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

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Lake Washington Ship Canal

Map shows the Lake Washington Ship Canal. Photo courtesy of commons.wickimedia.org and used with permission.

March 22, 1907, was the date that the Lake Washington Canal Association filed the forms which documented the issuance of $10,000 in capital stock in order to carry out the work of finishing the canal, allowing the transportation of goods from Lake Washington and points inland out through the canal and into Puget Sound. Just the day before, the Association had filed the papers necessary to incorporate themselves into a legal entity. The Association was comprised of John,H. McGraw, Thomas Burke, George A. Virtue, C. E. Remsberg, Roger S. Greene and J.S. Brace. H.A.P. Myers was a notary public for the county and with his signature and the county seal the long sought effort to complete the canal would begin in earnest.


Photo of Wa. State form showing the capital stock offering


Association members signature with notary witness.


The members of the LWCA were all the movers and shakers of the time in and around Seattle. The completion of the canal would be a monumental boon to local existing businesses and would also make possible the start of countless other businesses and industries. Timber and mining industries, in particular, based inland would benefit mightily from the project and with any business expansion comes growth in population, demand for goods and services, a need for schools and all other aspects of an increasingly modernizing civic infrastructure.






The history of the canal goes back for decades before this date, as there were many competing interests involved. A project like this had major implications for the local geography, property interests, business and individual relocations, cultural upheavals and would generate heated public debates and lawsuits along the way. The famous "Seattle process" has a long genealogy!

Below you can find some additional links for further information.

Brief history of the canal from historylink.org

Previous post by Marta Brace concerning the Ship Canal