3 West Seattle landmarks get $ boost from Building for Culture

November 23, 2015 at 5:47 pm | In Admiral Theater, Alki Homestead, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

(WSB photo from February)
Three landmark buildings in West Seattle are getting a boost from a county cultural-grant program.

(SW Seattle Historical Society photo from May: Dennis Schilling, Alki Homestead owner, with logs for restoration)
Here’s the announcement from West Seattle’s County Councilmember Joe McDermott, one day before county and cultural leaders gather to celebrate the list of grants that includes these three:

Renovation of the Admiral Theater and restoration of the Alki Homestead highlight a list of the projects in West Seattle and throughout King County that will receive funding to help maintain their buildings and preserve the arts and heritage programs that are held inside.

“As a lifelong West Seattle resident, I grew up going to the Admiral Theatre and Alki Homestead,” said Council Vice Chair Joe McDermott. “I am proud to promote the rich cultural history in West Seattle through the Building for Culture grant program.”

The Admiral Theater received $95,000 towards a renovation that will see the number of screens double from 2 to 4. The 111 year old Alki Homestead was awarded $83,000 towards its complete restoration, after a fire destroyed it in 2009.

The funding for maintenance, repairs, and preservation were allocated from the Building for Culture Program and unanimously approved by the County Council. Building for Culture is a partnership between King County and 4Culture, King County’s cultural services agency, using bonds backed by the hotel-motel tax to build, maintain, expand, preserve, and improve new and existing cultural facilities.

After the Council approved the creation of the Building for Culture Program, 4Culture put out a request for proposals to nonprofit arts, heritage and cultural organizations and eligible public agencies, as well as owners of national-, state-, or local-designated or eligible landmark properties. 4Culture then convened independent peer panels composed of arts, heritage, and preservation professionals, and other community representatives to review applications and make the final selections.

Facilities receiving funding in West Seattle are:

Admiral Cinema LLC – Admiral Theater Renovation – $95,000
Delridge Neighborhood Development Association – Elevate Youngstown – $100,000
Dennis Schilling – Restoring the Alki Homestead – $83,000 $45,190 (correction from CM McDermott’s office on 11/24/2015)

The bonds supporting these projects are made possible by early retirement of the Kingdome debt. State law requires that hotel-motel tax revenues King County collects this year after repayment of the Kingdome debt be directed to arts and cultural programs.

Read more about the grant program here.

West Seattle history: Denny Party anniversary today; SWSHS annual meeting tomorrow

November 13, 2015 at 2:15 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

Two West Seattle history notes:

DENNY PARTY LANDING ANNIVERSARY TODAY: On November 13th, 1851, as the marker at 63rd SW and Alki Ave SW (top photo) points out, the Denny Party landed here, the end of a journey that had started in Illinois. HistoryLink has the thumbnail version of the story. On the 150th anniversary of the arrival, The Seattle Times checked in with some of their descendants.

HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S ANNUAL MEETING TOMORROW: This gives us a reason to remind you that the annual meeting of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is tomorrow (Saturday), six days after the organization’s record-setting gala (WSB coverage here). All are welcome at tomorrow’s meeting, 1:30 pm-3 pm at the High Point Library (35th SW & SW Raymond), which will feature County Councilmember Joe McDermott, who, as a former Underground Tour guide, is a lively storyteller. More info here.

P.S. Because of the meeting, the Log House Museum will NOT be open tomorrow. Otherwise, you can visit noon-4 pm Sunday (and subsequent weeks, the usual Thursdays-Sundays).

VIDEO: Southwest Seattle Historical Society brunch crowd goes ‘Home to the Homestead’ and gives big

November 8, 2015 at 2:02 am | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“In this room, at this moment, this is West Seattle,” declared Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals, toward the start of Saturday’s sold-out Champagne Gala Brunch fundraiser.

And West Seattle showed its generosity as well as its spirit – Eals tells WSB that the revenue from the event, which filled the Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) event rooms from windowed wall to windowed wall, totals “$77,180, up 26.4 percent from last year.”

Early on during the brunch, Eals had other numbers of note: SWSHS’s 31st anniversary, and the 100th birthday of Erma Couden, widow of its founder Elliott Couden.

