Duwamish Twin Parks – T-107 & Herring’s House (Tualtwx)

These two parks are side by side on the west side of the Duwamish River.  I have been coming here for many years and this week arrived here on my quest to walk the river.  It was forged from an area that had been a lumber mill, an old neighborhood dating back to 1890, shipbuilders, auto repair and bootleggers during prohibition.

On my walk I saw all kinds of things.  Let us start with the nature pieces.  This first picture looks back at Kellogg Island.  As I was taking pictures the sun broke through the mist and created this photo opportunity with a reflection of the sky.

Duwamish from Herring's House Park
Duwamish from Herring’s House Park

Next as one looks north from T-107 there was a view of the river and the city in the clouds. She (the river) in this photo shows her underskirts of industry, barges, containers and worn out boats.  The West Seattle Bridge seems small against the skyscrapers of Seattle.

Duwamish River, West Seattle Bridge and Seattle in distance
Duwamish River, West Seattle Bridge and Seattle in distance

This shot shows you the south side of Herring’s House Park. It is carved out of this industrial land and provides homes for birds and fish like the pre-straightened Duwamish River.

Herring's House Park in shadow of West Seattle Bridge
Herring’s House Park in shadow of West Seattle Bridge

Several log booms are at the north end of Kellogg Island make good resting places for birds. The cormorants have taken over one of them with a few gulls. The cormorants were drying and stretching their wings giving me a show.

Birds on the Duwamish River
Birds on the Duwamish River
Wing stretching time
Wing stretching time

A flock of geese swim towards the main channel of the river and containers stored on the east shore.

Geese surrounded by container land
Geese surrounded by container land

Birds were not the only movement on the river.  While I was visiting the twin parks I captured some boat traffic.  First it was a cabin cruiser headed out towards Elliott Bay.

Boat & Birds
Boat & Birds
Cabin Cruiser on Duwamish
Cabin Cruiser on Duwamish

A little later along came a tug pushing a barge up river.  To my surprise as it passed by the barge had two piles of gravel on it and another tug at the back-end.

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There is a mix of human use of the parks.  Homeless have used this area for years especially on the derelict pier with old box cars.  This pier is wedged between the park and an industrial recycling company. This trip I didn’t encounter any homeless folks but I did find their possessions.

Near this area of homeless debris I encountered several men wandering the trails. Several years ago I was curious about this odd group I would run into every time I went to Herring’s House. Turns out this park is a hot spot for gay men to cruise and find some love. Their presence kind of freaked me out at first but now that I know about them I am actually happy to have them there. Their numbers make it safer for me to traipse around in the hidden corners of the park looking for birds and nature moments.

Back in one of these corners is the marsh that was created when Seaboard Lumber was removed and this park reclaimed.  Ducks, sparrows and finches were using the shore to feed and groom.

Reclaimed Marsh on Duwamish
Reclaimed Marsh on Duwamish
tidal marsh created at Herring's House
tidal marsh created at Herring’s House
Two finches in the low tide debris
Two finches in the low tide debris

Right when I was having a nature moment I looked towards the river and there were the cranes adding to the tree line.

Look up and nature has cranes
Look up and nature has cranes

The T-107 park has a nicely done art and historical installation.  It is a 5/8 scale of a North Pacific Halibut schooner sitting up high with the informational signs below.

North Pacific Halibut Schooner replica at T-107
North Pacific Halibut Schooner replica at T-107

Learned a lot about the area from this set of signage.  They explain the schooner replica and how the area was used for shipbuilding.  They also document the original inhabitants who had villages here for hundreds if not thousands of years.

Lastly, a map of the houses built here over the years before the Port of Seattle reclaimed this for a shipping terminal.  Then it discovered the Duwamish archeological sites in the mid 70s.  That plus an economic downturn doomed the terminal.  The Tribe and the Port worked together to develop the site to the park it is today.

Down by the river bank not only did I find the Shell Midden (see my blog – Duwamish Longhouse – Shell Midden ) but remnants of the houses and business that populated this area.  The most photogenic is a red brick wall.

I leave you with a brief walk to the north I took.  It is back to fences and industrial use of the shoreline that keeps us away from our city’s river.

Heavy duty Recycling next to the Duwamish
Duwamish River Trail headed north towards the West Seattle Bridge

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

If you thirst for more about the twin parks – here are a few links to past blog posts.

Crows of Herring’s House

Nature & Derelicts on Duwamish

Ring Around the Duwamish

Osprey Nest on Duwamish

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