Wedgwood Neighborhood History Trivia Quiz

Test your knowledge of Wedgwood neighborhood history with this quiz.  Answers to the quiz follow Question #16.

Wedgwood Rock is located at 7200 28th Ave NE in Seattle.

1. In which neighborhood is Wedgwood Rock?

Wedgwood (duh!)

Meadowbrook

Ravenna

2. What does the “P” in P-Patch stand for?

Peat, for the peat bog at the current location of Dahl Playfield

Picardo, the name of the family that farmed the area

Pea, for the legume that grows there in abundance

Wedgwood School as it looked in 1955 at the intersection of NE 85th Street and 30th Ave NE in Seattle.

3. What was on the site before Wedgwood School was built?

The Leonard DeVries estate

Homer & Bertie Stone’s house

Wedgwood #4 housing development by Albert Balch

4. How did Wedgwood get its name?

The developer’s wife liked Wedgwood china

Named after Sir Ralph Lewis Wedgwood of the London & North Eastern Railway

From the Wedgwood Broiler, then an outpost in the wilderness.

QFC Grocery is at 8400 35th Ave NE

5. Before the QFC was Matthew’s Red Apple. But what was at that location before Matthew’s?

An Elk’s Club swimming pool

Hunter Tree Farm

A Tradewell grocery store

Wedgwood Lanes bowling facility

The Wedgwood Ale House at 8515 35th Ave NE

6. What was the name of the first tavern in Wedgwood?

Shauer’s

Hansen’s

Fiddler’s

Ida’s

Dooley’s

7. Which was the first large-chain grocery store to open in Wedgwood?

McCullough’s IGA Foodliner

Evan’s Thriftway

Safeway

Tradewell

Nathan and Mina Eckstein wedding photo, 1902. Schwabacher collection photo number 1083.14, UW Special Collections.

8. Who was the first person/s to live in the Wedgwood area?

Captain DeWitt C. Kenyon, a Civil War veteran from Michigan, and his wife Viola

Nathan Eckstein, businessman and civic activist, and his wife Mina

Clarence Sherman, chicken farmer

9. The first person/s to build a housing development in Wedgwood was:

Marshall Blinn, timber baron

Mary Chandler from Machiasport, Maine

Joseph Doheny of the Pontiac plat

Charles H. Baker, surveyor and real estate investor

The McLaughlin Realty Company, promotional brochure for Laurelhurst circa 1907. Laurelhurst Community Club records, Special Collections, UW Library.

Walter S. Wood of Morningside Heights

The McLaughlin Realty Company

Nevins & Park, architects

Albert Balch, Community Builder

Wedgwood’s Apron Ladies

10. What business was formerly at the southwest corner of NE 85th Street, present site of Bank of America at 8425 35th Ave NE?

Charles E. Thorpe’s ginseng farm

Wedgwood Texaco gas station

A billboard which said “Will the last person leaving Seattle – turn out the lights.”

Shearwater Hall (the Decatur Annex) on NE 77th Street nearest to 43rd Ave NE.

11. Shearwater in Wedgwood was:

Navy barracks

The previous site name for Decatur Elementary School

A long-running conflict with a developer about what types of houses would be built.

12. The first church group to be organized in the Wedgwood neighborhood was:

Morningside Sunday School Union

Chapel of St. Ignatius

Our Lady of the Lake

The 7-Eleven store as it looked in 1967. The writing on the photo is the legal description including the plat name, Pontiac. Photo courtesy of the Puget Sound Regional Archives, Bellevue, WA.

13. Name the oldest commercial structure in Wedgwood.

14. Name two buildings in Wedgwood which started out as 7-Eleven stores but were subsequently converted to other uses.

15. Name all of the coffee shops in Wedgwood.

16.  Name some of the types of businesses which Wedgwood had in the 1950s and 1960s, but which Wedgwood doesn’t have any more.  One is, a hardware store (McVicar’s).

***************************************************************************************

ANSWERS TO THE QUIZ:

The Wedgwood neighborhood is  between NE 75th to 95th Streets and is bounded on the west along Lake City Way NE between NE 85th to 95th Streets.

