Crow Family of Fort Lawton

Crow Family of Fort Lawton between old Stables
Crow Family of Fort Lawton between old Stables

A few weeks ago during my week off I visited Discovery Park.   This Park was Fort Lawton before it was donated to the City of Seattle as a park in 1973.

Where ever I go I find the resident crows or rather they find me.  As you know from my earlier posts, Crows are very family and territory orientated.  They stick together in large extended families and stay in their own home areas.   This leads me to my theory that this flock has been resident in this area for many years.   Their ancestors must date back to pre-fort but certainly to the military’s presence. Fort Lawton opened in February 1900, so this family at least must be over 100 years old.  They would have found great food opportunity and an abundance of fir trees to raise their young then.

For some reason until this visit to old Fort Lawton and seeing them around the grounds did I connect the dots of Crow Family heritage.   We humans think we have the corner on generational life but birds and animals must also have this.   Think about pedigree papered dogs and cats.   My girl kitty is a papered Maine Coon.  Gigi’s family tree dates back five generations.   Why not our super smart Crows?  They exhibit all the family traits of social organizations.   Group care of young, parents keeping children near them for years, and older birds are mourned when they die.  So, I say this flock is not just a random group of birds but the long-term crow family of Fort Lawton.   Enjoy a few more pictures of them:

Next let me show you the world our Crow Family lives in and some of the history behind it.

Stairway to Fort Lawton's past.
Stairway to Fort Lawton’s past.

These buildings were the heart of Fort Lawton life.  They face a large field that still exists between the hill that contains officers row and them.  Can you see the crow family finding this a good home to raise their family?

Check out the postcard how it shows the Post Exchange and the Band House.   100 years later they still exist even if they are mothballed by the city to protect them.  Will we revive them some day?  That would be an investment in preserving our history here.

The officers had beautiful Victorian style homes for their families.  Very unlike the enlisted man who lived in barracks.  Those barracks were torn down years ago along with many other buildings.  However, officers row still exists and is about to be sold off.  There is quite a dispute going on about how these houses can be sold to private owners in the middle of a city park.   Not sure I would want to live with people roaming around like me taking pictures and enjoying the park.

View from Officers Row -  see Post Exchange, Olympics and Puget Sound
View from Officers Row – see Post Exchange, Band House, Guard building and Puget Sound

This view is spectacular looking down from the officers hill home site.   You can see all the way to the sound and gives one a perspective of the historic district.   Can you imagine the soldiers living here 100 years ago in what was a wilderness at the time?  They carved a life out of the forest miles from the City of Seattle.

The backside of any place shows the real working person’s life.    The teamsters house was near the stables where our crow family was playing.   In those days teamsters were those who tended to the horses and wagons.   Automobiles and trucks had just started to enter the lives of the common man.  The Teamsters Union formed around the time Fort Lawton was built and perhaps some of these military teamsters joined that cause when they left the service.

WACs arrive at Fort Lawton during WWII.  Wonder if my mom is there?
WACs arrive at Fort Lawton during WWII. Wonder if my mom is there?

This picture caught my eye of WACs marching during WWII apx 1943.   I thought I saw my mother in the group.  However, upon reading the info on when this was, I think she was either at Basic Training in Georgia or in New Mexico.   This was only a few months before WACs were given full recognition.  We have her papers from that monumental event showing she was at Clovis Air Force Base.  But then again one of these ladies sure looks like her & perhaps they sent her there before going to Georgia.

See how our history is woven together.   Crows must have the same, we just don’t relate on the same plane.

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