West Seattle history 584 results

HISTORY: Remembering Bob Royer by revisiting his West Seattle Bridge stories

Last week, former Seattle deputy mayor and longtime civic advocate Bob Royer died at 75. He wasn’t a West Seattleite so we didn’t make note of it – many regional publications did a great job of that – and then we heard from West Seattle historian, writer, and journalist Clay Eals. He reminded us of the event shown in the video above – a panel discussion in The Junction in 2014, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the opening of the high-level West Seattle Bridge, part of a monthlong series of events presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, which Eals led at the time. Read more about it – and see some historic bridge video! – here. You can see/hear Bob Royer in the video starting about six minutes in (running for about 12 minutes) and then again for about seven minutes starting at one hour, 14 minutes in. Eals recalls, “It was fascinating local history, yes, but history that came alive in a lively manner. And anyone who knew Bob is mourning the loss of his energy and wit.”

ANNIVERSARY: 70 years since big 1949 earthquake

(1949 earthquake damage near Harbor/Spokane; photo from the Seattle Municipal Archives)

Thanks to Mark Jaroslaw for pointing out that today marked exactly 70 years since Puget Sound’s biggest earthquake of the 20th century. The 7.1-magnitude South Sound quake at 11:55 am April 13, 1949, led to the deaths of eight people. Two were students – at schools in Tacoma in Castle Rock. Here in West Seattle, damage at a school was among the most notable in the city, mentioned with other nearby damage in the HistoryLink.org summary of the quake: “… At Lafayette Elementary School in West Seattle, the large brick gable over the main entrance collapsed. Three bridges crossing the Duwamish River were jammed shut due to shifting earth. …” The school damage – to a building that was predecessor to the current Lafayette – is featured in this post by historian Paul Dorpat. But because – like the 2001 quake – it was centered in the South Sound, that’s where it hit hardest; The Olympian published a story today featuring quake survivors’ memories.

SO, ARE YOU READY? The anniversary is another reminder that you need to be prepared for the next big quake. If you need some inspiration, next month you’ll find it at the West Seattle Bee Festival – an Urban Survival Skills Fair presented by West Seattle Be Prepared is part of the plan for the festival, 10 am-2 pm on Saturday, May 18th, at High Point Commons Park.

FYI: Log House Museum access alert for this week

If you’re planning a visit to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Log House Museum on Alki this week, curator Tasia Williams wants you to know, “Our ADA ramp at the Log House Museum will be closed this week due to repairs.” The museum at 61st SW and SW Stevens will be open noon-4 pm Thursday-Sunday as usual, otherwise.

FOLLOWUP: Comment time for new 79-unit Lam Bow Apartments proposal

(‘Preferred’ massing option, from project packet by SMR Architects)

As first reported here two weeks ago, the Seattle Housing Authority has a new plan for the Lam Bow Apartments at 6935/6955 Delridge Way SW. Instead of just replacing the building destroyed in a 2016 fire, they’re going to demolish the remaining building too, and build a new ~79-unit building – almost 30 more apartments than the two original buildings had. The project is going through Administrative Design Review, and the design packet is now online for your review and comment (see it here, 68 pages, PDF). This is the Early Design Guidance phase, so the packet shows massing (size/shape/placement on site) options and lists these project goals:

• Replace the 21 units lost in the October 2016 fire and increase the total number of units on the site.
• Create a mixed-income community with units serving residents at or below 30% of Area Median Income (AMI) and 60% of AMI.
• Increase the supply of affordable homes, especially larger apartments (2BD+) for families with children. Our target unit count and mix is:
1-Bedroom Units: 22
2-Bedroom Units: 42
3-Bedroom Units: 15
Total Units: 79

One note – today’s notice published by the city erroneously refers to it as a 50-unit project, which it was previously, but we’ve confirmed with SHA that was a error by the Department of Construction and Inspections. The notice explains how to comment in this stage of Design Review – deadline April 8th.

