Seattle author David B. Williams is well-known for his geology walks and talks. In recent years he has been doing research into Seattle history and how the city has interacted with and altered its natural environment, and he wrote the story of Seattle’s regrading projects in Too High and Too Steep. On March 1 and 15, 2017, you can hear Mr. Williams launch his newest book, Seattle Walks: Discovering History and Nature in the City.
In 1889 J. S. McMullen, age 55, pulled up stakes and went out West. He had spent most of his life in Michigan but perhaps he was enticed to start a new life by word of the rich natural resources of the Seattle area. McMullen brought his wife and four adult children, and the family became business leaders in the Fremont neighborhood.
When the Lake Washington Ship Canal was constructed in 1911-1917, people hoped that the canal would benefit Seattle’s business environment. It was difficult to foresee, however, all that might happen, and what would be the actual impact of the canal work. In the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Waldo B. Staples found that the new, deeper and wider canal caused problems at first, but then unexpectedly the canal created a new means of livelihood for him.
Before the present-day ship canal at the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, there was a smaller, hand-dug channel. It had been used for sending logs to mill, and small boats could travel in the canal. Prior to the completion of the Lake Washington Ship Canal in 1917, no neighborhood-boundary distinction was made as to the south side of the canal at Fremont, so the address of Carl Signor’s Grocery and Feed Store was listed as in Fremont.
The news of Seattle’s Great Fire of June 6, 1889, was carried by newspapers all over the USA. The story of the pioneer City of Seattle which heroically resolved to rise from the ashes and rebuild after the Fire, attracted opportunity-seekers in business, real estate investment and many other fields. One of the newcomers in Seattle immediately after the Fire was Charles E. Remsberg, age 26, of Indiana.
The Fremont neighborhood of Seattle began in 1888 as a named, planned real estate development. With its advantageous location at the northwest corner of Lake Union, Fremont grew rapidly. In addition to its location with access to natural resources like water, Fremont’s vitality can be attributed to its dynamic and enterprising early residents.