West Seattle history 535 results

ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY: ‘Youngstown 100’ in honor of Cooper School centennial

(Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, WSB file photo)

Two and a half weeks until our area’s next centennial celebration – “Youngstown 100,” in honor of historic Cooper School, now known as Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, opened in 2017. It’s been in our calendar a while and now, with 2 1/2 weeks to go, the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association has sent this reminder:

Built in 1917, the Frank B. Cooper School on Delridge Way has a long and storied history of providing education to youth throughout the years, and more recently is known as the home of local nonprofits and artists alike. The historic building remains a vibrant and thriving place for youth to create, engage and participate in community activities, education, arts and culture. This year, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, as it’s now known, celebrates its centennial on Sunday, December 3rd, 2-5 pm, 4408 Delridge Way SW.

The free, family-friendly event will feature an open house of the school, art sales from resident artists, performances from local faves including Seattle’s own Kore Ionz, interactive art for the kids, a 3D time capsule and more.

“This amazing building turns 100 years old this year,” said David Bestock, Executive Director of Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA), the nonprofit organization that owns and operates Youngstown. “It is a center of community, a hub of arts and culture, a safe space for youth of color, queer youth, anyone, everyone.”

As part of the event’s mission to raise 100 donations of $100, people are asked to “buy a brick” in support of the next 100 years of the celebrated building. Those who attend the party will have the chance to decorate their “brick” and add it to the featured time capsule.

Tickets for the event are free, but registration is encouraged. Those who can’t attend are encouraged to donate to support the next 100 years of Youngstown.

If you are interested in donating – with or without going to the party – you can do that here.

P.S. Cooper School is historic not just because of the building, but because of some of what happened there – including the first African-American teacher to work in the Seattle school district, Thelma Dewitty, hired in 1947; Youngstown’s theater is named for her now.

FOLLOWUP: Moving night 3 weeks away for 5458 California SW ‘log house’

That photo texted to the WSB 24/7 hotline earlier this week shows some of the prep work that’s getting under way for the move of the 108-year-old “log house” at 5458 California SW. The move itself is still three weeks away, we’ve learned, but getting the house ready for it is going to look fairly dramatic.

First, some backstory – we first reported a year and a half ago that the owners of the site (where Ventana Construction (WSB sponsor) was a longtime tenant, had decided to redevelop, originally planning to demolish the house. Then Nickel Bros, which specializes in moving buildings, got involved. As reported back in March, a local couple agreed to buy and move it. The six-live-work-unit project for the site proceeded through the city review and permit process. And now, it’s almost moving time. (Former tenant Ventana has since moved its offices a half-mile south to 5958 California SW.)

The executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, Jeff McCord, was with Nickel Bros when the plan was made to rescue the house, and he answered our questions today about where things stand. He says the move is now set for overnight Saturday, December 2nd, into Sunday, December 3rd – a few weeks later than previously planned, because of the permit process. What’s imminent is removal of the roof, necessary so they’ll be able to get the house under power lines; it will get a new roof when it’s on its new site. Crews also will be removing two rooms (which were a long-ago addition) from the back of the house.

Then when moving night arrives, the house will be taken north on California SW to its destination, the Bauersfelds’ home near West Seattle High School. McCord says they just learned that there won’t even have to be parking restrictions on California that night, because it’s wide enough for the house to get through. It’ll still be something to see, as was the overnight move of a Junction house in 2010 (different company, though). We’ll update again as the move gets closer.

UPDATE: Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s ‘Power of Community’ champagne gala brunch raises $82,000+

(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)

5:33 PM: We stopped by Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) at midday for photos just as the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s champagne gala brunch was getting started. Above, new SWSHS executive director Jeff McCord and board president Karen Sisson; below, former executive director Clay Eals and former City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen:

Another West Seattleite retired from politics, former Mayor Greg Nickels, was there with wife Sharon Nickels:

Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller was scheduled to be a star of the show, in a conversation with broadcast journalist Connie Thompson:

As with many galas, donated one-of-a-kind auction items were a major attraction. This one is a classic Pearl Jam poster:

Donations big and small are the lifeblood of nonprofits like SWSHS – that includes lots of volunteer power, so you can give time to support its work – and/or you can give money, too.

ADDED 8:23 PM: From Jeff McCord, a wrap-up with words of thanks:

Southwest Seattle Historical Society would like to thank the Community for coming out today to our 2017 Champagne Gala Brunch at Salty’s on Alki. We had some great highlights, like former executive director Clay Eals being awarded a “Power of Community” hand-blown glass ornament created for the occasion by Avalon Glassworks, and long-time supporter John Bennett, owner of Luna Park Cafe, leading off donor support this year as the Presenting Sponsor. This is in addition to the help John has always given us in the upkeep and care of the Log House Museum.