Log House Museum closed again today

March 15, 2019 9:00 am
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Though the Southwest Seattle Historical Society had hoped its Log House Museum would reopen today after being closed Thursday for furnace replacement, it’s not ready yet, so the museum remains closed. They’re expecting to be open regular hours this weekend – noon-4 pm Saturday and Sunday, at 61st SW/SW Stevens in Alki.

West Seattle Crime Watch: Another Junction mural vandalized

The photo is from Nancy, reporting that another of the 25+-year-old murals in The Junction has been vandalized: “I wake up each morning to look at this awesome mural and this morning when I pulled up the blinds, this is what I saw. How disappointing.” The mural on the parking-lot-facing north side of the building at 4520 44th SW depicts a scene at the swimming hole that preceded Colman Pool on the shore at Lincoln Park; the vandalism is tagging done in white paint on the swimming-hole midsection of the mural. This is one of the murals that community volunteers hope to be able to restore, with an ongoing fundraising campaign. Meantime, the West Seattle Junction Association has been made aware of the vandalism, and we will follow up next week.

FOLLOWUP: What’s next for Southwest Seattle Historical Society’s hopes of saving ‘stone house’

(WSB photo from last week)

As first reported here last Thursday, the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is hoping to move and save the well-known stone-covered cottage at 1123 Harbor SW before its new owner redevelops the site. Our story noted that SWSHS president Kathy Blackwell and preservationist John Bennett planned to meet this week with the company that bought the site and two adjacent lots. We checked back with them today to see how that meeting this past Monday went and what’s next. Blackwell described the meeting as “very cordial and positive.” She and Bennett both note that the new owners want the site cleared relatively quickly – voicing concern, Blackwell said, “about the buildings being vandalized or occupied illegally.” She also said the SWSHS is “very grateful for the outpouring of support” that followed when this all came to public attention last week. So what’s next? “Now the real work begins in finding a place where it can be re-located to. And researching the best way to move it.” Bennett adds that the site owners are “totally on board to save the stone house, but as business people, they want a plan and timeline on paper.” Speaking of documentation, in case you wondered, no redevelopment or demolition plans are on file with the city so far, just a permit that would allow work on the 90-year-old cottage’s exterior, studded with rocks its original owners gathered from the nearby beach.

American History Traveling Museum brings ‘Unspoken Truths’ to Arbor Heights Elementary

Toward the conclusion of this year’s African American History Month, students, parents, and staff at Arbor Heights Elementary got the chance to reflect both on inspiration …

…and on violation:

Those photos show just a small part of the “American History Traveling Museum: Unspoken Truths” display that ethnomuseumologist Delbert Richardson brought to the school. We were invited to stop by tonight as families viewed what students had seen earlier in the day.

The curator is a Seattle resident and tells us that the museum has no fixed location – it features items he has been collecting for more than 30 years, and he travels with them to schools and other locations.

In our photo above are Delbert Richardson with, at right, Rosslyn Shea, the AHES staffer who got a grant to bring the American History Traveling Museum to the school, and at center, AHES principal Christy Collins. He is part of history himself – winner of the National Education Association‘s Carter G. Woodson Memorial Award in 2017.

HAPPENING NOW: 2 special reasons to visit the Log House Museum today

February 24, 2019 12:45 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Looking for something to do this afternoon? In addition to what we spotlighted this morning, that photo is just in from Sarah Miller at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Log House Museum on Alki, who explains:

Ken Workman (Chief Seattle’s 4th-great-grandson) and Marcy Johnsen (who lived in the Log House Museum before it was a museum for 14 years!) are here today to docent (until 4 pm) and would love to tell stories to the general public about their experiences.

The museum is at 61st SW/SW Stevens, less than a block inland from the beach. No admission charge, though donations are welcome.

Southwest Seattle Historical Society to meet with new owners of ‘stone house’ in hopes of moving it

(WSB photos)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Will the stone house join the Log House (Museum) under the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s wing?

SWSHS leaders tell WSB they are grateful that the new owners of the well-known little stone-covered house at 1123 Harbor Avenue SW have agreed to meet with them. They aren’t seeking to get in the way of whatever the new owners – who just bought the site and two adjacent lots last week – have planned. They just want to obtain the house itself and move it someplace new, potentially to use as an interpretive center.

