A wide range of organizations were represented last month at a meeting called by Mikala Woodward (former Rainier Valley Historical Society director and currently at the Wing Luke Museum) and Susan Connole (Friends of the Ballard Locks) to determine interest in commemorating the centennial of the Lake Washington Ship Canal (2016 – 2017). Archaeologists, artists, authors and historians were among those who gathered at the 4Culture offices to share ideas about resources and locally-managed interpretive projects that might be linked via a single website to mark this extraordinary feat of engineering.
Masterminded by Hiram M. Chittenden, the Seattle district engineer for the Army Corps of Engineers in the early 1900s, the Lake Washington Ship Canal project involved building the locks, flooding Salmon Bay, digging the Fremont Canal, creating the Montlake Cut, re-routing the Cedar River, and lowering Lake Washington. This project had enormous impacts on the region’s geography, economy, people, and cultures. (more…)