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Pleasure Meadows
The distance between James Turner and my snapshots of Golden Gardens is about 60 years and 60 feet. The Turner view also includes the mysterious wreck in the foreground, upon which three men - or daring boys - have reached the "roof." For neither its name nor the reason of its sad predicament do I have a clue. Do you?  

FROM LAST week's visit to the "infernal" mills of Ballard, this week we follow the same Ballardian photographer James Turner beyond Chittenden Locks to Golden Gardens, the pleasure meadows on Shilshole Bay.

Meadow Point is the name of the promontory that reaches into Puget Sound above the half-submerged wreck in the foreground. When the late Seattle Public Parks historian Don Sherwood wrote his short histories of every park in Seattle it was then "one of the few original shorelines remaining in Seattle." Thankfully, it still is. Beside the beach to both the north and south of the point the Great Northern Railway built a rock seawall after it first laid tracks along this shoreline in the early 1890s.

Golden Gardens was developed early in the 20th century as another suburban retreat, designed also to sell trolley tickets and real estate. In 1923 the Seattle Park Department purchased Meadow Point, and six years later added the bathhouse seen here. When it opened in 1933, Seaview Avenue was a narrow road west of the railroad until it made its by now long-familiar sudden right turn to dip beneath the tracks and hook up with both the park's parking lot and Golden Gardens Drive, the serpentine road that reached the park from Loyal Heights.

Meadow Point has had other residents as well, including a small shipyard until 1913 and a model boat basin in the 1940s. Through most of the 1960s Golden Gardens was the proposed site for the Seattle Aquarium favored by those who hoped that it would also be a teaching and research institution.

Vol. 1 and a new edition of Vol. 3 of Paul Dorpat's books, "Seattle Now & Then" are $19.95 each from Tartu Publications, P.O. Box 85208, Seattle, WA 98145.

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