West Seattle history 772 results

CONGRATULATIONS! Statewide award for Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s Longfellow Creek exhibit

(Photo by Tom Reese)

The Log House Museum‘s Longfellow Creek-focused exhibit t?awi Creek of Hope is on display through the end of July – so your weekend opportunities to see it at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s headquarters are running short. Here’s another reason to see it if you haven’t already – today, SWSHS announced that the exhibit has won a statewide award:

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society, the Duwamish Alive Coalition, and the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association were awarded an Award of Excellence from the Washington Museum Association for the exhibit t?awi Creek of Hope.

The exhibit installed at the Log House Museum last summer tells the story of West Seattle’s Longfellow Creek and features photographs from award-winning photojournalist and author Tom Reese. The exhibit was developed by the Duwamish Alive Coalition and Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association and installed last year at the Log House Museum at Alki Beach. Together, the three organizations hosted numerous educational programs around the exhibit, including guided hikes along the creek and a sold-out panel discussion with local researchers, civic officials, and community advocates of the creek.

The exhibit closes at the end of July. Visitors can view the exhibit during museum open hours, Friday and Saturday 12-4 pm.

(Elizabeth Rudrud with Washington Museum Association president Brad Richardson)

The award was presented to Elizabeth Rudrud, Programs Director at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, during this year’s Washington Museum Association annual conference in Vancouver, Washington.

The museum is at 61st/Stevens, just a block inland from Alki Beach.

WEST SEATTLE HISTORY: Snag a spot on an Alki walking tour this summer

(WSB file photo)

The home of West Seattle’s history is also part of West Seattle history, so the Log House Museum is among the stops on a new Alki walking tour that the organization headquartered there, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, is offering this summer. You have four options! Here’s the announcement, with the registration links for the by-donation, pay-what-you-can tours:

This summer, join the Southwest Seattle Historical Society for walking tours of Alki exploring local history. Learn about the peoples who have lived here and how settlement by various groups and individuals has left its mark on Alki. Visit historic and cultural sites in the area and discuss how our understanding of the area and its people continues to evolve.

Tours include stops at the Log House Museum, Fir Lodge/Alki Homestead, historic sites and monuments at Alki Beach, and Doc Maynard’s home in West Seattle.

Tours are offered rain or shine and include about one mile of walking with multiple stops. The tour is ADA accessible.

All tours begin and end at the Log House Museum at 3003 61st Ave SW.

Click on a date below to register. We are limited to only 20 people per date.

Saturday, June 22 11 am
Saturday, July 6 11 am
Saturday, July 27 11 am
Saturday, August 10 11 am

NEXT SATURDAY: West Seattle High School’s 2024 All-School Reunion and afterparty

(WSB photo, 2019)

If you attended West Seattle High School, no matter which years, you’re invited to return to WSHS next Saturday for the annual All-School Reunion! Here’s the announcement we were asked to share with you:

The West Seattle High School All-School Reunion is taking place on Saturday, June 1st from 4-7 pm! Alumni from all classes are welcome to this free event. Reconnect with classmates, roam the hallowed halls, and check out the classic car show outside the main entrance! Not ready for the fun to end? Dance the night away at the unofficial afterparty with live music provided by West Seattle’s own Nitemates taking place at Whisky West starting at 7 pm!

Wondering where the Alumni Chinook newspaper is? The print version was delayed, but should be on its way to your mailbox next week. In the meantime, you can view the electronic version on the West Seattle High School Alumni Association website.

This issue of the Chinook notes the two alums joining the WSHS Hall of Fame this year are Tom Jensen (’66) and Dr. Susan Rutherford (’70).

GOT PHOTOS? Log House Museum looking for West Duwamish Greenbelt views

May 22, 2024 5:29 pm
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 |   Environment | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

The West Duwamish Greenbelt is our city’s longest stretch of unbroken forest, running through eastern West Seattle – and if you have images of it, the Log House Museum would like to see them! Here’s the call for contributions:

(Photo courtesy West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails Group)

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society and the West Duwamish Greenbelt Trails Group invite community members to submit photographs and other artistic depictions of the West Duwamish Greenbelt for an upcoming exhibit at the Log House Museum.

The Greenbelt, the city’s largest contiguous forest, spans 500 acres from Pigeon Point to Westcrest Park, from the Duwamish Waterway to Puget Ridge. The exhibit will highlight its indigenous and industrial history, the story of civic advocacy that led to its protection, and – through community-sourced submissions – contemporary depictions of its flora, fauna, and urban stories.

