Tour Mt Pleasant Cemetery with the Queen Anne Historical Society on Saturday

Mt Pleasant Cemetery entranceIt’s time for the annual Mt Pleasant Cemetery tour, so get your walking shoes ready for a free guided tour by the Queen Anne Historical Society.

The tour starts Saturday, August 20th, at 10am at the main entrance to the cemetery, located on Raye St between 6th Ave W and 7th Ave W. The tour will feature roughly 15-20 grave sites, all of which help tell the story of Queen Anne history.

Photo by Priscilla Long, courtesy of

Photo by Priscilla Long, courtesy of

Mt Pleasant Cemetery dates back to 1879 with many notable Seattle names gracing the markers in the 40 acre site. If you know our Queen Anne streets, the gravestone marker to the left carries a familiar name. With over 60,000 graves at Mt Pleasant, the Queen Anne Historical Society tour will help guide you to the historically significant sites.

The tour will not cover all 40 acres, but comfortable walking shoes are recommended. Plus, with temperatures now reaching their summer peak of mid-upper 80s, plan to bring a bottle of water with you.

Per Mt Pleasant Cemetery rules, dogs are not allowed on cemetery grounds, so please leave your pooches at home for this walking tour.

Modern architecture on Queen Anne takes center stage with Queen Anne Historical Society tour

When many people think of Queen Anne and historic homes, the images that come to mind are the classic American Foursquares, Craftsmans, Bungalows, and Tudors that make up much of the neighborhood. But, if you’re a fan of the clean lines of modern architecture, the Queen Anne Historical Society has a tour for you.

Courtesy of Robert Reichert Collection, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections

Courtesy of Robert Reichert Collection, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections

The third annual Modern Queen Anne Tour features four notable examples of modern architecture on Queen Anne. Three residential homes are featured along with KEXP’s new home at the Seattle Center.

The architects responsible for each of the sites – Jeff Murdock, Marvin Anderson Architects, Olson Kundig, and SkB Architects – will be on hand to describe the projects, provide insider knowledge, and answer questions.

Photo courtesy of Marvin Anderson

Photo courtesy of Marvin Anderson

The tour takes place on Saturday, August 13th, starting at 2pm. Tickets are $10 each, and you’ll need to provide your own transportation to get from site to site. (A car is advised due to the distance between the tour locations.)

Post-tour, members of the Queen Anne Historical Society can attend a members-only reception. If you’re not a member, you can become one via Brown Paper Tickets by adding it to your tour purchase. Or, you can visit the Queen Anne Historical Society website to become a member and learn more the organization’s efforts to educate residents and preserve Queen Anne history.

This tour has limited availability and sells out, so if you want to join it, buy your tickets today at Brown Paper Tickets.

Fourth of July on Queen Anne: then and now

FlagHappy Fourth of July! As we celebrate the 4th on Queen Anne with block parties, BBQs, and fireworks-watching, it’s interesting to pause and look back in history at a past Independence Day celebration on Queen Anne.

Per the Queen Anne Historical Society archives, 1907 was notable because the local Japanese community hosted a celebration complete with fireworks provided by a Japanese sea captain. From the QAHS archives:

“For one summer day in 1907, Queen Anne Hill was the center of attention not just of Seattle, but of two continents. With a spectacle the likes of which has not been seen before or since, Seattle’s Japanese community hosted the city’s Independence Day festivities at just west of what is now Kerry Park on West Highland Drive.

The Seattle P-I reported that “ten thousand citizens of Seattle” packed the hill’s sidewalks, porches and rooftops to watch the exotic Oriental fireworks brought by a visiting Japanese sea captain. A military band from Fort Lawton blew march music, then colorful bombs in outlandish shapes burst against Seattle’s skyline, from the newly erected spires of St. James Cathedral to the half-moon shoreline of Elliott Bay. Straw hats, parasols and fancy dresses filled the streets. Children scrambled to capture prize-laden balloons as they landed. Prominent Seattle preachers, judges, politicians and a future U.S. secretary of the interior — stood side-by-side on a podium with sailors from the Shinano Maru, in port down at Smith Cove, and local Japanese American leaders. Waving overhead were the Stars and Stripes and Rising Sun.”