We talked this afternoon outside the 90-year-old house with SWSHS president Kathy Blackwell and longtime local preservationist John Bennett.

They shared the letter they sent to the new owners, who, they say, subsequently agreed to a meeting next Monday.

You might not be aware of all the backstory behind the little stone-studded house across from Don Armeni Boat Ramp. To catch up, see this Seattle Post-Intelligencer story from 2002. Even then, the owner of the house – a member of the family who built it with scavenged materials – was in her 70s and told the newspaper that developers had been making them offers for at least 15 years.

SWSHS had talked to the family in the past, too, as the 2002 story alludes to. Bennett says the family had expressed interest in donating the little stone house if they ever sold the property, but nothing was in writing. So now they’re looking forward to talking with the new owners, Chainqui Development, whose expressed values indicate this should be in perfect alignment. No development proposal is on file yet for the site – which also includes the two parcels immediately west – but the new owners have obtained a permit for exterior work on the stone house, including its windows, some of which are already boarded up:

Where the house would be moved, SWSHS hasn’t determined yet, but the sale of the site has them determined to obtain it first, settle on a site later. Wherever it winds up, the goal would be for it to be accessible to the public. (This wouldn’t be the first [corrected] moved house in the SWSHS fold – its headquarters at 61st/Stevens, the Log House Museum, was originally the carriage house for the Alki Homestead a short distance north.)

“We have a real opportunity here to preserve part of the special story of West Seattle,” says Blackwell – the story of its mostly-gone beach cottages, via what’s unquestionably the most distinctive of those that remain.

LOVE HISTORY? Another chance to see ‘Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred’ authors

Love history? You have a chance this week to celebrate it as Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard return to West Seattle with an illustrated talk about their recently published book Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred.” West Seattle historian and writer Clay Eals, who edited the book, will be part of the presentation, 6 pm Thursday (January 24th) at Aegis Living (4700 SW Admiral Way). Everyone’s welcome to what will be, Eals notes, “the 25th event on behalf of the book since its launch on Paul’s 80th birthday last October 28.” Find out about the previous presentations – including videos – on the book’s website. Better yet, just go! It’s free, and Aegis will treat you to appetizers and beverages.

Southwest Seattle Historical Society announces leadership changes

January 8, 2019 6:27 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

(File photo: Log House Museum, SWSHS HQ)

The new year brings new leadership to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Here’s the announcement:

The SWSHS Board of Trustees announces the departure of Jeff McCord from the position of Executive Director. Jeff’s leadership role with the society began in July 2017, and during this time, he oversaw successful exhibits in the Log House Museum and the many programs sponsored by the historical society.

Jeff is looking forward to focusing on his family, serving on non-profit boards and additional volunteerism in the community, as well as exploring other creative business pursuits in game design, videography, and drone photography. A search for a new Executive Director begins this month.

A new Board of Directors takes office in January to lead the organization in its mission to promote local heritage through education, preservation and advocacy. Officers include Kathy Blackwell, President; Nancy Sorensen, Vice-President; Lissa Kramer, Interim Treasurer; Sandie Wilkinson, Secretary; John Sweetland, Membership Secretary.

The society is pleased to have two new trustees: Carol Vincent, one of the founders of the Log House Museum, and Lissa Kramer, former Museum Curator. Dora-Faye Hendricks, Kerry Korsgaard, Burke Dykes, Marcy Johnsen, and Ken Workman continue as Trustees.

The SWSHS board is grateful to three departing board members: Karen Sisson, who served as President for 2 years; Ron Arant, Treasurer and technology guru for many years; and Jenni Bodnar, Trustee for 3 years.

SWSHS looks forward to the New Year that will include fresh emphasis on embracing the entire Duwamish Peninsula, highlighting its rich heritage and fascinating stories.

The next SWSHS event is this Thursday (January 10th), when the Words, Writers, West Seattle author series features our state’s Poet Laureate Claudia Castro Luna, 6 pm at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW).