Submissions can include historical or contemporary images and documentary or artistic representations. Submissions that depict the diversity of the Greenbelt, including both natural and urban environments, are encouraged.

Submissions are due by June 10. To submit, use this online form.

Questions? Contact museum@loghousemuseum.org or call us at 206.350.0999

West Seattle’s quirkiest public artwork takes another fall

That photo was sent by Rose Feliciano, one of four people who messaged us today to report that the trailside tribute to Rolf Neslund has fallen again – and lost its head again. (First – background if you’re new – Rolf Neslund is the pilot blamed for the 1978 ship collision that forced the old West Seattle Bridge to be replaced. He subsequently retired and was murdered by his wife in 1980. HistoryLink summarizes the saga.) In 2020, during the first year of the West Seattle Bridge’s 2 1/2-year closure, a mysterious “historian” installed the statue along the bike/foot path by the bridge, declaring Rolf “patron saint of the broken bridge.” Days later, the statue itself was broken; someone made off with its head. A month later, it was restored and reinstalled. Then one year ago, the whole sculpture simply fell and needed re-assembly and re-installation (Rose was part of that project); this time its head is missing, nowhere in sight. Who did it, and what happens next? Hard to tell with a rogue artwork that belongs to nobody and everybody; we’ll keep our ear to the ground!

VIDEO: Southwest Seattle Historical Society celebrates 40 years, and looks ahead to many more

May 5, 2024 10:43 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Story by Tracy Record
Photos/video by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

On a peninsula where people have lived for millennia, 40 years of history is a blink. But for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, it’s been an eventful 40 years – and that’s what SWSHS supporters gathered Friday night to celebrate.

Some in the room at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor) were there in the organization’s early days – like former executive director Clay Eals, the night’s co-auctioneer.

Some were descendants of those whose West Seattle history stretches back all those millennia, like Ken Workman of the Duwamish Tribe, a former SWSHS board member born nearby, who noted his people “have been here since the Ice Age” and gave a welcome in “the language that was taken from us so very long ago.”

Two other Duwamish members were among the three featured speakers – another steward of history, Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center director Kristina Pearson, granddaughter of Duwamish chair Cecile Hansen. Pearson observed that “the past is not only a series of events to be studied – it’s a living tapestry of traditions and teachings.” Here’s everything she told the SWSHS:

The tribe is excited about collaborating with the SWSHS, Pearson emphasized.

Those gathered at the gala also heard from Michael Halady, who carved the totem pole that has stood at the Admiral Way Viewpoint since 2006. It factored into the SWSHS celebration because it’s been 10 years since the organization’s Log House Museum put up the pole that Halady’s work replaced. He spoke briefly about the Admiral pole and about his apprenticeship under a prolific carver:

Learning from the past while looking to the future – “Navigating Our Past Anew” – was the theme for the night. Board president Nancy Sorensen recounted accomplishments of the past year – including major maintenance for the museum – and making some collection materials available onlin: “We’re working hard to develop and improve our museum and reach out to our community.” While the SWSHS currently is without an executive director, Sorensen lauded programs and community-outreach director Elizabeth Rudrud for her work. Rudrud spoke too, starting with words of remembrance for someone Sorensen had also mentioned, former board president Kathy Blackwell, who died earlier this year:

“This place contains a multitude of stories,” Rudrud noted, including the life stories of some in the room, including Carol-Ann Thornton, who played a key role in desegregating Seattle schools in the ’60s:

Staff and volunteers will continue working to “transform how people interact with SWSHS,” Rudrud promised. “We are all part of the peninsula, here because we love this place and share a vision for its future.”

A general reflection about why organizations like this matter was delivered by Alex Gradwohl, program director for the Maritime Washington National Heritage Area:

As Gradwohl underscored with her story of a group of volunteers, each of whom had traveled a different path to come to the project, “history can bind us together … engaging people with stories of our past.”

Stories were behind the featured live-auction items of the night, with Eals (above) and Mike Shaughnessy (below) serving as auctioneers.