The Gala Committee worked tirelessly to put on the event, including creating four “Fun in the Junction” auction packages for the Morgan, Alaska, and Admiral Junctions, as well as the Alki business district. Some packages included things like B’s Po Boy on Alki contributing a five-course meal for six with wine pairings; Wiseman Appliances providing a stainless steel Frigidaire 38-bottle cooler for the Admiral Junction package; and, in the Morgan Junction, Thriftway making up a huge Seahawks-themed gift basket.

Between challenge funders, exciting live auction & raffle items, we are proud to announce that the community came together to help us raise over $82,000.

CHIEF SEALTH ALUMS: Got memorabilia? This request is for you

October 23, 2017 9:00 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

This year’s Chief Sealth International High School auction celebrates the school’s 60-year anniversary. If you or someone in your family spent time at the school during those 60 years, maybe you can help with this request:

Are you a Sealth Alumni? Do you know one? We are looking for MEMORABILIA throughout the ages. The Sealth Auction Committee is looking for items to use for decorations at the 9th Annual Auction for Sealth, PTSA, DSPA and Athletics. Do you have old Letterman jackets, pictures, annuals? Old uniforms? We’ll borrow or take whatever you’ve got. Maybe ask your neighbor that’s lived in the area for a long time. We are celebrating 60 years of Sealth, 1957-2017!

The auction is on November 18th at the Brockey Center. We’d love any help the community can offer us in locating these items. We are especially looking for the years late ’50s, ’60s & ’70s! Please contact Kristin Arvidson at chiefsealthptsa@gmail.com

TICKET TIME: Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s 2017 Champagne Gala Brunch

October 3, 2017 7:37 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Everybody loves a discount. If you buy your ticket(s) for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Champagne Gala Brunch before Thursday night (October 5th), you save more than 25 percent … $95 now, $125 starting Friday. This year’s brunch is at 11 am Saturday, November 4th, at Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor). The theme is “The Power of Community” and along with the live auction, golden-ticket drawing, and more, the event will feature one West Seattle legend – broadcast journalist Connie Thompson – in conversation with another – Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller. This celebration is always sold out before the event day arrives, so you get a guaranteed seat along with a discount if you buy now – you can do that online, here.

VIDEO: Four West Seattleites’ World War II memories

The video is from Mark Jaroslaw, a local video journalist who was asked by the Senior Center of West Seattle to record four local residents’ memories of World War II, in connection with today’s 72nd anniversary of its end. These aren’t military memories – though one participant did join the U.S. Coast Guard during the war – just everyday citizens, including two who lived in Europe at the time. Mark shared the 8-minute video with us and we’re sharing it with you.

LABOR DAY WEEKEND: Last 2017 chance to tour Alki Point Lighthouse

(Photo courtesy U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary)

If you’re staying here on our beautiful peninsula for the holiday weekend, this might be one last thing on your summer bucket list – tour historic Alki Point Lighthouse. Again this summer, the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary has opened the historic lighthouse for free tours on many weekend days, but this weekend is it for the year – you can tour Saturday, Sunday, and/or Monday, 1 to 4 pm, be there by 3:40 pm to be sure you get in before it closes. The auxiliary’s Debra Alderman, who keeps us updated all summer on changes in tour dates, invites you to: “Come see a special piece of West Seattle history that has been keeping mariners safe for 104 years and still glowing strong! For more information, visit our website.” The lighthouse is at 3201 Alki SW.

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: One more ‘group hug’ for Clay Eals

On an Alki-area patio Sunday night, one last “group hug” photo for the man who has orchestrated them outside local landmarks as part of the job he’s just left. The occasion, a gathering to wish Clay Eals good luck in his next round of adventures, after four and a half years as the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s first executive director. That’s Clay in the red shirt, with wife Meg, to the left of “It Takes a Village”; his successor Jeff McCord is second to the right of it. In a short speech not long before the photo, Clay recalled deciding to take a risk in jumping from a full-time job to what was potentially a very part-time, short-term role that became so much more. “Don’t be afraid to take a risk,” he urged all within earshot, voicing gratitude for everyone who helped make SWSHS a “happening organization.”