1. In which neighborhood is Wedgwood Rock?

In 1956 the community club set “boundaries” to define the neighborhood, and today the City of Seattle Clerk’s map reflects that same definition of Wedgwood:  between NE 75th Street and NE 95th Street.

The eastern boundary of Wedgwood is along 45th Ave NE (contiguous with the Sand Point golf course).  The western edge of Wedgwood is along 25th Ave NE until the boundary line takes a jog to run along Lake City Way NE.

Since Wedgwood Rock is at 7200 28th Ave NE, south of the Wedgwood neighborhood boundary of NE 75th Street, technically Wedgwood Rock is in Ravenna.

2. What does the “P” in P-Patch stand for?

The Picardo family began farming this patch of land in the 1920s.  They held onto the property until the City of Seattle bought it in the 1970s for a community gardening program.  Seattle’s P-Patch at 8040 25th Ave NE was the first in the USA, and the P for Picardo honors their farming legacy.

3. What was on the site before Wedgwood School was built?

Mr. DeVries’ house, built in 1926, was on the site of Wedgwood School. Now the house is at 3000 NE 85th Street.

The Leonard DeVries estate, Homer & Bertie Stone’s house, and Wedgwood #4 housing development by Albert Balch:  all of these were previously on the present site of Wedgwood School on NE 85th Street at 30th Ave NE.

Albert Balch, Wedgwood developer, acquired the former DeVries estate property and filed a plat (a layout of lots for houses) for Wedgwood #4 in March 1951.

Balch had already started building houses on the former DeVries estate when Seattle Public Schools declared that they would take the property for the new school in the neighborhood.  Four houses, including the homes of the DeVries, Jones, Robinson and Stone families, had to be moved to make way for construction of Wedgwood School.

4. How did Wedgwood get its name?

Balch’s original Wedgwood houses were marked by this entrance on the west side of 35th Ave NE at NE 81st Street. It is my belief that Balch may have gotten the idea for the entry posts from some sort of marker at the property which had been placed there by the previous landowner, Mr. Thorpe.

The answer to why the name “Wedgwood” was chosen for Albert Balch’s new building project, was that his wife liked Wedgwood china.

In an April 1956 article in the Wedgwood Echo community newsletter, Albert Balch was interviewed and asked how he chose the name “Wedgwood” for the housing development he had started in 1941.  He replied that his wife Edith had not liked the name “View Ridge” for his previous project, so he told her that she could choose the name of the next one.

Edith Balch was an admirer of the pottery and china work of Josiah Wedgwood of England, and she thought “Wedgwood” would be a good name for the new development which had houses in the style of a New England village.  Balch even put up stone gateposts (though with no gates attached) to give a sense of entry to the housing development, entered at NE 81st Street on 35th Ave NE.

However, Balch did not deliberately try to name the whole neighborhood.  “Wedgwood” was originally just the plat name for the houses from NE 80th to 85th Streets, 30th to 35th Avenues NE.  The name Wedgwood “caught on” when businesses started using it beginning in about 1945.  The name spread in common use and seemed to be established as the neighborhood identity by the time that Wedgwood School was officially named in April 1954.

5. Before the QFC was Matthew’s Red Apple. But what was at that location before Matthew’s?

The Tradewell Grocery Store as pictured in 1962, was built in 1959 and is the present site of QFC at 8400 35th Ave NE. Photo courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives image 76718.

In 1958 a new building for the Tradewell grocery store was built at 8400 35th Ave NE.  It was the first building on that site, and is the same as the present building.  Prior to 1958, that corner was vacant, held as an investment by the Fulton family.

Tradewell closed, and the building became Matthew’s Red Apple in 1989.  The building began to be used by QFC in the year 2000.

There is some truth to say that the Hunter Tree Farm Christmas tree sales started at the present QFC site in the mid-1950s.  What was then a vacant lot at the southeast corner of NE 85th Street, was the first place in Wedgwood that the Hunters sold retail Christmas trees.  Carol Hunter told me that after the Tradewell construction and opening in 1958-1959, there wasn’t enough space for the Christmas tree lot so they moved to the property that they presently have, at 7744 35th Ave NE.

6. What was the name of the first tavern in Wedgwood?

in the 1920s Shauer’s grocery and gas station was on the northwest corner of 35th Ave NE at NE 85th Street. Later the building became a cafe and beer parlor.

