Showing posts with label seattle history. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seattle history. Show all posts

Monday, March 09, 2015

Spite mounds and Seattle's Denny Regrade, predecessor to the Edith Masefield Story.

By Jack Brummet, Seattle History Ed.

You've probably read about,or seen, Edith Masefield's house in Ballard.  She was a holdout. and a full block commercial development had to build around her house (for which they offered her $1 million):

During the Denny Regrade ( when Seattle sluiced the entire steep Denny Hill down into Elliott Bay), some property owners refused to sell their land.  The engineers carved around their lots, usually leaving houses stranded a hundred feet in the air atop "spite mounds."   The owners all caved in eventually (it took years) and the regrade was completed.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Photograph: A Georgetown local at the bar

By Jack Brummet, Seattle Neighborhoods Ed.

A longtime local resident KeeKee and I met in a bar in Georgetown, Seattle.

click to enlarge


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ballard Cedar mill, Seattle, 1919

By Mona Goldwater, Seattle History Ed.

Photo from the Seattle Museum of History & Industry 

The Seattle Cedar mill, just west of the Ballard Bridge, was the largest sawmill in Ballard. Logs were cut into lumber and then dried for nine months before being sold. The stacks of drying lumber were at least 50 feet high.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

MOHAI's fantastic new home in South Lake Union

By Jack Brummet, Seattle Ed.

The Museum of History and Industry opened this year in Seattle in a beautiful new (to them) building (a converted armory) and location.  At any given time, they display around 2% of their collection.

The exhibits were excellent and their collection (four million items and growing) is amazing.

The new MOHAI, in a converted armory on the shore of South Lake Union

Some random snapshots of various objects in the museum:

The sign from the notorious, now defunct Lusty Lady, an all-female owned strip club on Second Avenue

The old sign from the Doghouse, a 24 hour dive that everyone loved

In mid-20th century Seattle, the hydroplanes were the coolest thing that happened in town. We would know the names of all the boats and drivers. One of my dad's friends, Bill Brow a/k/a The World's Fastest Milkman, drove Miss Burien (he would die in a race in Florida in the late 60's). It was cool seeing this at MOHAI today, since the annual hydroplane races are happening this weekend.

Amazing early triple bill (with Nirvana as the bottom-liners)

a poster from the 1999 WTO protests that made world-wide news

A display about a machine that enabled processors to can meat and fish.  
These are maybe half of the brands of salmon on display.

Bill Gates' notebook

The Log Lady from Twin Peaks

The sign that used to sit atop the Rainier Brewery next to Interstate-5

A sign from a famous gay bar in Pioneer Square -- lots of disco, I remember

A speaker from Mark Lanegan's band Screaming Trees

An ancient wooden tugboat

An early Boeing airplane.  They were made of spruce!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Seattle's Hat and Boots

By Jack Brummet, Seattle Metro Editor

The Hat 'n' Boots now reside in Oxbow Park in the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle.  They were built in 1954 as part of a Western-themed Texaco gas station and are alleged to be the largest hat and cowboy boots in America.  The hat measures 44 feet across and the boots are 22 feet high.

When the "filling station" fell on hard times, it was abandoned for many years, and finally, the City of Seattle moved the fully restored Hat 'n' Boots (they were in rocky shape due to years of neglect) to the new Oxbow Park in December 2003.

When I was young, before Interstate 5 was completed, we used to stop there on every trip to Seattle. It was the coolest thing ever for an eight year old to pee in the boot.  The boots are no longer bathrooms, but are used to store sprinklers, tools, and hoses for the park.

The Hat 'n' Boots even had a star turn--in National Lampoon's Vacation, in the opening credits.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sonnet (with a sidebar on the Embassy Theater)

This is a sonnet I wrote for my wife many years ago, tossed aside, and recently resurrected, and revised.

The Embassy Theater mentioned is the same one in the snapshots below--it was located at 3rd and Union in Seattle.  By the late 70's/early '80's, it was operating as a porn theatre.  It closed sometime in the 1980's, and is now an excellent music club--The Triple Door.

