“Queen Anne is probably as typical and representative an area of Seattle as can be found. The overall evaluations of both buildings and urban design resources indicate an expression of strong conservatism as well as a tendency toward environmental classicism.” –Queen Anne: An Inventory of Buildings and Urban Design Resources (Nyberg and Steinbrueck 1975)
1507 Queen Anne Avenue: 1908 – 1938, 30 years at Queen Anne location
Augustine & Kyer was a grand, upscale grocery store with origins in Seattle’s early years. It was Seattle’s “Pure Food Purveyor”, selling food and merchandise of the highest quality. It also provided superior order and delivery service to its customers. Its stores flourished from 1907 until the 1930’s when, unfortunately, it succumbed to the Great Depression.
The history of Augustine & Kyer begins with an English grocer named Charles Louch. In 1885, Louch opened a wood frame grocery store on Front Street (later renamed First Avenue) in what was eventually to become downtown Seattle. The sign above the entry read, “Cigars Tobacco Groceries & Provisions”[i]. The 1885-86 Polk’s City Directory listed Louch as one of only 22 Seattle grocers.
In 1892, Louch formed a partnership with Manual Brock Augustine. Before settling in Seattle, M. B. Augustine lived in Silver City, Nevada, where he owned a general merchandise and mining supply store, and in Oakland, California, where he was a salesman for J.A. Folger, the coffee company.
In 1893, Louch, Augustine & Company moved its store to the new Colman Building at the corner of First Avenue and Marion Street. The store prospered in the late 1890’s during the Klondike gold rush, aided by Augustine’s experience as a mining supplier. The years 1907–1908 brought major changes . Louch and M.B. Augustine sold the company to Henry Kyer, Augustine’s son Julius was promoted to Vice President, and Kyer changed the company’s name to Augustine & Kyer. Kyer had been married to Alice Augustine, M.B. Augustine’s daughter, but they divorced in 1908, two days before Kyer purchased the company.[ii]…Continue reading “Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores: Augustine & Kyer”→
Aasten’s Grocery, which opened in 1925, stood at the corner of Queen Anne Avenue and Thomas Street for twenty-seven years. Like many other small neighborhood grocery stores of that era, it was a family business owned and operated by immigrants to the United States.
John Gunnufsen Aasten was hardworking and ambitious. He was born in Hovind, Norway on March 8, 1887. Aasten and his wife Karen came to the United States from Norway in 1906. He was nineteen. On his arrival, he listed his occupation as laborer. In 1917, on his Draft Registration card, he declared himself a miner employed by the Seattle Engineering Department. By 1924, however, he had found his calling. On the Declaration of Intention he filed that year to become a United States citizen, he registered his occupation as grocer. …Continue reading “Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores: Aasten’s Grocery”→
Where Dick’s Drive-In now stands, the Motor-In Market opened Oct. 17, 1930 at 500 Queen Anne Ave. N. The innovative market was the first of its kind in the neighborhood.
Its eye-catching tower lit up at night to ensure people could find the location. The pioneering L-shaped building had parking for 100 automobiles, with a Shell gasoline filling station onsite. Attendants parked cars for motorists, according to an advertisement in The Seattle Times. While shopping, customers could have their groceries delivered to their cars, and a special numbering system ensured that the right packages were delivered to the correct cars.