Eight days until the Southwest Seattle Historical Society presents Lou Whittaker at his alma mater, West Seattle High School, for a screening of the documentary about his half-century-plus mountaineering achievements, “A Life in the Mountains.” The event is at 6:30 pm Monday, May 19th, at WSHS, and you can buy tickets in advance online through the Log House Museum PayPal account – $10 if you’re a SWSHS member, $15 if you’re not – or get your ticket at the door that night. Less than 3 weeks later, at 10:30 am June 6th, the museum celebrates the permanent display of the totem pole that spent decades at the viewpoint on the northeast end of Admiral Way (details here). The LHM/SWSHS website includes frequent newsy updates on its events, including volunteers canvassing the museum’s neighborhood today with heads-up about the totem-pole event (since it’ll include a street closure) and the LHM’s participation in West Seattle Community Garage Sale Day yesterday.
(Photo by Fred Ueckert of FJU Photography)
What used to be a West Seattle Mother’s Day tradition is coming back tomorrow after skipping a few years. Brad Cooper, the real-estate broker who has long represented the Walker Rock Garden property in West Seattle, says it will be open for Mother’s Day tomorrow, noon-3 pm. The rock creations comprising the “garden” were a labor of love by the home’s longtime residents, the late Milton and Florence Walker, as explained in this “West Seattle 101” chapter republished on WSB.
(2011 photo by Ellen Cedergreen)
Three years ago, it was put up for sale, but records indicated no deal was made, and it went off the market until late last year; the listing is still “active,” meaning no buyer so far. It used to be open to visitors on Mother’s Day, as well as other scattered times of the year, but hasn’t had announced opens on Mother’s Day or another day recently. But Cooper just e-mailed to ask us to let you know that it will be open tomorrow. It’s at 5407 37th SW (map).
(First 2 images courtesy Log House Museum/Southwest Seattle Historical Society)
The date is finally set for a gala ceremony welcoming the former top-of-Admiral Way totem pole to its new home on the east side of the Log House Museum: Friday, June 6th.
Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals announced the plan today, centering on a “public unveiling ceremony featuring public officials, the Duwamish Tribe, and the student bodies of both Alki and Schmitz Park elementary schools.” Part of 61st SW by the museum (61st/Stevens) will be closed for the event, so that overhead photos/video can be recorded. You’re welcome to be there and be part of it. The pole’s history:
Carved by Boeing engineers Michael Morgan and Bob Fleischman from a log harvested from Schmitz Park, the totem pole stood at Belvedere View Point Park from 1966 to 2006. It is a nearly exact replica of a totem pole carved by the Bella Bella tribe of British Columbia and brought to Belvedere View Point Park 75 years ago, in 1939, by West Seattleite and Ye Olde Curiosity Shop owner J.E. “Daddy” Standley.
Recognizing the deteriorated condition of the 1966 totem pole, Seattle Parks and Recreation removed it in 2006 and replaced it with a differently designed and unpainted story pole carved by a descendant of Chief Seattle.
SWSHS’s restoration and display plan has been in the works since then; the pole was taken to restoration experts Artech two years ago, as reported here. Its return will coincide with a new mini-exhibit called “Reaching the Sky: Totem Tales of West Seattle.” You’ll find lots more information about the June 6th event and the pole’s history in the full announcement on the LHM/SWSHS website – see it here. Also, Eals will speak about it at this Thursday’s monthly lunch meeting of the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce.
(WSB photos by Patrick Sand)
For the second time in five years, a centennial celebration for Holy Rosary. In 2009, the church marked its 100th anniversary; today, the school. Students were part of today’s Centennial Mass, with a special guest, Seattle’s Archbishop J. Peter Sartain:
Honoring the past and looking to the future, the Mass was followed by a reception and events involving time capsules old and new:
That one was from a quarter-century ago, 1989; here’s some of what was inside:
Archbishop Sartain and Holy Rosary’s pastor Father John Madigan also presided as a new time capsule was placed:
This one is meant to be opened a half-century from now:
What’s in it? That’s supposed to be a surprise for the people who open it in 2064. Earlier centennial events included a group photo last November, featuring more than 400 students (see it in WSB coverage).