The Embassy in the 1930's

And, The Embassy in the later years


By Jack Brummet

It didn't matter where as long as they did.
Even the five dollar a night Glen Hotel
With twelve hours to cling on the ancient springs
Over The Embassy blue movie house.
He watched her fall asleep that rainy night
And he became a friend of the world.
Three years later, he shuffled off the bus
In NYC and threaded himself through
A surging gauntlet of hands and eyes.
He snagged her in a flying bear hug.
She steered him to the southbound IND
Into those incognito years in Brooklyn
Where they learned we don't make love, love makes us.
It didn't matter where as long as they did.

Friday, August 12, 2011

High School Students Unite! A 1970 flyer distributed around Seattle

By Jack Brummet
Seattle History Editor

Most of the time I was in high school, there were protests, moratoriums, sit-downs, the first earth day, and marches.  This flyer from Seattle attempts to organize a strike of high school students on April 16th, 1970, with the following demands:

1. The schools must serve the people....

2. We want an end to all the phony, unfair discipline in the schools....

3. We want better classes....

4. All police, narcs, school security guards and other types of pigs off campus....

5. We want all military recruiters kept off campus, and the schools must quit aiding the draft boards....

6. We want an end to all the white supremacy in the schools....

7. We want an end to all male supremacy....

8. We want an end to all lying texts and history classes....

9. We want every student to have the chance to enter college and the right to a decent job....

10. We are united with our sisters and brothers in the factories, the communities, the colleges, and all the oppressed peoples of the world."


Monday, September 20, 2010

R.I.P., Fremont's Buckaroo Tavern

The landmark Buckaroo Tavern in Fremont closed this weekend.  They had one of the best neon signs in all of Seattle.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Is Seattle the Bangkok of international beast-sex tourism? Feds uncover a new NW sex farm.

By Jack Brummet, All This Is That Social Mores and Ethics Correspondent with additional research by Pablo Fanque, National Affairs Editor, Illustration by Jack Brummet

 Is Seattle the Bangkok of international beast-sex tourism?  Well, you do have to wonder, with this weeks latest news of British tourists visiting the Seattle area.  Apparently, the sex farm advertised heavily in European and British publications and websites.

International Animal Sex Ring Discovered in Whatcom County

"Federal investigators have uncovered an international sex ring that involves farm animals in Whatcom County.

Agents say people from around the world were invited to stay at the farm near Sumas and abuse the animals.

"This is an extremely bizarre case and very shocking for seasoned law enforcement people," said Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo.

Elfo says dogs, horses and mice were seized from Spink's property. The mice had their tails cut off, were smothered in Vaseline and had to be euthanized [ed's note: we really appear to be "euthanizing" the wrong parties in this case].

You can read the entire story here, on

As you may or may not know, Pablo Fanque and Jack Brummet have previously (and perversely) covered this topic extensively on All This Is That.  Some links to previous articles and postings:

Not now deer! Wisconsin man punished for necrophilia and beastiality--at the same time!
Inanimate Love: Guys having sex with lamp-posts, signs, picnic tables, park benches. and cars
Shades Of The Enumclaw Beastiality Case-- A Spanaway, Wash. Man Is Accused Of Having Sex With A Pit Bull
Further ruminations on Enumclaw
Horsin' around: update on Enumclaw
Another shocking revelation
Beastiality in south King County
The final horse/beastiality update
Enumclaw Story To Become A Movie
Seattle Horse Sex Film Is Selected For Sundance!

The Aurora Bridge Is About To Acquire A Suicide Prevention Fence. Thank you WSDOT!

The Aurora Bridge is about to acquire a suicide barrier.  Hallelujah!  This makes me so happy.

