Duwamish – Bridge & Steam Plant History

Before the 14th Avenue South and 1st Avenue South Bridges across the Duwamish a Trolley Bridge gave access to Southpark.  It was at the end of 8th Avenue South and Portland Avenue.

It was erected in 1914 and demolished in 1937.  This small park has an art installation commemorating this piece of history.  This is part of Duwamish Revealed’s 2015 project to bring art and a celebration of Seattle’s only river.  Here is a close up of the information and credits of the artist.

Details on trolley bridge over Duwamish River
Details on trolley bridge over Duwamish River

This small park is surrounded by industry and small houses.  It was carved out of a corner that touches the river.

To my delight I found a small treasure that is related to the Georgetown Steam Plant.  I did an extensive visit and series of posts around this historical wonder of old electricity production.

Follow this link to learn more – Georgetown Steam Plant

Look across the Duwamish River and there is the pump house that fed the steam plant after they straightened the river.  Before it was dredged and they drained the curves out of the river the steam plant was next to the river.  Once the curves were gone it was stranded until this pump house a mile away was built.  Bonus to the photo is how it has Seattle’s skyscrapers contrasted to the 100 year old cutting edge technology of electricity generated by steam. Times change!

Pump Station for Georgetown Steam Plant - after course of Duwamish was changed
Pump Station for Georgetown Steam Plant – after course of Duwamish was changed

To see more of my Duwamish Adventure I have a directory post that links all of the pieces together.  You can find that post here – My Duwamish Adventure Directory


  1. […] As I walked down 8th I came across a yard with a dog that was paralyzed and using a doggy wheelchair.  I talked to the lady owner for quite a while about him and the neighborhood.  She then told me about the small park that had been built down the street where the corner intersected with the river. It told the story of how there was a trolley bridge over the Duwamish there.  I did a separate post on this historical site plus how across the river was the Georgetown Steam Plant pump house.   Here is the link for your viewing pleasure – Old Bridge over Duwamish info […]

  2. The corrugated sheet metal shed to the right of the picture of the pump house contains the valves for the piping back to the steam plant. There are two pipes, one a 36 inch diameter steel (or possibly iron) pipe and the other a 48 inch diameter wooden stave pipe. It took a good five minutes of steady turning on the valve wheels to fully open or close either valve.

    The outfall (return to the river) from the plant is about a quarter mile upstream of the pump house. Up until about 2010 or so it was still used as a storm water sewer.

    • Clyde – this is so wonderful of you to add to the history on the Steam Plant. I think I need to go check out where the storm drain is. However, I fear it is on private land now. I had intended to walk more around the east side of the waterway. You have inspired me to take that on when it cools down some.

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