While the brunch’s theme was “Coming Home to the Homestead,” he cited a long list of highlights for the year even before the historic Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge‘s sale was announced and restoration commenced, including:

-Art Wolfe speaking
-Admiral Theater upgrading (the SWSHS saved the Admiral a quarter-century ago)
-West Seattle Junction Historical Survey launched
-Museum Manager transition, Sarah Baylinson succeeded by Lissa Kramer
-Count the Lincoln Logs” contest
-Supporting the Duwamish Tribe‘s fight for federal recognition
-“If These Walls Could Talk” tour of Ye Olde Curiosity Shop founder Daddy Standley‘s house
-Coat of paint and other touchups for the museum
-Interior work, new shelving at museum
-Riverside walking tour
-Third year of the Words, Writers, & West Seattle literary series
-Totem Pole Cruise to Alaska
-Richard Hugo tribute concert and film screening in White Center
-School Daze pop-up museum at The Kenney (WSB sponsor)
-First-ever Family Halloween on the Porch

The society won two big awards this year: Last year’s Totem Pole unveiling was at the heart of 2 awards, one from Association of King County Historical Organizations, “best single-impact-event award,” and SWSHS was crowned Nonprofit of the Year by the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.

But the biggest news of all this year was new ownership of the landmark Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge, purchased in March by Dennis Schilling, who quickly embarked on its restoration, six years after the landmark was charred by fire. For so long, its fate remained unknown, Eals reminded the brunch audience, showing the 2010 “This Place Matters” gathering, echoed by a photo op this past summer – “This Place Still Matters” – that was more of a celebration.

The Homestead rebirth by itself has inspired myriad events, including the log-structure-restoration lecture/demonstration by David Rogers in August. Also, Homestead memories are being shared on the “virtual chicken dinner” page on the SWSHS website. And the 1,000-plus-student photo op on June 5th dubbed “Group Hug for the Homestead” was a morning to remember, as we showed you here.

(WSB photo, June 5th, as students were still arriving)
Eals enthused about the memories that event generated for a new generation:

Click to read the rest of VIDEO: Southwest Seattle Historical Society brunch crowd goes ‘Home to the Homestead’ and gives big…

First-ever Family Halloween on the Porch @ Log House Museum

October 31, 2015 at 2:11 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off

2:11 PM: Can’t wait until nightfall to trick or treat? One of the Halloween afternoon events happening right now is at the Log House Museum on Alki, where the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is hosting its first-ever “Family Halloween on the Porch.” We just stopped by the museum’s big covered porch, and if you can, you should too – for a little trick-or-treating, a few treats (cider and cookies), some storytelling, and what can be spookier than history? Go inside the museum and see what happened in West Seattle long ago. The museum’s at 61st and Stevens, and the party’s on until 3 pm.

ADDED 2:48 PM: It really *is* a family event – with enough room to pull up a corner of the porch and read:

Teen volunteers from the National Honor Society at West Seattle High School are helping too, including at the craft table:

Next up for SWSHS – the Champagne Gala Brunch one week from today – updates here.

Looking into the future with Southwest Seattle Historical Society: Champagne Gala Brunch updates; Family Halloween on the Porch

October 29, 2015 at 5:06 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(WSB photo taken during recent Admiral District business mixer @ Brookdale Admiral last week)
What Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals is holding in our photo is one of the “Slice of the Homestead” log sections that’ll serve as table centerpieces during the SWSHS’s Champagne Gala Brunch, now just nine days away (11 am Saturday, November 7th, at Salty’s on Alki [WSB sponsor]). The sections of original logs from the century-old landmark will also be auctioned off during the Homestead-themed gala (see the program here), which Eals reports is “at capacity,” earlier than ever, but you can get on the waitlist – go here. Everybody who’s there will enjoy the “Wait, Wait, West Seattle … Don’t Tell Me!” panel – whose celebrity participants were announced this week. And even if you are not going to the brunch, you can buy one of the 100 “Golden Tickets” on sale for a drawing that’ll happen during the gala: $100 gets you one of 100 chances to win a cruise, your choice of four destinations via Holland America Line. Here’s how to get yours, whether at the gala or at the Log House Museum starting one week from today.

Speaking of the museum (61st SW & SW Stevens, half a block from the Homestead), you’re invited to stop by for its first Family Halloween on the Porch, 1-3 pm Saturday – free treats, cider, cookies, arts and crafts, story time … find out more here.

Got West Seattle school memories? Bring them to ‘School Daze’ pop-up museum Friday

October 14, 2015 at 9:25 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

This Friday afternoon (October 16th), the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is teaming up with The Kenney (WSB sponsor) on a “pop-up museum” themed “School Daze.” You bring the items and stories to share – in this case, as SWSHS executive director Clay Eals explains it, “photos and other memorabilia from youthful times in school.” Bring it to The Kenney’s lobby (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW) 2-5 pm on Friday and see what happens from there – enjoy light refreshments, too. Everyone’s welcome – including community members who just want to hear and see what’s in the pop-up museum and don’t have stories or items to share (yet) – more info here.

