White Center - neighborhood map 43 26 27 22 21
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There used to be a streetcar barn at 9th and Henderson.…the first streetcar out in the morning was run by a fellow by the name of Delbert Pease, and he lived right across from that station. And he used to take the first streetcar out of the barn in the morning, go up to White Center with it—remember they were double-ended cars—and start back and go into town with that streetcar. That was the first streetcar that was run…it was back in maybe the 30’s. I don’t think they ran the streetcar out there too long. And the track was so rough. My stepdad used to drive the streetcar to Burien, and I used to go out with him, and they’d be rocking one way and then the other, that’s how rough the track was. Mel Olson

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I don’t know anything about the farms in West Seattle, but when I was a teenager in high school, probably in 1943 or ‘44, there was a farm out here that was owned by Desimone who started the Public Market. At that time lots of people were in the service, so we teenagers would go out there and weed the garden and they had Filipinos helping out and these Filipinos would cook us lunch, great, great Filipino lunches. Donna Roseavere

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Boys on a log

(SWSHS 2010.3.1)

They would say that White Center was a place you just didn’t go to and there was a real image they had of White Center although some of them hadn’t been there. It was more like what they had heard from their parents and their friends. I think all my life I’ve thought that. I have to say that. “Where do you live?” “I live in White Center.” “Oh, you know that’s real sad.” I never saw anything in all my life in White Center that was out of line. I was never bothered.…Why would White Center have gotten the reputation that it had? It was supposed to be lower class, rough and tumble. I’ve heard that after prohibition was lifted you could do some things across the county line… Let me tell you what I honestly believe and I’m sure what my parents thought too was that people came from out of the area because it was full of fun things to do. I mean the taverns…But they came from other areas; they were not the people who lived in White Center. Dorothy Tomaccio

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During the time when you started with the transit company, that was during the Depression… ‘35. It seemed like between the Depression and the fact that the streetcar line had been wiped out by the slide, it was a bad time for White Center. It was a real blow. White Center had been growing pretty well up to that point, and it really didn’t recover for a long time. Mel Olson

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Anyone who wanted to dump, could dump. Frank Lenci, Frank’s Auto Wrecking, which was there behind Bishop’s…he eventually sold the interchange to the state across the river, and at the base of Meyer’s Way South, that was the junkyard. Frank used to dump there. One time we woke up and they had dumped all the casts from Harborview Hospital in the landfill, and they’re all buried there. Leg and arm casts. There were whole truckloads of them they were dumping in the river. They bulldozed right over the top of them. One time they found a guy’s foot. Bernie Fleming