30 Years Touring Mount Pleasant Cemetery

Community on the Hill, “Staying on Queen Anne Forever.”

 

It comes as no surprise to the residents of Upper Uptown (a recently coined term designed by me to placate Uptowners who want to strip city maps, newspaper articles and the Queen Anne Historical Society of our historic name) that local historians revel in all the secrets buried at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery (700 W. Raye Street). The first tour’s organizers included Bob Frazier, Isabel Egglin, Del Loder, John Hennes and Kim Turner, all but Isabel, a Holocaust survivor, are Queen Anne High School graduates and members of the Queen Anne Historical Society. In 1997, the cemetery guides focused on “few good gravesites,” but they quickly escalated from visits to the gravesites of early Seattle movers and shakers like the Blaines, Clises, Bells or Clarence Bagley to those of ‘ordinary’ citizens, none of whom, according to this year’s tour leader Kim Turner, “is or was truly ordinary!” …Continue reading “30 Years Touring Mount Pleasant Cemetery”

Stroll 2: 100 Years from Ross to Fishermen’s Terminal

August 3, 1916: Hiram Chittenden Locks fully opens

The 100th anniversary of the Lake Washington Ship Canal is coming fast, so I’d better finish my stroll along the ship canal trail today. My friend Bill, a fan of safe streets for bicycling and walking, joins me. He hunkered for decades for the completion of the trail under the Ballard Bridge and across the railroad tracks to Fishermen’s Terminal, where we’ll end up.

As we walk toward Ballard, we bear in mind Thursday, August 3, 1916, the date of the unceremonious opening of the smaller lock at the Hiram Chittenden Locks. After that day, everything on the canal was a go. Like the places I walked by last month, I’ll have more research to do everywhere along the way. …Continue reading “Stroll 2: 100 Years from Ross to Fishermen’s Terminal”

Stroll 1: 100 Years on the Lake Washington Ship Canal

Our canal never saw a mule named Sal; it’s nowhere near 15 miles long; but it sure has low bridges just like the Erie Canal.

Looking west from the Fremont Bridge in June 2016
West from the Fremont Bridge, June 2016

Since 1916, Queen Anne folks have been blessed with one of the most alluring landscapes in our city, and since November 19th, 2011, we can walk or ride a bike along the Lake Washington Ship Canal Trail from the Fremont Bridge all the way to Fisherman’s Terminal. The most important feature of this historic promenade, the concrete wall lining the canal, is nearly invisible. On this outing, we’ll begin on the eastern edge of the Fremont Bridge and walk into the setting sun. It is an easy place to find, since a sign slapped up on the underside of the southern end of the bridge marks this spot with the injunction: “Begin Ship Canal Trail.” Before I duck under the bridge, I peer at the north side of the canal where the Bryant Lumber Company had its operation milling logs and where in September 1919 the first ocean-going ship loaded cargo before passing through the locks on its way to Great Britain.  Following the old rail spur that ran to south Lake Union, I am reminded of the bridge’s Chicago connection. …Continue reading “Stroll 1: 100 Years on the Lake Washington Ship Canal”