Names in the Neighborhood: Rogers School

At the end of World War Two in 1945, military servicemen returned to the USA and many settled in Seattle.  The population of Seattle increased by 100,000 people between 1940 and 1950 due to the influx of returnees and new residents.  Many young couples got married at this time and started families.  Seattle Public Schools then began a desperate scramble to get ready for what they knew would be coming: a huge wave of children born after 1945, called the Baby Boom, who would reach school age in the 1950s.

The need of new schools was particularly acute in northeast Seattle, an area of a lot of housing development after the war.  In the 1940s-1950s northeast Seattle was still semi-rural, outside of the city limits and still had a lot of vacant land which could become available for building houses.  Developers like Albert Balch in Wedgwood shifted into high gear to build starter-homes accessible to military veterans via government-supported home loan programs.  Neighborhoods like Wedgwood where Balch was building, became populated with young married couples.

This blog article will tell about the John Rogers School at 4030 NE 109th Street, one of the new schools which opened in northeast Seattle in the post-war years.

John Rogers School at 4030 NE 109th Street as it looked when the building was completed in 1956.

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Names in the Neighborhood: Bryant

In northeast Seattle most of the neighborhood names are those of real estate developments such as Wedgwood, which originally was only a plat name.

The builder of the Wedgwood group of houses, Albert Balch, did not deliberately set out to name the neighborhood.  The name caught on gradually and gained popularity when businesses began using it.

Bryant is the neighborhood along the southern portion of 35th Ave NE, northeast of the University Village area.

Prior to Balch’s Wedgwood houses which he started building in 1941, there had been a Morningside real estate promotion which gave its name to the neighborhood in the 1920s.  From the 1940s, the Wedgwood name became the strongest identifier of the neighborhood so that in 1954, the Seattle School District chose it for the new Wedgwood School.

Other real estate developments in northeast Seattle including LaVilla, Inverness, Laurelhurst, Hawthorne Hills, View Ridge (also by Albert Balch) and Lake City, all gave their names to their neighborhoods.

One neighborhood name, Meadowbrook, was derived from the golf course at the present site of Nathan Hale High School.  This was a gradual process where the name seemed to “stick” while other, previously-used names faded.

Before Meadowbrook, a real estate development at NE 110th Street, Chelsea, had been advertised in the 1920s as an area of new homes for young couples.  The name Chelsea faded in use as the Meadowbrook Golf Course became the most prominent identifying feature at NE 110th Street.

The name Meadowbrook had enough staying power to continue to be used even after the golf course closed and a new high school was built on the former golf course site.  In 1961 area residents petitioned to have the new high school named “Meadowbrook.”   But the school district applied rules of how schools were named, and chose “Nathan Hale.”

This blog article will tell about the designation of the name “Bryant” for the neighborhood near Bryant School at 3311 NE 60th Street, and the businesses that developed nearby, along 35th Ave NE in early years.

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The Trees of October in Wedgwood

Wedgwood in northeast Seattle enjoys the autumn colors of leaves in October and November.  Street trees called Flame Ash will turn a deep red along 35th Ave NE.

Street trees in Wedgwood’s business district on 35th Ave NE.

The Flame Ash street trees which line 35th Ave NE were planted between 1965 to 1972, and are maintained by Urban Forestry of Seattle’s Department of Transportation.

Flame Ash is a “cultivar” meaning that the trees were grown to have the wanted characteristics and that all the trees in the group would look the same.   Related varieties are Raywood and Marshall Seedless, which were planted on NE 125th Street from Lake City westward to Roosevelt Way NE.

Wedgwood’s row of Flame Ash trees begin in the heart of the business district at NE 84th Street and continue northward to NE 137th Street where 35th Ave NE merges with Lake City Way NE.  As the rainy season begins, the riot of color of Wedgwood’s trees gives us a warm burst of enthusiasm and enjoyment of the season.

Flame Ash trees along 35th Ave NE in the Wedgwood neighborhood of northeast Seattle.

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September in Flight: Bird Migration

As the weather gets cooler and the leaves begin to change color, birds begin their annual migration.  This article reprinted from All About Birds tells, how, why and where birds migrate.