West Seattle 9/11 commemorations: Log House Museum; Seattle Lutheran HS…

September 11, 2015 at 2:59 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

On this 14th anniversary of 9/11, flags are flying in The Junction, and we’ve heard of two local commemorations:

AT THE LOG HOUSE MUSEUM UNTIL 4 PM: Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals shares the photo and info – the display’s there until 4 pm:

Early this afternoon, on the 14th anniversary of 9/11, Newcastle residents Amy Zimmer (left) and Michele McKee, a former Admiral resident, look through a 180-page, large-format, laminated book documenting the wide variety of memorabilia and messages left at the base of the Statue of Liberty replica on Alki Beach in the days after the terrorist attack. The book is on display this afternoon through 4 p.m. on the porch of the “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, 3003 61st Ave. SW, where the welcoming flag on the porch flies at half-mast. The book, assembled by then-museum manager Pat Filer, is called “First Response: A Community’s Grief, Horror, Hype and Prayer.”

AT SEATTLE LUTHERAN HIGH SCHOOL: Thanks to SLHS for the photo and report from earlier today:

A moment of silence was brought by Seattle Lutheran High School Faculty, Staff and Students this morning to remember all the people who lost their lives and were affected by 9/11.

FLAGS IN THE JUNCTION: We took this photo in early afternoon:

ALKI STATUE OF LIBERTY PLAZA: Sometimes remembrances are left at the plaza because of the role it served right after the attacks – but today, it was off-limits to the public, with Parks Department crews doing maintenance work on the benches.

West Seattle schools: Introducing Louisa Boren STEM K-8

September 8, 2015 at 12:44 pm | In Delridge, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

The West Seattle public school permanently located at 5950 Delridge Way SW will be starting the year with a new name: Louisa Boren STEM K-8. This reflects not only the grades being added to what originally was called K-5 STEM, but also, an acknowledgment of the woman for whom the school’s now-permanent home is named (first as Louisa Boren Junior High School, later as the Boren Building). The announcement:

Only four years ago, Seattle Public Schools’ option school K-5 STEM opened its doors offering Kindergarten through 5th grade. One of the only STEM dedicated (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) elementary schools in the Seattle Metro area, the school is adding a middle school, beginning with 6th grade this coming school year.

With the addition of a middle school and a permanent location in the Boren building in West Seattle’s Delridge neighborhood, the school is now being called Louisa Boren STEM K-8.

“We are very excited to start our 4th year as Louisa Boren STEM K-8. We remain true to the school’s original goals of providing a strong STEM program rooted in project based learning, while our expanding vision is geared towards 21st century readiness in a community that values equity, sustainability and the whole child.” said principal Ben Ostrom.

STEM K-8’s 6th grade students will start this fall. Each coming year will add another grade, serving Kindergarten through 8th grade in the 2017-18 school year. Although current students ‘roll-up’ into the new middle school automatically, there is limited space for new enrollment as the school expands.

Louisa Boren was one of the Washington Territory pioneers and a founder of the city of Seattle. It’s fitting that STEM K-8 is located in the Louisa Boren building because Louisa herself loved science, particularly chemistry, botany and astronomy. “Liza” had a love of learning and a natural curiosity about the world.

Louisa Boren’s legacy continues today. Not only in the city of Seattle and the brave pioneering spirit she engendered, but also in her hard work supporting the women’s suffrage movement and her advocacy for Chinese workers settling in the area.

Arbor Heights Elementary school currently shares the Boren site for the second year while their school is built and ready for students in Fall 2016.

You can read all about the school’s namesake via this page on the school’s website, and at HistoryLink.org.

West Seattle history: Updates on two city-landmark houses

September 6, 2015 at 2:16 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

Updates on two of the three West Seattle residences that also happen to be city landmarks:

(WSB photo)

SATTERLEE HOUSE: The “Painted Lady” at 4866 Beach Drive SW has been on and off the market for years but finally has found a new owner. According to county records, it was sold in late July for $1,025,000. Some exterior work is under way, as you can see in our photo, taken last weekend; it was also an agenda item for the Landmarks Board last month, with approval sought for exterior-paint colors. The house’s history includes a tussle over a proposal to build three houses on its “front lawn,” denied by the city and taken by its former owner all the way to the State Supreme Court, as covered here 2008-2010. The lawn remains platted as separate lots, but no development proposals are pending.

HAINSWORTH/GORDON HOUSE: On the market for just under $2 million is the Hainsworth/Gordon House at 2657 37th SW.

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)
County records show it has changed hands four times in the past ten years, most recently a foreclosure sale at the end of 2013. Read some of its history here.


Ticket time! Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s gala this year at Salty’s will celebrate ‘Coming Home to the Homestead’

August 28, 2015 at 5:04 am | In How to help, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

Story and photos by Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

A “small organization with a big heart … the heart and soul of West Seattle.”

That’s how the Southwest Seattle Historical Society was described at a gathering to preview and celebrate an upcoming event that’s anything but small … its annual Champagne Gala Brunch fundraiser. As mentioned here a week ago, the date is set – Saturday, November 7th, 11 am, at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). The theme is an in-progress success story that was only a long-held dream at the time of last year’s gala – the restoration of the Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge.

