The Between – Alki History Trail

The Between is about a mile of Beach Drive from “Cold Weather House” which is at Shore Place and the next stop at Weather Watch Park.  There was a lot to be seen in that mile that should be included in my trekking of the Alki History Trail.

Right as I left Shore Place I spotted one of my black crow buddies in a tree.  Yes Crows are everywhere in Seattle. This is the perfect climate for them and of course we humans enable them with lots of food opportunities.

Crow along Beach Drive – they are everywhere

Rambling around a neighborhood I find intriguing mysteries. Beach Drive has these newer houses with gate towers that just don’t belong together. Check them out below and see what you think. I just don’t think they were built for this house. Instead all I could find online was an older home was torn down here for this development. No mention of what or why the pillars are for. I am betting they were the grand entrance to a small estate of some sort.

New houses – old gate pillars
Ornate pillar on Beach Dr

Beach Drive is a pretty densely built area with houses cheek to cheek now. Most are newer but there are plenty of the original survivors to be seen. As now, the mix was humble beach cottages and Victorian style mansions.

Beach Cottage
Older Cottage on Beach Drive
Original mansion peeking from behind an equally old tree

Then there is the most famous of the historical houses. It is called the Satterlee House after one of its owners in the past 30 years.  Another name for her is “Painted Lady”.  That is a term coined in San Francisco for colorful Victorian homes.

She was built over 100 years ago by George Baker, a banker who wanted a summer retreat for his family. His wife, Carrie, ran a vacation bible camp at the home. The Bible school later moved and became Alki Congregational Church, Alki’s first house of worship.

Painted Lady – Satterlee House

Her current history is over the large front lawn. When it was designated a city landmark and with that came some legal protections. No changes may be made to “the entire exterior of the house, as well as the entire site” without prior approval of the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board.

There is a requirement is a view corridor must be maintained so that passersby on Beach Drive will always be able to see the house. Any new houses in the front lawn area probably would have to be built along the northern edge of the property to preserve a view corridor.

One of her current owners wanted to build houses on this large yard. He sued when he met with these restrictions and eventually lost after several layers of court rulings.

Next to her is another Victorian type house.  I had heard once that the two houses were built for sisters but that seems improbable now.  How this second house was built remains a mystery but it is still there too but more surrounded by newer homes.

Sister house to Painted Lady
Victorian Homes thru wires & over modern homes

Across Beach Drive from these two century old homes is another mansion build at the same time. This one is beach property to make it even more valuable these days. Seems this was a cluster of rich and famous back around 1900 wanting a get away from the Seattle downtown hustle and bustle.

Century old house across Beach Dr from Painted Lady

Close to this area on the water side of Beach Drive I ran into a crow hanging out on a gate. Yes they are everywhere if you look.

Another Beach Drive Crow Sighting

Across the street from this I discovered another crow lover. I never talked to them but their sculpure on the front porch tell me they are admirers of corvids.

Crow-Raven sculptures
Raven sculpture House

As you can see it was Christmas when I walked by this area.  Notice the OC on the right? That is where the ravens are if you look close.

Another piece of art or statement is a sort of Dr Seuss type creature that is mounted on top of a car port. The weather has not been kind to him but he is hanging in there still making us smile.

Strange creature on carport

As I approached Me-Kwa-Mooks Park I found the house that used to be one of the best Fish and Chips place in West Seattle – Quesnel’s Restaurant. It is long gone now as you can see the building is now just a house.  I found two articles around this piece of memory lane for those that want to delve into the details.

Best Fish & Chips long gone


Quesnel’s Restaurant article

Quesnel’s Restaurant – was house on right

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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