Early History of Queen Anne

Mercer House, 1900
Mercer House, 1900

After an exploration in December, 1852 of Smith’s Cove and on to Salmon Bay, David T. Denny decided on living in what is now lower Queen Anne, generally the area between today’s Denny Way and Mercer St. from Elliott Bay to Lake Union.

Married in January, 1853 in his brother Arthur’s cabin, David and new wife Louisa Boren filed a 320-acre donation claim the next day, where he built a one-room log cabin on the bluff overlooking Elliott Bay, near Denny Way and Western — built of nearby trees without a single nail.  Louisa planted Sweetbrier roses outside the front door.   The roses were found still there growing wild in 1931, when they were uprooted for a new commercial building on the site. 1 …Continue reading “Early History of Queen Anne”

  1. Queen Anne: Community on the Hill; Queen Anne Historical Society; 1993

Polson House: All in the (almost one) Family

Perry and Kate Polson’s house at 103 Highland Drive is simply exceptional. The Polsons and their descendants owned and occupied the house that hovers high over Highland Drive’s intersection with First Avenue North from 1908 to 2004. In those 96 years, the family loved the house, and however they altered it, they never jeopardized the views to the city, Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains. Consequently, they left us one of the best preserved residences in the city whose new owners, Rosemary and Ken Willman, have done a major and meticulous restoration since buying the house in 2011. …Continue reading “Polson House: All in the (almost one) Family”

The Queen Anne Style – Our Neighborhood Namesake

Ankeny House, 2003

Our Society is frequently asked, “why is our community called Queen Anne?”  It does seem strange for a pioneer western city to name its most prominent geographical feature after a relatively obscure 18th century British monarch.  The short answer is that we are not named after the Queen, but are in fact named for the architectural style of the first houses built up the south slope of our hill.  The longer answer shows how centennials can shape our view of the world.

In the 1870s, in England, architect Richard Norman Shaw introduced the Queen Anne or Free Classic residential design.  It was intended to evoke domestic architecture of some 200 years earlier.  The British public loved it, perhaps tiring of the demands of empire and nostalgic for a simpler past. …Continue reading “The Queen Anne Style – Our Neighborhood Namesake”