Three people bid $600 each for tours of the West Duwamish Greenbelt with Workman (who is not only Duwamish but also a direct descendant of Chief Seattle). A historic West Seattle business, Husky Deli, donated an item that went for $1,600 – a chance to make an ice-cream flavor, name it, and launch it at a party with up to 20 people. And the artist who’s been commemorating history makers via signal-box murals, Desmond Hansen, will join a $1,200 bidder in designing and painting a custom mural, either on a box or for personal display (the winning bidder. B.J. Bullert, said she had Earl Robinson in mind, a West Seattle-born music luminary about whom she made the documentary Earl Robinson: Ballad of an American).

Between the live and silent auctions, the gala raised at least $50,000, surpassing the SWSHS goal. That would likely have gladdened the heart of Elliott Couden, who founded the organization in 1984. Eals recalled interviewing Couden 20 years ago, not long before his death, and quoted him, from a booklet that’s in the Seattle Municipal Archives: “I think we’re in a crucial time. We will never be challenged more to love instead of hate, to trust instead of distrust, than we are right now … society … can’t stay together in harmony unless we are deliberately willing to sacrifice as necessary to help change things. I just hope we’ll all feel our own personal responsibility to reflect understanding and sharing, and love and caring.”

The love and caring those in the room showed for SWSHS was obvious – and the organization is working to ensure it serves all of the peninsula’s 100,000+ people.

WHAT’S NEXT: Every month on the second Thursday night, SWSHS has an online speaker in the Words, Writers, Southwest Stories series – next Thursday (May 9), see and hear Luther Adams. Friday and Saturday most weeks are when you can visit the Log House Museum (61st/Stevens) in person, noon-4 pm. And 1,000+ collection items are available for online viewing any time.

Alki Point Lighthouse tour season to start later this month

Again this spring/summer, the historic Alki Point Lighthouse will open for free weekly tours, as announced today:

Alki Point Lighthouse Tour Season starts May 26th

(USCG Auxiliary photo by Debra Alderman)

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers will be offering free lighthouse tours most Sunday afternoons between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend. (No tours June 16th.)

First visitors enter the site at 1 p.m. Last tour begins at 3:45.

Address: 3201 Alki Avenue SW

Questions: alkilighthouseteam@gmail.com

Any tour updates will be published here on Friday each week:

Or refer to this website for more details.

The lighthouse dates back 111 years – you can read its history here.

HAPPENING NOW: Online auction to support Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s future as it navigates our area’s past

April 29, 2024 3:55 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

It’s the season for special events supporting the nonprofits that add so much to life on our peninsula. We reported on the West Seattle Food Bank‘s gala over the weekend, and next up, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society will gather supporters for a memorable evening this Friday. You can help SWSHS even if you can’t join the party in person – an online auction open to everyone is happening right now! Go here to browse what’s available – including West Seattle staycations (cottage on Alki!), a Yellowstone getaway, local tours (music tour! nature tours!), and gift cards to local shops and restaurants. Go to the SWSHS website at loghousemuseum.org to find out more about both the online auction and Friday’s gala, and to sign up for one or both!

VIDEO: ‘The Mount’ celebrates a century

(WSB photos and video)

Providence Mount St. Vincent‘s centennial celebration opened ceremonially, including the opening of a time capsule, with a little help from a team from West Seattle’s Nucor steel mill, which produced steel that built “The Mount” a century ago.

It’s a day full of history, including photos and items dating back to the elder-care and rehabilitation facility’s early days in the 1920s.

Both County Executive Dow Constantine and Mayor Bruce Harrell issued proclamations in honor of the occasion:

Reflections about the Sisters of Providence founding The Mount were shared by Providence executive Dianna Reely, after an introduction by emcee Brian Callanan:

A rededication ribbon-cutting followed:

As noted in our calendar listing, you still have time to go to The Mount (4831 35th SW) and participate in today’s celebration – with an ongoing open house this afternoon and a free family movie at 5 pm.

Two ways to support Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s present and future work ‘Navigating Our Past’

April 18, 2024 3:33 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

You might know the Southwest Seattle Historical Society best for its headquarters at the historic Log House Museum on Alki – but that’s just part of its work, as you can learn while supporting SWSHS via its gala and/or online auction in the weeks ahead. Here’s what to know:

2024 is shaping up to be a big year for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. It is also a year that coincides with significant anniversaries including its founding (1984), the building of the Fir Lodge/Alki Homestead (1904), and the ten-year anniversary of the installation of the Belvedere/Admiral Viewpoint replica Totem Pole at the Log House Museum at Alki Beach (2014).

