(Empty artifact case post-removal; 2013 photo courtesy Duwamish Longhouse)
The Duwamish Tribe says it’s still trying to get its artifacts back. Last August, news emerged that the Port of Seattle was deciding the fate of artifacts found on historic tribal land that it now controls. Today, according to this news release sent by the tribe tonight, they received official confirmation their artifacts will be given to a tribe that unlike the Duwamish has federal recognition (something the Duwamish have long fought for). The news release is followed by the text of the letter to which it refers.
The Duwamish Tribe would like its cultural artifacts back. Last July, the Burke Museum was paid by the Port of Seattle to confiscate $800 worth of Duwamish cultural artifacts on display at the Duwamish Longhouse & Center. The artifacts were from the Duwamish #1 Archeological Site, an old Duwamish camp and village site across the street from the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center.
The tribe received a call from the Burke Museum today that the artifacts will be given to the Muckleshoot Tribe in Auburn.
Unknown to the Duwamish Tribe, 2 years ago the Port of Seattle declared that it wanted to surplus its archeological artifacts including those from the Duwamish Archeological Site #1 bordered by the Duwamish River and W Marginal Way SW.
How did the Port come to own the archeological artifacts? In the early 60’s, the Port declared eminent domain, and bought out the interests of area residents to make way for the building of Terminal 107. Because of environmental issues, the terminal was never built. The area was also the site of the last original shoreline of the Duwamish River. As the land was being cleared, the Duwamish #1 Archeological Site was discovered and dug in the 1970’s. The archeological site is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been set aside as a public park. The Port retains ownership of the site.
The Duwamish Tribe has sent a letter to the Port proposing to buy back its culture artifacts for display at the Duwamish Longhouse & Cultural Center.
“It would seem that best public good & cultural value would be to continue to display the artifacts from this site at the Seattle location where they were found.“
Ahead, the text of the letter mentioned above, included in tonight’s e-mail to us from the tribe, carrying today’s date:
Last chance to visit Log House Museum for a while! Temporary closure after this weekend, for new exhibitFebruary 21, 2014 at 2:50 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | No Comments
(Photo courtesy Log House Museum)
Making weekend plans? It’s your last chance to visit the home of West Seattle history, the Log House Museum, during its regular hours 12-4 pm Saturday and Sunday – after Sunday, it’s closing for a few weeks to get a new exhibit in place. Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals shares the announcement:
Mark your calendar for Saturday, March 15, 2014, for the opening of a new exhibit at the Log House Museum of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
The new exhibit is the second phase of a three-phase exhibit whose overall title is “Telling Our Westside Stories.” The theme of the second phase is “Work.”
The first-phase exhibit, with the theme of “Land,” has been up since fall 2012 and will close on Sunday, Feb. 23. (Regular open hours are noon to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. The museum is located at 3003 61st Ave. S.W., one block from Alki Beach.)
To take down the first-phase exhibit and install the second-phase exhibit, staff will close the museum from Thursday, Feb. 27, through Friday, March 14.
The new exhibit will open to the public at noon Saturday, March 15. It will examine various types of work done over the years by residents of the Duwamish peninsula and their attitudes toward it.
Besides artifacts, photos and printed interview excerpts, the exhibit will focus on brief videos that tell stories visually in the museum’s main gallery.
The bulk of the material generated for the “Telling Our Westside Stories” exhibits comes from interviews of community elders conducted by students at Madison Middle School and supervised by volunteers of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.
Volunteers have transcribed the interviews, culled related images and combined interview excerpts and images into brief videos.
“Eliciting and preserving the stories of our residents is an important part of what we do,” says Clay Eals, executive director. “It is straight down the middle of our mission to promote local heritage through education, preservation and advocacy.”
The exhibit, curated by Sarah Baylinson, museum manager, is funded in part by 4Culture and the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.
The Log House Museum is at 61st/Stevens, a block inland from the heart of Alki.
