Wood trestle spans canal and connects Seattle's Fremont neighborhood with the foot of Queen Anne Hill in 1892.

  • By Priscilla Long
  • Posted 5/25/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3309

In 1892, a wood trestle is built from Seattle's Fremont neighborhood to the foot of Queen Anne Hill across a narrow canal dug in the 1880s to connect Lake Union with Salmon Bay (later part of the Lake Washington Ship Canal). This trestle has a walkway for pedestrians and a roadway for streetcars and horse drawn vehicles.  It enables greater access to Fremont and spurs the community's development.

Located approximately where the Fremont Bridge was later (in 1917) built across the Lake Washington Ship Canal, the trestle enabled greater access to Fremont and spurred the community's development. Myra Phelps, in her history of Seattle's Engineering Department, describes this bridge as follows:

"A rickety wooden structure of antediluvian ancestry originally spanned the narrow and sluggish stream that separated the community of Fremont from Seattle; most of its patrons were small boys who snared salmon from the waters below with bent pins fastened to broomsticks. In 1901 the Seattle Electric Co. build electric railway tracks across this relic to serve the Fremont and Ballard areas; and street cars, pedestrians, wagons and an occasional horseless carriage continued to pass over the decaying structure until 1911 when it was razed to make way for the new ship canal" (Phelps).

The Stone Way bridge, five blocks to the east, replaced this old Fremont Bridge. The Stone Way Bridge opened in May 1911. The following year a second temporary bridge opened to replace the Old Fremont Bridge. This was demolished in 1915 when work began on the Fremont bascule bridge, which opened in 1917 and remains in use in 2013.


Sources:

Patricia C. Erigero, Seattle Public Schools: Historic Building Survey (Seattle: Seattle Public Schools and Historic Seattle Preservation and Development Authority, 1989), 60; Paul Dorpat, "The Electric Bridge to Fremont," Seattle Now & Then 2nd Edition (Seattle: Tartu Publications, 1984), Story 64; Myra L. Phelps, Public Works in Seattle: A Narrative History: the Engineering Department, 1875-1975 (Seattle: Seattle Engineering Department, 1978), 43.
This essay was revised and updated on November 19, 2013.


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