As the historical society commemorates these anniversaries, and begins work on new strategic goals, it is branding the annual Spring Gala and Online Auction on May 3 as Navigating Our Past, Anew. The organization will announce new initiatives, including updating signage for the Totem Pole to provide more complete historical context (Totem Poles are not representative of Coast Salish art traditions and the one at the museum is in fact a replica of an earlier pole and was carved by non-indigenous artists).

The Historical Society will also be announcing a new project to develop an interactive, permanent exhibit on the history of the Duwamish Peninsula at the Log House Museum, made possible from a grant from the newly established Maritime Washington National Heritage Area. The exhibit timeline coincides with the organization’s three-year strategic plan adopted earlier this year.

Guest speakers for the event represent community partners that are integral to both projects and include Alex Gradwohl, Program Director, Maritime Washington National Heritage Area and Kristina Pearson, Director, Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center.

The event includes food, a cash bar, and an exciting live auction featuring priceless experiences, including a chance to custom paint a traffic signal box with Desmond Hansen Art, a private tour of the West Duwamish Greenbelt with Chief Sealth descendant Ken Workman, and more.

In addition to the May 3 Gala, the organization is hosting an online auction from April 29 through May 2. The auction includes unique West Seattle experiences, local services, art, and gift certificates to local businesses. This year, the historical society is also auctioning numerous unique vacation rentals including a three-night stay at a luxury ranch outside Yellowstone National Park in Paradise Valley, Montana.

Tickets for the event are $95 and can be purchased online at loghousemuseum.org, which is also where you can register for the online auction, free.

The gala is happening at Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW; WSB sponsor).

P.S. You can also learn more about the SWSHS and its work right now in the spotlight display at HomeStreet Bank in The Junction (41st/Alaska; WSB sponsor) – visit before next Tuesday afternoon and you can register for a drawing for two tickets to the gala!

‘There’s somebody in your house that knows nothing about this’: What Denny IMS classes learned from Buffalo Soldiers of Seattle

By Sean Golonka
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

The sounds of Bob Marley’s “Buffalo Soldier” intermingled with the chatter of more than two dozen 7th-graders as students in Alan Blackman’s Washington state history class filed into the library at Denny International Middle School today.

At the front of the room stood Lenard Howze, whose grandfather was a Buffalo Soldier and whose father founded the Buffalo Soldiers of Seattle, a regional nonprofit dedicated to community outreach and youth engagement.

Blackman had previously spent time in class teaching his students about the Buffalo Soldiers, Black servicemen who served in the 1800s and 1900s (some of their history is told by the National Museum of African American History and Culture and National Park Service).

Now Howze was at Denny to give the students a look at the equipment the soldiers wore and used and to educate them on the Buffalo Soldiers’ role in American history – including their service here in the Pacific Northwest.

Read More

BIZNOTE: Happy 35th birthday, Luna Park Café!

(Photos courtesy John Bennett)

A milestone birthday for a West Seattle restaurant! Luna Park Café (2918 SW Avalon Way) is celebrating 35 years in business. Owner John Bennett sent photos, including the ones below “from 1988 when I gutted Pat and Ron’s Tavern to build the restaurant.”

You can read more Luna Park history – including its namesake amusement park, located a short distance north more than a century ago – on the LPC website. The café is currently open for breakfast and lunch, 8 am-3 pm daily, but Bennett says they’re “hopefully opening for dinner this spring.”

More to explore! Southwest Seattle Historical Society expands what you can see online

(Southwest Seattle Historical Society photo)

The headquarters of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society – the historic Log House Museum on Alki – is a great place to visit, but it’s only open two days a week (or by appointment), and sometimes you just might feel like wandering through West Seattle’s past at other times. Now you can! The SWSHS recently announced an expansion of photos and scanned materials you can see online:

We are excited to announce that select items from the Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s permanent collections are now available online. We thank our many volunteers who have helped scan photographs, transcribe oral histories and letters, and organize folders so that you can explore Southwest Seattle History from home. We will continue to update this searchable collection to include additional objects, oral histories, archives, and more.

Not finding what you are looking for? Contact museum@loghousemuseum.org to schedule a research appointment or visit the Log House Museum to browse the entirety of the Historical Society’s collection database.

Go here to see what’s now available online (organized into 13 categories, even one for the legendary Luna Park amuseument park). For in-person visits, the regular Log House Museum hours (at 61st/Stevens) are noon-4 pm Fridays and Saturdays.