Seventy-two years ago today, on February 19th, 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which led to the internment of more than 110,000 people in Western states, including ours, because they were from Japan or of Japanese ancestry. Before mid-winter break, students from Gatewood Elementary traveled to the historic site on Bainbridge Island formally known as the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial to learn about this. Teacher Darren Radu shared their report and photos:
We are students of Team Mt. Si at Gatewood Elementary. Over the past three months, we have been studying Japanese Internment during World War II. Did you know that as a result of the bombing of Pearl Harbor, many people were suspicious of perfectly innocent Japanese and Japanese Americans, who were then forced to move to internment camps? The camps were terrible places (many cabins were horse and cow stables!) for people to live and the Japanese did not have a choice about moving. Internment affected many residents and families from the Seattle area.
We took a field trip with our teachers Ms. Moran, Ms. Ott, and Mr. Radu to Bainbridge Island to visit the Japanese Internment Memorial. We visited the actual beach where many local Japanese and Japanese Americans boarded ferries that took them to camps. The Memorial helped us to experience what it was like to be in their shoes.
We also met our friend and amazing local artist, Steve Gardner, who showed us some of the ceramic sculptures he created for the memorial.
His work illustrates the lives of Bainbridge Japanese people before, during, and after internment.
We also worked with our teacher Colleen Moran to take a stand on the events of World War II by writing persuasive essays. It was important for us to learn about Japanese Internment because it helped us to learn from the past and to avoid making the same mistakes. We hope that other people will take the time to visit the Internment Memorial and continue to fight for justice, too!
The Students of Team Mt. Si
This HistoryLink.org page shows how what was termed an “evacuation” unfolded in Seattle starting two months after President Roosevelt’s order.
It’s been five years since the Duwamish Tribe celebrated the opening of its longhouse at 4705 W. Marginal Way SW – and you still have three hours to join the anniversary celebration. An open house continues until 5 pm; we stopped by for the noontime reception:
Those on hand included Cecile Hansen, who has served as the tribe’s elected chair since 1975:
The story of the longhouse – the first one for the Duwamish people since their last one was burned down before the end of the 19th century – is told in this HistoryLink.org report. The story of the tribe can be explored both via its website and at the Longhouse/Cultural Center, which has regular hours as well as being open for special events like the one today.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Two brick buildings along California SW have been in the news here again recently - Charlestown Court (3811), up again for demolition:
And the former Admiralty House Antiques (2141), recently sold but NOT currently up for demolition, undergoing interior work:
As other development proposals turn up – and as large developments proceed, with 4206, 4730, and 5020 California underway in The Junction and 3210 California in the works for south Admiral – the question is often asked: Is anyone working to save anything before it’s (almost) all gone?
The answer is complicated.
Going through the city’s development files, we discovered another building with history is back in queue for demolition and replacement: The Charlestown Court Apartments at 3811 California SW (map).
We first wrote about the brick Tudor fourplex in 2007, when a mixed-use building was proposed to replace it. A landmark nomination ensued, and while it was deemed not worthy of landmark status, a new development proposal that emerged in 2008 would have raised and preserved the 1920s-built complex’s facade.
2008, of course, was the year of the building bust, and the new plan went nowhere; the apartments have stood as-is ever since. Now, we find an early-stage proposal to tear them down and replace them with eight townhouses. The proposal – attributed to a Snohomish County firm – appears to have been in the city system just a few weeks, so no formal comment period has opened yet.
SIDE NOTE: Charlestown Court is right across California from the former Charlestown Café, where a 30-unit development of townhouses and live-work units is planned and makes its Design Review debut two weeks from tonight.
Another way to make 2014 even better than 2013: Spend more time volunteering! An easy way to get going with that is coming up tomorrow – the monthly intro-to-volunteering session at the Log House Museum. The museum’s parent organization, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, can use your help with a variety of things – as explained here. SWSHS executive director Clay Eals leads the intro session, 11 am-1 pm Saturday (January 4th); the museum is at 61st and Stevens, just a block inland from Alki Beach.
