Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Vintage postcard of Seattle's Volunteer Park

The front of this sepia-toned postcard has the caption "1065 Volunteer Park showing Water Tower, Seattle, Washington." Per the reverse, it was published by Edw. H. Mitchell of San Francisco.

Volunteer Park had an inauspicious beginning, according to Wikipedia, as its origin story involves some twice-relocated corpses:
"Volunteer Park was acquired by the city of Seattle in 1876 from J.M. Colman at a cost of $2,000. When Seattle Cemetery became Denny Park in 1884, the bodies interred there were moved to Washelli Cemetery, at the site of the future park. It soon became apparent that the land would be better suited to park use and the bodies were moved once again, this time to Lake View Cemetery; the park was renamed Lake View Park. This caused considerable confusion, leading to another renaming to City Park in 1887. J. Willis Sayre, a Seattle theatre critic, journalist and historian who had fought in the Spanish-American War, actively lobbied local officials to rename it once again — as Volunteer Park, to honor the volunteers who served in the war."

The water tower, complete with an observation deck (because why not?) was constructed in 1906 and still stands today. It's a bit of a tourist attraction.

This postcard was mailed from Seattle to Miss Blanche Lewis of Sioux City, Iowa, in August 1912. The cursive note states:

"Dear Miss Lewis, I am enjoying my trip immensely. I have visited Tacoma and today will see the government Navy yards at Bremerton. Next [?] I will see Alki point and go bathing there. The French girls, Viola, Helge [?] and I are going to Victoria Tuesday to stay a couple of days. I like the mountains out here better than anything else. I hope this trip will give me some new theme material and that I can use it in your class. Sincerely, Vierlyn Clough."

Even with such a unique name, I cannot find much about Vierlyn Clough, other than the fact that she married Charles C. Duerr and gave birth to a son in 1932 in Chicago. She was also an acclaimed pianist, according to newspaper items I came across.

The Navy yards at Bremerton are known today as Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

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