VIDEO: Past, present, future celebrated and explained at Duwamish Longhouse’s 15th anniversary party

Story by Tracy Record
Photos/video by Patrick Sand
West Seattle Blog co-publishers

In light of 10,000+ years of history, the past 15 years were a blink for the Duwamish Tribe.

But it was a blink worth celebrating – and recalling – with more than 100 people filling the Duwamish Longhouse and Cultural Center in West Seattle on Saturday to celebrate its 15th anniversary.

The lineup of speakers was impressive – from the tribe’s longtime chair Cecile Hansen, to the longhouse’s architect, whose father got him involved by suggesting he could help “Seattle’s original homeless … find a home,” to its chief fundraiser, to its exhibit curator teaching the history of longhouses, to its historian discussing life in longhouses, to a lawyer updating the tribe’s longrunning fight to regain federal recognition, and more.

The four-hour by-invitation event was also an occasion to honor those and many others who worked with and for the tribe to bring the longhouse to life on a patch of land across from a historic site on the shore of the Duwamish River, more than a century after the last of the Duwamish’s previous longhouses was torched by settlers. After years of fundraising and planning, the groundbreaking happened in 2007, and the grand opening in January 2009. And this weekend, the milestone celebration.

“I raise my hands to you,” said Chair Hansen in her brief welcome, “It’s wonderful that our tribe has succeeded to come to this date.” She invited everyone to “have a good time,” and with that, the party was on – with speakers before lunch focused on history, those after lunch focused mostly on the present and future. Our first video clip features Duwamish Tribal Services board chair Kristina Pearson, chair Hansen, and pre-construction fundraising co-chair Chad Lewis:

Lewis said the fundraising campaign dated back to philanthropists who formed the Friends of the Duwamish in the late ’90s.

Read More

HAPPY HUNDREDTH! Providence Mount St. Vincent celebrates centennial

A centennial celebration today at The Mount, which sent this report and photos:

Exactly 100 years ago today, Providence Mount St. Vincent opened its doors in the same location that it is today on 35th Avenue SW. Today “The Mount,” as it is informally called, kicked off a year-long celebration with a special centennial Mass honoring the Sisters of Providence. The Most Reverend Paul D. Etienne, Seattle Archbishop, presided.

(Photos by Jennifer Richard)

The Sisters of Providence founded Providence Mount St. Vincent with a goal of caring for the poor and vulnerable elders in the community with dignity, compassion, respect and love. In 1924 it was known as the “St. Vincent Home for the Aged.” The Sisters and novices relocated Providence’s Provincial headquarters from Vancouver to the West Seattle site.

Today, The Mount serves more than 200 residents on site; 125 children in the child-care center; and nearly 1,000 patients annually in its sub-acute Transitional Care Unit. It is recognized internationally for its intergenerational programs that bring together older adults and children.

On April 26, 2024, Providence Mount St. Vincent will host a Centennial Community Open House Celebration—exactly 100 years since the building was dedicated and officially opened to the public on April 26, 1924.

That event will be open to the public – watch for more details to come.

WEST SEATTLE SCHOOLS: Holy Rosary Alumni Day next weekend

If you ever attended Holy Rosary School, they’d love to see you back next weekend – here’s the announcement:

Calling All Alumni for Holy Rosary Alumni Day

Are you an alum of Holy Rosary, or do you know someone who is? Or, come together as an alumni class! We are celebrating all Holy Rosary school alumni on Sunday, January 28, 11:30 am-1:30 pm. HRS alumni are invited to contribute to the Holy Rosary Alumni Book while enjoying light refreshments in the school hall. Families are welcome to join.

Please direct any question to office@holyrosaryws.org

THURSDAY: Words, Writers, Southwest Stories’ first online event of 2024 – and what’s ahead

January 10, 2024 6:52 pm
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 |   West Seattle books | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

This Thursday, January 11, is the second Thursday of the month, which means it’s time for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s monthly online speaker series, Words, Writers, Southwest Stories. SWSHS’s Elizabeth Rudrud gives us this preview – not just of tomorrow’s speaker, but also who’s ahead, and a request for your feedback:

Our first Words, Writers, Southwest Stories program is this Thursday, featuring Maria Chávez, Professor of Political Science at Pacific Lutheran University. Her talk, “The Firsts: Latina Struggles in the United States,” explores the unique challenges Latina professionals in the US face and draws from wide-ranging interviews and her own personal experiences.