When Congress voted to start the process of ending Prohibition, they permitted the sale of 3.2% beer as of April 1933.  At that time the Shauer family opened a cafe next to their other businesses in the 8501 block of 35th Ave NE, and sold 3.2% beer.  Unfortunately we don’t know if this cafe had a name, but the timeline shows that it was the first tavern in the (future) Wedgwood neighborhood.

Due to depressed economic conditions in the 1930s, Mr. Shauer gave up on the businesses and the Shauer family moved away.  A later owner of the Shauer property, Mr. Hansen (Hansen’s Tavern) changed its name to Wedgwood Tavern in 1945.  So we can say that the ancestor of the present Wedgwood Ale House was the first tavern in Wedgwood.

In 1994 the Fiddler’s Inn at 9219 35th Ave NE still looked exactly as it had been built by Walt Haines in 1934.

Fiddler’s Inn and Ida’s Inn each opened later, toward the end of the year 1934.  Both of these taverns had owners who observed what other businesses were doing in the post-Prohibition era, and then they decided to try opening a tavern themselves.

Dooley’s started out in 1926 as a restaurant at 7305 Sand Point Way NE, directly across from the gate of the then-new Sand Point Naval Air Station.  Dooley’s began selling 3.2% beer in mid-1933, according to their application which was listed in the newspaper in April 1933.

7. Which was the first large-chain grocery store to open in Wedgwood?

McCullough’s IGA Foodliner opened in 1946 at 8606 35th Ave NE, present site of the Jasper Apartments.  In 1957 the building was remodelled and became Evan’s Thriftway.

Evans Thriftway was in a 1946 grocery building which was remodelled and expanded in 1956-1957 and renamed for owner Russ Evans. The Jasper Apartments are now on this site. Photo courtesy of Puget Sound Regional Archives.

In 1952, Tradewell opened across from the IGA on the south side of NE 86th Street, present site of Rite-Aid.  In 1958 the Tradewell moved over to the south side of NE 85th Street (the present QFC site).

From 1989 to 1999 the grocery store at 8400 35th Ave was Matthew’s Red Apple, and in the year 2000 it became the present QFC.

The Wedgwood Safeway at the corner of NE 75th Street opened in June 1951.  The Safeway has been re-built once and remodelled several times.

8. Who was the first person/s to live in the Wedgwood area?

Capt. DeWitt C. Kenyon of Michigan in Civil War uniform

Captain DeWitt C. Kenyon, a Civil War veteran from Michigan, and his wife Viola had a homestead claim which included the present site of Nathan Eckstein Middle School.  Although we don’t know exactly where the Kenyons’ house was located within their homestead claim property, we can speculate that their house might have been on the present school site, because that area was cleared of trees and was used as a pasture from early years.  It seems likely that the Kenyons might have cut down trees there for building their house.

The Kenyons came to Seattle in the 1870s and were recorded as living in northeast Seattle as of the census of 1880.  They and other local families formed a school district and they sent an article to Seattle’s Daily Intelligencer newspaper about their Fourth of July celebration at Wedgwood Rock in 1881.

In the mid-1880s the Kenyons moved into town, where Capt. Kenyon worked at a wood products company and Mrs. Kenyon taught at Seattle’s Central School.

9. The first person/s to build a housing development in Wedgwood was:

Marshall Blinn 1827-1885

Marshall Blinn was a man who bought land in north Seattle in the 1870s, but only as an investment.  He was looking for timber resources and he was gambling on the possible route of a railroad, if national corporations would ever put through a railroad to Seattle.  Blinn was the founder of Seabeck on the Kitsap Peninsula, and after retiring from the lumber industry he lived in Olympia.

Mary ChandlerJoseph Doheny, and Charles H. Baker all filed plats (a layout of streets and lots) in what is now Wedgwood, in the year 1890.  These real estate investors were too optimistic about the growth of Seattle after the Great Fire of June 1889, that people would want to live so far out of town.  No actual streets were put through in these plats in the 1890s in the future Wedgwood neighborhood, the lots in their plats did not sell, and no houses were built.  Property tax assessment records of the 1890s show that no one lived in Wedgwood in that decade.

