It is hard to imagine Queen Anne as a working class neighborhood. The views from the ridges on the south, east and west sides have attracted large elegant houses built by many of the movers and shakers in city history. Once you leave the ring of elegant aeries though, one-story commercial buildings, a huge quantity of apartment houses and numerous industrial sites on the neighborhood fringe suggest a working class history we don’t want to forget. …Continue reading “Working Class Queen Anne”
302 Queen Anne Avenue
Aasten’s Grocery, which opened in 1925, stood at the corner of Queen Anne Avenue and Thomas Street for twenty-seven years. Like many other small neighborhood grocery stores of that era, it was a family business owned and operated by immigrants to the United States.
John Gunnufsen Aasten was hardworking and ambitious. He was born in Hovind, Norway on March 8, 1887. Aasten and his wife Karen came to the United States from Norway in 1906. He was nineteen. On his arrival, he listed his occupation as laborer. In 1917, on his Draft Registration card, he declared himself a miner employed by the Seattle Engineering Department. By 1924, however, he had found his calling. On the Declaration of Intention he filed that year to become a United States citizen, he registered his occupation as grocer. …Continue reading “Remembering Queen Anne’s Neighborhood Grocery Stores:
The internet is a great tool for access to many older items previously unavailable. One local example is the picture archive for the City of Seattle. Now any of us can peruse hundreds of pictures that were previously available only on old glass plates. And that’s where I first saw him. According to the date on the image, it was May, 1914. There he was–standing on a small ledge of a very large house in Queen Anne, looking out at the view.
It was hard to understand just what he was doing, but also the bigger question existed–why did someone from the City of Seattle think they needed to record the scene? “Allbin vs. City” the description on the photo read. And where was this grand old house today? Was it still there? …Continue reading “Allbin vs. City of Seattle”
The scourge of campus shootings came to Queen Anne on June 5, 2014 when 26-year-old Aaron Ybarra opened fire in Otto Miller Hall. Ybarra wounded three students one of whom, 19-year-old Paul Lee, died. Ybarra was subdued with pepper spray as he tried to reload his gun by 22-year-old SPU student Jon Meis, who restrained him until the arrival of Seattle Police. Meis was treated at the hospital and later released, along with another victim, Thomas Fowler, 24, who suffered pellet wounds to his chest and neck. The third victim, Sarah Williams, 19, was hospitalized after suffering wounds to her abdomen.
The tragic event at Seattle Pacific University astounded Queen Anne residents, the Christian university maintains a generally quiet and peaceful place in the community’s mind. The school’s low profile hides the fact that it is one of Seattle’s oldest institutions of higher learning. SPU is typical of so many seminaries associated with a church and established for the elementary education of congregation children. In fact, Nils Peterson, a member of the Free Methodist Church with which the university is still associated, donated the land for the school as a place for his children. Today Peterson’s farm which originally tumbled down the northern side of Queen Anne is mostly intact and now known as Mount Pleasant Cemetery. …Continue reading “Shooting at SPU, Ross and the Streetcar Barn”