The Aurora Bridge is the second most "popular" suicide site in the United States...right behind the Golden Gate Bridge.  230 people have killed themselves at the bridge since it was built.    Those "choose life" stickers on the light pole haven't really helped.  Thank you Seattle and Washington State for finally doing this.  From

Work to begin on Aurora's suicide prevention fence

Construction on a fence aimed at preventing people from jumping off Seattle's Aurora Bridge begins next week. Construction will begin Monday night and last four to six weeks until crews begin working during the day June-December. The noise is expected to be so loud that nearby residents have been offered industrial-strength earplugs.

According to a flier sent to neighbors, "You may hear tools such as wood saws, compressed air drills, generators, power wrenches and other construction equipment." However, the Washington State Department of Transportation said it's trying to reduce the nose by using portable noise shields on generators and use ambient back up alarms on equipment. Call the WSDOT if you need earplugs 206-267-6019

The 8-foot, 9-inch steel fence is designed to keep people from committing suicide by jumping from the 167-foot high span. The WSDOT said the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline finds the "use of bridge barriers is the most effective means of bridge prevention suicide" and the method has been successful on the Bloor Street Viaduct in Toronto, the Memorial Bridge in Augusta, the Colorado Street Brdige in Pasadena, the Duke Ellington Bridge in Washington D.C., and the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England.

Crews will being installing the actual fence structure in late summer or early fall. They expect to finish the project in late 2010 or early next year.

The WSDOT said the original budget for the fence project was $8.1 million, but it was revised to $4.6 million. The project was funded through the gas tax.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Legendary Seattle landmark The Lusty Lady to close

It's the economic slump, and according to the manager, high quality porn on the internet; whatever the cause, The Lusty Lady is closing.  Their revenues have declined every year since 1998 (or, roughly since the internet became widely available). In Seattle, The Lusty Lady, a downtown nude peep show (right across the street from the Seattle Art Museum) is best known for the double entendres on its marquee.

The Lusty Lady will close in June. Some recent marquees: "Happy Spanksgiving" "Happy Nude Year," "Seasons Squeezings," and "Always Open, Never Clothed."

A post from All This Is That a few years ago, lists some of their more notable marquee titles:  Some Classic Porn Movie Titles from the Lusty Lady

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Photo: The Beatles fishing in Seattle

The Beatles fishing from their hotel window at Seattle's Edgewater Inn. You can still fish there. Led Zeppelin famously dropped a line, and Frank Zappa wrote his song "Mud Shark" about fishing there. . .


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Old Seattle photograph

click to enlarge

This photo is probably from about 1900 (the flags are 45 star, which they were from 1896-1908), taken at the corner of Seattle's 2d Avenue S. and South Jackson St. in Pioneer Square. The street doesn't look much different today. The buildings still exist. One was damaged in the 2001 earthquake but was restored. This corner is now leased by--surprise--a coffee shop. Photo courtesy Allen, of He bought the photo used. Note: Everyone in the photo is wearing a hat.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Video of our office during the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake

In February, 2001, we experienced a serious (6.8) earthquake in Seattle. This is a video shot at our office during the 'quake. Sort of. According to the Wikipedia:

"The Nisqually earthquake was an intraslab earthquake, occurring at 10:54 a.m. PST (18:54 UTC). on February 28, 2001, and was one of the largest recorded earthquakes in Washington state history. The quake measured 6.8 on the MMS and lasted approximately 45 seconds. The epicenter of the earthquake was under Anderson Island, about 17 km (11 mi) northeast of Olympia. The focus was at a depth of 52 km (32 mi). Tremors were felt as far away as Portland, Oregon, across the border in Vancouver, Canada, and 175 miles east in Pasco, Washington. The quake caused some property damage in Seattle and surrounding areas. Although there were no reports of deaths directly from the earthquake, local news outlets reported that there was one death from a stress-related heart condition at the time of the earthquake; the quake also caused approximately 400 injuries."

"The quake is sometimes referred to as the Rattle in Seattle, similar to the nickname "Battle in Seattle" for the protests surrounding the WTO Ministerial Conference in 1999."