More than 50 people, including SWSHS board members past and present, attended the gala preview Wednesday night at another historic West Seattle property, the Colman Estate on the Fauntleroy waterfront.

Its current owners were there for the preview too. Midway through the sips-and-bites event, SWSHS executive director Clay Eals took centerstage to formally announce the gala, themed “Coming Home to the Homestead.” The man who bought the fire-damaged landmark in March and has begun restoring it, Dennis Schilling, was also among the preview attendees.

While last year’s gala was “supremely successful,” SWSHS circulated a survey afterward to seek ideas for improving it this year, and so they determined it will be more focused, shorter, and with a little more room to roam in the Salty’s special-event rooms. The menu, Eals promised, will be reminiscent of the old Homestead – minus, he joked, the Jello (in a room full of history fans, laughter rippled around the room, which also filled with applause multiple times during the event).

Fittingly, one special presentation will feature, as explained on the SWSHS preview page, “Catherine Gruye Alexander and Rob Gruye, daughter and son of 1950s Alki Homestead chef and manager Robert Gruye.” Also planned for the Champagne Gala program, returning from last year’s gala – West Seattle personality Marty Riemer, who recorded this short sneak preview to explain:

You really, really don’t want to miss “Wait, Wait,” do you? Then don’t wait – assure yourself a seat with an early ticket purchase – go right here, right now.

P.S. One more announcement during the preview – SWSHS will lead a cruise group again next fall, this time to view autumn foliage along the Northeast coast, New York to Quebec. And if you’d like to join the group for this year’s Alaska Totem Cruise, September 19th-26th, it’s not too late to book a spot – scroll down this page to see how.

VIDEO: More logs arrive at Alki Homestead as restoration continues

August 21, 2015 at 5:10 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Another shipment of logs arrived today at the Alki Homestead, as owner Dennis Schilling continues the first part of its restoration. The video is courtesy of Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals, whose organization is headquartered just half a block away, at the Log House Museum, which was the Homestead’s carriage house in its early decades as the Fir Lodge. While the full restoration project will require city Landmarks Board approval, Schilling has administrative approval to proceed with work to replace logs at the building’s southeast corner.

P.S. This year’s SWSHS gala will celebrate the start of the Homestead’s restoration; reservations will be open soon, but in the meantime, SWSHS invites you to save the date, November 7th, and to read an early preview here.

VIDEO: What preservationist David Rogers showed, and told, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society

August 16, 2015 at 4:46 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off

In a time of rapid growth and change – there is still room for, and ways to, preserve historic structures. That’s what David Rogers showed and told the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s two special gatherings this week – one at its Log House Museum, whose restoration he supervised, and one during a dinner gathering in The Junction. Missed them? SWSHS shares video of both – see the embedded highlights above, and also via its page about his visit. Rogers is proprietor of Logs & Timbers, LLC, in Rhododendron, Oregon, near Mount Hood. Some of his other projects include a historic cabin in the San Juans and a homestead cabin in a park near Ellensburg.

TOMORROW: SWSHS hosts log-house preservationist David Rogers

August 8, 2015 at 5:13 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Planning the rest of your weekend? The Southwest Seattle Historical Society is circulating one more reminder of two special events tomorrow with one guest speaker – logger-turned-log-house-preservationist David Rogers, who was the contractor for the renovation of what’s now the SWSHS’s HQ, the Log House Museum. First event is 2-4 pm at the museum (61st/Stevens): “Rogers will conduct an interactive demonstration of log-restoration techniques and describe in detail the hands-on work he did on our museum building.” No charge, but the museum would love to have you RSVP if you’re expecting to go – do it here. Then at 6:30 at West 5 in The Junction, he’s speaking during a no-host dinner event as an SWSHS fundraiser – details here.

Stroll a side of West Seattle you may never have seen: Riverside

August 5, 2015 at 9:47 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(WSB photo: Frank Zuvela at Riverside plaza dedication in 2012)
Know where Riverside is? OK, maybe you do, but – have you seen it up close and personal? One week from Saturday – on August 15th – you have the chance, courtesy of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

Frank Zuvela, our expert on Riverside, the tiny fishing neighborhood below the West Seattle Bridge, will return on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015, to lead our annual Riverside Walking Tour. Admission is a donation of $5, and the tour leaves at 10 a.m. For more info, click here!

RSVP not required – the donation will be accepted at the start of the tour (follow the link for location info).

How do you restore a log house? Southwest Seattle Historical Society hosting expert David Rogers

July 30, 2015 at 11:00 am | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(Photo courtesy SWSHS)
Been to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Log House Museum? You might not realize the work that went into restoring it to extend its life – but you have two chances coming up to find out, according to this SWSHS announcement:

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society is thrilled to welcome back to West Seattle the log-home preservationist who was the contractor for restoration of its “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum 18 years ago.