Geese migration

“Geese winging their way south in wrinkled V-shaped flocks is perhaps the classic picture of migration—the annual, large-scale movement of birds between their breeding (summer) homes and their nonbreeding (winter) grounds. But geese are far from our only migratory birds. Of the more than 650 species of North American breeding birds, more than half are migratory.”

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A Headstone for Captain John M Hoyt at Last

September 4, 2021:
Graveside ceremony to honor Captain J.M. Hoyt, 7th Wisconsin/Civil War. Like many other Civil War veterans, Captain Hoyt later came to Seattle and spent the rest of his life here.

Guest article from the Emerging Civil War blog:  the story of how the unmarked grave of a Civil War veteran was discovered and honored in Seattle.

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Far Beyond the Sounds of Battle: Seattle’s Civil War Legacy

Grand Army of the Republic Civil War veterans cemetery in Seattle

This guest article by Seattle’s Civil War Legacy is reposted from the Emerging Civil War blog of June 29, 2021.

A letter received in Seattle in 1863, telling of actions during the Civil War, was reprinted in the local newspaper.  Despite Seattle’s remoteness from the rest of the USA, residents of Seattle were anxiously following the actions of the Civil War as they understood its national significance.

In the decades after the Civil War, veterans gradually made their way to the Pacific Northwest and became active members of the community.  Today, Seattle’s Civil War Legacy project is documenting the lives of these veterans.

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Honoring a Civil War Veteran

Although Washington State did not send troops to the Civil War (1861-1865), after the war veterans from all over the USA chose to come to the Pacific Northwest to start new lives.

Cemeteries all around the Seattle area contain graves of Civil War veterans who chose to spend the rest of their lives here.  Seattle’s Civil War Legacy is a project to highlight and honor these veterans. Here is the wonderful story of how the grave of Captain Hoyt of the Iron Brigade was located and now commemorated.

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Aretha Curtis and Maple Leaf Gardens

In the years 1915 to 1945 the lives of Americans were bracketed by two world wars with an economic depression in the middle.

For a few years in the 1920s, after the First World War and before the stock market crash of 1929, there was relative prosperity and economic opportunity in the USA.  After the First World War and the ending of the flu epidemic of 1919, everyone looked forward to starting a new phase of life in a peacetime economy.

During the 1920s a young couple, Percy & Aretha Curtis, moved from Spokane to Seattle to start out their married lives.  They became residents of northeast Seattle where Aretha started a flower sales business.

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Laurette Stanley in Wedgwood

Laurette Augusta Young and Moses Terrell Stanley married in 1869 in Sweetland Township, Muscatine County, Iowa.  Each had come to Iowa as children when their parents migrated from other states to take advantage of the rich farmlands on the expanding Western frontier of the USA.

Sweetland Township, Muscatine County, Iowa, with the Mississippi River at right (map of 1899)

Muscatine County, and the name of Iowa itself, were derived from Native American names for the plains and rivers of the state.  Muscatine was advantageously located on the Mississippi River, Iowa’s eastern border, with Illinois across the river.

Laurette, born in New Hampshire, was only a few months old when her parents decided to move to Iowa.  Laurette would live in Iowa until she was 55 years old, when she became a resident of Washington State.

At age 70 Laurette moved to the future Wedgwood neighborhood in northeast Seattle, where she nurtured the natural environment along the Maple Creek Ravine.  Laurette lived at the eastern end of NE 89th Street until her death at age 95 in 1945.

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Martha Hawks, Real Estate Agent in Morningside Heights

In the 1920s the (future) Wedgwood neighborhood first began to be known as Morningside Heights, the name of a real estate development.    Growth was facilitated by the new Victory Way highway, today’s Lake City Way NE, which made it much easier to reach what is now the Wedgwood area in northeast Seattle.

The promoters of Morningside Heights laid out streets and house lots on the west side of 35th Ave NE between NE 90th to 95th Streets.  The developers printed a promotional brochure, and they advertised Morningside Heights in the newspapers.  They had one or more representatives on-site, including the Walter Wood family at 9428 25th Ave NE whose house was the first one drivers would see, when they turned from Victory Way eastward onto NE 95th Street.


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