In the first decade of the twentieth century, small neighborhood food stores — groceries, butcher stores, bakeries, and candy stores -– began to appear along the busiest streets of Queen Anne. These small family businesses opened along streets where Seattle’s electric streetcars ran. Some of these streets were paved; others were dirt or wood planked.
By 1910, when the population of Seattle was approximately 240,000, there were four electric streetcar lines operating along the streets of Queen Anne. They were owned at that time by the Seattle Electric Company, a subsidiary of the Stone & Webster utility cartel.[i] Only the wealthy could afford horse-drawn carriages, and automobiles were a novelty, so most travel around Seattle was by electric streetcar. …Continue reading “Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores: First in a Series”→
In the conversations about the Counterbalance and its construction in 1902 by the Seattle Electric Railway, there is little talk about the electricity that powered the line and the company that built the facilities that generated it. While it remains somewhat speculative, there is a good chance that after 1907, when the Seattle Electric Company’s Georgetown Steam Plant finally came on line, some of the electricity powering the streetcars on the Counterbalance and the five other Queen Anne lines came in part from that pioneering steam plant. There is no doubt though that the Seattle Electric Railway and the Seattle Electric Company were both part of Boston-based Stone and Webster, a monopolistic transit engineering firm with branches nationwide. …Continue reading “The Powerful Georgetown”→