David Rogers will be the special guest of the historical society for two events on Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015. His appearances are supported by 4Culture.

* The first event, free and open to the public, will run from 2 to 4 p.m. in the museum’s Circle Courtyard, 3003 61st Ave. SW, where Rogers will conduct an interactive demonstration of log-restoration techniques and describe in detail the hands-on work he did on the museum.

* The second event, a fundraiser for the historical society, is a no-host dinner at West 5 Lounge, 4539 California Ave. SW in the West Seattle Junction, at which Rogers will speak about the importance of preserving and restoring log structures. Admission is a $10 donation, payable at the door or online. (Any food or drink ordered is in addition to the donation.)

Reservations are being taken for both events (here).

Rogers, who has operated his Logs & Timbers business from Rhododendron, Oregon, since 1983, has successfully helped scores of private organizations and public agencies to achieve their preservation goals.

He inspired countless thousands with his hands-on helming of the Log House Museum’s back (south) wall in 1996-1997. His craftsmanship on behalf of the museum is highlighted in a 6-minute video that is viewable (here).

West Seattle 4th of July scene: ‘This Place Still Matters’

July 4, 2015 at 6:03 pm | In Alki Homestead, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off

With the first phase of the Alki Homestead‘s restoration under way, the years of uncertainty about its future are receding further into memory. But today, there was a tribute to one moment along the way: Five years ago on the 4th of July, a big group photo outside the landmark log building proclaimed “This Place Matters” and to underscore their belief that its future eventually would brighten. Today, during the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s annual picnic at the Log House Museum – the Homestead’s old carriage house – there was a break to take an anniversary photo, with participants of all ages affirming that “This Place Still Matters.”

Today’s group was not big in size but was certainly big in heart. The top photo is our take from the sidewalk; an official photo from across the street was taken by Jean Sherrard, who was also the photographer five years ago, as well as four weeks ago when a thousand students came to the Homestead for the photo dubbed a “group hug” (WSB coverage here). A copy of that was part of today’s photo too:

The Homestead also was feted today in the choice of main dishes for the SWSHS picnic – fried chicken!

P.S. Another step in its path to restoration will come next Friday, when the Architectural Review Committee of the city Landmarks Board will look at the newest plans during its 8:30 am meeting on the 40th floor of the city Municipal Tower downtown.

Sneak peek inside today’s ‘If These Walls Could Talk’ tour home

June 28, 2015 at 2:20 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(WSB photos)
3-5 pm today, as noted in our West Seattle Sunday preview, the doors swing open at a West Seattle home with history – the North Admiral house built by J.E. “Daddy” Standley, founder of Ye Olde Curiosity Shop on the downtown waterfront. It’s this year’s “If These Walls Could Talk” tour presented by and benefiting the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. We took a quick peek inside during the noontime VIP presentation – getting a sense of the home’s “then and now”:

The “then and now” aspects are also underscored by this group – 90-year-old Joe James, grandson of “Daddy” Standley, and Katy Walum, whose family has owned the house for a decade – kids Olivia and Henry are growing up there:

As befitting a mellow Sunday afternoon, we found music, courtesy of The Ukes:

No advance reservations/tickets required – just get over to 1750 Palm SW between 3 and 5 pm; tour admission is $10 SWSHS members, $15 nonmembers. And if you’re not sure why the house was such a traffic-stopper in its day – read about it here!

Alki parking: New plan for lot next to the Homestead

June 27, 2015 at 4:18 pm | In Transportation, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(SWSHS photo: Matt Schilling, son of Alki Homestead owner Dennis Schilling, finishing the sign)
Walking toward Alki Beach along 61st SW this afternoon, past the early-stage-renovation-under-way Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge, we noticed that sign, and maybe you did too. Clay Eals of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society shared the photo and this explanation/announcement:

Now that restoration work has begun on the city-landmark Fir Lodge​​/Alki Homestead, a procedure has been established for parking during construction work that will transpire over the next year or two.

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society holds an easement for use of the Homestead parking lot. Thus, visitors to the organization’s “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum can park free in the Homestead lot during the museum’s open hours of noon to 4 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Access is via the alley behind the Homestead lot.

Immediately upon parking in the lot during the open hours, a museum visitor must obtain a parking pass at the museum and return to his or her car and place the pass on the dashboard.

Staff and volunteers of the organization also can park in the Homestead lot during open hours and at other times by displaying a permanent parking pass.

The lot also is available to the general public seeking to park for non-museum purposes. Those seeking parking in the Alki area can park in the Homestead lot for a fee of $10/day.

The funds, which will go to Homestead owner Dennis Schilling, are collected in a locked honor box at the parking lot. Signs posted at the lot explain the procedure and fee.