We originally drafted this story on Saturday, planning to finish and publish it on Monday. Then came The Big Power Outage, which now holds the title for “most-commented WSB story ever,” passing the previous titleholder, coverage of the November 22, 2010, snow/ice-pocalypse. As was the case with both those reports, comments on WSB stories are more often about community information-sharing than about opinions or observations, whether it’s a road report in a morning-traffic thread, or the simple “No power here/power’s back on here” updates from Monday. That said, our one-and-only look back at 2013 proceeds, with less than an hour left until 2014. It’s a Top 11 since we already had dug up the Top 10 before something new topped them all:
11: ‘Private’ fireworks display off Beach Drive, July 20, 2013 – 137 comments
9: Impending opening of Bada Bistro, March 12, 2013 – 144 comments
*The announcement declared “We don’t serve merlot.” The discussion caught fire from there. The restaurant closed after less than five months.
7/8 (tie): Alan Polevia spotted in Shorewood, hours-long helicopter search ensues, March 5, 2013 – 145 comments
*After serving about four months of a six-month sentence, Polevia got out of jail October 21st. He spent a day back behind bars in early November for a DUI warrant.
7/8 (tie): Bicyclist killed on East Marginal, May 1, 2013 – 145 comments
Almost exactly six years ago – on New Year’s Day, 2008 – we took a quick “past/present” look at 4808 SW Alaska, thanks to neighbor Bill pointing out its past identity as Fraker’s Grocery. Today, the building is pretty much what it was at the time of that WSB story – vacant and rundown:
But its days are finally numbered. We’re mentioning it today because our latest routine check of city Department of Planning and Development files turned up new applications for demolition and construction permits. A new single-family house is proposed for the site, which was separated from an adjacent lot in a land-use action three years ago. But it’s noteworthy given its history, still hinted at by this shadow of a Coca-Cola sign on the south-facing window:
County records show the market’s former proprietor, Dean Fraker, owned the site until 2001; he died in 2009. It was sold again two weeks ago to a real-estate-investment LLC.
Something old is something new in The Junction today – that sign that’s just gone up outside Husky Deli is a replica of the one that marked its location for more than thirty years. Husky proprietor Jack Miller gave us the heads-up it would be going up today; he told us in a quick video interview this morning that it’s something he’s wanted to do for a long time:
The sign is still being tweaked, and, as noted in the video, will be turned on tonight; we’ll add “after” photos later. Read about Husky’s history, from West Seattle 101, here.
P.S. Other local businesses have rediscovered their history – two and a half years ago, you might recall, we chronicled what turned up during Elliott Bay Brewing’s facade remodel (commenters added lots of great information); also on that side of the street, early work at the 4730 California site turned up a sign from a long-gone business.
(Photos courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society)
Sweet-treat hospitality was a hit Saturday evening at the Log House Museum – Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals estimates around 50 people came by during while the LHM was offering “Cookies & Cider on the Porch.” Above, you see Marcy Johnsen, SWSHS board president and former LHM resident, telling visitors about its history. Below, a little clowning around with (from left) volunteers Amanda Gilbert and Debbie Neifert and visitor Karen Choyce, Newcastle resident and former West Seattleite:
The museum’s regular hours are noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays, so even if you didn’t make it to Saturday’s event – timed to coincide with the Christmas Ship‘s Alki visit – you can enjoy its exhibits and decorations (at 61st/Stevens) as soon as this afternoon! You might find a unique gift or two there, too – perhaps a “scenic” shopping bag.
(WSB photo, taken this morning)
Thanks to Richard Hesik for spotting the listing and sending the link: Almost five years after the electrical fire that damaged and closed the historic-landmark Alki Homestead, it’s listed for sale, again. It had been on the market before the fire; a year and a half afterward, owner Tom Lin said he would put it back on the market, but no listing ever appeared. He then engaged a team of local architects to pursue a restoration plan that went before the city Landmarks Board Architectural Review Committee four times (reports are in our archive of Homestead coverage) before the project went dormant. Now, the 110-year-old former Fir Lodge, a city landmark on a 14k-square-foot lot, is listed for $1,850,000, with Paragon Real Estate Advisors‘ flyer declaring that the Homestead is “now waiting for a new owner to bring it back to life and carry on the legacy,” while also noting, “The list price does not include the cost of rehabilitation of the structure.”