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Quotations about Seattle, Wash.

click to enlarge

"What do they call this--Bar Mitzvah? Where you come out as a man? I think Seattle was kind of like that for me. . .all of a sudden I had to become a man. There were a lot of faces around Seattle, and I tried to make mine familiar so I could keep working. . .I could see that in a city like Seattle--a place which was more sophisticated and open than I was used to--my act was going to pay off." - Ray Charles

From a New Yorker cartoon about Seattle: "They're backpacky, but nice."

"Our grandfather started a sawmill and helped to clear-cut Ballard. And he gained wealth here. He was a very aggressive businessman. . .Now our generation is very much into nonprofit and here we are operating a foundation giving away as much money as we can to save the forests that my grandfather did not cut." - Harriett Bullitt, former co-owner of King Broadcasting

"Many a morning in June, I've come upon slugs three feet up on my asparagus plants, rocking back and forth in the feathery foliage like a sailor relaxing on a hammock." - Jim Hollman

"When somebody associates someone with being a resident of the Pacific Northwest, there's a lot of Paul Bunyan notions of people raising Cain out in the hills." - Bruce Pavitt, co-founder of Sub Pop Records

"A Seattle native is a Californian, Minnesotan, or Iowan who has lived in Seattle more than six months and knows how to pronounce Sequim (or Puyallup)." - Jean Godden, Seattle columnist and former city council member

"I like Californians. When I'm down there." Emmett Watson, Seattle author, newspaperman

"The real misconception that outsiders have about Seattle's rain is that it's a bad unpleasant thing. True Northwesterners, on the other hand, like the misty, foggy weather, with its beautiful moody promise of regeneration." - Bart Becker

"It will stop raining, won't it?" - Richard Eberhard, a poet on a 1967 visit to Seattle

"Despite what the fish and game department likes us to believe about fishing, gardening is easily the number one avocation in the Pacific Northwest. . .We may treat the local Orca pods as wildlife celebrities, we may reinvent the spotted owl as our symbol of wildness, we may expend vast amounts of money, time, and self-respect trying to get close enough to grab a salmon under the gills, but it is the slugs we know best. And most often. Slugs: our primary window into the heart of the wilderness." - Jim Hollman, Seattle writer

"A newcomer to Seattle arrives on a rainy day. She gets up the next morning and it's raining. It continues to pour for the rest of the week. Leaning out her apartment window she sees a little boy playing on the stoop below and asks, 'Hey, kid, does it ever stop raining around here?' The kid looks up at her and calls back, 'How should I know? I'm only six.' - a joke that made the rounds a few years ago

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Excerpt from Chief Seattle's Oration On The 1854 Treaty

by Chief Seattle a/k/a Sealth

It matters little where we pass the remnant of our days. They will not be many. The Indian's night promises to be dark. Not a single star of hope hovers above his horizon. Sad-voiced winds moan in the distance. Grim fate seems to be on the Red Man's trail, and wherever he will hear the approaching footsteps of his fell destroyer and prepare stolidly to meet his doom, as does the wounded doe that hears the approaching footsteps of the hunter.

A few more moons, a few more winters, and not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, will remain to mourn over the graves of a people once more powerful and hopeful than yours. But why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend to friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We will see.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

An amazing view of Ballard, Seattle, Wash., with a frieze of Olympic Mountains

click on Ballard to enlarge, Photo by Jack Johnson. Source: Washington State Archives.
General Photograph Collection. Used with permission.

A photograph of my neighborhood in Seattle (Ballard) in 1960, nearly fifty years ago. I love the perspective--and no, the Olympic Mountains do not quite loom over us like that! We can see them, but from our promontory from Crown Hill/North Beach, they seem further in the distance, far less foreboding, but breath-taking still, and humbling in the way mountains always are.

Friday, June 12, 2009

One Big Big Bird

Along with 18 pound horses and hippopotamuses (or hippopotami), this Big Big Bird, Diatryma, lived in The Pacific Northwest before us. Its prints were found along the Green River, just a couple of blocks from the house where I grew up.
It's probably just as well Diatrymas are no longer around. Can you imagine turning a corner and bumping into this fella?