BEFORE/AFTER: Mosquito Fleet mural renovation complete!

Thanks to Lora Radford, executive director of the West Seattle Junction Association, for the photos! Renovation work is done at the Mosquito Fleet mural on the east side of the city-landmark Campbell Building in The Junction. Here’s what it looked like before muralist Bob Henry started work:

This was Henry’s second mural-restoration project in West Seattle, after the Morgan Street Market mural. (Here’s the backstory on the mural-restoration campaign and how to be part of it.)

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!

West Seattle scenes: Southwest Seattle Historical Society toasts the present and past at 2018 Champagne Gala Brunch

November 3, 2018 10:30 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

(UPDATED MONDAY with fundraising total)

(Photos by WSB’s Patrick Sand unless otherwise credited)

History isn’t just about the past. That was highlighted during today’s Champagne Gala Brunch raising money for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor). We stopped by in the early going for some photos; the highlight notes were contributed tonight by SWSHS executive director Jeff McCord:

Special guests Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard were a delight as they were being interviewed by Connie Thompson from KOMO4. Longtime Seattle Times columnist Dorpat — famous for his wit and improvisational style — further entertained the crowd by interrupting his own interview (that Connie was conducting) and creating an impromptu “auction” of his Gala program that’d he’d gotten everyone at his VIP table to sign the cover of, plus his receipt from Trader Joe’s.

(Jean Sherrard and Paul Dorpat, photographed by Gail Ann Photography)

Hilarity ensued when he started the “auction” at 10¢, and then Connie encouraged Paul to throw in the nice chocolate bar he’d bought at Trader Joe’s (which he ‘reluctantly’ acquiesced to). Once the auction grew to ‘tens’ of dollars, Connie herself took over the auction.

(Connie Thompson, a longtime West Seattleite)

Then, seeing the action and seizing the moment official auctioneer Ron Hippe, took it over and took the previously unplanned auction to over $50, at which point we whispered to Ron that we were throwing in a donated, signed copy of Paul & Jean’s new book, “Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred,” and the “auction” went skyward to over $200.

Earlier during the live auction segment, 4th great-grandson of Chief Seattle, Ken Workman, had donated a beautiful grouping of cedar jigsaw artwork depicting Chief Seattle that his brother Kurt Workman had handcrafted, and he talked about the connection of his own ancestors’ DNA that was captured in the very wood of trees around us in our area, since they’d traditionally been buried among the trees.

(Ken Workman)

Every springtime the rains wash down and the groundwater is drawn up into the trees, meaning that his own relatives continue to live all around us, and in the ancient beams of many of the buildings built here in West Seattle.

(Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller and Easy Street Records proprietor Matt Vaughan)

In another instance during the auction, when Husky Deli owner Jack Miller realized that his popular “Create your own Husky Deli ice cream flavor” auction-item had nearly sold in a deadlock between two close bidders, he ended up “doubling” the auction offering on the spot, meaning that both the first bidder and runner-up bidder Adah Cruzen — another honored guest—won the opportunity to create a flavor with Jack that *might* even find its way onto the permanent menu sometime in 2019 in Husky Deli finds it to be popular. The auction package(s) include a launch party for the flavor for up to 25 guests… Yeah, Adah (and other guest)!!

(Jeff McCord and Adah Cruzen)

In addition to these sweet moments, guests reported that they enjoyed this year’s Gala a lot, saying it was fun, low key and relaxed, and being excited about the great auction items and the flow of the event.

(Auction item: Michael Birawer print provided by Diane Venti)

There were lots of smiles & laughter, nice conversations, and thankfulness for the generosity of the donors who came forth to support the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

More photos!

(Laura Vanderpool with Paul Dorpat)

(SWSHS board president Karen Sisson)

(Jeff McCord with John Bennett, longtime SWSHS supporter whose Luna Park Café was the brunch’s presenting sponsor)

We’re expecting an update from SWSHS on Sunday with the brunch’s fundraising totals and we’ll add it here.

