Low Tides uncover cool West Seattle history

 

With much of our industrial history only dating back a hundred years or so, the lowest tides of the season still show-off West Seattle’s colorful past.  Today’s low tide of -3.7 was about as low as we’re going to see this year so I figured a walk around the point was in order. The first stop was checking out the pilings rearing their worn heads from the early 1900’s off of Weather Watch Park at Carroll Street SW.

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Some of the only history I’ve been able to find about the old pier is the verbal account of Ada Hallberg  published in the newsletter Footprints of the SSWHS

There was a pier at Carroll St. in the early 1900’s; it was a regular port of call for the little steamer Eagle, which carried passengers to several ports on the Sound, including this little village of South Alki. Villagers would gather here when the steamer docked to meet the passengers. It was a time that neighbors met to greet each other and to visit with each other whether they expected a passenger or not. It was a gathering place for people whose homes were a considerable distance from each other.

The only other evidence of a substantial pier existing at this location is from a USCG chart dated 1918. I have inquiries into the Log House Museum as well as the Puget Sound Maritime Museum for any vintage photos showing this location was a launch (40ft or less) for Mosquito fleet steamers. The steamer Eagle was reported to have burnt & sunk in it’s home port of Winslow in the Spring of 1903. Many blamed the misfortune on an improper christening!  NOT THAT THIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE FISHING HOLES but I can personally attest to the unusual deep underwater ravine located just off the park…

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Next stop is some submerged pilings found on the south-end of Alki Beach. This was the southern stretch of several piers along Alki Beach…

 

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Photo courtesy of BDB’s Rhonda Porter

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This Seattle Archived photo 1936 shows the pier off in the distance.

Third stop is the site of the biggest, most bestest amusement park west of Chicago

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A shot of the pier and support pilings of Luna Park & a protected niche for repairing halibut fishing boats 

Fourth point of interest was the dawning of of Seattle’s first regular ferry service (outside the Mosquito fleet) near what is now Seacrest Park. An excerpt from History Link

The company built a dock near today’s Seacrest Marina and began offering regular service to downtown Seattle on a steam-powered sidewheeler named the City of Seattle, the first bona fide ferry on Puget Sound, launched December 24, 1888. The crossing took eight minutes. One hundred and thirteen years, ten bridges, and tens of millions of dollars later, the City of Seattle still holds the record for the fastest trip between Seattle and West Seattle.

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Finally, I wonder where these tracks and ramps led to…

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Davy’s Locker perhaps???

 

Scupper, reporting for Beach Drive Blog

 

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  1. […] describes how a long pier serviced passengers via the infamous Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet . In a blog post from 2013, we researched city/county archives & local museums looking for any photos or maps that would […]

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