Pacific Northwest | September 14, 2003Pacific Northwest MagazineSeptember 14, 2003seattletimes.com home
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CONTENTS
COVER STORY
NORTHWEST PEOPLE
PLANT LIFE
TASTE
ON FITNESS
NOW & THEN
SUNDAY PUNCH
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PREVIOUS ISSUES OF PACIFIC NW


WRITTEN BY PAUL DORPAT

Settling the Slough
Photo
COURTESY OF PAT KELSEY
The older view is one of many panoramas of Bothell photographed from Norway Hill after the trees were cleared. The contemporary "repeat" also looks north into Bothell along the line of the 102nd Avenue Bridge; however, a second deciduous forest at Sammamish River Park has long ago interrupted any clear-cut view. In the foreground of the "now" scene newlyweds Leslie Strickland and Michael Dorpat (my nephew) pose in elegant attire.

 
 Photo
PAUL DORPAT
As stump farms (note the cows in the foreground) replaced the forests that once elbowed Squak (aka Sammamish) Slough, the towns along it such as Kenmore, Woodinville and Bothell gave up their lumber and shingle mills. The meandering waterway was widely useful for the settlers — first for exploration, but soon after for moving coal, lumber, produce and people between Lakes Sammamish and Washington.

This view looks due north into Bothell nearly in line with the timber bridge that was built to link the town to its railroad depot, seen here lower right. The Seattle Lake and Eastern Railroad arrived from the Seattle waterfront early in 1888, a year before David Bothell filed a plat for his namesake town and 21 years before his son George Bothell became its first mayor in 1909, about the time this scene was recorded.

David Bothell was a logger, and so was Alfred Pearson, his neighbor across the slough. Bothell first cut timber to the sides of Lake Union in 1883 before purchasing the land that is now Bothell. Pearson had already settled in, eventually building the big box of a home center-left. In 1905, Pearson tapped the springs on Norway Hill for a gravity water system that eventually served more than 200 families. The pipeline crossed the slough beneath the wooden bridge that was replaced by the surviving 102nd Avenue Bridge built in 1949.

"Bothell Then and Now," the Bothell Landmarks Preservation Board's new book project, intends to look at this and other pieces of the town's past. Readers with historical photographs of Bothell — or leads to them — can call Rob Garwood, the learned city official who is helping with the project. He'd love to scan a copy. His number at City Hall is 425-486-8152, ext. 4474.

Paul Dorpat specializes in historical photography and has published several books on early Seattle.

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