Spaces will be designated for museum parking (and moved, as needed, to accommodate construction vehicles) so that no matter how many spaces are filled by those who pay for parking, there will be spaces available for museum parking during open hours.

The Homestead parking lot sits one-half block north of the museum. Access to the lot is via the alley behind 61st Avenue SW, between Alki Avenue SW and SW Stevens Street. (The alley entrance from Alki Avenue is between Starbucks and Top Pot Doughnuts.)

More Homestead restoration info, including the new parking policy, is on the SWSHS website.

TOMORROW: Chowder, dessert, history, Totem Pole Cruise info

June 10, 2015 at 6:34 pm | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(Ketchikan totems; photo courtesy SWSHS)

Something fun to start off your evening tomorrow – from Clay Eals at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

​What do our area’s beloved totem poles, Duke’s chowder, New Orleans-style dessert “snoballs” and the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition have in common?

Come to the “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum for a FREE reception at 6 tomorrow (Thursday, June 11) to find out!

Want a hint? Check out this six-minute segment from the Monday’s “New Day Northwest” show on KING-TV.

​The Southwest Seattle Historical Society is offering a FREE reception at its museum from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 11, to provide information about — and a taste of — what participants on its seven-day benefit Alaska Totem Cruise will experience this September.

Featured will be an illustrated talk by Dan Kerlee, Seattle expert on the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition and the 1911-1914 Golden Potlatch (forerunner of Seafair), both of which presented Northwest Coastal Indian art and culture.

Kerlee will present programs aboard the Alaska Totem Cruise, set for Sept. 19-26, sailing from Seattle and visiting ​Juneau, Glacier Bay, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria.

Also aboard and providing cooking demonstrations will be Duke Moscrip and Chef “Wild Bill” Raniger of Duke’s Chowder Houses, sponsor of the cruise.

At the Thursday evening reception, Duke’s chowder will be served as well as a New Orleans-style dessert, “Seattle Snoballs.”

Of course, at the reception people can sign up for the cruise with just a $10 deposit. From each booking, $25 will go to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

VIDEO: Alki, Schmitz Park Elementaries help Southwest Seattle Historical Society celebrate start of Alki Homestead restoration

June 5, 2015 at 11:13 am | In Alki Homestead, West Seattle history, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 5 Comments

(Substituted Friday night: Jean Sherrard‘s panorama, courtesy SWSHS – see WSB view at story’s end)
ORIGINAL 11:13 AM REPORT: We’re on the lawn at the Alki Homestead / Fir Lodge, where a short ceremony and photo op has just wrapped up, to mark the start of the Homestead’s restoration.

(WSB Instagram clip as students arrived at the Homestead; more visuals on IG)
Students from Alki and Schmitz Park Elementaries walked over here to be part of a “group hug for the Homestead” photo coordinated by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

Joining them were two West Seattleites serving in county and city government, County Executive Dow Constantine and City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

The Homestead’s new owner, Dennis Schilling, was here too, and SWSHS executive director Clay Eals (with Rasmussen and Constantine in the photo added above) emceed.

From the two schools’ leadership: SPES assistant principal Liora Minkin and Alki principal Shannon Stanton:

P.S. This was also an anniversary of sorts – one year ago tomorrow, these same two schools gathered a half-block away outside the Log House Museum – home to SWSHS and the Homestead/Fir Lodge’s former carriage house – to celebrate the unveiling of the restored Admiral Way totem pole that now stands on the east side of the LHM’s grounds.

ADDED 1:30 PM: Adding photos, and our video of the quick speeches will follow (about 15 minutes total – added 7:21 pm, below).

(Added Saturday – the SWSHS version, shot from above)

Councilmember Rasmussen led the crowd in a chant about bringing back the Homestead’s famous fried chicken (new owner Schilling has said he’s not sure yet what kind of business the restored lodge will be home to); Executive Constantine told the kids to be sure to smile, since the photo will be part of history, and noted that while he’s a Schmitz Park alum, he’s not sure where his daughter Sabrina will be going in four years, since his house is on the Alki/Lafayette line.

West Seattle High School’s annual All-School Reunion next Saturday

June 1, 2015 at 5:53 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

As summer approaches, so do reunions – including some that span multiple years, like the annual West Seattle High School All-School Reunion, set for next Saturday. From the WSB inbox:

Calling all WSHS students and faculty, current and former, to join us at the first Saturday in June (6/6/15) annual All-School Reunion. 2-3 pm sign-in, 3-5:30 individual class reunions and program including honoring Hall of Fame inductees, Scholarship recipients and more. Renew your membership and receive a beautiful alumni license plate frame (while supplies last)! Sign up in advance for a group photo of family/friends/classmates by student photographers in their studio, just drop an email to wshsaa.98116@gmail.com for scheduling. AND HELP US SPREAD THE WORD BY SHARING THIS EVENT WITH ALL YOUR ALUMNI CONTACTS!