P.S. This is just our unofficial photo; Sunday night’s “official” group-hug photo – like the ones for the Log House Museum totem pole (2014), the Alki Homestead rescue (2015), the Admiral Theater renovations (2016), the Fauntleroy Schoolhouse and West Seattle High School centennials (both this year) – was taken by Jean Sherrard.

VIDEO: Final farewell for ex-Alki Tavern

Four and a half years after the final Taco Thursday, it’s Farewell Tuesday:

1:14 PM: Thanks to Carolyn Newman for the photo! Last week, we showed you the start of ground-level demolition for the mixed-use project at 1307 Harbor SW that includes the site of the former Alki Tavern, which closed in March 2013; its fans have been coming for a last look as the demolition equipment got closer. (If you’re new here, the tavern was long a popular spot for riders, especially on Taco Thursdays; the last one before the tavern’s permament closure was in March 2013.)

ADDED 4:53 PM: And now, the rest of the story … as the building came down. It’s part of this “video obituary” courtesy of Mark Jaroslaw:

Last call for Alki Tavern from JaroslawMedia on Vimeo.

West Seattle mural mystery: Vandals’ tags finally, suddenly, unofficially cleaned up

blurredtag(WSB photo from February 2016 – we blurred the tag; in ensuing months, others were added)

A year and a half ago, we published that photo, with disheartening news: One of West Seattle’s historic murals had been vandalized in a big way. Other defacement followed. No official cleanup plan was finalized. But now, suddenly, unofficially, that mural – on the north side of 4740 44th SW, along the south side of The Junction’s southernmost free parking lot – has been cleaned up:

We got first word last night from Guy and Joy Smith, best known for sharing interesting news from Alki Point. They wrote:

We go to dinner at Elliott Bay Brewery every Monday night. We always park in the lot to the west of Northwest Art and Frame. We’re happy when we get there, but everything is ruined when we see the graffiti on the big mural to the south.

Last Monday when we pulled in the lot, there was a woman taking photos of the graffiti and we could tell that she was not a happy camper. We asked her what she was up to and she said she reached the boiling point with the ever-increasing graffiti. She was on a mission to do something about it. It turns out she is a muralist and she knew she could fix it. She also said she was afraid she might get in trouble for doing it. …

When we drove into the parking lot (last night), we were dumbfounded to see that there was no more graffiti on the mural and it didn’t show any signs that any had ever been there.

We had to see it firsthand to believe it – and indeed, there it was, or should we say, there it wasn’t. Our “after” photo was taken just before sunset last night.

Before publishing this, we checked with two people we thought might know something about it. Clay Eals, former executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, and Lora Swift, executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association. Guy and Joy said they had told the woman about taking a mural tour with Eals (who led several last year), and suggested she talk with him; she said she knew him. Contacted by us, he said he had seen the cleanup early Monday and wondered about it, but didn’t know for sure who was responsible. Swift, meantime, was completely surprised by the news. (Guy and Joy, meantime, said the artist had given them a name; we’re not publishing it unless we can confirm it, and so far, no response to our inquiry.)

Meantime, as Eals points out, while this is “a positive step,” the future of West Seattle’s murals – 20+ years old and showing wear, aside from the restored mural on the Junction Post Office wall – remains clouded. He wrote about it in summer of last year, after the aforementioned tours. The questions he asked at the end remain unanswered, and waiting for someone to step forward (aside from the Morgan Junction mural that has a restoration project in the planning stage).

P.S. If the rogue mural-cleaner is reading this, Eals and Swift both said they’re glad about it – so you’re not in trouble.

Riverside Memorial deeded to Southwest Seattle Historical Society by Budinich family; cleanup & tour events planned in August

July 23, 2017 9:43 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

(Gathered in May to celebrate the transfer of the Riverside Memorial to SWSHS: From left, Riverside natives Mike Budinich, Frank Zuvela, Jerry Vandenberg; SWSHS board president Karen Sisson; vice president Peder Nelson; former presidents Marcy Johnsen & Judy Bentley; trustees Nancy Sorensen & Kerry Korsgaard; Advisory Council members Flora Belle Key, Tom Rasmussen, Ken Workman)

Until now, the only property owned by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society was its Log House Museum. Now, a second history-laden West Seattle site is in its care as well. Just announced:

Budinich gift deeds Riverside Memorial to Southwest Seattle Historical Society

Triangle dedicated to residents of Croatian fishing community becomes local heritage organization’s second piece of property

Historic Riverside Walking tour set Saturday morning, Aug. 5

Thanks to a generous gift by the family of Mike Budinich, the Riverside Memorial triangle that was dedicated in 2012 is now the property of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

Initial documents for the property transfer were signed May 31, 2017, and final documents were signed July 19, 2017. The Riverside Memorial is located at 3810 17th Ave. SW, just off West Marginal Way and almost directly beneath the West Seattle Bridge.

