Chillberg School – Alki History Trail

Two years ago I started documenting my adventures of walking the Alki History Trail. The little guide I found at the Southwest Historical Society Log Cabin Museum has 24 stops on it. I got distracted by other projects after I published the 6th stop. That was despite having photographed and walked through to the 13th stop. Guess life just got in the way and there you go.. I was off chasing butterflies and other serendipity moment.

Then this week I got a comment from a reader who found my 8 existing chapters.  They showed so much enthusiasm that I remember I had existing material I could get started with.  Then who wouldn’t want an excuse to walk around Alki some more?

To help you get refreshed or read the first 6 stops (actually I added one so it is 7) here is a link to my recap post with all the individual links in it. -> Trekking the Alki History Trail

The #7 stop is where the first Alki Elementary School stood.

Alki Trail Brochure #7 stop

That is the intersection of 59th Ave SW which turns into Chillberg Ave SW & he cross street of SW Carroll Street (this comes east from the water). That is just a block up from the beach at Weather Watch Park. Yes this little sleepy corner of West Seattle was hopping with the store, ferry service, a school and a cluster of homes and cabins.

Signs show that we are where the old school was
Alki School was on the distant right corner.

The brochure states this about it:

Site of the first Alki School. Children came from over the Alki area. Some walked five miles through flowered covered meadows, but others had to walk around Alki Point on a very slippery plank walkway or avoid dangerous swamps on the way to school.

Guess what? None of that exists today.  We have built ourselves houses and roads that cover everywhere except park land.

Alki original school was here – sure has changed!

On History Link here is what it says about this little school.

From 1909 to 1912, younger children went to a double portable on Carroll Street and Chillberg Avenue, the first Alki School. Children ate their lunches in an open shed in back of the school. When the weather was nice, classes were held on the long flight of stairs behind the school at the end of Carroll or in the madrona grove at the top of the stairs.

Stairs heading up – is this the set the kids ate lunch on?

I did a bit of digging but never could find a photo of the old school, only the replacement that was built on the current site of Alki Elementary came up.

Follow along on the trail by going to this directory of all 24 stops on the Alki History Trail at this link. I will be posting new articles as I sort through my existing photos and go walking for more. —-> Trekking the Alki History Trail 




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