When I (Valarie) was growing up and attending Wedgwood School in northeast Seattle, city and state history was part of the curriculum of fourth grade. That was when I first heard the amazing stories of “the pioneers,” Seattle’s first white settlers including the members of the extended Denny family.
The Dennys made an incredible journey of courage as they left their homes in 1851 and launched out into the unknown. They traveled across the USA in a wagon train to come to a place which had no name: what is now the city of Seattle.
One of my interests is in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. In exploring Fremont’s vibrant history, I learned the name of the original homestead claimant, William A. Strickler. He filed a land claim in 1854 for the area which is now the main business district of Fremont and the Fremont Bridge over the ship canal, which used to be only a small stream. I learned that Strickler disappeared in 1861 and no one ever found out what happened to him.