Copyright T.G. Heuser Co.

Seattle, WA | Est. 2015

local history rag gets new look!

January 3, 2020

At the end of 2016 I left my comfortable full-time job to make space for two goals: founding an historical society and starting a new career in history. To have the flexibility I needed and the necessary funds sustain myself while I pursued these goals, I bought a car and drove for Lyft and Uber part time.

After three years I am proud to say that I have finally succeeded in both endeavors. Not only is the historical society I co-founded grant-funded and continuing to grow, I have also been getting well-paying contract work as an historical research consultant since April of 2019.


Therefore I decided back in October of 2019 that it was finally...

October 15, 2017

On Labor Day weekend of 1929, 300 motorcyclists and their families roared into the sleepy resort town of Long Beach, WA for a motorcycle rally known then as a Gypsy Tour. Aside from the three days of two-wheeled camaraderie that ensued, one rider raced ahead of the rest. His name was Marion Diederiks, an unknown motorcycle messenger from Portland who became “grand champion” after winning 8 out of 12 races over the weekend. His victories included various pursuit and get-away races, the two-mile open, and a broad jump.

Although a promising start of a career in racing, he curiously never won any other speed races like these hereafter. Instead he...

April 2, 2017

I want to say this Capitol Hill triangle spun me around in circles all week, but it's a triangle, not a circle, so that won't do. However, I can say that much like ships and planes are rumored to have disappeared in the Bermuda Triangle, historians and cartographers are rumored to have done the same trying to figure out what the hell the deal is with this triangle. What is it, how and why does it even exist? Well, you’re in luck, because after spending a harrowing week confined within its absurdly narrow boundaries, I've emerged to tell the tale.

It all started as a joke.

On April 16, 1916 Seattle Times broke the humorous story. They described...

January 22, 2017

On June 27, 1925,  throngs of Seattleites gathered at the Montlake Bridge for its opening ceremony. City officials and community leaders stood upon a "gayly bedecked platform," on the bridge's east tower.  After the speeches, all watched with anticipation as city council president Bertha Landes swung a bottle of "effervescing fluid" toward the pillar beside her only to have their hearts sink as it jarringly clunked against the steel. Undeterred, she swung again with greater force and achieved the desired effect.  Although unlikely intentional, it was a fitting metaphor for a bridge that voters had rejected not once, but five times.  It also f...

August 7, 2016

*This is a spin-off story that explores, in greater depth, the life of John Quinlan who plays a supporting role in my story titled 1827 Broadway Part II: A Story of Iron and Blood.

 Background

Johnny "Second Chance" Quinlan, as I like to call him, because of all the chances he gave and received, was born in Port Townsend, Washington on December 1, 1893 or 94. He was orphaned early on and adopted by his step-father Jeremiah Quinlan, but it isn't clear exactly when or where.  One source suggests Jeremiah, or Jerry as most called him, may have adopted John in Skagway, where Jerry had been living since about 1898 and had been the White Pass and Yuk...

August 6, 2016

*I call this a prequel because it precedes the main story arc of 1827 Broadway Part II: A Story of Iron and Blood set in Seattle. However, this story's position therein makes it more of an interlude since it covers the time between Martin Cordes' arrival in the U.S. and his arrival in Seattle.  

Arrival

Martin arrived in New York City on September 23, 1879 via the steamship Westphalia. The temperature range that day was between a comfortable 51 to 71 degrees, though it would likely have been a bit cooler on the water coming in. The sight would have been much different from how we know/imagine it today. Immigrants would not have seen the Statue...

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From The

Historical Society

MILLIONAIRE'S ROW HEADED FOR NATIONAL REGISTER

November 1, 2019

Row residents Bryce Seidl and DJ Kurlander tell all in candid interview

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On the evening of October 25th, I had the privilege of entering my 4th of the 24 homes on Capitol Hill's historic Millionaire's Row: the private development built in the early 1900s by real estate executive James Moore for himself and a number of his friends and business associates. The house was the foursquare/colonial revival David Whitcomb house built in 1907 at 633 14th Avenue E. David Whitcomb was a real estate executive whose company built many of the city's largest office buildings and his father, G Henry Whitcomb, played an instrumental role in James Moore's Capitol Hill development.

CONOVER DESIGNATION FAILS ON 3-3 SPLIT VOTE

June 20, 2019

Jewish Family Services packs board meeting

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Following last month's confidence inspiring 6-1 vote in favor of nomination, there didn't seem to be much concern for Conover House's chances of success going into the meeting yesterday. However, things changed rather quickly when at least 20 people were seen gathered outside the boardroom in animated conversation. Scattered among them were a few representatives of Jewish Family Services who were present at the last meeting. Meaning they had called in their cavalry. This did not bode well.

CONOVER HOUSE TO BE CONSIDERED FOR LANDMARK DESIGNATION

June 19, 2019

Additional findings to be presented

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At long last our efforts towards preserving this value historic landmark are finally coming to a head. For those of you who missed the nomination meeting (pictured above) the vote was strongly in favor of nomination (6 to 1). However, some concerns were raised during the meeting. One, whether the house is associated with Charles Conover in a significant way. Two, whether it retains enough of its original form to convey its significance. Three, whether it physically stands out in the area. Our answer to all three of these concerns is a resounding yes. Scroll through to learn why in our final statement to the board and to see some additional supporting material,

HISTORICAL SOCIETY DOINGS FOR THE FIRST HALF OF 2019

June 19, 2019

Conover house moves forward, Thousands raised, historic places celebrated

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Thanks to the combined advocacy efforts of our board in partnership with Historic Seattle, local architect Marvin Anderson, and the former owner Joan Zegree, the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board voted 6-1 to nominate Conover House for landmark status on May 15. Jewish Family Services, the current owner, planned to demolish the building to make way for an apartment development. Marvin Anderson,  says the house, built in 1893, is a “highly refined” example of the Colonial Revival style The house still features original woodwork, herringbone ceilings, fireplaces and other original indoor and some outdoor features.  If you would like to learn more about the house, review the nomination report prepared by the owner's consultants and our own supplemental material.

722 BROADWAY E, ONCE A HOME TO MUSIC, TO BE DEMOLISHED

June 19, 2019

The life of musician Jane S. Judah recounted

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Earlier this spring we heard the sad news that this beautiful historic home from 1906 would soon be demolished. Even worse, that its proposed replacement looks like a slipshod and menacing guard tower straight out of Rust, a multiplayer online survival game. Future plans aside though, our friend Vanishing Seattle covered the home's most recent history as a Bed and Breakfast so I figured I'd take some time to explore its origins. Preserving and sharing its story is the least we can do when lacking the resources to physically preserve it.

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