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

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Monday, July 15, 2019

Albert and Emil Abrahamson

Recently, an old family photo was discovered which shows two brothers along with their work crew, standing in front of what was called the "Brigger House". Owned by the Brigger family, it was subsequently moved to it's present location, and is today identified as the Lockspot, situated just outside the gates of the Chittenden Locks. The photo predates the opening of the locks, and so would have been taken in the early to mid 1910's.

More than a century later, descendants of Albert Abrahamson, visited the site and celebrated the occasion with a family photo. If you look closely, you will notice the family resemblance in the folded arm pose, which is apparently a family trait which has been handed down through many generations.

Peter Burg, in the blue jacket is Albert Abrahamson's great grandson. He found the original photo above, and provided a lineup of the personnel in the recent photo.

In the picture from left to right:
Jeslyn Burg, Isabella Lee, Michelle Lee, Leslie Burg, Danielle Yahn, Pete Burg, Piper Yahn, Nicholas Lee, Elisabeth Lee, Christopher Burg
From Pete Burg's email: "So I would be the great grandson of Al. My children; Christopher, Danielle and Michelle would be his great great.  Danielle and Michelle's children, Piper, Nicholas, Elisabeth and Isabella would be his great great great.  Leslie is my wife and Jeslyn is Chris's wife. Michelle (Lee) family lives in North Bend WA.  All others live in Colorado.   Our picture was taken on 05/16/19 by Michelle's husband Brian Lee.  I tried to stage the picture so I would be in Al's spot and Chris would be in Emil's spot"..

We recently met with Emil's descendents, and they also provided some additional information. Emil was included in Seattle's 1910 census, with a Ballard address and listed his occupation as dredging. It would seem likely that he, and probably his brother, worked for a dredging company, for the completion of the ship canal. We found a few photos in the collection of dredging occurring before the locks were opened and will add them here.

Dredge near lower end of Lock before railroad bridge was constructed. Showing line of proposed GNRR bridge.

25 Dec 1911
Erickson Construction Co"s dipper dredge at work on channel between Puget Sound ad Shishole Bay

25 Jan 1917
Dredging before cofferdam

Feb 1911
If anyone else has family photos related to the locks and can offer them for posting, please contact us.

Photo of Abrahamson brothers with crew, property of Pete Burg and used with permission.
Recent family photo was taken on 05/16/19 by Michelle's husband Brian Lee.
All other photos are property of US Army Corps of Engineers, and used with permission.