Green Lake Branch, The Seattle Public Library opens in August 1905.

  • By Louis Fiset, Green Lake Park Alliance
  • Posted 8/16/1999
  • Essay 1631

In August 1905, the first community library in Seattle's Green Lake neighborhood opens as a reading room in in a 24 x 30 foot, one-room frame structure located at Tahoe Station [near the 2004 Albertson's Grocery], along the electric trolley line.

Financed by Green Lake resident George K. Coryell and the Green Lake Improvement Club, the library began circulating books in October 1905.

Readers Overcome Mud

The library was built on pilings adjacent to Ravenna Creek at the Lake's outlet. A boardwalk led from the street and streetcar tracks to the library porch to protect readers from high water and the library from muddy boots in rainy weather. For the next five years this fledgling library, with its shelving for 5,000 books, served the entire community and its children attending three schools: the Green Lake School, the Daniel Bagley School, and the John B. Allen School. At its peak, an average of 125 books a day were circulated to 1,473 registered borrowers.


Green Lake Reporter, September 14,1950; Seattle Public Library Conservator's Report: Green Lake Branch, Green Lake Library Archives, 1981; Floy Mathis, "History of Green lake Branch Library through 1940" (Typescript, n.d., in Green Lake Library Archives); Louis Fiset, "Green Lake Library," Metropedia Library,(

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