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Sea View Hall – Alki History Trail

Not far from the old Alki Elementary School and Weather Watch Park is one of three remaining log homes of the Alki area.  This is the Sea View Hall which was built in 1905.

Alki History Trail – #8 stop in brochure

The Alki area at the turn of the century was not what it is today. In those days it was a get away place with beach houses and small resorts. Seattleites that wanted to escape from the busy rebuilding of the town after the fire of 1889 would go out to enjoy the beach and quiet wilderness. Here is a photo I found on Paul Dorpat’s blog and a link to more info.

Paul Dorpat article on Sea View Hall

The other two remaining log cabins are the West Seattle Log House Museum and the Bernard Mansion (long the Homestead Restaurant). It’s logs mostly came from the beach and were built in a vertical position versus the more common horizontal method. The long gone Stockade Hotel was also built with vertical logs. We will discuss the hotel in more details on stop #14. However it has long been gone so no “then” photos.

The top photo is how you see it from the street now. The next couples are of the side showing the small brick garage or play area and then the back if you drive up the hill.

Sea View Hall showing it’s vertical log structure
See the small rock room added on?  It is a garage now.
Sea View Hall backside

If you are interested in seeing more of this lovely lodge you can periodically see it during home tours.  Better yet, it is for rent by the day and sleeps 10. If you find that rental site you can see more current photos too!!

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 




Posted in Alki History Trail

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 




Posted in Alki History Trail

Trekking the Alki History Trail

Follow my adventure checking out the 24 stops on the “Alki History Trail”.

This fall I swung by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society Log Cabin Museum. They were closed but I found this little brochure. It was right up my alley with a self-guided tour of Alki area historical points of interest.


Thank You to the Alki Community Council and the SW Seattle Historical Society for preparing this gem for us to enjoy.

Here are the individual articles of my trek. Come back for more as I weave my way along the history trail.

Psal-YAH-hus  or “Horned Snake Owns It” – The first stop is a rock off of the Vashon Ferry Dock at Fauntleroy Cove.  To this day I still have not seen it and read more on why that is a good thing. – Horned Snake Owns It – Alki Trail #1

Dxkasus or “It has a Scorched Face On It” – Right across the street from the dock is the second stop.  Two little parks on a bluff that some think had a sooty look to it. – It has a Scorched Face on it – Alki Trail #2

Chi-HA-ee-dus or “Crowded Head” – Lincoln Park at Williams Point has a salt water pool that was built in 1941 on the natural tidal pool that both the native americans and early settlers used. – Crowded Head – Alki Trail #3

Gwul or “Capsizing” – Lowman Beach Park where at one time a creek flowed down Lincoln Park Way. Lot of change here with construction to protect Puget Sound from water run off. Plus a random act of kindness to enjoy. – Capsizing – Alki Trail #4

TUS-bud or “Cold Weather House” – the destination was not very exciting since it had changed so much but the trek there had interesting sights and history.  Cold Weather House – Alki Trail #5

Inbetween – 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.   The Between

Weather Watch Park – Village of South Alki of over 100 years ago. It was serviced by the Mosquito Fleet which had a dock where the park is today. Weather Watch Park – Alki Trail #6

Chillberg School – The first Alki Elementary was here but you would not know it. 100 years changes a lot. Chillberg School – Alki Trail #7

Sea View Hall – One of the last orginal log houses from the days Alki being a beach destination. Sea View Hall – Alki Trail #8



Posted in Alki History Trail

It has a Scorched Face on It – Alki Trail

Right across from the supernatural boulder I have difficulty finding is the second stop on the Alki History Trail. It is called “Dxkasus” in the local Native American tongue.  This can be found on Map C if you want to get orientated and go check it out.

Map from Alki History Trail
Map from Alki History Trail

Here is what the guide says I am looking for – Fauntleroy Cove (knoll east of the Vashon Ferry Dock). It also gives us some information on why it is was called “It has a Scorched Face on it”.

This name may describe the dark stains visible on the bluffs above or it might refer to the ashes smeared on the faces of natives grieving for their buried dead.

This is an odd little area that overlooks the ferry dock. It has two small parks wedged between the bluff and the street that parrallels Fauntleroy Way below. This photo below which is a snip from Google street view gives you an idea of the area. We have developed the area so much there is very little exposed bluff remaining to see if there are dark stains.


At the south end (closest in the snip) is a park with art around the salmon that run up the Fauntleroy Creek. The creek goes under the road in several places. If you follow it to the east you will run into Fauntleroy Park which is a natural area preserved around the creek’s ravine/gully.



Fish swiming over Fauntleroy Creek Ravine
Fish swimming over Fauntleroy Creek Ravine

As you walk to the north, you will find the small park that someone has named Captain’s Park.

Captain's Park & Bird House
Captain’s Park & Bird House

I don’t see it on the city map but it clearly has been there for a while. It has old time benches and a nice view of the dock.

View from bluff of park and street
View from bluff of park and street

The best part is the bird houses and a monkey statue hanging from a tree.



Monkey Business hung in park
Monkey Business hung in park








Rambling without technology always bring sights one might miss in a car. This little excursion did not disappoint. Besides the lovely tree houses and the monkey there was a bright red flower on a bench at the bus stop.

Flower at Fauntleroy Bus Stop
Flower at Fauntleroy Bus Stop
Dazzling Red Flower on metal
Dazzling Red Flower on metal

Oh can’t put a good word in for my black feathered friends. Here they are on the dock railing. What a great place to live and forage.

Crows hanging out at Ferry Dock
Crows hanging out at Ferry Dock

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

Posted in Alki History Trail

Horned Snake Owns It – Alki Trail


Welcome to my new series which follows along a brochure I found at the Southwest Historical Socity. Above is a photo of the front cover with Cheif Sealth (we are named after him) and the schooner Exact (it brought the some of the first pioneers to Seattle in November 1851).

The first stop on the Alki History Trail is called by the local Native Americans  “Psal-YAH-hus.


I live up the hill from the Ferry Dock, so I parked at Lincoln Park and trekked south.  Here is what the guide says I am looking for – Red boulder about 100 yards south of the Vashon Ferry Dock at the waterline.

This is what it tells us about this boulder:

For the natives, supernatural forces existed in the Puget Sound. This “Spirit Boulder” was inhabited or guarded by an elk-like serpent with horns. If natives caught sight of it, the serpent could either twist their bodies into knots, or offer healing powers. Superstitious or fearful, the natives chose not to look at it!

Off I went on my brave mission to view the supernatural rock. I walked down the north side of the dock into Cove Park. I figured I could walk under the dock and head south. This part of the beach I need to access is bordered by private homes and that is the easiest access for me.

The tide had gone out and was just starting back in. It wasn’t a very low tide and to my disappointment there was no red boulder to be seen. Could it be my guardian spirits protecting me from looking at the “Horned Snake Owns It” and getting twisted up?

Site of "Horned Snake Owns It". Tide not low enough!
Site of “Horned Snake Owns It”. Tide not low enough!

I returned days later thinking the tide was out far enough but again I left with no picture of the red spirit boulder. That was back in September and early October. Every weekend I have been checking the tides and they are timed so the lowest tides are in the middle of the night.

Not a very great way to start my trek but it does lend a bit of mystery to things.

However, on the good side, I did find a flock of crows and got this great shot of underside of the pier. Several of these photos I used in an article on the Fauntleroy Crows and the elusive red boulder.


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