Summer Fun in Wedgwood

August is a festival month in Seattle, with parades and outdoor events around the city.  In the first weekend of August 2019, Blue Angels Navy pilots zoomed over Lake Washington on Seattle’s eastern edge, while hydroplanes roared in the water.

Sunday, August 25, 2019 will be a day of summer fun in the Wedgwood neighborhood of northeast Seattle.  The annual Wedgwood Car Show and Cancer Fundraiser will be held at the Wedgwood Broiler, 8230 35th Ave NE, from 10 AM to 3 PM.

The car show, held in the parking lot of the Wedgwood Broiler restaurant, is free admission for spectators.  It is a great day to come out in the sun and fun!

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Seattle Stream Names

Seattle geologist and author David B. Williams

The City of Seattle has at least fifty streams flowing across its ridges, through meadows and wetlands into bodies of water including Puget Sound and Lake Washington.

There is no one source for a list of Seattle streams and their names.  Geologist and naturalist David B. Williams has compiled his research into the stream names, which is a journey into Seattle history.

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Seattle Street Names North of Lake Union

Seattle historian Rob Ketcherside has previously cataloged the street names which were reorganized in a major City ordinance in the year 1895.  This was when the decision was made to have streets keep one name along their entire length, instead of each segment having a name chosen by that area’s land developer.  This first street name table organized by Rob, is included in my article about how Seattle’s streets were named.

Now Rob Ketcherside has added info about street names in Seattle north of Lake Union, including Fremont, Wallingford, Latona, and the University District (originally called Brooklyn).  Here’s the street names of the nearby Green Lake neighborhood.

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Fremont at the Center of the Universe

Guidepost at the Center of the Universe in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle.

Fremont is one of Seattle’s most art-filled neighborhoods, with many murals, sculptures and other indoor and outdoor artworks.  As written on the webpage of the Fremont Chamber of Commerce, “Where else will you find a troll, a drawbridge, a rocket, dinosaurs, art you can dress up, and a Lenin statue…???”

One of Fremont’s art installations is called The Guidepost, supporting the claim of Fremont as The Center of the Universe.  The story is that back in the 1990s the claim of Center of the Universe was first made by Fremont’s artistic community, the Artistic Republic of Fremont.  But actually, the claim of Fremont as the center of Seattle life goes back much farther, to the early years of the neighborhood.

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Fremont’s Elephants

Even though elephants are only native to Africa and Asia, elephants appear in art, literature and cultural references worldwide.

The Elephant Store in Seattle, far right, as photographed in 1878 by Peterson Studio.

Perhaps the earliest elephant-reference in Seattle was in the 1870s.  In this 1878 photo, we see the Elephant Store on First Avenue at the southeast corner of Columbia Street.  We don’t know exactly why it was called the Elephant Store.  In his commentary on this photo, Seattle historian Paul Dorpat speculated that “presumably both the bargains and the selection were oversized.”

The Fremont neighborhood of Seattle is well-known for its art installations such as Lenin, the Troll and the Interurban statue.  There currently is no elephant-art-motif in Fremont, but historically Fremont has had its own connections to elephant lore:  an elephant named Wide Awake who lived at the nearby Woodland Park Zoo, and an elephant art piece created in Fremont which is displayed as a store’s sign at 8808 Aurora Avenue North.

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Discovering History through Digitized Newspapers

Washington State is rich in digital resources for historic research.  Many of the research collections of the Washington State Library are on-line.  The Washington State Library, a division of the Office of Secretary of State, has launched a new website for the Washington Digital Newspapers program at:

The Washington Digital Newspapers site features newspapers from smaller cities and a pioneer-era collection of newspapers which may have only been in print for a few years.

To access the Seattle Times, a major newspaper, go to the website of the Seattle Public Library at the genealogy resource tab.

This post is re-blogged from the Secretary of State’s office; read on for more info about the digital newspaper collection.

The Washington State Library has digitized some historic newspapers.


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Fremont Drug Company in Seattle, Part Three: from Drugstore to Red Door

The Red Door in Fremont is in a building which was moved to its present site, 3401 Evanston Ave N.

The Red Door restaurant is in the Fremont Drug Company building which was moved to its present site, 3401 Evanston Avenue, in the year 2001.  This original Fremont Drug Company building was built in 1895 at 3401 Fremont Avenue.

Today’s Red Door restaurant was founded in 1988.  Sadly, it has been announced that the Red Door will go out of business with its last day on March 8, 2020.  The costs of doing business, rent, etc., have proved to be too much.  The building is owned by Suzie Burke, a major landholder in Fremont.

This is the third blog post in the series about the Fremont Drug Company and its building, which is now the Red Door.  The story of the Red Door building illustrates the historic heritage of the Fremont business district and the ups and downs of its economy through the impacts of events such as the construction of the ship canal, the construction of the Aurora Bridge, and the economic depression of the 1930s.

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