THE ORIGINAL print of this “real photo postcard” is bordered with the scribbled message “Remember me to any old classmates you happen to see.” The postcard shows another message that is most helpful, though it mildly mutilates the postcard’s face. It appears in the gray sky between the two homes. Although barely readable, you may decipher “Brooklyn Ave” written there. The postcard also shows a dimly drawn line leading to the street number 4703, nailed to the top of the front porch.
This, then, is 4703 Brooklyn Ave. in the University District, an identification I corroborated with a photograph of the same house attached to its tax-assessment card in the Puget Sound branch of the Washington State Archives in Bellevue. The tax records have the classic box built in 1902, a year in which the neighborhood was still as likely called Brooklyn as the University District. Brooklyn was the name given to it in 1890 by super-developer James Moore. He chose the name because his addition “looked across the water” to Seattle proper, like the New York borough of the same name that looks across the East River to Manhattan. Brooklyn Avenue, its intended main street, was the first one graded in the addition, and it was at this intersection that Moore built a water tower.
The owners of this house were Amos and Alice Winsor. His 1947 obituary says Amos he lived in the district 44 years and “built many of the early buildings on the University of Washington campus, including Science (renamed Parrington) Hall.” Included among the Winsors’ many celebrations at home was their daughter Olivia Rachel’s marriage to a neighbor, Vilas Richard Rathbun, on April 16, 1913.
In the “now” photo, the half-century-old plant of Carson Cleaners replaced the Winsor home in 1962. Bob Carson tells how his parents, Roy and Doris, were persuaded by the corner’s new owner, Helen Rickert, of Helen Rickert Gown Shop on the “Ave,” to open a cleaners there.The Carsons agreed to the move and brought their modern sign with them. Bob says the old sign needs to be repainted, “but our lease is up in December, and I’m retiring.”
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