The Words, Writers, Southwest Stories program is a monthly speaker series of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society with support from Humanities Washington, 4Culture, and the City of Seattle Office of Arts and Culture.

This year, we will present talks on a range of topics including:

February – Nancy Koppleman, “The Oldest Hatred: Coming to Terms with Antisemitism”
March – Harriet Baskas, “Wonderful, Weird, and Worrisome Objects in Washington State Museums”
April – Kestrel Smith, “Fish Wars: Tribal Rights, Resistance, and Resiliency in the Pacific NW”
May – Luther Adams, “A Space for Black History”
July – Shin Yu Pai, “Ten Thousand Things: Artifacts of Asian American Life”

These programs are always free but donations are greatly appreciated. Programs are presented online on the second Thursday of each month. [Register here for Thursday’s link.]

Is there a speaker or topic you would like to see included in our 2024 series? The Southwest Seattle Historical Society would like to hear from you! Send in your suggestions to museum@loghousemuseum.org

GOODBYE, 2023: This year’s 10 most-commented WSB stories

Time for the only year-end look back that we publish every year – the 10 WSB stories that drew the most reader comments. Not necessarily the most-read stories or the most-important stories, but this is one thing our publishing system allows us to objectively quantify. So, with hours remaining in 2023, here’s this year’s countdown:

#10 – LINCOLN PARK COURT-CONVERSION OPPONENTS RALLY, PLOT STRATEGY
October 21, 2023 – 190 comments
If you are a frequent reader, you won’t be surprised to see that the uproar over Seattle Parks’ plan to build pickleball courts on a paved pad that once held tennis courts has multiple spots on this year’s list. As of now, the plan remains on hold, at least until warm-weather season.

#9 – COUNCILMEMBER HERBOLD ASKS PARKS TO HOLD PUBLIC MEETING ON PICKLEBALL PLAN
October 27, 2023 – 198 comments
They did, sort of – an online briefing about West Seattle projects including this one.

#8 – DEMONSTRATION ON WESTBOUND WEST SEATTLE BRIDGE
December 29, 2023 – 200 comments (so far)
A few cars stopped traffic on the bridge, briefly, and people inside them waved Palestinian flags out the window. The minutes-long demonstration touched off a days-long discussion.

#7 – WORKERS RETURN TO LINCOLN PARK COURT-CONVERSION SITE, WITH POLICE
October 23, 2023 – 225 comments
Back to the park pickleball plan.

#6 – OPPONENT KEEPING VIGIL AT PICKLEBALL SITE; CITY TO ESTABLISH ‘WORK ZONE’
October 17, 2023 – 249 comments
For a while, city crews were under orders to push ahead with the plan.

#5 – SEATTLE PARKS SAYS IT’S ‘PAUSING PROJECT CONSTRUCTION FOR TWO WEEKS’
October 31, 2023 – 254 comments
This was the most-commented pickleball-related story. The “two-week pause” has so far lasted two months.

#4 – MAN SHOT AND KILLED NEAR WHALE TAIL PARK
May 13, 2023 – 295 comments
To date, no arrest has been announced in the shooting death of 25-year-old Davonte Sanchez.

#3 – 2 DRIVERS TO HOSPITAL AFTER COLLISION ON ALKI AVENUE PUSHES 1 CAR INTO THE WATER
July 16, 2023 – 311 comments
A man slammed his car into Madison Kelly‘s car so hard that she and her car were pushed over the seawall and into Elliott Bay; bystanders pulled her out. She spent many weeks in the hospital/rehab. To date, the driver who hit her has not been charged.

#2 – HERE’S WHAT THE PICKETING OUTSIDE THE ADMIRAL THEATER IS ABOUT
November 10, 2023 – 320 comments
Some current and former workers at West Seattle’s only movie theater announced they were going on strike. They picketed off and on for some days afterward; the theater remained open.

#1 – FIREWORKS OFF BAINBRIDGE ISLAND STARTLE THOUSANDS
September 16, 2023 – 337 comments
A huge Fourth-of-July-quality fireworks show off the west side of Puget Sound was heard around the region. To date, no official confirmation of who it was for, but The Seattle Times followed the trail quite a distance.