Albert Balch 1903-1976

Walter S. Wood of Morningside Heights and the McLaughlin Realty Company sold real estate in the early 1900s, but they did not build houses.

John R. Nevins and Earl Park were architects who, with three other men, filed a plat called the Nevins & Park Addition to Seattle.  Beginning in 1916 they built houses for their own families in the block to the south of Wedgwood School:  NE 82nd to 85th Streets, 28th to 30th Avenues NE.

Albert Balch gave himself the title of Community Builder.  He was the first person to build an organized development of houses in what became Wedgwood in 1941.  The plat name, Wedgwood, began to be adopted by local businesses in 1945 (beginning with the Wedgwood Tavern) so that it gradually became the name of the neighborhood via popular usage of the name.

10. What businesses were formerly at the southwest corner of NE 85th Street, present site of Bank of America at 8425 35th Ave NE?

Advertisement for the Wedgwood Texaco in 1955

Technically Charles E. Thorpe’s ginseng farm was there, since he owned the property between NE 80th to 85th Streets on the west side of 35th Ave NE, even though he did not have all of this land planted with crops.

The first actual business on that southwest corner of the intersection of NE 85th Street was the Wedgwood Texaco gas station from 1948 to about 1970.  After he gas station closed, the present bank building was built.

The Wedgwood Texaco was one of an enormous number of gas stations along 35th Ave NE in the 1950s.  Most of them closed during the Boeing Bust and Mideast Oil Embargo of the late 1960s.  Now there are only two gas stations in Wedgwood, one at 7300 and one at 9500 35th Ave NE.

11. Shearwater in Wedgwood:

Shearwater was all of these:

Shearwater was a cluster of Navy barracks buildings on some of the blocks east of 40th Ave NE.  In 1965 part of the site was given for Decatur Elementary School at 7711 43rd Ave NE.  One building, the former Shearwater Hall, (also called the Decatur Annex) still remains at the corner of 77th & 43rd.

Shearwater was also a 1960s conflict between the Wedgwood Community Club and a developer about the zoning (single-family or multiple-zoning such as apartments) and the type of houses which would be built.  The dispute with the developer, George Apostol, was part of the long-running saga of Shearwater in Wedgwood.

12. The first church group to organize and begin meeting in the Wedgwood neighborhood was:

The Morningside Church was built in 1926 at 9505 35th Avenue NE, present site of a veterinary clinic. In 1951 the church moved to 8008 35th Ave NE and became Wedgwood Presbyterian Church.

The Morningside Sunday School Union met in a building at 2548-2558 NE 92nd Street by or before the year 1915.

In the 1920s the group built a building at the corner of NE 95th Street, present site of the Northeast Veterinary Clinic.

The Morningside group changed their name to Wedgwood Presbyterian Church when they moved into their new building at 8008 35th Ave NE in 1951.

The Chapel of St. Ignatius was the second church group in Wedgwood.  They began meeting in October 1929 in the log house which had belonged to Mr. Thorpe, the ginseng farmer.  In about 1940 the group moved to 8900 35th Ave NE and became Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church.

13. Name the oldest commercial structure in Wedgwood.

Above the storefronts at 7500 35th Ave NE can be seen the square outline of the old Ida’s Inn tavern building.

The oldest business building in Wedgwood is the square structure of the former Ida’s Inn Beer Parlor which can be seen above the storefronts which were built later, at 7500 35th Ave NE.  The tavern building was originally built as a mom-and-pop grocery store in 1925.

After Prohibition ended in 1934, a young couple, Ray & Ida Ihrig, leased the building and opened Ida’s Inn.  Ida’s Inn closed in 1948 and the next owner of the property added the storefronts.

Over time, the storefronts at 7500 35th Ave NE have held a variety of businesses and can be divided in different ways.  For example, the present Edward Jones Investments office is in two spaces.  In 1958 the shops were (listed from south to north): MacLennan’s women’s clothing; Frosty Shop Ice Cream; Binek’s Electric Bakery; June Kraemer’s Wedgewood Beauty Shop; Wedgwood Shoe Repair.   Today, the businesses are: I Love Bento; Fox Chiropractic; Edward Jones Investments; Rainglow Airbrush Tanning; and United Health Care Insurance.

