie to the main lines and helped them move the raw materials like copper, wood and coal on which their economic lives depended.We also often overlook the role of these little lines in supplying isolated places with goods manufactured east of the Rockies. For example, the totally out of place mansion in Yakima known as Congleton’s Castle features furniture, a heating system and even a kitchen stove all made in Duluth, Minnesota, the Congleton family’s home town. …Continue reading “Rails to Trails Around the World”

Are Historic Districts or DADUs the Best Way to Preserve Queen Anne?

Torn by the perceived conflict between preserving Queen Anne’s historic character and of increasing urban density, I waver between historic districts and backyard cottages as the best way to preserve historic fabric. Across the country, we find contiguous districts such as the Ballard Avenue Historic District and thematic districts where scattered buildings of the same general type, style or age are protected as if the buildings were contiguous. Both types of districts protect all the buildings within their boundaries.

The relatively absence of individual landmarks and historic districts in Seattle underlies my angst. Ours is no longer a young west coast city, yet we have but eight historic districts and only the Harvard-Belmont District includes residential properties. The rest are commercial neighborhoods (Ballard Avenue, Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, International District and Columbia City) or former military bases (Fort Lawton and Sand Point). Seattle has no neighborhood historic districts like Queen Anne, upper or lower and no thematic districts. …Continue reading “Are Historic Districts or DADUs the Best Way to Preserve Queen Anne?”