(Photo courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society)
The Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Log House Museum is decked for the holidays – just in time for a wave of special events to roll into the Alki Beach landmark. Volunteers including Bonnie Gromlich, Debbie Neifert, and Kerry Korsgaard (above) spent the past few days decorating, with an eye toward Saturday, when the museum will offer cookies and hot apple cider on its spacious porch 4-6:30 pm in honor of the Christmas Ship’s Alki visit (scheduled for 5:10-5:30).
Earlier on Saturday, you are also welcome at the museum for its monthly volunteer orientation, 11 am-1 pm – details here.
P.S. SWSHS has two other events ahead, though they’re not at the museum itself – tomorrow (Thursday) night at ArtsWest (WSB sponsor), the Historical Society co-presents a free “On Stage” discussion about “Stories of the Civil War“; as part of the program, past president Judy Bentley will talk about “Free Boy,” which she co-authored, telling the story of a 13-year-old slave who escapes. The discussion precedes tomorrow night’s performance of “Little Women: The Musical,” for which SWSHS members are eligible for discounted tickets good that night only. Full details on the SWSHS website. And 4-6 pm at Westwood Village Barnes & Noble, it’s the SWSHS-co-presented “Words, Writers, West Seattle” author appearance featuring Nicole Hardy – as previewed here earlier this week.
On Saturday, many Americans will stop to think about World War II, on National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. In West Seattle, a group of women with a special interest in wartime remembrances will be gathering, as announced by local writer/performer/activist Georgie Bright Kunkel (right):
The reorganized Rosie the Riveter Group will meet at the home of Georgie Bright Kunkel on Saturday, December 7th, at 1:30 pm.
Call Georgie at 206-935-8663 if you worked during World War II in any job that released a man to serve in the military. We will share WWII stories.
If you were a Rosie – as was Georgie – or know one, don’t miss it. (Here’s our report by Christopher Boffoli from a gathering of Georgie and other local “Rosies” back in 2009.)
(First 3 photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
West Seattle’s Holy Rosary School is celebrating its centennial, and as part of that, its 460-plus students gathered today for a group photo in the church. That’s our view of the big picture, above. Here’s Carl Baber, the parent who served today as official photographer:
He had quite the task to wrangle 460-plus photographic subjects at once. But they got a treat after their historic pose – they were all allowed to make goofy faces:
We asked HR if they had a comparable all-school shot from sometime in the past hundred years. Answer: No; but for comparison’s sake, here’s a 6th-grade group shot from 1959:
And for a bonus view of history, an aerial (looking west-northwest, with 42nd SW in the middle, between church and school):
The people we talked with at HR today didn’t know what year that’s from – do you? Meantime – read about the school’s history here.
(Photo from Seattle Municipal Archives)
We’re in the final moments of one of Seattle’s biggest anniversaries: November 13th, the day the Denny Party came ashore on Alki in 1851. No parties that we know of today – certainly nothing like the one on the sesquicentennial anniversary in 2001, with the landing re-enacted as shown above – but this weekend, the Log House Museum has a unique commemoration: You are invited to stop by Saturday afternoon, 2-4 pm at 61st and Stevens, and have your “landing story” recorded on video for posterity. Read more about it on the LHM’s website. (And read more about some past observances here!)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
A big year for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society culminated in a full house at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) today – celebrating and hearing about the past, and raising more than $37,000 to help continue the organization’s work into the future.
With executive director Clay Eals emceeing the event near the end of his first year leading SWSHS, the Champagne Gala Luncheon pulsed with attention-drawing events-within-an-event, from silent auction, to special guest speaker Dave Beck, to the inspirational speakers from the deep-rooted Hallberg family.
The nearly 200 people on hand included a long list of West Seattle luminaries, from entrepreneurs to civic activists to politicians present and past, including City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen and former Mayor Greg Nickels – but you didn’t have to have a famous name to be part of the “tapestry.”
The fundraising total came from not only tickets to the event and the silent auction, but also from a raffle, dessert dash, and special Fund-a-Dream cash-donation round.