The oldest business in continual operation in Wedgwood is the Morningside Market at 9118 35th Ave NE, in its building built circa 1926-1927.

14. Name two buildings in Wedgwood which started out as 7-Eleven stores but have been converted to other uses.

Grateful Bread Bakery & Cafe building was originally a 7-Eleven store.

The Grateful Bread Café & Bakery at 7001 35th Ave NE, and Wong’s Kitchen & Bar at 9400 35th Ave NE, were originally built by the 7-Eleven Corporation.  After about ten years these 7-Elevens closed and the buildings’ use changed.

A building which looks like it might have been a 7-Eleven is the Wedgwood Market at the southeast corner of NE 65th Street, but it was originally built as another quick-market, Hoagy’s Corner.

15. Name all of the coffee shops in Wedgwood.

For the purpose of naming all of the coffee outlets in Wedgwood, I will include Grateful Bread and Top Pot Doughnut at the intersection of NE 70th Street.

Other shops are Café Javasti, Van Gogh Coffeehouse, Starbuck’s inside of Safeway, and Starbuck’s at NE 73rd Street.

Coming soon will be Grand Central Bakery Café at 7501 35th Ave NE.

16.  Wedgwood businesses of the 1950s and 1960s:

A comparison of the businesses which Wedgwood had in the 1950s and 1960s with the businesses in Wedgwood now, shows the enormous changes in the economy and in society in the years since Wedgwood first became a neighborhood.  Here are some of the past businesses, which Wedgwood no longer has:

Wedgwood Echo newspaper of October 21, 1955, announced the opening events of the new pharmacy.

Appliance store and electrical contractor: in the Copestick Building

Dairy Queen:  started on the Safeway parking lot in 1960, and then moved to 7320 35th Ave NE in 1964.

Hardware store:  McVicar Hardware at 8507 35th Ave NE.

Mobil gas station at 8605 35th Ave NE.  In the 1950s there were at least twelve gas stations of different brands between NE 65th to 95th Streets on 35th Ave NE.  Choose “gas stations” on the Categories tab on this blog page, to see more articles about the stations.

Paint store, Radio Shack, separate barber shop for men and beauty salon for ladies in the Tradewell complex: now the site of Rite-Aid

Pharmacy with a soda fountain:  Bud Gagnon’s WedgEwood Pharmacy.

Plant nursery:  Foster’s/Wedgwood Gardens

Used car lot:  Adams Motor Company

Variety store with penny candy:  McGillivray’s

A 1962 view of the offices of Wedgwood’s developer, Albert Balch.  At left was his administrative office for bookkeeping and architects, now the office of Seattle Audubon Society at 8050 35th Ave NE.  At right, the C-shaped sign was for Crawford and Conover, the real estate outlet of Balch’s business at 8044 35th Ave NE.  Photo courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives #76719.

About Wedgwood in Seattle History

Valarie is a volunteer writer of neighborhood history in Seattle.
This entry was posted in businesses, name of the neighborhood, Neighborhood features and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Wedgwood Neighborhood History Trivia Quiz

  1. bawbgale says:

    I enjoyed this quiz but think you should change the question “Who was the first person/s to live in the Wedgwood area?” to “European settler/s”.

  2. Bob, I have not included any info about native Americans on my blog because they didn’t “live in” Wedgwood in that sense. Wedgwood is too far from bodies of water or other resources which were used by Seattle’s native Americans. That is the same reason why Wedgwood was so late to be settled by anyone who wanted to build a house and permanently live there. The best resource on the subject is the book, Native Seattle, by Coll Thrush. There is also a wonderful new book about Chief Seattle by David Buerge, which tells how and where native Americans first encountered the white settlers who came in search of land claims.

  3. jll206 says:

    There used to be a Welcome to Wedgwood sign at 70th and 35th. My point is that the boundaries set by the city don’t really jive with a lot of longer term residents. Which is why it’s called Wedgwood Rock and not Ravenna Rock. Definitely up for debate.

  4. When developer Albert Balch built houses in the area around the Big Rock, he chose the plat name Wedgwood Rock — that was in 1945 and he didn’t worry about neighborhood “boundaries!” He just was naming all of his developments “Wedgwood.”

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