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”

Hiram M Chittenden’s Legacy

As we swiftly approach the centennial for the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks and the Lake Washington Ship Canal, I realize that the man for whom the locks are named is one of the great gifts to the Northwest. Hiram Martin Chittenden was born in Yorkshire, Cattaraugus County, New York, on October 25th,1858.  He was a graduate of West Point Military Academy in 1884 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Corps of Engineers. He took courses in applied engineering, and on completing his studies, was assigned to the Western United States.  The main places his work appears are in Yellowstone National Park, where the Roosevelt Arch (northern entrance to the park) and the Chittenden Memorial Bridge, which crosses the Yellowstone River.  …Continue reading “Hiram M Chittenden’s Legacy”