The innovative triangle – a total of 1,010 square feet appraised at $21,200 – features bricks denoting the resident families, largely Croatian, of this historic neighborhood, with the bricks arranged in the configuration of the community’s hillside street grid.

Five years ago, the families who trace their roots to the Riverside neighborhood created and dedicated the memorial, which also includes an interpretive monument and metal fishing-boat artwork. In addition, its eastern parking strip features a small garden and bench.

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society co-sponsored the opening ceremony, “Coming Home to Riverside,” on Jan. 28, 2012, and since then has sponsored an annual walking tour centered on the memorial and conducted by Riverside native Frank Zuvela. He will lead this year’s walking tour at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017 (donation of $5).

The Budinich family, which owned the property, deeded the triangle to the historical society on two conditions, (1) that the triangle be preserved and not be built upon without the family’s permission and (2) that the historical society maintain it periodically.


(At the Chelan Café, Mike Budinich signs the transfer agreement for the Riverside Memorial, flanked by his partner Michelle Kelly, left, and SWSHS representatives Karen Sisson, board president, and Ken Workman, Advisory Council member)

Karen Sisson, board president for the historical society, says the property fits the organization’s mission “to promote local heritage through education, preservation and advocacy” and allows the historical society to expand its presence within its service area of the Duwamish Peninsula. The site also is adjacent to early settlements of the Duwamish Tribe.

The historical society’s other property is at 3003 61st Ave. SW, the site of the “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum on Alki, acquired in the mid-1990s.

The historical society plans its first work party to freshen the Riverside Memorial for 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, two days prior to the Aug. 5 tour. The public is invited to help weed and do other cleanup at the site.

WEST SEATTLE HISTORY: Luna Park documentarian’s request

That’s West Seattle’s legendary, short-lived and long-gone Luna Park, circa 1910, from the Seattle Municipal Archives. If you have any Luna Park memorabilia/photos, Michael Falcone is hoping you’ll help:

I’m working on a documentary on Luna Park (amusement park 1907-1913) and would like to put out a call for any photographs/materials relating to the park and/or early West Seattle. I will be at the High Point Library Sunday, July 16th from 1-3 pm in the High Point Meeting Room for people to come by with any materials they would like to see included in the documentary.

I will have a laptop, scanner and camera present in case people allow me to copy images at that time. I am working with SW Historical Society in part on this project and seeking a Seattle CityArtists grant with the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture.

If you have questions, you can reach Falcone through his website.

RESTORING THE ADMIRAL’S MURALS: Next benefit brings ‘Silent Film Music Guru’ Timothy Brock home to West Seattle

July 9, 2017 7:28 pm
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 |   Admiral Theater | How to help | West Seattle history | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts


(Images courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society)

Two weeks from Tuesday, it’s your second chance to enjoy a one-of-a-kind evening of entertainment and help raise money to restore the 75-year-old murals at The Admiral. Here’s the announcement from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

Restoration of the art-deco underwater murals of West Seattle’s Historic Admiral Theater will get another boost this summer with a one-night presentation by a West Seattle native whose orchestral scores for classic movies of the pre-sound era have earned him the title of the “Silent Film Music Guru.”

The event is called “Timothy Brock Returns to West Seattle with Music of the Silent Giants.”

It will take place at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, July 25, 2017, at the Historic Admiral Theater, 2343 California Ave. SW, sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

This exciting evening – to last more than three hours, with an intermission – will start with Timothy Brock being interviewed by his childhood friend, West Seattle’s Dave Beck, a host at KING-FM and longtime former KUOW-FM host. Brock will reminisce with Beck about their West Seattle upbringing and discuss the fascinating process of scoring silent classics. (Brock earned the label of “Silent-Film Music Guru” from Vogue magazine in May 2016.)

Interspersed will be stills and clips from silent films that Brock has scored. Following an intermission, Brock will introduce the screening of the Charlie Chaplin feature “Modern Times,” for which Brock has restored and re-recorded the original 1936 Chaplin score.

Tickets are $20, and proceeds will go to the Historic Admiral Theater mural restoration led by the historical society. A VIP opportunity, to attend the presentation and visit one-on-one with Brock and Beck beforehand, will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the theater. VIP tickets are $100.

