The source of the froth is a mineral-rich spring a mile north of the lake that once was home to a spa where visitors could be cured of their arthritis and asthma.
IN THE SEATTLE TIMES Sunday Magazine for Sept. 24,1978, columnist Tom Swint wrote that while on his “daily walker around the Green Lake track, I have often wondered about the scud of beer suds that from time to time formed on the north shore.”
Jean Sherrard, who shoots the “Now” photos for this feature, lives near the lake’s north shore and also has seen the “suds.”
The source for this froth was the mineral-rich springs a mere mile north of Green Lake. The Native Americans named them Liq’tid, or Licton, for the maroon mud that — once it was blended at the springs — sloshed south in a small stream to Green Lake. What the Indians applied as a cosmetic, E.A. Jensen attempted to exploit as a natural panacea. In the 1930s, Jensen opened a spa at the springs that was, as the sign in the 1945 “Then” photo reads:
To read Mimi Sheridan and Carol Tobin’s historical study of the Licton Springs neighborhood, go to:
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Licton Mineral Springs
Relief for rheumatism neuritis arthritis asthma
Jensen installed a steam plant to make these cold springs hot for soaking.
We chose this week’s subject to thank historian Mimi Sheridan for her prolific contributions to Seattle cultural heritage. She is right of center in the “Now” photo that repeats the 1945 Seattle Municipal Archive photograph. Mimi’s delving and delivering have become great local resources on subjects of local heritage, big subjects and small, from the Seattle waterfront to countless local landmarks.
Mimi has enriched our understanding of many neighborhoods, including the one that rings the restful green Licton Springs Park from Aurora Avenue’s stuttering speedway on the west to the Northgate commercial parking lot on the east. Apropos of the springs, you might wish to read Mimi and Carol Tobin’s historical study of the greater Licton Springs neighborhood. On the fate of the springs, we learn, “The City of Seattle annexed the area and sought acquisition of the property in a 1954 park bond.” It was approved in 1960.