Cold Weather House – Alki Trail

Come along for more Alki Trail. The guide’s number 5 stop is call “TUS-bud – Cold Weather House”.  The place we seek is Shore Place and Beach Drive SW. Never heard of Shore Place and you will see it is a nondescript little dead-end street now.  Here is what it says about it:

A Former creek site where in Native American myth-time, the North Wind and South Wind waged a battle.

The legends of their battle stuck me pretty close since I used to live in a trailer on the Duwamish overlooking where the Salish believe the major battle occurred.

Duwamish Rock & Green River Trail bridge
North Wind Weir – rock is end of navigable Duwamish River

It is now a park and Wiki has an article about it. The West side is Cecil Moses Park and the East side is North Wind’s Weir. Here is what Wiki tells us of the legend:

According to Salish tradition, North Wind stretched a weir of ice across the Duwamish River at this site; no fish could pass, starving the people up the valley, the people of the Chinook Wind who was married to North Wind’s daughter Mountain Beaver Woman. The mother of Mountain Beaver woman survived the starvation, but retreated to the mountain. Mountain Beaver Woman’s son, the child Storm Wind, also survived.

The people of the North Wind warned Storm Wind to stay away from the mountain, trying to keep from him the knowledge of what had happened to his people, but eventually he defied them and found his grandmother living in misery. He heard her story and helped her out of her misery; she, in return, aided him with a flood that shattered the weir and turned it to stone. Storm Wind and his grandmother defeated North Wind, who only occasionally and briefly torments the area with snow and ice.

Before we can get to Shore Place and see where the winds waged war, I had to walk quite a distance from Lowman Park (#4 stop Capsizing). Let me share with you what I found.

To the north of Lowman Beach Drive has a set of “S” curves. The houses on the water side are down an embankment. They are not visible as you drive by in a car. All you see is their garages on stilts and staircases. As I walked along I got to peek down the hill towards the water. These homes ranged from brand new modern boxes, mid-century split level and some lovely 100-year-old houses and cottages.

Gate on Beach Drive
Gate on Beach Drive
Old House on Beach Drive
Old House on Beach Drive

An older gentleman stopped to talk to me and told me that he lived in one of the older homes. It was a cabin that had been part of a resort 100 years ago. He pointed out a white fence where he said the main lodge once stood.

I have done some research on this area and can’t find anything on the resort but I did confirm that a bunch of the houses were built about 110 years ago. That fits in with other spots along Alki that were first developed as summer homes and resorts. Later on we will visit Rose Lodge (#11 on the list) which is better documented and still stands.

Resort Lodge was here years ago.
Resort Lodge was here years ago.

As I exited the curves I came to where a new house was being built. An old house was torn down and a large modern home will replace it. It is flanked by newer houses on the south side and two red brick houses that are from the 30s. The closest house on the south had two rather old totems stacked one on top of the other.

New House & 1930s Brick homes
New House & 1930s Brick homes
Totem on new home
Totems on newer home

I ran into an article on the Beach Drive Blog about a saw mill that was close to these houses. Here is a link to the post if you want to read up on it.   Beach Drive Blog Peavey Mill

Peavey Saw Mill - Beach Drive
Peavey Saw Mill – Beach Drive

Then there was Shore Place. It is very residential. No sign of a creek. No sign of a legendary battle. However, that just shows how time changes everything. We forget that what we see today is transient and prior people’s used the land differently.

Shore Drive - Dec 2016
Shore Drive – Dec 2016
Beach Drive & Shore Place
Beach Drive & Shore Place

Follow along on the trail by going to this directory of all 24 stops on the Alki History Trail at this link —-> Trekking the Alki History Trail

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