MONDAY NIGHT UPDATE: Here’s that info from SWSHS’s Jeff McCord:

We are happy to report that we were able to raise over $72,000 in revenue for this year’s 2018 Champagne Gala Brunch, aptly themed, “History is Happening Now!” There was an additional $4,000 in in-kind contributions to add to that, plus so much more … We are thankful for all of the generous donors, attendees, auction-item donors, corporate sponsors, challenge-funders, and volunteers who came together in a monumental effort to make this year’s Gala a success!

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society is devoted to continue bringing great programming, community events, activities, museum exhibits, and educational opportunities to the community we all love so much.

YOU’RE INVITED! Southwest Seattle Historical Society Champagne Gala Brunch on Saturday

October 31, 2018 2:14 pm
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 |   How to help | West Seattle history | West Seattle news

Got plans Saturday? 11 am-2 pm, you can help celebrate local history and support the organization that’s dedicated to it, just by going to the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s Champagne Gala Brunch! The reminder and preview:

The Southwest Seattle Historical Society is looking forward to seeing our supporters and community members this coming Saturday, November 3, at 11 am at Salty’s on Alki (1936 Harbor SW). Our special guests this year are Paul Dorpat & Jean Sherrard of the Seattle Times “Pacific NW Magazine” column, “Seattle Now & Then,” which, each week, features a historical photo of a building or place in Seattle matched with the modern photo taken by Jean Sherrard from the same vantage point, and coupled with the poetic language and wit that Paul Dorpat has been famous for for over 37 years.

Our Gala marks one of the very first public appearances by the pair with their newly-released book, “Seattle Now & Then: The Historic Hundred.” Connie Thompson of KOMO 4 will provide an insightful interview of the pair, and at the end of the event, Paul & Jean will sell and sign copies of their book.

Our own board member and 4th great-grandson of Chief Sealth, Ken Workman (who happens to be featured in the book as well – see above), will honor us at the beginning of the program by speaking about his ancestral connection to the land and to the trees within our area. We will then have an amazing set of auction items, including art, getaway experiences, and great restaurants and local services in a great segment we call “Fun in the Junction.”

We will also have a fabulous “Golden Ticket” drawing that features a “Choose Your Cruise” opportunity to win a trip to one of four destinations offered by Holland America Line.

We invite our community members to join us at our 2018 Champagne Gala Brunch, hoping to see you there! Tickets are available at galatickets.org — we recommend that you purchase your tickets online or contact Jeff McCord at 206-234-4357 to arrange another form of payment.

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle Junction ‘Mosquito Fleet’ mural restoration progress

While in The Junction covering the installation of parking-donation boxes on Saturday afternoon, we noticed Bob Henry back at work restoring the “Mosquito Fleet” mural on the east side of the landmark Campbell Building.

He told us he is hoping to finish this project – his second in West Seattle after the Morgan Street Market mural restoration – next week. (Here’s the backstory on the mural-restoration campaign and how to be part of it.)

VIDEO: First Lutheran Church of West Seattle’s centennial celebration

A procession from the original site of First Lutheran Church of West Seattle around the corner to its current site, with bagpiper Tyrone Heade, preceded this morning’s service marking the church’s 100th anniversary.

The church moved to its current building, around the corner from its original 1918 site, in 1950. A display inside honors its history, including its past leaders, starting with founding pastor Rev. Erick Slettedahl:

The celebration continued tonight with a special dinner at Salty’s on Alki (WSB sponsor).

Speakers for the dinner include Seattle Times Now and The columnist, historian Paul Dorpat, below center with (left) local journalist/historian Clay Eals – who edited Dorpat’s forthcoming book “Seattle Now and Then: The Historic Hundred” – and Then and Now collaborator, photographer Jean Sherrard:

Also speaking, Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller, below with FLCWS pastor Rev. Ron Marshall:

You can read about the church’s history here, including the note that its current building was designed by Rolland Denny Lamping, a great-grandchild of Arthur A. Denny.

VIDEO: As Alki Homestead’s neon sign returns, Il Nido restaurant plans take shape

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The Alki Homestead‘s neon sign is back atop the landmark log building by the beach.