PREVIOUS YEARS: Here are our previous most-commented-stories lists, going back to 2011:

2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011

(Image by starline on Freepik)

WEEKEND SCENE: Washington State Black Legacy Institute hosts Business Festival During Kwanzaa at new Admiral home

Since our visit for this story earlier this month, the Washington State Black Legacy Institute has added new displays at its new home in the city-landmark former church previously known as The Sanctuary at Admiral. Portraits of historic Black community leaders and entrepreneurs line the lobby’s main wall, and curator Roger Evans says more are on the way. But today the focus is on modern-day entrepreneurs, as the three-day Business Festival During Kwanzaa concludes. An afternoon of free workshops complements a vendor fair in the main room.

Among the participating entrepreneurs is Denise Leonard, with hats and jewelry from her business A Sista Thang Fashions:

She told us these creations channel her passions, and she’s hoping to inspire young women. She’s on the north side of the room, while on the south side you’ll find art by Edimbo Lekea of Natty Dread Illustration:

Other vendors are listed here. Here’s the workshop schedule for the rest of the afternoon:

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm Pearl Nelson. “1st-time Homebuyer”

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Melany Bell. “Food is First”

3:00 pm – 4:00 pm Evan Poncelet. “Fundraising for Community and Venture Scale Businesses”

All are welcome; WSBLI is at 2656 42nd SW, and the festival concludes at 5 pm.

Washington State Black Legacy Institute finds a home in West Seattle and prepares to present first Business Festival During Kwanzaa

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The city-landmark building at 2656 42nd Avenue SW is now home to history beyond its own.

The former Christian Science church and ex-Sanctuary at Admiral is the new home of the Washington State Black Legacy Institute.

You’re invited to one of WSBLI’s first public events, the Business Festival During Kwanzaa, Friday, December 29, through Sunday, December 31. (More on that later.)

We visited the building to talk with WSBLI’s curator Roger Evans about what’s taking shape. The goal is to unearth the stories of Black Washingtonians whose successes go back as far as the 1800s, not just to ensure those stories aren’t lost in the mist of time, but also to present them to new generations that can be inspired to take action when they see what these people achieved.

The WSBLI will be more than a place where you can go and look at exhibits, Evans explains, saying he and those working with him were drawn to the building because it has so many spaces where visitors can engage with materials and stories interactively. What he’s working with includes a 1926 copy of Who’s Who in Washington State, “centered on the Black community,” including businesspeople who comprised “a hidden Black Wall Street.” Evans is eager to “retell the story … to empower people to be contributors, not disrupters … to let them know they are valued.”

The WSBLI has its roots in the Seattle Griot Project, documenting Black history, and in a trip Evans took to Tulsa last year that reminded him and his traveling partner of the urgency of historic preservation.

They’ve already worked on some displays, portraits, and framings spotlighting historic figures – people like James Shepperson, who recruited Black miners to move to the Roslyn area in the 1880s, and Dr. Nettie Craig Asberry, an activist and founder of the Tacoma NAACP.

Evans has so many people to talk about – there’s also William Grose, “one of the richest Black men in Seattle at the time,” a wealthy landholder.

And there’s a historic figure on his own family tree, his uncle Willie Craven, who in the ’70s became the first African-American elected mayor in Washington State, leading Roslyn, where his grandfather had come to work in the mines.

There have been other efforts to assemble this history, Evans notes, such as the African-American Museum founded in Tacoma in the mid-’90s, lasting about a decade.

(WSBLI has clippings and other materials from its heyday.) Now it’s time, he says, with technology like a touchscreen kiosk in the works for the WSBLI entryway, to “bring our history into the 21st century.”

In addition to developing programming and exhibits for the West Seattle building, including a Hall of Pioneers, they plan to develop traveling materials.

In the new year, Evans says, WSBLI will also be working on a funding campaign to complete their purchase of the building (which is bringing in a bit of income for starters, with a church meeting there weekly). But first – the Business Festival During Kwanzaa. It’s planned for 2-7 pm Friday, December 29, 11 am-7 pm Saturday, December 30, and 11 am-5 pm Sunday, December 31. The goal is “to empower, inspire entrepreneurship, bridge educational gaps, and foster collaboration.” Evans shared some of the workshops that are planned:

The festival and workshops are free, but WSBLI requests RSVP through Eventbrite – here’s the Friday link; here’s the Saturday link; here’s the Sunday link.

Evans promises the festival is just the start – watch for more from WSBLI as they work to remember and honor the past while empowering and inspiring the future.

