This view across Railroad Avenue (Alaskan Way) to Marion Street is one of about 300 prints in a family photo album most likely put together by Phillip Hughett.
This week’s subject is one of about 300 prints in a family photo album most likely put together by Phillip Hughett, the amateur shooter. Mixed with the family pictures are many Seattle scenes, some of them quite unique, like this view across Railroad Avenue (Alaskan Way) to Marion Street.
The 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Expo, the Denny Regrade and the startling buildup of the city skyline are Hughett’s favorite subjects, and all are given terse, dateless captions. But judging from the internal evidence of the pictures themselves Hughett was snapping Seattle from 1909 to 1911. In 1911 he is listed as a salesman working for the Standard Furniture Co. His grandson, Jim Westall, has him also performing as a pastor or preacher.
This view the photographer-preacher captions simply “Hoge Building, Seattle Wn.” Like many others, Hughett watched the Hoge’s steel frame ascend in record time — 30 days — to its 18 stories, the tallest in town until the Smith Tower outreached it by more than 20 stories a few years later. It is, however, the intimate early view of the Marion Street Trestle that makes this scene unique. With a helpful hand from city archivist Scott Cline, we learn that the viaduct to Colman Dock was agreed to in late 1908 by the city and the Great Northern Railroad, and built in time to handle the crush of tourists here in 1909 for the A-Y-P and the many Puget Sound excursions that steamed to and from the dock that summer.
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“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.