Medohart in Wedgwood

Charles Hartge met his future wife, Lena, while they both were teaching school in Pennsylvania. Charles was an ambitious person whose goal was to become an attorney, so he worked until he could go to law school in Buffalo, NY.

This book tells about the AYP Exposition and its impact on the growth of northeast Seattle.

The Hartges may have been attracted to the Seattle area as many other people were, by news of the upcoming world’s fair event to be held on the campus of the University of Washington in 1909.

The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition of 1909 was a big success for the fair itself, and it also launched the University District as a newly developed neighborhood which had not had electricity and paved streets before the fair.

In 1908 the Hartges settled in a house in the 5200 block of University Way NE, a convenient location where Charles could catch a streetcar to work at his downtown Seattle law office. The location was convenient for Lena, as well, as she intended to complete her education and her occupational goals. She graduated from the University of Washington at age 40 and began to teach high school science. Then she went on to earn a Masters degree in Botany and she taught at the university level.

In addition to pursuing her calling as a science researcher and teacher, Lena Hartge anticipated that she would have to be prepared to support herself.  Her husband’s health was failing and he died in 1927 at age 51.  Lena lived to be 92.

During their early years in Seattle the Hartges made a land investment in northeast Seattle, the future Wedgwood neighborhood, though they didn’t intend to live there themselves. They saw that northeast Seattle was becoming more populated, with growth increasing due to the proximity of the University of Washington, and bridges across the ship canal which made it easier to get downtown.  In 1919 the Hartges filed a plat, meaning that they had hired a surveyor to lay out house lots and lines for streets in the section of land they had bought, which they named the Medohart Addition to Seattle.  The Hartges then offered house lots for sale.

Only this one advertisement ran in the newspaper in 1919 and after that the Hartges left Medohart sales in the hands of real estate promoters.

A real estate ad for the Medohart plat ran in the Seattle Daily Times in September 1919.

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Robinson Tile and Marble Company

The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition was held on the campus of the University of Washington in 1909.

The year 1909 was a busy, exciting time in Seattle in preparation for a world’s fair event called the AYPE. The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition was to open in June 1909 on the campus of the University of Washington in northeast Seattle.

In the days before radio, TV and the Internet, world’s fairs were major venues for display and advertising of products, and fairs were a source of tourist dollars in the local economy.  In the two years prior to the AYPE, representatives went to events in other cities to promote Seattle’s fair and encourage tourists to visit Seattle.

Perhaps it was in this way, through AYPE representatives or perhaps from stories in newspapers, that a young man, Albert Paris Robinson of Illinois, first heard of Seattle and decided to go there in 1909.  A.P. Robinson became part of the growth years of Seattle with buildings going up in downtown, and with housing expanding to areas of northeast Seattle.

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Pumpkin Weekends in Wedgwood

Pumpkins grown at the Hunter Farm in Mason County, Washington.

One of the delights of the autumn season is the colorful display at Wedgwood’s own Pumpkin Patch, 7744 35th Ave NE.  This year’s Pumpkin Party begins Sunday, October 2, 2022.

On October weekends the pumpkin sales are hosted by a local Scout troop.  This site of Hunter Farms is an extension of the Hunter’s home farm in Mason County, Washington, on Hood Canal.

In the 1950s Bill & Carol Hunter began growing and selling Christmas trees on their Mason County farm.  They expanded to find consumer markets and they found a good new sales location in the growing neighborhood of Wedgwood in Seattle.

After a few years the Hunters acquired their present property at 7744 35th Ave NE, which has been a Christmas tree sales lot and community Gathering Place for more than sixty years now.  The Hunters lot in Wedgwood is used for other community events including Pumpkin Weekends in the month of October.

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Seattle During and After the Civil War

During the American Civil War of 1861-1865 the struggling outpost of Seattle in Washington Territory anxiously watched and waited as to how the war’s outcome would affect not only national issues but how it would affect federal influence in the Pacific Northwest.  In the years just prior to outbreak of the war, Seattle had tried to get the federal government to help with expansion of roads and railroads, but the start of the war put everything on hold.

The first territorial governor of Washington, Isaac I. Stevens, was appointed in 1853.  On the way out to Washington Territory one of Stevens’ duties was to lead a survey crew, scouting a route for a transcontinental railroad.  Stevens continued to promote this effort during his four years as governor and four more years as territorial representative in Congress.  As a career army officer, Stevens joined the Union at the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861.  He was killed at the Battle of Chantilly, September 1862 in Virginia.

Washington Territory did not send troops to the Civil War but in addition to Governor Stevens, residents had known some other men who became participants in the war. Captain George Pickett had been at Fort Bellingham until he decided to resign from the U.S. Army and serve with the Confederacy.  Others who had been with him, such as Lt. Robert Hugh Davis, nephew of Confederate president Jefferson Davis, also left the Pacific Northwest and joined the Confederacy.

Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885)

Ulysses S. Grant who had been posted at Fort Vancouver, Washington Territory, became one of the most famous generals of the Union during the Civil War.  He received the surrender of General Robert E. Lee of the Confederacy on April 9, 1865 in Virginia.

Grant served as President of the United States 1869-1877.  The promotion of railroads was a major issue during his administration.  Prior to his service as president, the first complete transcontinental railroad went through to California in 1869.  In the 1870s residents of the Pacific Northwest continued to advocate for a route to their area.

This blog article will tell of Seattle’s continual desire for a railroad route to the city, and how Civil War veterans were influential in railroad development in Seattle.

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One Hundred Years in the Wedgwood Business District

The year 2022 marked one hundred years since the first store opened in what is now defined as the Wedgwood neighborhood, between NE 75th to 95th Streets in northeast Seattle.

The north-south arterial 35th Ave NE is the central core of Wedgwood with its main business district at the intersection of NE 85th Street.

This blog article will give a capsule history of business in Wedgwood and a preview of the changes that are coming as the commercial district at NE 85th Street faces redevelopment.  In June 2022 it was announced that the long-time owner of the shopping center at the southeast corner of 85th & 35th, is getting ready to sell.  A developer is the interested buyer and has plans to clear the site and build all new buildings.  As of 2023 leases are still running on the site and we don’t know if the proposed redevelopment will go ahead or not.

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The Spiger Family in Ravenna

The life story of Henry Spiger tells of the western migration of Americans after the Civil War, and the attraction to the growth opportunities in Seattle in the 1880s.

Henry Spiger, born before the Civil War, gradually migrated from his birthplace in Ohio out to Seattle.  Henry engaged in maritime activities in Seattle, became a landowner, a real estate developer and then followed the rise of the automobile to open a gas station in 1918 after World War One.

Spiger gas station in 1958

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Meadowbrook’s Garden

A hedge of zinnia flowers along the roadside attracts our eye and tells us that something special is happening at 10700 30th Ave NE.  Adjacent to the tennis courts at Nathan Hale High School, on land which belongs to Seattle Parks Department, gardeners meet to work together and share skills at the Meadowbrook Community Garden and Orchard.

The Meadowbrook Garden has a zinnia border along 30th Ave NE. Shown here are berry bushes and the tennis courts in the background. Photo by Valarie.

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An Elm Tree in Seattle History

The American Elm is a species of tree native to the northeastern United States, and elms can also thrive in the temperate climate of the Pacific Northwest.  Elms can grow to seventy feet high, with a wide-spreading canopy of branches which makes the tree beloved of the shade it provides.

Leaves of the American Elm tree

The majesty of the American Elm’s height and broad canopy may be the reason why a row of elms were planted in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in about the year 1700 alongside the town commons, a central gathering place.

On July 3, 1775, General George Washington came to Cambridge Common to address the assembled volunteers of the first American Revolutionary Army.  It is very likely that General Washington stood in the shade of the elm trees at Cambridge Common that day.

Nearly 250 years later we still have four American Elm trees in Seattle which are George Washington Elms because they are descended from one of the original trees at Cambridge Common.

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A Civil War Confederate in Seattle: John Scurry

The events of the American Civil War, 1861-1865, occurred far, far away in the eastern USA but during those years residents of Seattle certainly were aware of the conflict.

In the decades after the Civil War, veterans tended to migrate westward and many came to Seattle.  Their influence on Seattle is still being felt today.

Headstone of Captain Hoyt at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on Queen Anne Hill. Seattle is rich with the history of Civil War veterans.

There is no exact pattern of what states these Civil War veterans came from, or what kinds of occupations they held in their years in Seattle after the war.  Some veterans, like Captain John Marshall Hoyt of Wisconsin’s Iron Brigade, Union Army, did not arrive in Seattle until late in their lives, following adult children out to Seattle.

Civil War veterans in Seattle held all kinds of different jobs, some ordinary and some more prominent in their activities.  As we trace the veterans we can see how they lived and how they left a heritage throughout Seattle and King County.

The majority of the Civil War veterans who came to Seattle, like Captain Hoyt, had fought with the Union Army, but there were some former Confederates who came to Seattle, too.  This blog article is about a former Confederate soldier who made a new life in Seattle beginning in 1870.

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A Civil War Veteran in Fall City: Augustus Marshall

Fall City is about 25 miles east of Seattle.

Americans have always been a people on-the-move.  Every year numbers of Americans relocate for reasons of access to jobs, education or simply for a change of lifestyle to explore a different region and climate.

From the earliest years of the USA there was westward migration to find farmland and resources such as timber.  In this blog post we will trace the migration of a Civil War veteran who gradually moved across the USA until he came to the Pacific Northwest.  Augustus Marshall came to live in Fall City, Washington Territory in about 1887.  Washington finally became a state in 1889.

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