THURSDAY: Southwest Seattle Historical Society presents ‘Hip Hop and It Don’t Stop’ with King Khazm

December 13, 2023 8:55 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news | WS culture/arts

Another regular feature of second Thursdays is the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Words, Writers, Southwest Stories speaker series. Tomorrow night, SWSHS presents Seattle hip-hop luminary and community organizer King Khazm, in an online event – here’s the preview from SWSHS:

Hip-hop culture and its founding principles are often misunderstood due to its commodification and exploitation by corporate interests and mainstream media. Few know its humble roots as a tool to unify, uplift, and amplify voices, particularly for youth of color.

Join artist and activist King Khazm as he explores the art, history, philosophy, and ethics of hip-hop—an international phenomenon and billion-dollar industry whose legacy is centered in community empowerment, cultural exchange, and resilience. Khazm shows how hip-hop is much more than just a genre of music; it has the capacity to challenge the status quo, address systemic oppression, and provide opportunities for the development of life skills, civic engagement, and global connections.

Khazm “King Khazm” Kogita (he/him) is a multifaceted artist, producer, and community organizer. He has been engaged in art and community service for over 25 years. He is the executive director of 206 Zulu and serves on several boards including 4Culture, the Seattle Disability Commission, and The Here & Now Project. Khazm lives in Seattle.

Go here to RSVP. (Photo courtesy SWSHS)

A century ago, this building was one of West Seattle’s hospitals. Does your family have a photo?

Scott McMurray is on a quest. Part of his Morgan Junction building on the northwest corner of California/Fauntleroy was a hospital a century ago, and he’s looking for a photo. He’s already tried everything else you could suggest – newspapers, historic archives, libraries, even the family of the hospital’s namesake. Now he’s asking you:

As a final try, I thought I would ask the West Seattle community to see if someone could find a picture in their grandmother’s scrapbook. There was a time, around 1916 to the early 1930s, when about half the babies born in West Seattle saw the first light of day in Dr. Charles Boudwin’s hospital in Morgan Junction.

Here is the 1930s map. This building on the northwest corner of California and Fauntleroy will have its 100th anniversary in 2028. On this map, the Boudwin Hospital is listed as 6506 Fauntleroy Avenue which is roughly in the back of today’s Whisky West located at 6451 California. Today’s ZEEKS PIZZA is at 6459 California Avenue. Sometime in the late 1930s the hospital, by then a General Hospital, was torn down. Later in the mid-1940s, a warehouse to a hardware store was added to the back of today’s building. You can see the warehouse in the Google Earth picture on the right:

West side of the Boudwin Hospital.

This is a picture of a house (6510 Fauntleroy Avenue) which was located in today’s upper parking, lot 3 of the map above. On the far right of the picture, we can see the west side of the Boudwin Hospital. As I mentioned, hospitals back then were not the big institutional affairs that we have today. In the early 1900s, many “hospitals“ were just large houses with lots of rooms.

General Hospital Sign.

By the 1930s Dr Boudwin had relocated from West Seattle and his hospital became a “General Hospital,” meaning many different nurses and doctors practised there. You can see their sign above the Piggly Wiggly corner grocery store:

… I believe it is an interesting part of West Seattle history- from caring for Spanish Flu victims to pizza and whiskey. If we locate a picture of the Boudwin Hospital it will make for a more interesting story.

If you have that photo, let us know and we’ll connect you.

FOLLOWUP: Clay Eals accepts Historic Seattle’s ‘Preservation Champion’ award

(Photo by Jean Sherrard: At left, Clay and Meg Eals, with West Seattle-connected heritage activists Mike and Jen Shaughnessy, Susie and John Bennett, (front, from left) Dora-Faye Hendricks, Deb Barker, Kerry Korsgaard)

Thursday night, West Seattle historian/journalist/author Clay Eals was in the spotlight at Historic Seattle‘s 15th annual Preservation Celebration. We reported in June that the organization had chosen Eals to honor as a “Preservation Champion.” On Thursday, he accepted the award at the event at Washington Hall in the Central District kicking off Historic Seattle’s celebration of its 50th anniversary. He was introduced by emcee Feliks Banel as, among other things, “Mr. West Seattle History”:

Eals spoke of the moments dating back to childhood that made him fall in love with Seattle, and observed that emotions shape preservationists – particularly joy and hope. His work has brought joy to many others, too – with preservation efforts dating back decades, including the fight to save the Admiral Theater. (You can see him in this 1989 TV news story about that.) Eals’s current work includes the Sunday Seattle Times “Now & Then” column, on which he collaborates with Jean Sherrard.