Among those there to watch as Western Neon returned it this morning were Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive directors present and past, Jeff McCord and Clay Eals:

And the couple who just announced they will open the restaurant Il Nido at the Homestead, Chef Mike Easton and Victoria Easton:

The return of the sign – which Western Neon says it will illuminate tonight – is the latest milestone in the restoration of the former Fir Lodge since Dennis Schilling bought it in 2015. The sign came down in July 2016. SWSHS helped Schilling obtain a grant to partly fund the restoration.

Work to restore the building, which was operated as a restaurant until a fire did major damage almost 10 years ago, continues. After news that the Eastons would open a restaurant – sibling to their popular Il Corvo in Pioneer Square – we talked with him to get more details.

To be sure you’re clear, Schilling will continue to own the building – Il Nido will be its major tenant. Easton explains that he and his family have lived in West Seattle for three years, near Lincoln Park: “We are so happy to live there.” Ever since moving here, the Eastons have been looking for a WS location to open a restaurant. “There’s not a whole lot of commercial real estate [suitable for a restaurant] and whatever does come up is always sort of a handshake – none of the good spots never really hit the market. I had the good fortune of someone mentioning the Homestead was getting restored and would eventually be looking for a restaurant.”

So he found Schilling and introduced himself about a year ago, and the rest is history. It wasn’t an immediate click, though. “It initially seemed to be such a big project, just how much restoration needed to happen – I wrote it off as more than I wanted to do. But the building sort of has a haunting effect on you. Ever since the first time I looked at it, I was unable to stop thinking about doing a restaurant there.”

After meeting Schilling, Easton walked through the Homestead. “As striking as the outside was, the inside was what really struck me – the look and feel.” He’s seen some of the old photos “and the burned remnants.” As noted in the first coverage of his plan, the famous stone fireplace will be restored.

On to the restaurant itself. Since Il Corvo downtown – which has been open for seven years – is lunch only, and Il Nido will be dinner and brunch, he will be involved with both. But Il Corvo “needs less and less of my attention,” he says. “We have an incredibly good team,” led by Chef David Crutcher, and, says Easton, he primarily just checks in.

He’s looking forward to being able to do more and different things at Il Nido, since Il Corvo is so focused on chuning out “well over 300 bowls (of pasta) a day in four hours – we make almost 100 pounds of pasta every morning.” There are “handmade shapes” that he looks forward to making for dinner at Il Nido without having to hit the scale of Il Corvo; “we’ll be able to invest more” at the new restaurant, with a price point higher than Il Corvo’s “selling a bowl of pasta for just under 10 dollars … we can’t have an army of people making tortellini” at that rate.

Another difference: While Il Corvo has something different daily, Il Nido’s menu will change a little less often. As previously mentioned, seasonal produce will heavily factor into it.

In case you were wondering about parking – the lot adjacent to the Homestead will be available for the restaurant, Easton confirms; the SWSHS Log House Museum will continue to use it too, and since its hours are noon-4 pm Thursdays-Sundays, that’s mostly a non-overlapping time, but “we’ll negotiate how to share on the weekend” when Il Nido is open for brunch.

Now, it’s on with restoration and preparation, in hopes of a spring opening. We ask what’s left to do inside. “Everything!” laughs Easton. “It’s still quite a bit of a construction site. Dennis and his son Matt are doing an outstanding job on the restoration,” which includes bringing it up to all current codes – sprinklers are included.

“My wife and I are just very excited to take this on – she is a very big part of our business. I’m not the solo talent.” She handles “everything that isn’t cooking,” he adds.

As for him – this will be the next exciting development in a restaurant-industry career that goes back to his very first job at age 16. So Chef Easton brings a long history to a new venue in a building with history.

The transformation will be chronicled on Instagram at @ilnidoseattle.


