The NE Seattle Tool Library at 2415 NE 80th Street is a community-based nonprofit organization for sharing tools and knowledge of how-to-fix-it. The Tool Library has been very successful in its mission and now it is moving to a good new site at 10228 Fischer Place NE in the historic LaVilla Dairy Building.
The North Seattle Friends Church, located on Ravenna Avenue NE at NE 80th Street, gave one of their buildings to be used by the NE Seattle Tool Library for the past several years. Long-time neighborhood residents will remember that the building was once a small convenience store. This building was sold to a nearby private school, University Preparatory Academy, in the year 2016, and the building will be used for their programs after the NE Seattle Tool Library moves out in May 2018.
The NE Seattle Tool Library is moving to the historic LaVilla Dairy Building at 10228 Fischer Place NE. Fischer Place NE angles off of Lake City Way NE at NE 102nd Street, and goes through to connect with Ravenna Way NE. The road was created in the 1920s by Ole Blindheim and was named in tribute to his father-in-law, August Fischer.
August Fischer was a German immigrant who prospered as a carpenter in Seattle in the 1880s. In the 1890s he moved his family to the remote northeast Seattle land which was sometimes called German Hill, because of other immigrants who were farmers around the same area. The Fischers acquired land from the Beckers, from NE 100th to 110th Streets which includes the present site of Nathan Hale High School.
The Fischers were part of a close-knit community which worked together in early days to obtain schooling for their children. The brick Maple Leaf School built in 1926 at the corner of 100th & 32nd (no longer extant), was on land which the Fischers had donated for that school.
Along with the Ohland family, in the 1890s the Fischers had founded the first Maple Leaf School which met in an old sawmill camp building on the shore of Lake Washington at about NE 100th Street. The site had been called LaVilla after a real estate development in that area of northeast Seattle. Then the second location of the Maple Leaf School was a two-room wood-frame building just off of 35th Avenue NE at the southeast corner of NE 105th Street. This building served until the third location, the brick school, was built in 1926 on NE 100th Street.
When Ole Blindheim built his dairy processing plant on Fischer Place NE in the 1920s, he named it LaVilla in tribute to the lake dock landing which he knew, even though his dairy building was not at that site. The name Meadowbrook, which is the current name of the neighborhood where the LaVilla Dairy building is located, did not come into use for many decades, until after a golf course named Meadowbrook began in 1932. The golf course was on the present site of Nathan Hale High School.
August Fischer gave portions of his farm property to each of his eight children, and the Blindheims received the westernmost section which today is the LaVilla Dairy building and the house next door to it, slightly visible at far right in this current photo of LaVilla Dairy. The buildings are still in Blindheim family ownership (grandsons of Ole Blindheim). Behind the LaVilla Dairy building, the natural area along one of the tributaries of Thornton Creek was sold to the City of Seattle in 1993 for preservation.
The NE Seattle Tool Library is calling for volunteers for their move to the LaVilla Dairy building. Here is the schedule. Just show up, and they will put you to work!
All Prep Work at LaVilla Dairy – 10228 Fischer Pl NE:
Saturdays May 19 and 26: 8 AM to 3 PM
Sundays May 20 and 27: noon to 5 PM
Moving Weekend from 2415 NE 80th:
Humans and Trucks Needed!
We’ll need all hands and trucks on deck for moving STUFF!! Anyone with any skill level can help with this so come out for an hour or for a day!
Saturday June 2 from 9 AM to 5 PM and Sunday June 3 from Noon to 5 PM