It was more than a party – it was also a chance to gain knowledge, including a surprise declaration regarding the fate of the Alki Homestead:
Southwest Seattle Historical Society benefit gala: Preview auction items, including furniture pieces that ‘come with a story’October 27, 2013 at 6:45 pm | In How to help, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | Comments Off
In that video, furniture from the 100-year-old Alki Point Lighthouse – donated to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society to be auctioned as part of its “Tripping the Lighthouse Fantastic” gala on November 9th. And starting now, you can preview other auction items online too – here’s the SWSHS announcement:
For the first time in its history, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society has established an online preview of the exciting items that will be available for bid at its biggest fundraiser of the year, the Champagne Gala Lunch.
Also, for the first time, anyone – attending or not – has the opportunity to bid now on the most unusual items, including two that are too big to bring to the event venue, Salty’s on Alki.
The online auction preview can be found here. At that page, visitors can get an early peek at, and make an early bid on, several unusual items in the silent auction.
Each item has a description plus a photo or short video. Bidding is easy – just one click to e-mail a bid, including credit-card information (name on card, account number, expiration date, security code and zip code) along with the bid.
Here are the major items available for viewing now:
Broadcaster & West Seattleite Dave Beck headlines SW Seattle Historical Society’s Champagne Gala LunchOctober 19, 2013 at 6:57 am | In Fun stuff to do, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 2 Comments
Exactly three weeks until the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Champagne Gala Lunch – perfect time to get your ticket. SWSHS has landed a well-known West Seattleite, broadcaster Dave Beck, as speaker; here’s the newest update on the November 9th event:
With an inspiring program featuring Dave Beck, a dessert dash, a silent auction full of intriguing items, good friends, great food, a historic West Seattle setting, and “the best view of Seattle in Seattle,” the annual Champagne Gala Lunch is a can’t-miss date.
In fact, it promises to be as fun as its centennial theme: “Tripping the Lighthouse Fantastic”!
The event, the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, November 9th, at Salty’s on Alki, 1936 Harbor Ave. SW.
Tickets are $75 adults, $45 teens 13-18, $25 children 4-12, and children under 4 free. Order yours by visiting loghousemuseum.info and using the “Make a Donation” button toward the bottom of the home page, specifying that your donation is for ticket(s) to the gala.
Beck, the featured speaker, has been a genial fixture of Seattle’s public-radio airwaves and classical-music scene for 28 years, and he has deep roots in West Seattle.
His parents’ livelihood stemmed from Boeing, and from age 10, Dave grew up in Fauntleroy, attending Gatewood Elementary School, Denny Junior High School, and Chief Sealth High School before graduating in music from the University of Washington.
He has lived in West Seattle since 1996, first in Westwood and since 2006 in Admiral.
Best known for his award-winning, on-air conversations with local, national and international luminaries in all fields of culture, Dave is an accomplished and busy cellist who recently joined KING-FM as on-air classical-music host.
From 1985 through the summer of 2013, he carved an impressive career as producer, host and music director at KUOW-FM for insightful programs that included “Weekday,” “KUOW Presents,” and “The Beat.”
For the Champagne Gala Lunch, Dave will bring a constellation of stories from his interviews of well-known West Seattleites, as well as reflections on why he and his family chose – and continue to choose – West Seattle as their home.
You can also call 206-938-5293 to reserve seat(s) at the SWSHS gala, and if you’re still deciding, go here, where you’ll also find a video invitation by Beck, and a two-minute video history of event sponsor Nucor Steel. (WSB is a media sponsor for the gala – see you there!)
At mid-afternoon Friday, all that was left of the building on the southwest corner of 42nd/Alaska was what we’re told was once a vault. As projected by contractor Andersen Construction, working for developer/owner Equity Residential, the building was torn down in a week. We showed the Monday start here, and an update on Thursday, before crews moved on to the Rocksport side of the building Friday. One 7-story apartment/retail building is to go up on that side of the site, another on the west side, which formerly housed businesses including Super Supplements, and long before that, the West Seattle Hospital, including an upper story that’s long gone – check it out in this aerial from the city archives, dated 1957:
Click here to see a larger view, and look closely for the street labeling. Note that Jefferson School (opened in 1912, closed in 1979) was still on the 42nd SW site now known as Jefferson Square, and look around the photo for other sites that are on the brink of change – what do you recognize that’s not there any more?
