Preserving the History of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Seattle, Washington

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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Calling All Boats

Here's the opening of an invitation to boat owners to participate in a boat parade to commemorate the Centennial Anniversary of the Ship Canal and Chittenden Locks. From

Join The Parade!
The Centennial Boat Parade Committee seeks boats of all types for a reenactment Boat Parade on Sunday, July 9, 2017!
We are seeking vessels of all types to replicate the original parade of July 4, 1917, including private yachts, government vessels, Native American and working boats of all sizes.
Use the above link for more information on the boat parade and other activities concerning  the centennial.
These two boats were both part of the 1917 boat parade along the ship canal and into Lake Washington. They are expected to take part in this year's event. If you own a boat and would like to participate in the parade, then use the above link to find the application form. Otherwise come out to watch and keep your eyes peeled for some truly historic and unique vessels.
The GloryBe 

The Keewaydin originally the Honey Boy

1917 Participants from the Queen City Yacht Club

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Tale of Two Carls

The look of the  Chittenden Locks has been greatly influenced by two men. Carl English, who transformed the empty lawns of the grounds into the botanical garden you see today, and Carl Gould, who designed several of the buildings and structures you walk among when you visit the locks. Sara Peterson has researched and written a piece on both of these men and here is an online version. Clicking on these images should give you a larger higher resolution image. Otherwise you can download them to your computer and enlarge them there, or increase your screen display for easier reading.

Carl Gould 

Carl English

In addition, Sara wrote an article which was accepted and posted on and you can find it here.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Roosevelt Returns to the Locks

One hundred years ago, the Ship Canal and Government Locks were officially opened and dedicated, with a days celebration marked by a parade of hundreds of boats led by the  steamer Roosevelt. For any of you who missed the event of July 4 1917, there's a second chance to see the historic ship on display at the Locks. Well, a model of the ship, anyway. After it's successful voyage with Admiral Peary in his polar expedition, it was sold and used as a tug on many world wide trips. Eventually, however, it was badly damaged and was beached to be left to the elements along the Panama Canal. Local craftsman, Clayton Naset, has spent months constructing a marvelous replica of the ship and it is on display in the Administration Building at the Locks, where it will reside for some time. Just another reason to visit the Chittenden Locks.

President's Day Weekend will also feature many other displays and information on activities and resources commemorating the Centennial Anniversary of this historic local waterway and you can find more information here at the Making the Cut's website.

Many of these projects are produced by members of the Making the Cut group, and funding and support has been provided by 4Culture.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

President's Day at the Locks

As part of the years centennial activities comemorating the completion of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Chittenden Locks, there will be displays and performances open to the public free of charge from Saturday, Feb 18 through Monday, Feb. 20, between the hours of 11:00 am - 4:00 pm. Check out the Administration Building for displays from, Friends of the Ballard Locks, Fremont Historical Society, and Rainier Historical Society

 In addition, Maritime Folknet is presenting a day of local musicians presenting original musical works on various aspects of this 100 year old project. This is a great chance to bring the family for an afternoon of entertainment and perhaps some local history mixed in for good measure. Starting time is noon on Sunday Feb. 19 and here's a link to their website for more info.

These activities are presented by Making The Cut, a group of organizations participating in Centennial events throughout the year. Here's a link to their website for more information and links.

Making The Cut

Much gratitude is due to 4Culture for grants enabling many of these activities and exhibitions.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Touring the Ship Canal

Thanks to support from 4Culture, two cruises aboard the Virginis V were offered to the public. As the year 2017 will mark the Centennial of the formal opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and the Chittenden Locks, it is hoped that more of these cruises will be made possible and it will provide an opportunity to participate in events organized to celebrate the anniversary.

Virginia V a 1922 National Historic Landmark vessel.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Ship Canal Centennial Songwriting Competition

As the 100th Anniversary of the official opening of the Chittenden Locks and the Lake Washington Ship Canal approaches, various groups are sponsoring events for the public to participate in or attend. One of these is a songwriting competition sponsored by Maritime Folknet with prizes including hours of studio time at Jack Straw Studios being given to the winners. This is a chance for our musical community to bring their creativity and make it a part of a historical event.

Find more info for the Maritime Folknet contest here

Find more information on the activities surrounding the anniversary celebrations of the ship canal here. You can also find many historical maps, many videos with more to come by Vaun Raymond, articles on the local history and much, much more.

Many of the activities have received support from 4Culture, whose assistance is much appreciated.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Virginia V & Mohai Canal Cruise with Friends of the Ballard Locks

Thanks to a grant from 4 Culture the second cruise on the 1922 wooden steamship, the Virginia V (five), took place Sun. Aug 14,  with narration provided by Friends of the Ballard Locks, Mohai, and a representative for the Virginia V Foundation. This was the second sold out cruise and due to the success of both cruises, further cruises are being considered for the 2017 calendar year as part of the Making the Cut celebrations acknowledging the Centennial of the Lake Washington Ship Canal and Chittenden Locks.
 Here are a few pics of the recent trip. The weather was beautiful, the vessel traffic was heavy so plan on bringing your patience if you join us next year.

Virgina V

With Mount Rainier in distance

Here's a link to our facebook page for more images.


 Many groups are involved with many different projects which will be occurring this and next year. There will be a group effort to mark some of the original lake border on Aug 28. Here's some info on that:
 Making the Cut: The Locks, The Lakes, and a Century of Change

Chalk it up!
Mark your calendars for the following "happening!"
Drawing the Line: A Temporary Tracing of Lake Washington’s Historical Shoreline
Sunday, August 28th, 2016
10 am – 4 pm
Lake Washington Boulevard (approximately), between Mount Baker Rowing and Sailing Center and Seward Park
A hundred years ago this summer, the Montlake Cut was completed, and Lake Washington began to flow out into Lake Union (and then to Puget Sound, via the Ballard Locks). By October of 1916, Lake Washington was nine feet lower, and a whole lot of places that had been underwater no longer were. On August 28th (Bicycle Sunday), local historian and artist Mikala Woodward be temporarily reviving this vanished landscape, by walking the former shoreline with a field chalker. The journey will begin at the Mount Baker Rowing & Sailing Center at 10 am and wind up at Seward Park in the early afternoon. The chalk line is non-toxic and will last 3-5 days. A handout explaining the project and the history behind it will be available at info stations along the route. Many thanks to Amir Sheikh and the Waterlines Project for historical mapping, and to 4culture for a generous Heritage Project grant. For more information please contact Mikala Woodward at mikalawoodward AT gmail DOT com.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Where are these boats now?

On July 4, 1917 the Government Locks were officially opened and the event was marked by a great celebration highlighted by a parade of some 200 vessels led by the Roosevelt. Many local yacht clubs participated in the days festivities and some of the boats taking part in the display are still sailing, some in local waters. How many more are out there? Any information can be directed to:

The newspaper photo at right shows the Roosevelt as it travels along the ship canal followed by the other vessels. An early plane built by Bill Boeing is seen passing overhead to the delight and amazement of the crowds lining the grounds on either side of the canal.

Where are they now?

With the centennial of the Locks coming up in 2017, the Friends of the Ballard Locks is seeking information on the whereabouts or history of the boats taking part in that ship canal dedication parade in 1917.

photo from Bainbridge Island Historical Museum

The Honey Boy in its early days on left. The currently named Keewaydin, as it appears around Lake Union today below.

photo provided by owners Todd and Megan

The Glorybe is still around and has been lovingly restored. photo from

List of Queen City Yacht Club participants in the 1917 celebrations.

Find a list of known boats below the fold.