In the Seattle of the early 1900s, the trolley was a key means of transportation from neighborhood to neighborhood...
The “real photo postcard” featured here is helpfully titled “26 Ave & Judkins St., Seattle.” But the “Erickson” written large on the grocery store, left, would have also made finding this location an easy chore with the help of a city directory.
For a sample, both the 1912 and 1915 Polk City Directories list John and Mildred Erickson as running this mercantile at 2608 Judkins St. and living upstairs. The postcard is postmarked “Seattle Wash March 13, 1913.” It cost one green George Washington penny stamp to send, and the post office stamped it again with a reminder “World’s Panama Pacific Expo in San Francisco. 1915.”
The view looks east on Judkins from the west side of 26th and toward the Mount Baker ridge, then barely landscaped. This is the end of the line for trolley car 356, posed here with its conductor and operator standing in the door. The rails zigzag north from here through Dearborn, to 23rd Avenue and Union Street, which is noted on the car’s reader board.
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This unique scene is shared by my friend, author Kit Bakke. It was originally sent to her grandfather, Noel Bakke, by his father-in-law, John Harris, who wrote on the back, “Hope you feel better — How is this for future Pioneer Square?” Kit and I agree that this is most likely an ironic reference to the 1912 failure at the polls of the Bogue Municipal Plan, which would have turned the Denny Regrade into a new civic center in place of the then-fading Pioneer Square.
For more engaging speculations, consult Kit Bakke’s new novel, “Miss Alcott’s E-mail,” an imagined correspondence with the reformer Louisa May Alcott, the author of “Little Women.”
“Washington Then and Now,” by Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard, can be purchased through www.washingtonthenandnow.com ($45) or through Tartu Publications at P.O. Box 85208, Seattle, WA 98145.