Reader report: ‘Hidden history’ sighting in West Seattle

Thanks to Darryl for sending the photo! He explains:

A hidden history is revealed at 16th and Trenton. We’ve heard stories from long time residents that this house on the corner used to be a neighborhood grocery store, but have never seen pictures from that period. Today, as the house is undergoing another transformation, I caught this cool image that confirms the story. Kind of neat!

UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who’s added to this story via the comments – don’t skip them!

23 Replies to "Reader report: 'Hidden history' sighting in West Seattle"

  • Swede. November 8, 2018 (10:11 am)

    Nice! Fun with preserved stuff. 

  • Transplant50 November 8, 2018 (11:41 am)

    In the late 1950’s to 1964 my Aunt and Uncle (deceased) ran the small grocery store, then my dad ran the store until 1980.  This building was a small mom and pop operation for approximately 50 years (give or take).   My sibling and I have been watching the progress of this renovation since I saw it on HGTV about a year ago.  I glad someone is renewing instead of tearing it down.  To the couple that purchased this building/house I thank you.

    • WSB November 8, 2018 (12:15 pm)

      Thank you! Don’t suppose you have any old photos? (If you do, editor@westseattleblog.com – we’d love to add one or more for posterity’s sake!) – Tracy

    • mikekey November 8, 2018 (8:10 pm)

      Were your aunt and uncle Rose and Ted?  They owned the store  around then.  They were friend’s of my grandparents, who lived at 18th and Trenton and when I stayed there (almost every summer) I got a nickel or a dime every evening after supper and walked the two blocks to get some “penny candy”.  Ted and Rose spent every New Year’s Eve with my grandparents, playing pinochle (sp?) and I was often with them.  I was between 7 and 12 during that time. 

  • just wondering November 8, 2018 (1:45 pm)

    In the 1928 Seattle House and Street Directory it is listed as the William Bush Grocery.

  • M November 8, 2018 (1:52 pm)

    Wasn’t it called Smith grocery or something like Smithrid?

  • G Hallock November 8, 2018 (2:03 pm)

    Smithrud was on Delridge between Cloverdale and Trenton.

  • Fiz November 8, 2018 (2:46 pm)

    There were mom and pop groceries on corners all over West Seattle back when some families walked or used the old bus system.  They were convenient and part of the neighborhood. Most were converted to residence when they closed.

  • Jim P. November 8, 2018 (3:54 pm)

    Nice to see what it once was.  I always thought that was one odd-looking house.  I love learning the history of a neighborhood like this.

  • John Smith November 8, 2018 (4:01 pm)

    The Century 21 website still has pictures from a recent listing. The last picture from that listing is apparently from March 24, 1936. That picture looks like an assessor’s picture and the sign above the entrance says “RELIANCE FOOD STORES”. The sign on the south side may have the name of the market, but it’s too blurry for me to read.https://www.century21northhomes.com/Property/WA/98106/Seattle/8801_16th_Ave_SWI took a picture (to show my friend because I had mentioned the building to her before) in May 2018 that shows just about the only thing left from the original structure is the siding boards. Not much of a privacy issue, I would think, even though there are pictures of the (gone now) interior on the Century 21 listing. It’s interesting, though… it looked pretty modern inside.

    • WSB November 8, 2018 (4:07 pm)

      Thanks! Takes some clicks through the ‘slideshow’ but that’s a great old pic!

    • dianeseattle November 8, 2018 (4:21 pm)

      I had trouble with this hyperlink but went to the end which reads “SWI” & deleted the “I.”

    • John Smith November 8, 2018 (4:30 pm)

      I must have goofed up the URL. It should end in SW, not SWI. The I was for the start of the next sentence I wrote.

      • dianeseattle November 8, 2018 (6:08 pm)

        Yeah, spaces get eaten sometimes. Thanks for sending the link in the first place, and for the new one that goes to the historic photo.

  • John Smith November 8, 2018 (4:23 pm)

    Here’s a direct URL for the (assessor’s?) picture from 1936: https://images.century21northhomes.com/Listings/MLS/1083/1053012/DD49D35A434740EEFDDAD9A3D0079CB4.Jpg

  • Graciano November 8, 2018 (4:45 pm)

    @Transplant50, do you have the link for the HGTV program this was featured on?

    • Jack November 9, 2018 (9:08 am)

      I asked the current owner for a link! Will share when I have it! Fun fact, he’s the owner of the Unicorn on Capitol Hill and opening Unicorn 2 in White Center soon! Great local business man. 

      • Crowe206 November 9, 2018 (5:13 pm)

        It’s on YouTube. It’s under “House Hunters Seeking Unique in Seattle September 27 2017” 

  • Rat city kid November 8, 2018 (6:30 pm)

    I went to Highland Park elementary from 1967 to 1973 and I would stop there on my way home from school as I lived near 18th s.w. and s.w. Henderson. The guy behind the counter was a nice guy. I’m not sure if this was the name but I always thought it was called Carrier’s or something like that. There was another store on 11th S.W. and S.W. Henderson which later became a Circle K 

  • anonyme November 9, 2018 (6:40 am)

    Wish there were still little markets like this in neighborhoods.  There is absolutely nothing in Arbor Heights within reasonable walking distance. Contrary to popular opinion, there still are people who would love to walk or bike to a local store rather than driving to a mall.  Not only do small stores add to a sense of neighborhood and community, they’re great for when you realize, at the last moment, that you don’t have some essential recipe item.  Then again, I’m sure many shop owners these days face many modern challenges, such as high rent, shoplifting, and robbery.  Ah, the good ‘ol days (you knew that was coming, right?).

  • momosmom November 9, 2018 (3:38 pm)

        There’s Shorewood Grocery on 26th and SW 106th…OH wait they only sell mostly cheap beer.And yes the good ‘ol days! :)  We had Ollie and Kay’s to go to everyday at lunch and after school, it was located on 1st Ave So and 126th St

  • Lowmanbeachdrive November 11, 2018 (12:58 pm)

    If you enjoy stories and pictures like this, check out the Loghouse Museum on 61st (3003 61st Ave SW, near Alki Beach) and the Southwest Seattle Historical Society that supports it.  They are a great organization that focuses on collecting and sharing the history of West Seattle (and all of the Duwamish Peninsula).  They have talks and neighborhood history walks and all kinds of fun stuff!  

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.