You can purchase tickets online here, or at the door. Advance ticket purchases are encouraged, as the event may sell out.

Timothy Brock, who has long lived in Bologna, Italy, is internationally renowned for his orchestral scores for the movies of Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton and many other silent film classics. Over 30 years, he has composed 27 original scores for silent films, and he has served as the film restorer for the Chaplin estate since 1998. Brock also conducts symphonies in live performances of his scores to accompany presentations of silent films all over the world.

This month Brock is making a rare return to his boyhood community, where, as a 10-year-old in the early 1970s, he watched organ-accompanied silent films at West Seattle’s beloved Granada Theater south of The Junction and drew the initial inspiration for his career, which he labels a “lifelong dream.” (The Granada was razed in 1977.)

To see Brock discuss this West Seattle-based inspiration, go here (or view below – time code 1:20-1:50):

Brock’s mother is Berlena Brock, former board member of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

This unique presentation on July 25 will be the second event this summer to benefit the historical society’s fund to restore the auditorium murals of the Historic Admiral Theater. The first event, a screening of the local documentary “Legends of the Road,” drew 200 people to the theater and raised more than $5,000 for the fund.

The murals date to 1942, when the Portola Theater was converted and expanded to the Admiral Theater. They were covered by curtains when the theater was twinned in 1973 and uncovered as part of the theater’s recent renovation to four screens.

The Historic Admiral Theater became an official Seattle landmark in 1989, following a campaign led by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

More information about Brock is available at his website, timothybrock.com.

VIDEO: Looking ahead and back @ Southwest Seattle Historical Society 4th of July picnic

July 4, 2017 9:57 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

This holiday celebrating our nation’s history is always a day of celebration for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Today, the SWSHS’s annual Independence Day picnic looked ahead and looked back. The former was courtesy of newly hired executive director Jeff McCord, announced last weekend as successor to Clay Eals. He talked about the transition as well as his intent to continue building on Eals’s work:

SWSHS also looked back by paying tribute to Merrilee Hagen (right), who inspired the acquisition of what became its headquarters, the Log House Museum, 20 years ago. She died last spring at 73. McCord read a speech that Hagen had given a few years before the acquisition, in which she had talked about witnessing the “bulldozing” of so many heritage structures she recalled from growing up in the area, and suggesting something needed to be saved before they all were gone.

Also at today’s picnic, music courtesy of the West Seattle Community Orchestras‘ Brass Sextet:

SWSHS continues to present a busy slate of events year-round – next up, 5-7 pm Friday (July 7th) at Barnes and Noble/Westwood Village, see and hear this month’s Words, Writers, West Seattle authors Jeff and Sonja Anderson, with “Mount Rainier’s Historic Inns and Lodges.”

Jeff McCord chosen as Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s next executive director


(Jeff McCord and Clay Eals, photographed by Bill Wright of William Wright Photo)

Just announced by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, its next leader:

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society board has selected as its next executive director Jeff McCord, a 24-year resident of West Seattle who has helped save more than 100 historic homes in the Seattle area, served on several community boards and led the revival of a struggling nonprofit.

McCord will succeed the historical society’s first executive director, Clay Eals, who resigned in April and has worked four-and-a-half years in the position.

The selection comes after an extensive search and interviewing process by our board’s Personnel Committee, chaired by vice-president Peder Nelson, as well as by the full board.

“We are delighted to bring Jeff aboard,” says Karen Sisson, board president, “and we are excited about the varied skills, long experience and deep passion that he will bring us.”

The start date for McCord, 54, is today (July 1). The SWSHS board plans to retain Eals for the month of July to provide an overlap during which Eals can orient McCord and introduce him to the historical society’s key supporters and partners.

The public will have its first chance to welcome McCord to the executive director’s position at the historical society’s Annual Picnic, slated from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, in the courtyard of its “Birthplace of Seattle” Log House Museum.

(The picnic also will feature an opportunity for remembrances of the late Merrilee Hagen, former board president who sparked acquisition of our museum building in the mid-1990s, plus live music courtesy of the West Seattle Community Orchestras’ Brass Sextet. For the picnic, the public is invited. Our board provides basic foods, and others are invited to provide extras.)

McCord will begin work as executive director for our historical society while he transitions away from the executive director’s post at the TV cable-access nonprofit Puget Sound Access/Carco Theatre in Renton.

That organization hired McCord two and a half years ago in an effort to restore internal infrastructure and stability.

On the Duwamish peninsula, McCord is perhaps best known as “home rescuer” for Nickel Bros, a company that preserves homes from razing through creative redevelopment or by finding new owners and moving the homes to new locations.