New life for West Seattle’s American Legion Post 160 after 72 years, including new event venue Pershing HallOctober 4, 2013 at 11:59 am | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | 1 Comment
(American Legion Post 160 photo, from its 1941 dedication)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
A multi-phase renovation project is bringing new life to West Seattle’s American Legion Post 160, as the World War II-era hall finds new ways to be relevant to the veterans of today, as well as its broader community.
Even if you are not associated with Post 160 (which is in The Triangle at 3618 SW Alaska), you get a chance to see Phase I for yourself tomorrow, when the renovated event space debuts as Pershing Hall – announced with this plaque by its door off the lobby:
The first show booked for Pershing Hall is tomorrow (Saturday, October 5th) at 8 pm, the Somethin’ Fierce Band will perform there with special guest MER. Booker Savannah Miller-O’Malley says, “This is sure to be a show full of passion and the first of many in our newly renovated building.”
She was first to let us know about the changes – but when we stopped by Post 160 on Thursday afternoon, we found out more.
Start telling your tale: Janice Harper teaching memoir-writing series Thursday nights at Log House MuseumOctober 2, 2013 at 10:23 pm | In West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 1 Comment
The cheers, the tears, the years … Your own story is well worth telling, and a West Seattle-writer is ready to help you figure out how to tell it. Tomorrow (Thursday) night is the start of a series of memoir-writing classes to be taught by Janice Harper at the Log House Museum – and she has major cred, with a doctorate in cultural anthropology and a resumé as an author, ghost-writer, and contributor to publications including Huffington Post and Psychology Today. It’s a drop-in series, 6-8 pm each Thursday, so if you can’t make tomorrow night, maybe next Thursday. Or if you’re interested in private coaching, that’s available too. The Southwest Seattle Historical Society will benefit from a portion of the class fees; full details on those, and to how to register, are on the SWSHS website.
The faces and voices of the World War II era are disappearing from among us as time goes by and takes its inevitable course. Those who are still here are making sure the stories and memories aren’t lost – like Georgie Bright Kunkel, the 93-year-old West Seattle writer/performer/activist who not only was a “Rosie the Riveter,” but is also continuing to work to find others. She sent us this message to share with you:
Since the West Seattle Rosie the Riveter group was started by Georgie Bright Kunkel (photo right), there have been many Rosies “discovered” in our area. The blog reported on the first program held at Mt. St. Vincent several years ago. Of the original group, only two are left. There are more Rosies out there who haven’t been discovered yet, so if you read this and were working at a WWII job* please let Georgie know.
The Washington Women in Trades organization has been a mentor to the Rosies and honors them at a banquet every year.
E-mail Georgie at email@example.com and join the ranks of Rosies. Each one needs to be chronicled so all Rosies will go down in history.
*Or, of course, if your mom, grandma, great-grandma, or a friend/acquaintance was a Rosie – get her in touch with Georgie. Meantime, if you missed the 2009 WSB story to which she alludes above, featuring the stories of West Seattle “Rosies,” check it out here; we have indeed since published obituaries for two of the women featured in that story – here and here.
Thanks to local historian Peder Nelson for pointing this out: Today is the 100th anniversary of movie star Frances Farmer‘s birth. Her family lived on Capitol Hill when she was born on September 19, 1913, but moved to West Seattle in the early ’20s, and she went on to attend West Seattle High School, gaining her first round of fame for an award-winning essay titled “God Dies.” She died in 1970, but her legend lives on, as much because of her tragic later years as her silver-screen career – even her HistoryLink.org biography, published 10 years ago, spends far more time on the former than the latter. That’s a big reason why five years ago, Nelson organized an Admiral Theater mini-festival that was about “celebrating Frances Farmer for her life and what she did, away from all the tragedy,” as he told us in our interview for this 2008 WSB story previewing the event. She is most definitely not forgotten – Shadowland in The Junction, for example, carries the same name as a biography of Farmer. In 2011, Nelson led walking tours about “The Life and Times of Frances Farmer,” passing spots including the home where her family lived in the 2600 block of 47th SW. She was just 56 when she died of cancer in Indiana.
