SW Spokane Street Area - neighborhood map 3 29 15 38 30 2 39
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Schmitz Park

Schmitz Park, 1911 (SWSHS 2006.3.7)

Well, first of all there’s a school here. Madison is a big change--but mostly a lot more houses than when I first came here. The whole area surrounding Schmitz Park was woodsy or meadows that you could play in. Ron Freeman

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There was one snowstorm while I was at West Seattle and that was in 1927. I was at school and the bus and the trolleys couldn’t make it up Avalon Way, so everybody had to walk home. We only had one high school here. It was either West Seattle or Cleveland you went to, there was no other high school. So, if you lived up at Arbor Heights, you walked home. Can you imagine walking home from West Seattle High School to Arbor Heights?! I happened to live two blocks from the Junction so I didn’t have that far to walk home. But remember, no pants for the girls either. So it was cold. Peggy Sample

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Delridge - Youngstown street car trestle

Youngstown streetcar trestle, 1930 (SWSHS 2010.3.3)

At that time there was a bridge that crossed all the railroad tracks. It went west all the way over to Marginal Way… and made a circle for the people on First Avenue South to get on it and in that loop was the Fire Station. That is where the firemen had the two bears and they were cubs...the firemen probably got these two cubs and raised them. They were lots of fun; the bears would wrestle with them and they’d trip them and throw them upside down and all that sort of stuff… One day Jessie was out there and standing in front of the place. Then one of the bears decided to get her. So they came up and tried to wrestle with Jessie. The firemen had quite a time getting that little cub off of her…She was scared to death. That must have been about 1907. George Shepard

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Luna Park Street Car

Luna Park streetcar, 1907-1913, HJ Horbuck, conductor (SWSHS 19-12)

None of us had cars. No one in my family had a car, so we didn’t have any way to get around except, well they had these horrible trolley cars that went on a trestle to downtown Seattle. You would get on it down at Spokane Street. You would have to walk up to this platform and get on this trolley car and it had this trestle and the car would swing back and forth. It scared the life outta me…And I remember on the way downtown, in the 30’s, they had what they called Hooverville. They had all these shacks, and people lived in these shacks and that was during the Depression. I can remember seeing a lot of that. Olga Skinner

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There was a windstorm on Columbus Day in 1962. It was a hurricane strength storm, which we do not get very often. The tree across from our house fell over, blocking the street. It was a Friday night, and we were watching The Flintstones, a television show, in black and white, and the television went out. That hadn’t happened — we hadn’t lost power in that house before. Three people died in that storm, on Harbor Island. The flour mill that’s there, the big building, used to have a pyramid on top of the tower. That pyramid fell and crushed them. So the windstorm I remember very, very well. Greg Nickels

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We moved to West Seattle in, letrsquo;s see 1974. When we moved here, we had been living in small towns all over the country and we looked all over for a house. We kept looking on the maps, going to realtors, going to houses, and every time wersquo;d go to an area, it all looked so big city to me. We were used to small towns. We thought ‘Oh, we’re going to have to live up in Marysville or something like that,’ so we wondered, what was this little place right here, West Seattle about. We said, ‘OK we’ll give it one more try looking,’ and we drove over the bridge, and my husband and I looked at each other, and the kids were in the backseat, and they said ‘This is it’. It was like the perfect little town, and so we came in and we ended up buying a house here. Sandy Beaucage

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We used to come from 1st Avenue on the streetcar and it would run up on this wooden trestle and then it came out on Spokane Street Bridge. There was a little community called Riverside at the time which is long since gone. The guys would get in the back of this street car and wave it back and forth when we were going over this trestle and scare you to death and I never did figure out why the bus driver never made you stop. Peggy Sample