One house that he preserved in place was the home overlooking Lincoln Park in which the REI firm was founded. More recently, he facilitated preservation of the 1908 log home at California Avenue and Findlay Street that is to be moved to the Admiral area this summer.

A resident of Gatewood Hill, McCord also has served as chair of the Southwest Design Review Board and has been involved with the West Seattle Anti-Crime Council and what is now called the Westwood-Roxhill-Arbor Heights Community Council. In addition, he has worked as a graphic design teacher, as a consultant in Kickstarter fundraising and graphic design and as a producer of video games.

A graduate of the Evergreen State College, with a bachelor of arts degree in media arts, McCord is a current student of the University of Washington Evans School of Governance & Public Policy, from which he expects to receive a master’s degree in public administration in 2018.

McCord says it is his “dream opportunity” to become executive director of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

“Historic preservation has been a very important part of my adult life, having grown up among tall trees and beautiful old buildings in Lexington, Kentucky, only two blocks from Ashland, home of the great American statesman Henry Clay,” he says. “This job perfectly blends my love of historic architecture, cultural histories and locally focused volunteer causes. I’ve watched as the historical society has continued to grow in its offerings, becoming a strong and vibrant voice within — and on behalf of — the Duwamish Peninsula. I am both proud and humbled to be given the chance to build on the organization’s many successes.”

One of his direct connections to our historical society is that his wife, Rosemary Woods, designed the logo for our organization’s museum 20 years ago. Her drawing of the building is still used in our organization’s logo today.

McCord looks forward to orienting himself to our historical society’s wide slate of events and activities and to building relationships with our donors, sponsors and volunteers and the public.

Primary responsibilities of the position are fundraising, outreach, volunteer recruitment, staff supervision and overall management. In addition to the position of executive director, our historical society has two paid part-time staff positions of curator and museum operations coordinator.

McCord’s hours at the Log House Museum will be variable. He can be reached by phone at 206-234-4357 (cell), and his e-mail address will be director@loghousemuseum.info.

FOLLOWUP: ‘Legends of the Road’ screening raises $5,000+ for Admiral Theater mural restoration; another fundraiser ahead

Tuesday night’s “Legends of the Road” screening at the Admiral Theater, to benefit the fund for restoring its historic murals, was a success on multiple levels.

“Pier 4” at The Admiral was almost full by showtime.

(Videos courtesy Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Above, pre-film introductions)

In pre-film remarks, executive director Clay Eals of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society – which is leading the restoration effort – observed that the crowd included former mayor Greg Nickels in a Kansas City Monarchs hat. (The Monarchs were the team honored by the high-school baseball players featured in the movie as they “barnstormed” on a 5,100-mile baseball trip in 2000, organized by students from Chief Sealth HS to pay tribute to the Negro Leagues players’ legendary travels.)

Also at the screening – Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president Bob Kendrick, who’s part of the film, and “Legends of the Road” producer/director Gary Thomsen, the former Chief Sealth teacher whose students carried out the ambitious-to-say-the-least project. They answered questions after the screening, joined by one of the former Sealth students who produced the barnstorming trip (with all the filming done by students too). Before the screening, Kendrick had a story about Seattle barnstorming history, with the Monarchs playing games here against a team called the House of David, which he described as “an all-white religious sect based out of Michigan. … Seattle has long been an important part of this story.”

Every cent raised Tuesday night goes to restoration of the 75-year-old murals, which, as Eals noted (you can see part of one in the video), were hidden under curtains when the theater was twinned in 1973, and uncovered during last year’s renovation work that turned The Admiral into an all-first-run fourplex. With paid admission approaching 200, and a post-film auction of two donated 1942 Monarchs replica jerseys for $600 each, that totals at least $5,000.

Another fundraising effort is in the works, Eals tells us. The formal announcement is expected within a week or so, but you can save the date – July 25th – for a full evening “consisting of an in-person presentation by the world-renowned, France-based ‘silent film guru’ Tim Brock, who scores films for the Chaplin Foundation and countless other films, and who grew up in West Seattle and got the inspiration for his film-scoring career when, as a 10-year-old in the early 1970s, he watched organ-accompanied silents at West Seattle’s Granada Theater, which was razed in 1977. Tim will be interviewed on stage by his childhood friend, West Seattle’s Dave Beck (current KING-FM host and longtime former KUOW-FM host), show stills and clips from films he has scored and, after an intermission, introduce the full-length ‘Modern Times’ by Chaplin.”

