This Week in Queen Anne History

Howe at Nob Hill North: 10/12/62
Howe at Nob Hill North: 10/12/62

Neighbors inspect a tree that fell over Howe Street at Nob Hill Avenue North during the Columbus Day Storm that hit the Pacific Northwest on October 12, 1962.  The storm originated in the central Pacific Ocean as Typhoon Freda and became an extratropical cyclone as it moved over cooler waters and into the jet stream, producing sustained high winds and gusts of up to 80-180 mph that pummeled the coastline and western interior from Northern California to British Columbia.  The storm caused 46 deaths and injured hundreds more.  Damage was estimated at $250 million across the region, over $2 billion in today’s dollars.  Oregon suffered the most damage, accounting for $200 million of the estimated total.  The storm quickly weakened as it moved north past British Columbia.  Although the region has been threatened by extratropical cyclones in the intervening 58 years, none have surpassed or even come close to matching the violent and destructive force of the 1962 Columbus Day Storm.


Image credit: Seattle Times

John Marshall Hoyt, Civil War Veteran (1837-1923)

Posted by Michael Herschensohn in Queen Anne Cobblestone Memorial Day 2021

John Marshall Hoyt, born March 29, 1837 in Warner, Merrimack County, New Hampshire, died November 3, 1923 in Seattle.  He served as a Captain in Company K of the 7th Wisconsin Infantry throughout the Civil War, including the Battle of Gettysburg July 1-3, 1863.

He married Mary Hoyt, and the family relocated to Seattle.

According to Richard Heisler — a historian of Seattle’s Civil War veterans — following Captain Hoyt’s death his body was buried at the Capitol Hill Cemetery of the Grand Army of the Republic.

Following Mary Hoyt’s death in 1924, John’s body was disinterred and moved to Queen Anne’s Mount Pleasant Cemetery to a grave adjacent to Mary’s — both of them unmarked.

In June 2021, the US Army paid for a tombstone that finally marks John’s grave, located in the northeast corner of the cemetery — due north of the tombs of victims of The Valencia shipwreck of 1906 and the Everett Massacre of 1916.  One of the few all-white stones, it stands under a tree.  Mary’s grave, just to the right of John’s, remains unmarked.

On Memorial Day 2021, Richard Heisler and Queen Anne Historical Society Board President Michael Herschensohn  joined those who visited Mt. Pleasant to place US flags at the graves of those who served.

Reference: The Seattle Times 9/4/2021:  “Civil War veteran finally gets headstone, 98 years after his death
:  Click HERE to take Kim Turner’s August 2020 virtual tour of Mount Pleasant Cemetery.

Homer Harris (1916-2007)

Football Hero, Physician, Community Leader

Born and raised in Seattle, Homer Harris (1916-2007) grew up in his parents’ home near the Washington Park Arboretum.  In his early years he played football and other games in the park.

At Garfield High School, he became the first black captain of the football team, in 1933.  He attended the University of Iowa on a sports scholarship — choosing not to attend the University of Washington because of perceived racist attitudes toward black athletes.  He became the first African American player to captain a Big Ten team, and in 1937 earned the honor of Most Valuable Player.
At that time, the National Football League banned black players.  Harris got a job coaching football at A&T College (HBCU) in North Carolina.

Following his mother’s hope that he would become a physician, he attended Meharry Medical College (HBCU) in Tennessee.  After receiving his medical degree he interned in Kansas City, then trained in dermatology at the University of Illinois.

In 1955, Dr. Harris returned to Seattle.  He and his family resided at 7th Ave W & W Galer on Queen Anne in a house designed by renowned architect J. Lister Holmes.  It appears in the city’s survey of historic buildings.

He began his practice in downtown Seattle at the historic Medical Dental Building, and achieved considerable success.  In 1989 the Black Heritage Society of Washington State honored him as a Pioneer Black Doctor.

Washington State declared November 13, 2002 Dr. Homer Harris Day.
In November 2002, the Seattle Parks Foundation announced  that an anonymous donor had given $1.3 million to build a Central Area park, Homer Harris Park, which opened in May 2005.

Above: Karen Daubert, Homer Harris, Stimson Bullitt, & Ken Bounds attending May 2005 dedication of Homer Harris Park

Reference:  HistoryLink “Homer E. Harris Jr.  (1916-2007)

Queen Anne Historical Society Awards Ceremony

You’re invited to enjoy fabulous views at the Swedish Club while we honor six people and projects that have preserved our neighborhood heritage and values.

Honorees include preservationist Gary Gaffner (posthumously), Seattle Pacific University Alexander HallVilla FrancaPicture Perfect Queen AnneThe Pratt House (218 W. Kinnear), and Nielsen’s Pastries.

Light hors d’oeuvres, non-alcoholic refreshments, wine & beer

Tickets ($20.00 per person) at