The Busy Growing Years of Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Seattle

Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church has a storied history as one of the oldest congregations in the Wedgwood neighborhood of Seattle, second only to Wedgwood Presbyterian Church.

A Catholic parish called St. Ignatius began in the neighborhood in 1929.  When the Wedgwood neighborhood really started growing in the 1940s, the Catholic congregation moved to a new site at 8900 35th Ave NE and became Our Lady of the Lake.  The church began a building program to expand their space for church services and add a school for the children of the parish.  In 2019 Our Lady of the Lake celebrated 90 years as a parish and 70 years as a school.

Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in the Wedgwood neighborhood in Seattle

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Vision 2020

To have 20/20 vision refers to a measure of sharpness of eyesight, being able to see clearly at 20 feet, what should normally be seen at that distance.  In this new year of 2020 we may apply the concept of “vision” to our spiritual eyes of what we can and can’t see, due to distance.  We can’t look out over the year 2020 and see all that it will hold, but we can put on our spiritual “glasses” to sharpen our vision.  The glasses we wear, is hope.

We look out over the coming year of 2020 with confident hope in God’s good purposes.

Just as glasses help to focus our vision, hope is defined not as vague, unfocused expectations, but as confidence based upon a sure source: God.  As a practicing Christian I know that hope comes from the assurance that God is working for good at all times, and He wants us to work with Him to reach our world.  When we see hatred, confusion, injustice and oppression we can ask God to give us His guidance and strength for the battle.  This is my vision for 2020.

“For you have been my hope, O Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth…  In You, O Lord, I have taken refuge… …as for me, I will always have hope.” (Excerpts from Psalm 71)

UPDATE:  None of us could have predicted the coronavirus pandemic which crept up and then suddenly sprang into view, early in the year 2020.  Our vision was not sharp enough to see it coming!  However, God knew all about it.

Despite the difficulty and dismay of what we are going through in this pandemic, God is still God, and we can still have hope.  This is our affirmation, that God has not forgotten us and He is still at work for His good purposes.  And what are “God’s purposes?”  We know that He always is calling out to us to join in with Him and get into relationship with Him.   With His direction, He wants each of us to help in some way, to lift up other people and direct them toward God’s loving care.

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How Birds Survive the Cold: Feathers + Food = Warmth

This article by Charles Eldermire in All About Birds tells of the strategies used by birds to cope with cold weather.

For the winter season we might well follow the example of the birds:  Get some friends to hang out with, and eat as much nourishing food as possible!  Both strategies are ways we can have fun during the season of cold weather.

1. Get Some Friends To Hang Out With

Especially if the weather is crummy. Ever notice that nearly all of the birds that hang around in the winter do so in flocks? Having other birds around makes it less likely that something will eat you; more eyes = less chance of a predator sneaking up. Plus, if something does sneak up, you only have to be faster than the guy foraging next to you! Friends are also good at letting you know where the primo food is.

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Festive Wedgwood in December 2019

A customer tries on a tree at Hunter Tree Farm.

The Wedgwood neighborhood in northeast Seattle abounds with delights of the holiday season in December 2019.  Wedgwood’s walkable business district has coffee shops offering holiday goodies, great gift ideas from local shops, and opportunities for charitable giving.

Check out the gift ideas at Wedgwood’s newest locally-owned shops near the corner of NE 85th Street:  AR Workshop offering crafts and classes: Blue Poppy Floral with gifts and flower arrangements; and Luu’s Cafe for snacks and lunches.

The holiday season in Wedgwood’s business district features Hunter Tree Farm where the smell of the fir trees will put you in a festive mood.  Enjoy the lights and decorations while chatting with the members of the Hunter family who return each year to their tree sales site at 7744 35th Ave NE.  Hours of operation are 9 AM to 9 PM daily.

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An Immigrant in Wedgwood: Gerda’s Story

Wedgwood neighborhood in northeast Seattle. Map courtesy of HistoryLink.

Perry & Gerda Frumkin were among the young married couples who found a new home in northeast Seattle in the post-World-War-Two years of 1945 to 1965.  Northeast Seattle was at that time a region where developer Albert Balch had acquired enormous tracts of vacant land available for building “starter homes.”

In the early 1940s, Albert Balch built a plat of 200 houses called the Wedgwood Addition, located on the west side of 35th Ave NE between NE 80th to 85th Streets.  The Wedgwood name for the neighborhood grew gradually in the nearby business district with the Wedgwood Tavern (today’s Wedgwood Ale House) being the first to use it.

By the time of establishment of an elementary school for the neighborhood in 1954, the name “Wedgwood School” was chosen and the neighborhood gained its Wedgwood identity.

Wedgwood School opened in 1953 with all-portable classrooms while the permanent building was under construction.

After World War Two ended in 1945, soldiers returned from war, got married, began having children and looked for homes suitable for families.  Housing development in northeast Seattle then became so rapid that schools could not keep up with the population explosion.  The large numbers of children born from 1946 to 1964, called the Baby Boom generation, were at first crowded into existing schools like Bryant and Ravenna.  New schools like View Ridge and Wedgwood began with portable classrooms until permanent buildings could be constructed.

This blog article will tell the immigrant story of Gerda, and will tell how Jewish couples like Perry & Gerda Frumkin were part of the move of the young married population out into northeast Seattle in the 1940s and 1950s.

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Immigrants, Houses and Growth in Northeast Seattle

The growth of Seattle is the story of waves of immigrants responding to historic events and economic opportunities in the young city.  This blog article is about people on 40th Ave NE around NE 70th Street in northeast Seattle in the 1920s and 1930s when there were many immigrants from Holland and Germany, as well as from other places such as Russia and Japan.  We will trace the life of one man, William Rose from Germany, whose story represents the immigrant experience in Seattle.

Like William Rose, some immigrants had stopped off at other places in the USA before finally coming to Seattle, a place with economic opportunity and cheap land in the early 1900s.  We will see how northeast Seattle was thinly settled until the 1940s when the area was developed with housing for the increasing population during World War Two.  The developer of View Ridge and Wedgwood, Albert Balch, played a key role in building houses in northeast Seattle in the post-World War Two years.

The William Rose house at 6810 40th Ave NE was built in 1925.

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The Trees of Autumn in Wedgwood

The flame ash street trees along 35th Ave NE in Wedgwood have been vibrant with color in the autumn season of 2019.

October 2019: Looking southward on 35th Ave NE at the corner of NE 94th Street, with Fiddler’s Inn at center and Fire Station 40 at right.  Photo by Valarie.

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