As for what’s next for “Legends of the Road,” it’s on the film-festival circuit, having premiered in Kansas City, and heading to Minneapolis. That was part of Tuesday night’s post-film Q&A:

Thomsen hopes to screen it eventually in the cities that were part of the barnstorming-tribute tour. As for here at home, he says its next local screening isn’t scheduled yet but he’s working on another event that might include it. Whenever it happens, you’ll want to take anybody who needs a little inspiration … as Paul, one of the former students, told the audience last night, the project gave him a lot of confidence. Bob Kendrick declared that “every educator should see this film,” to get a view into an “amazing experiential learning project.”

HISTORY X 2: Why you want to be at The Admiral for ‘Legends of the Road’ Tuesday night


(Photos courtesy Clay Eals)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

“It has drama, it has charm, it has youthful exuberance.”

So enthuses Bob Kendrick about “Legends of the Road,” the locally produced documentary that will be screened at the historic Admiral Theater tomorrow night to raise money to restore its murals.

Most of all, it has history – history that Bob knows well. He is president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, visiting West Seattle to be part of the screening, which is the story of a Chief Sealth (pre-International) High School teacher and his students who made a groundbreaking 5,100-mile bicycle trip at the turn of the millennium to recreate the leagues’ “barnstorming” trips.


(Bob Kendrick and Gary Thomsen)

That since-retired teacher, Gary Thomsen, was part of our conversation today with Bob and with Clay Eals of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which is presenting Tuesday night’s event.

Even if you’re not a baseball fan – or history buff – there are reasons to go see it. Read More

HISTORIC HOUSE FOR SALE: 3045 64th SW, with previous owners including Ivar Haglund, Doc Maynard

Thanks to John for the tip: This Alki house that just went on the market – so new a listing, it didn’t even have a shingle up when we went by tonight – isn’t a landmark, but it has history. 3045 64th SW is listed in King County files as having been built in 1900 but multiple accounts say it dates to the late 1800s – like this one with a historic photo. In 1993, Seattle Times columnist Erik Lacitis declared it Seattle’s “oldest surviving house.” His story says it’s believed to have been built for “Doc” Maynard (yes, the West Seattle Water Taxi vessel’s namesake) on another Alki site, from which it was moved to its current location – and that it was later owned by another legendary West Seattleite, Ivar Haglund. It’s listed at $630,000 and on almost 5,000 square feet of land with single-family zoning.

‘Legends of the Road’ screening at The Admiral to raise $ for mural restoration

June 14, 2017 12:46 pm
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 |   Admiral Theater | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

The next big event at West Seattle’s Admiral Theater has two big reasons to be on your calendar – the film that you’ll see, “Legends of the Road,” and the cause that you’ll be supporting. From the Southwest Seattle Historical Society:

Restoration of the art-deco underwater murals of West Seattle’s Historic Admiral Theater will get a boost this summer with a one-night screening of a documentary that showcases a project by local students to salute the black baseball barnstorming phenomenon of the early 20th century.

(“Legends of the Road” trailer)

“Legends of the Road,” a feature-length, student-produced film, will be screened at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, at the Historic Admiral Theater, 2343 California Ave. S.W., sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

The film, which won the highest audience rating at the 2017 Kansas City Film Festival, will be introduced by Bob Kendrick, president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, and former teacher Gary Thomsen of West Seattle, who led the “Legends” project at Chief Sealth High School. After the film, Kendrick, Thomsen, and several of Thomsen’s former students will be available to answer questions.

Admission will be by $20 donation, which will go to the Historic Admiral Theater mural restoration led by SWSHS. A VIP opportunity, to see the film and visit one-on-one with the featured speakers beforehand, will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the theater. This opportunity is available by reservation at a $100 donation.

Both levels of tickets can be purchased online via Far Away Entertainment and at the door.

The Admiral’s murals were revealed during its recently completed renovation process. SWSHS says the mural-restoration campaign will include more special events, as well as details on how proposals for restoration will be sought.

VIDEO: Happy hundredth! West Seattle High School alums’ picture-perfect party

June 4, 2017 12:40 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools


(Photo by Jean Sherrard)

Usually the biggest excitement at the annual West Seattle High School All-School Reunion is indoors.


(WSB photos from here on down)

Not this time.

