Cover Story Plant Life Northwest Living Taste Now & Then

History On The Hill
Between 5 p.m. on the 1st of February, 1916, and 5 p.m. on the 2nd, 21.5 inches of snow accumulated in the Central Business District, and considerably more on Capitol Hill. Here, a team poses on 15th Avenue North at the entrance to Lake View Cemetery. Were white horses picked for the portrait?  

While the irregularly stacked rusticated stones behind the chain-link fence may be remnants of the old cemetery gate, they are more likely there by coincidence.  
WHEN THE BIG SNOW of 1916 decorated the granite and iron gate at Lake View Cemetery, it was already 43 years since the first graves were dug there. After pioneer Doc Maynard died in the spring of 1873, he cooled for a month while a road was built from the village to what was first called the Seattle Masonic Cemetery. By the early 20th century when this ridge got its surviving name — Capitol Hill — the original Lake View was so crowded with headstones that the cemetery was doubled as far as 15th Avenue East.

This snow-bound gate is on 15th. But where? Entrances to the cemetery have moved. Following the lead of a map a few years older than this scene (both map and photograph are in the Lake View archive), I recorded the "now" scene a half block north of the contemporary entrance near East Garfield Street. But I confess that the lay of the land behind this gate looks more like that inside the present gate than it does the steeper incline in my speculative "now" setting.

This snow scene is one of more than 100 illustrations in Jacqueline B. Williams' new 200-page history of Capitol Hill. She lives a short walk from the gate. Williams has titled her well-wrought history "The Hill With A Future, Seattle's Capitol Hill, 1900-1946." Last spring we reported on it as a work-in-progress and invited readers to help the author with leads. Now they may help her and themselves with purchases.

Like many neighborhood histories, "The Hill With A Future" is self-published, and the author is distributing them directly by mail from her home at 1235 22nd Ave. E., Seattle, WA 98112. The price is a reasonable $18.95. Add $3 for postage and handling and another $1.63 for state tax. A mere 1,500 copies were printed.

Paul Dorpat specializes in historical photography and has published several books on early Seattle.

Cover Story Plant Life Northwest Living Taste Now & Then home
Copyright © 2001 The Seattle Times Company