West Seattle Labor Day weekend scene: ‘Work It’ bicycle ride explores local workers’ history

September 3, 2018 8:43 pm
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 |   West Seattle history | West Seattle news

One more Labor Day weekend event to recap: The “Work It, West Seattle” bike ride. The photo and report are from Don Brubeck of West Seattle Bike Connections:

The highlight of our Labor Day weekend ride (Saturday) was meeting Jack Block and Vicki Schmitz-Block at Jack Block Park. Jack told us about the sawmills, shipyards, and creosote plant and the docks. Great to hear his stories of skipping afternoon classes at WSHS to go down to the dock to unload bananas with other kids, starting his longshoreman career at age 15, and eventually becoming a Port Commissioner and working to clean up the pollution and create the park named after him.

We had great presentations by historian Judy Bentley about the Delridge working-class neighborhoods and the steelworkers union; Phil Hoffman about the sawmills at Alki and logging; Dora-Faye Hendricks at the Nucor Steel plant; and 10-year old Asher, resident at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, about Cooper School and the artists who live and work there now.

This was a Cascade Bicycle Club ride hosted by West Seattle Bike Connections and Southwest Seattle Historical Society. Jeff McCord and Valerie Kendall from SWSHS lined up the speakers.

Your next chance to get involved with WSBC is its monthly meeting, 6:30 pm tomorrow (Tuesday, September 4th) at Neighborhood House High Point (6400 Sylvan Way SW) – here’s the agenda preview.

History on display as West Seattle VFW celebrates centennial

2:56 PM: As previewed here, the West Seattle VFW invites you to visit as its 100th-anniversary open house continues until 4 pm. Historic items and photos are on display; they’re also hosting the state commander, U.S. Air Force veteran Linda Fairbank. And veterans are invited to join, first year free, per West Seattle commander Steve Strand (a U.S. Army veteran). More photos to add later; the hall’s at 3601 SW Alaska in The Triangle.

7:42 PM: Added – above, state commander Fairbank, local commander Strand, and Kyle Geraghty. Below, one of the items on display, and a wider view inside the hall:

The state commander presented the post with a Century Award certificate from the national commander; the exact 100th anniversary is tomorrow.

West Seattle summer bucket list: Alki Point Lighthouse tour season ending soon

(Photo by Debra Alderman, USCG Auxiliary)

It’s one of those things you can only do around here in the summer – and you only have two more chances! So Debra Alderman of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is reminding you it’s not too late to tour historic Alki Point Lighthouse before summer’s end:

US Coast Guard Auxiliary volunteers will be giving tours at the Alki Point Lighthouse just two more Sundays for this season: Sunday, August 26th, and Sunday, September 2nd. Tours begin at 1 p.m. and the last visitors enter the site at 3:45 p.m.

We’d love to have lots of West Seattleites come for a visit! Learn about local history and how people and technology have been teaming up to keep people safe on Puget Sound for over a century. Entrance to the site is at 3201 Alki Avenue SW.

Questions? alkilighthouse@cgauxseattle.org

FOLLOWUP: Restoration work begins on another West Seattle mural; bids sought for upcoming project

(WSB photo)

Six weeks after he finished restoring the Morgan Junction mural, artist Bob Henry has started work on the next West Seattle mural to be brought back to life, “Mosquito Fleet,” on the east side of the historic Campbell Building, across the alley from Junction Plaza Park.

Next in line is “West Seattle Ferries,” and then the “First Duwamish Bridge” mural at 4740 44th SW – the same one that got a band-aid courtesy of a mystery artist last year after it had been tagged by vandal(s) in a big way:

(WSB photo, August 2017)

Lora Swift of the West Seattle Junction Association plans to seek a city matching-fund grant for this project, so she is looking for muralists to bid on it, with a full scope of work proposal needed by September 4th:

We are requesting a proposal which will include a time frame, cost of materials, sub-contractors, labor, and portfolio with past work. The body of work would ideally be completed by mid-year 2019, but we could start as early as October, depending upon the weather.

(Contact her at info@wsjunction.org.) Other murals are awaiting their turn, and crowdfunding continues here. Another way to help the mural-restoration fund is by attending this Saturday’s West Seattle Outdoor Movies finale (“Black Panther,” August 26th at dusk by the West Seattle YMCA [3622 SW Snoqualmie; WSB sponsor]); it’ll be the beneficiary of this week’s raffle.