With WSHS celebrating the 100th anniversary of the building’s opening, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and WSHS Alumni Association collaborated to organize a “Group Hug” photo outside the school’s historic north entrance. SWSHS executive director Clay Eals said the Pacific Rim Equipment-provided lift had the highest-ever potential altitude (43′) for one of their trademark photos:

(2 am update) Photographer Jean Sherrard‘s view from up there is atop this story. (Back to original report) He’s at center in the photo below, with SWSHS’s Brad Chrisman at left and Eals at right:

The hundreds who gathered for the photo enjoyed music by the West Seattle Big Band – founded as a WSHS alumni group, now directed by Jim Edwards:

The crowd also heard from one of their most famous fellow alums, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Class of 1980:

Some alums streamed back inside after the photo, through the doors beneath the balloon arch:

One display remained – every year the reunion gives a special spotlight to whichever class is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its graduation, and this year, it was the Class of 1967:

After the memories, music, and photography, alums were invited to continue the celebration an afterparty at Whisky West in Morgan Junction.

SUNDAY AFTERNOON UPDATE: A downloadable version of the photo is now available from SWSHS, with video from the lift and the ground to be added within a few days.

SUNDAY: ‘If These Walls Could Talk’ tour @ Sea View Hall in South Alki

June 3, 2017 7:33 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Before we get back to reports on what happened today – a couple quick reminders about tomorrow, starting with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society-presented tour of Sea View Hall in South Alki. Here’s a video invitation:

The 1905-built log house at 4004 59th SW is the site of this year’s SWSHS “If These Walls Could Talk” tour, a drop-in, self-guided event, 3-5 pm Sunday – full details are on the SWSHS website.

SATURDAY: West Seattle HS All-School Reunion with centennial ‘Group Hug’ photo

June 2, 2017 9:34 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

One more reminder as the weekend begins – this year’s West Seattle High School All-School Reunion is bigger than ever because of the centennial celebration – WSHS opened 100 years ago. In honor of that, alums, students, staff, and all others interested are invited to gather for a “Group Hug” photo on the north side of the school, coordinated with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Here’s Jim Biava of the WSHS Alumni Association with the invitation:

The All-School Reunion starts at 4 pm; gather for the photo at 6 pm. What happens inbetween – and afterward – is listed in our most-recent preview.

COUNTDOWN: 4 days to West Seattle High School centennial celebration, All-School Reunion, ‘Group Hug’ photo

May 30, 2017 7:05 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | West Seattle schools

Our photo of West Seattle High School‘s north side is from last Saturday evening, around the same time that the big All-School Reunion and Centennial Celebration will be wrapping up THIS Saturday (June 3rd). Reunion planners have just sent full details of how the event will unfold – including the “Group Hug” photo in which all community members (not just alums, students, and staffers) are invited to participate:

West Seattle High School Alumni Association, along with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, will be celebrating the 100th anniversary of the opening of our school building at the 2017 All School Reunion on June 3rd.

This year’s event will have a special community photo to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the landmark West Seattle High School building, during which the West Seattle Big Band will be performing.

2017 Schedule of Events

4:00 – 4:30 pm
Pick up programs, name tag, and roam the halls

4:30 – 5:15 pm
Individual Class Reunions in assigned rooms

4:30 – 5:15 pm
“92 Years of Westside Pride” video in the Theater

5:15 – 6:15 pm
Presentations in the Theater: Hall of Fame induction, Scholarships Awarded, Recognition of the 50th Reunion of the Class of 1967

6:15 – 6:30 pm
Assemble outside the North Entrance for the Group Hug Photo

6:30 pm
Photo shoot – please be prompt

All are invited to join us for the event. For more information, or to volunteer to help, contact Jim Biava, All School Reunion chair, jim@jimbiava.com, or Clay Eals, executive director, Southwest Seattle Historical Society, clay.eals@loghousemuseum.info.

WSHS All-School Reunion After-Party

And finally, join us at one of West Seattle’s newest and coolest pubs (21 and over), Whisky West (6451 California SW), after the West Seattle High School All-School Reunion. Whisky West is sponsoring the event, with funds raised going to the WSHS Alumni Association.

Grab a bite from the tantalizing menu, catch up with friends and dance the night away with the Nitemates, a well-loved band made up entirely of fellow alumni members who have together been delivering classic rock since 1962. They too are contributing to our alumni association – come check out special music-related auction items to lucky bid-winners! And special appearances by the Brian and Janie Show.

Custom-designed drinks to honor our school, with awesome music and classmates, a beautiful venue in The ‘Hood – what’s not to love?

There will be a silent auction at the ASR with a lineup of exciting purchases to bid on, and a live auction of two music-related items at the after-party.

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