Occasional Wallyhood contributor and constant Wallingford historian Paul Dorpat wrote us recently with a challenge:
Below are two photographs, one map and a Wallyhood reader challenge.
The map is a 1912 Baist Real Estate Map that shows the Gas Works Point (aka Wallingford Peninsula) still with the old street names. Part of the challenge is that I will not update the names, but there are enough clues or evidences in the map to make the “translations” or name changes possible for most persons familiar with the point to figure it out. You will note that the now-south Avenues are OK as is.
Now the challenge.
The map shows the old Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad (SLSER) right-of-way (much of it the Burke Gilman recreation trail now). Note how the track divides near the foot of Densmore Avenue to make a spur into the Gas Works. But then one block later at the spur’s intersection with Wallingford Avenue (as it is depicted in the map) it is crossed by another track and thereby creates its own spurs both to the east and to the west.
The challenge is this. In the photograph showing two tracks, where was the photographer standing? Is the track on the left the main line of the SLSER or is it the “spur from the spur?”
I’ve included a second photo, which was also taken during March 1907 – the year that the Gasworks were built. The second subject may be helpful.
Let the “winner” be convincing. Truth is I don’t know the answer, although I have my suspicions. I want to be persuaded. Don’t you?
So there’s the challenge: where was the photographer of the first picture standing? Paul has offered up a copy of his book Building Washington: A History of Washington State Public Works, co-authored with Genevieve McCoy to the person who can offer the best answer with the most convincing argument (and super bonus points for providing a modern day photo from the same spot). We will offer to “sweeten the pot” by offering a jar of our Wallingford honey (made by bees in our very own Wallingford backyard) as a prize to the winner(s).