Pejo McHutt* posted a link to this map, circa 1901, to the Facebook Seattle Vintage group recently, and it left me wide-eyed.
The original map appears on David Rumsey’s Map Collection which notes a publication date of 1901. This has me a little puzzled, because from the best that I can tell, street names were changed from their original names (above) to those we know today as part of Seattle’s Ordinance 4044, passed in 1895 following the Great Seattle Fire of 1889.
Still, so much to wonder about! First off, note that this is before the Fremont Canal and the Montlake Cut were built, and of course long before I-5 and the Ship Canal Bridge plunked down between Wallingford and the University District. Indeed, there really isn’t a University District at this point.
But also, what was in that big empty spot in the middle? Was it still forest, or had the land already been cleared, and just not built yet? My house (on “Milton Street” in this map) was built in 1905, just a year before the opening of the school Latona School and two years before the gas plant opened in what is now our shoreline park.
History Link has some great tidbits about Wallingford’s history if you want to know more, including:
The harvest of the old growth forest surrounding Lake Union began in earnest after the Western Mill was built on the south shore of the Lake in 1882. In 1885, future Seattle Mayor George Cotterill described the north shore of Lake Union as a “maize of undergrowth and stumps.” Cotterill was part of a surveying party preparing a right-of-way for the construction of the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad. (The old railway bed is preserved as part of the Burke Gilman Trail.) When the railroad reached the north shore of Lake Union in 1887, it stimulated growth all along the line, and it was soon extended well into the hinterlands of King County and as far north as the Canadian Border at Sumas.
The communities of both Edgewater and Latona soon developed — with stations — beside the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern tracks. The Latona Addition was platted by James Moore (1861-1929), for many years Seattle’s super-developer. He named it for a slim boat that was squeezed into Lake Union from Lake Washington by way of the narrow log canal and locks built at the Montlake isthmus in 1883. In the late 1880s, the Latona was one of the few powered vessels on Lake Union, and an important server to the north end before electric trolleys were extended to both Fremont and Latona in the early 1890s.