Their messages ranged from simple, like the one above from children who are now adults, to wrenching, like this one:
At Alki Arts on Sunday night, there was no way to read all the bags on special display, let alone the ones for which there wasn’t enough room on the gallery walls:
But just the concept of their existence – echoes from the nights after 9/11, the bags for luminarias that glowed with anger, love, hope at Alki’s Statue of Liberty – is sobering enough. With the 12th anniversary of 9/11 just a few nights away, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society brought the bags out for a one-night-only display and began it with a lineup of speakers. They included Dean Keppler, who (as recounted here) briefly choked up with emotion as he recalled setting up a table with bags and pens and lights for people to make their luminarias, a “spontaneous and organic experience”:
Also speaking were City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, who observed that the bags’ messages had a “common theme (of) love and justice and patriotism,” and County Executive Dow Constantine, who called 9/11 and its aftermath “a shared experience we never wanted to share.” We have it all on video, starting with the introduction by SWSHS executive director Clay Eals:
To evoke some of the 2001 experience, battery-powered tea lights lined the bottom of the walls holding hundreds of bags, and outside the gallery, some bags ringed a tree:
The bags were donated to SWSHS earlier this year.
Three days before the 12th anniversary of 9/11, tonight is your one-night-only chance to visit Alki Arts and see the Southwest Seattle Historical Society-presented exhibit “The Earth Cried Out.” Volunteers and staffers have spent many long hours preparing the luminaria bags saved after the post-9/11 expressions of mourning and hope at Alki Statue of Liberty, including the work shown in our photo, setting them up at the gallery this afternoon – and tonight, starting with short speeches at 6:30 and continuing past 8 pm, they’ll be on display, along with other mementos.
Big Sunday ahead in West Seattle – particularly on Alki, where two major events are happening in the afternoon and evening, and we have details tonight on how both will unfold:
Harbor Seal Day – as proclaimed by the mayor and governor, as part of Seal Sitters‘ “Year of the Seal” – is happening in and around Alki Bathhouse 1-4 pm Sunday. In addition to what you see on the poster, we have the program, courtesy of Seal Sitters’ David Hutchinson – see it here as a PDF, highlighted by the sculpture dedication at 1:30 pm. And check out the Seal Sitters’ Blubberblog for previews, including Alki establishments that are donating part of their proceeds tomorrow (along with the still-available Seal Sitters-benefit mocha at Hotwire Online Coffeehouse [WSB sponsor] in The Junction).
On Sunday night, don’t miss “The Earth Cried Out” – the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s early 9/11 anniversary commemoration, with a chance to revisit history, looking at many of the decorated bags that held luminarias at the Alki Statue of Liberty on and after 9/11. It’s happening 6:30-9 pm Sunday at Alki Arts (2820 For the past few days, volunteers have been preparing the bags at the Log House Museum – SWSHS executive director Clay Eals sent this work-in-progress photo today:
And he shared an update at afternoon’s end:
We have finished processing the 9/11 bags — in other words, emptying out sand and folding them. The total number of bags that were given to us in February is 1,580. Along with 112 bags we already had in our collection from 9/11, the grand total is 1,692 bags.
This is far more than the 1,000 we had estimated would be on display tomorrow. For tomorrow’s event, we will display as many of the bags as possible. The two walls that Diane Venti is making available for the bags probably will hold a total of 800 or so bags. We also probably will line the gallery floor and sidewalk with bags anchored by rocks or beach glass to simulate the luminary effect. We also plan to bring bins that will hold remaining, undisplayed bags so that those attending can flip through them and see them.
Read the story behind the luminarias and the bags here. The exhibit is for one night only, starting with speakers at 6:30 pm, then viewing around 7 until at least 8 pm, maybe later, says Eals, “depending on the interest shown by those present. I have been advising people to come a little earlier than 6:30, perhaps around 6, so that they can get a good spot for the program, as we are expecting quite a crowd. We will have a sound system and a mike so that everyone can hear the speeches.” Alki Arts is at 2820 Alki SW, just south of 63rd SW.
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