You can see a photo of the license-plate frame on the All-School Reunion’s Facebook event page.

Logs arrive for early restoration work at Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge

May 28, 2015 at 5:26 pm | In Alki Homestead, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 8 Comments

(Dennis Schilling, Alki Homestead owner, shows the logs he has just transported to its parking lot)
Two and a half months after Dennis Schilling bought the Alki Homestead/Fir Lodge, there are visible signs of its upcoming restoration. Thanks to Clay Eals, Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director, for the photo and update:

Fifteen fir logs arrived in the Alki Homestead parking lot this afternoon, awaiting use in replacing damaged logs in the southeast corner of the building.

The logs are stored in a trailer that owner Dennis Schilling drove from Mountain Log Homes in Kalama, north of Portland. Each log is about 16 1/2 feet long.

Schilling said work will begin soon on shoring up the interior of the southeast corner of the Homestead to allow eventual replacement of damaged logs that have been marked for several months with blue tape.

In preparation for this work, Schilling’s crew installed anchor fence to surround the front entrance of the Homestead as a protective measure.

There is no set schedule for the log replacement, but some of the work may begin by the time of a group photo to be taken of 900 students from Alki and Schmitz Park elementary schools the morning of Friday, June 5, 2015. As part of the brief event, speakers will include King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle City Council member Tom Rasmussen.

Schilling has been consulting with a structural engineer, and his crew has installed temporary power and begun cleaning out non-landmarked, fire-damaged materials from the kitchen. Soon his crew will measure roof angles in preparation for repair, along with eventual restoration of the iconic Alki Homestead sign.

More backstory on this page of the SWSHS website – and going even further back, in our archive of WSB Alki Homestead coverage, including the January 2009 fire that has left it vacant for more than six years.

‘If These Walls Could Talk’: Southwest Seattle Historical Society invites you to tour home built by Ye Olde Curiosity Shop’s founder

May 27, 2015 at 9:22 am | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Once again this summer, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society offers you a chance to look inside a local home with history. This time, you’re invited to a June 28th tour of the North Admiral home built by the founder of Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, the legendary shop that reopens on the downtown waterfront a few days later after the latest round of seawall work. From SWSHS:

A century ago, the home at 1750 Palm Avenue SW probably was the most gawked-at, talked-about residence in West Seattle.

“Everybody wanted to see it,” says 90-year-old Joe James (in the short invitation clip below), whose grandfather – Ye Olde Curiosity Shop founder Joseph Edward “Daddy” Standley – built the house in 1906.

“Sightseeing buses used to stop there on their tours and let people out to look at the yard. He had everything in there you could think of, from whale jawbones to whale vertebrae to totem poles to shell mounds.”

Often, visitors were allowed to venture inside.

“He had a lot of curios in the house, things that he had collected,” James says. “He had a miniature collection and an ivory collection and all of that. People would come up to the fence, and he’d invite them into the house and show them what else he had. My mother never knew who was going to come into the house. He was very friendly to these people and very proud to show them his collection.”

On Sunday, June 28, 2015, the home will be the site of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s third annual “If These Walls Could Talk” home tour, to run from 3 to 5 p.m. Tickets, available at the door, are $10 for members, $15 for non-members.

Attendees will have an opportunity to tour the residence (now owned by Katy and Erik Walum), view historical photographs of the house and property and learn about the remarkable life of Standley.

In addition, they will see a selection of curios and family keepsakes on loan from the Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, including a variety of Indian baskets, a 3-foot totem that greeted shop visitors in the early 1900s, and an antique cradle that has rocked five generations of Standley children.

They also will be able to meet Joe James, his son Andy and other members of the Standley clan, who for 116 years have welcomed curiosity-seekers at their iconic Seattle waterfront store.

Those who would like an invitation-only VIP experience earlier in the day, including presentations by Joe James and King County Archives’ Greg Lange, plus hors d’oeuvres and wine, please call 206-938-5293 or e-mail clay.eals@loghousemuseum.info.

Find out even more at loghousemuseum.info.

Also starting today: Tour season at Alki Point Lighthouse

May 23, 2015 at 12:01 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 3 Comments

(Photo by Long Bach Nguyen – click image to see larger version)
The summertime tour season at Alki Point Lighthouse (lower left in the photo above) is starting early. Debra Alderman from the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary says they had to make sure they’d have enough volunteers for this weekend – they do, and so it’s on:

FREE lighthouse tours this weekend! The Alki Point Lighthouse begins its tour season this weekend! We will be open Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. First tour is at 1 p.m.; last tour enters at 3:40 p.m. We will be open most Saturdays and Sundays between now and Labor Day. Three days this summer that we will NOT be open: June 13, August 1, and August 2. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers provide tours free of charge. Location: 3201 Alki Avenue SW. Visit our website for tour information and updates: cgauxseattle.org

Find out more about the lighthouse in this WSB story from its centennial year (2013).