QAHS 4th of July

You can read more about this historic event on the QAHS web site here. And, get ready to watch tonight’s fireworks from vantage points across East Queen Anne. The show is set to start at 10pm.

As we look back at history, here’s the Wilke House today, one of the oldest homes on Queen Anne. Built in 1898, it still stands today, as it did back in 1907. During the celebration of 1907, this home wasn’t even a decade old yet:

Wilke House flag

Happy Fourth of July!


How is Queen Anne still a hill? Find out at this Thursday’s free QAHS event

The Queen Anne Historical Society is tackling the topic of topography with David B. Williams, author of “Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography” via a free presentation that’s open to all.

In 1928, the city of Seattle embarked on the Denny Regrade project, removing hills and changing the urban landscape. Remarkably, it was completed just a few years later in 1931. The cost? $1,885,240. What changed? Take a look at the before and after photos below (click the photo for a huge image to zoom in and around) – somehow, Queen Anne remained unscathed:


This Thursday, May 26th, you can learn more about the changes that took place around Queen Anne, not only the Denny Regrade, but also changes to Interbay and the Ship Canal.

Join the free Queen Anne Historical Society meeting, hear from Williams, and learn more about our neighborhood’s history. The meeting is open to all and begins at 7pm at the Queen Anne Community Center (1901 1st Ave W), Room 3.

Do you know this house?

The Queen Anne Historical Society is looking for a house, and not just any house. This particular house is documented in a scrapbook with the sweet title “Our Home on Queen Anne Hill” and was sent to QAHS by The Skowhegan History House Museum in Maine. Here’s the cover (note: you can click on any of the images for the high-res version):

Queen Anne Home scrapbook from Maine

The scrapbook is handmade and features an exterior shot of the house on the cover and interior shots of the the dining room, living room, and reception hall (aka entryway) inside the book’s pages.

Queen Anne Home scrapbook from Maine reception room_edited

Since these photos are very old, the quality isn’t what we expect of photos today, but perhaps some features will stand out if you own this home or live nearby.

Queen Anne Home scrapbook from Maine dining room edited

And, keep in mind that some exterior details may have changed, like the tree outside may either no longer be there or it may be enormous by now.

Queen Anne Home scrapbook from Maine living room edited

Of course, there is always the chance that this house is no more. If you know where it originally stood, that’d be great info for QAHS too, as they document our neighborhood’s history.

Take a look and let us know if you recognize this mystery house on Queen Anne!

Queen Anne Historical Society kicks off free events this Thursday at the Queen Anne P-Patch

P-Patch signEvery year, the Queen Anne Historical Society (QAHS) hosts a series of free events centered on a single theme. Recently, the organization has covered apartment buildings and churches – and now they look to food for inspiration.

This year’s series looks at alternative food sources on Queen Anne, and it begins with the history of the P-Patch program on Thursday, September 24th. The event begins at the Queen Anne P-Patch at 7pm, which has an entrance at 2nd Ave N and Lynn St. (there is also an entrance at 3rd Ave N and Boston, but with limited parking)

P-Patch SWSusan Casey, founder of the Interbay Patch, one of the earliest P-Patches in Seattle, will share information on how P-Patch gardens work, as well as the history of the P-Patch program. Then, everyone will head a few blocks over to Queen Anne Manor (100 Crockett St) for a panel discussion on different ways Queen Anne residents have fed their family over the years.

Upcoming events in the series will cover Prohibition, the Great Depression, grocery stores, restaurants, and home kitchens on Queen Anne.

P-Patch with DahliasAll events in the series are free and all are welcome to attend. The P-Patches hit their summer glory about a month ago, but you can still see amazing dahlias, sunflowers, and the seasonal change as we move into fall.

You can learn more about the Queen Anne Historical Society via their website or Facebook page.

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