This Saturday, a Feet First-presented “Jane’s Walk” presents a look at development in and around The Junction and The Triangle – on foot, with veteran walking ambassadors and WS residents Timothy Lowry and Bryan Fiedorczyk. FF explains the Jane’s Walk concept here: “The walks get people to explore their cities, connect with neighbors, and learn new information about their communities.” Over the course of up to 3 miles – heading out from the Charlestown water tower (map) at 10 am – you’ll hear and talk about the past, present and future. RSVP here!
(WSB photo from April 2012)
Two years after it was bundled onto a flatbed and taken away for some expert TLC with the restoration experts at Artech, the Log House Museum‘s totem pole – which stood for 40 years at the Admiral Way Viewpoint – is finally close to its homecoming. The West Seattle Chamber of Commerce has announced an event on May 8th featuring Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals detailing the plan to install it soon in its new home on the east side of the Alki-area museum; the plan’s already gone through city review, including the Landmarks Board, since the museum is an official landmark. See photos of the pole’s history, and a sketch of its future site, on the SWSHS/Log House museum website, here.
(Photos provided by The WROC-ers; above, Ms. Ostle’s class)
Reunions aren’t just for high-school classes! This morning, we have a special announcement – with photos – for a reunion of Gatewood Elementary alums who went there more than half a century ago:
*If you attended Gatewood Elementary with the Class of ’56, reunite with your classmates on Friday, August 22nd. We will tour the remodeled Gatewood, then adjourn to Lincoln Park for a catered picnic. *
*In our day, Gatewood sixth graders went to either West Seattle or Sealth. Our 50th high-school reunions inspired us to reconnect with childhood friends from the neighborhood. The WROC-ers (‘Woodies Reunion Organizing Committee) found addresses for 70 of the former ’56ers. The first mailings are out, and the first RSVPs are in. *
(Mr. Acedo’s class)
*If you can help locate missing classmates (see the list below) or if you, a ’56er, haven’t received a flyer, please contact Bruce Thomason, firstname.lastname@example.org*
(Ms. Covey’s class)
*Mark August 22nd on your calendar in ink! We’d love to see you.*
*The WROC-ers: Margaret Cullor Brown, Beth Eldred Davis, Lyn Kraatz, Carol Shipley Stoner, Bruce Thomason*
They also sent a list of people they’re looking for: “We have not found these friends from Gatewood.” – if you’re reading this from the WSB home page, click ahead to see the list:
Thanks to Judy Bentley for sharing photos of the rock art near the north end of Constellation Park, south of Alki Point. Earlier in the week, Patricia O’Connor‘s photo of the sun/star formation was shared on the WSB Facebook page; today, Judy’s photo showed patterns beyond the sun/star:
As Judy put it – “artist unknown.”
(P.S. Judy didn’t mention this when writing to us but we happen to know she too is an artist – with words – and one week from today, on Friday 4/4, she’s the next featured author in the Words, Writers, West Seattle series – details here.)
That backhoe, recorded on video by neighbor Sara, brought the final chapter today to what once was Fraker’s Grocery at 4808 SW Alaska, vacant and slumping for years, but the source of many warm memories, as discussed in comments on past stories:
We first reported last December that it was slated for demolition so a single-family home could be built.
The lot was split off from the house next door a few years back. Former proprietor Dean Fraker died in 2009 at the age of 87.
Rosies, unite! West Seattle’s Georgie Bright Kunkel is continuing to rally any and all Rosies she can find. Here’s news of the next get-together:
The next gathering of the newly organized Rosie the Riveter group will meet on Saturday, March 29th at 2:00 pm at the home of Georgie Bright Kunkel. Please call 206-935-8663 if you have not already RSVP’ed for this event.
Any woman who worked during the WWII years at any job that released a man to go to the service is a Rosie. You didn’t have to be a riveter.
(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 | Comments Off
(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:
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