Two more for today/tonight: Meeples Games turns 1; Fauntleroy Schoolhouse looks ahead to turning 100

May 17, 2015 at 12:17 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

In addition to the highlights lineup published early today, we have two additions, both related to anniversaries:

MEEPLES GAMES’ FIRST ANNIVERSARY: What a year it’s been for Meeples Games, on the second floor of Charlestown Center (California/Charlestown), including being honored as the best Emerging Business in the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce‘s Westside Awards (WSB coverage here). If you were to pick the perfect time to stop by and help celebrate, Meeples’ proprietor Laura Schneider says they’re cutting the anniversary cake at 3 pm.

(1940 Fauntleroy School photo from Seattle Public Schools‘ thumbnail history)
FAUNTLEROY SCHOOLHOUSE’S CENTENNIAL ART OPEN HOUSE: 4-7 pm today, at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse:

We will be hosting a Centennial Art Open House to raise monies for (the schoolhouse’s) 100th Birthday in May 2017. We have art pieces from local West Seattle artist such as, Art Wolfe, Sue Madill, Warren Pope, Greg Bartol, Jimmy Gersen, Patty McPhee,Chris Bath, Linda McClamrock, Nancy Gilbert, Holly Margell,Kathy Johnson, Gail Ann Wodzin and jewelry by Abi Haggerty! Lite hors d’oeuvres by Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes Catering and Events. Come share your story, pictures and memorabilia with other alumni. See you there!

Of course, you don’t have to have been a schoolhouse alum to attend. It’s all happening at 9131 California SW.

TRAFFIC/TRANSIT TODAY: Thursday alerts & ‘Throwback’ view

May 14, 2015 at 7:20 am | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news, West Seattle traffic alerts | 27 Comments

(Four WS-relevant views; more cams on the WSB Traffic page)
Nothing out of the ordinary in/from West Seattle so far this morning. Alerts/reminders:

BRIDGE WORK: Today is the last announced day of off-peak work on the outer lanes of the bridge.

THIS WEEKEND: Anti-drilling demonstrations on sea and land Saturday are expected to bring crowds to Seacrest, Don Armeni, and Jack Block Park … On Sunday, Alki Avenue will be closed until about 11 am for the West Seattle 5K. More on both later today.

Now, our weekly look back:

TRAFFIC THROWBACK THURSDAY: This week’s featured image is NOT from the Seattle Municipal Archives, much as we love them. It’s courtesy of the Sheppard Family, who granted us permission to use the view of Admiral/California, from the southeast corner looking north:

(Click for a larger view)
While asking WSB contributor Megan Sheppard if we could use the photo, we forgot to ask the year. Guesses?

Take a walk, to shape a tour! Join SW Seattle Historical Society on Alki Beach on three upcoming Saturdays

May 7, 2015 at 12:50 am | In West Seattle beaches, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 4 Comments

(Wednesday low-tide photo by Lynn Hall)
In case you haven’t already seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is launching a new series of beach walks, starting this Saturday, but with a twist – the walks are not tours in themselves, but rather, your chance to help shape a tour. This announcement from SWSHS explains:

The history of Alki Beach awaits a rich, multi-layered walking tour to be developed this spring by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, and you can help make it happen.

The historical society plans three “scouting expeditions” on foot from 10:30 a.m. to noon on three Saturdays this month. The walks will start and end at the historical society’s “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum, 3003 61st Ave. SW.

People can sign up for one, two or all three sessions. They will cover these sections of the beach:

* The promenade, Saturday, May 9

* The sandy beach, Saturday, May 16

* The rocky beach north to the former Luna Park (often called Anchor Park), Saturday, May 30

Leading the sessions is Dave Hrachovina, who grew up in West Seattle and is the museum’s regular docent/greeter on Fridays and Saturdays. He is looking forward to putting together the beach walks.

“You never get tired of Alki,” he says. “It is like an inexhaustible spring of pleasure for young and old. It is Seattle’s headwater, and it is contagious. The more you learn, the more it grows on you.”

The purpose of the sessions is to identify points of interest to be included on a beach walk, everything from the Duwamish tribal story and the Landing Party saga to the times of shacks, tents and the “Coney Island of the West.” Icons present and past will be part of the mix, including the “Birthplace of Seattle” monument, the Statue of Liberty replica, the Alki Bathhouse, the Alki Natatorium, and Luna Park.

If you are interested in taking part in these “scouting expeditions,” please call 206-938-5293 or e-mail clay.eals@loghousemuseum.info to reserve your spot.

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