West Seattle Junction History Photo

IMAGES COURTESY OF MOHAI

Junction History

The West Seattle Junction was little more than boggy woodland until April 1907, when two streetcar lines were connected at California Avenue SW and SW Alaska Street (then 9th Street). Within a month, a dozen real estate agents had opened offices at what quickly became known as “the Junction.”

By 1911, the Junction had grown from a ramshackle collection of real-estate offices into a full-fledged business district. At least three grocery stores, two lumber companies, a hardware store, two electrical firms, three physicians, and two fuel outlets were located within a half-mile radius of the streetcar crossing. On the other hand, the streets were unpaved, the only structures were single-story and made of wood, and there were still more Douglas firs than buildings.

The first brick building in the neighborhood was the eight-room, three-story Thomas Jefferson School, which opened in January 1912 on a 1.69-acre site one block southeast of the Junction. Only 135 children, in grades one through five, were enrolled that first year. “We rattled around like peas in a pod because we had so few students,” one student recalled. “We had to be quiet to not disturb people” (Jefferson School History). By 1917, Jefferson was bulging with 443 students in grades one through eight. The school board bought an additional acre and a half the next year and added a five-room annex to handle the overflow.

For the complete essay, click here.
Text Credit: HistoryLink.org and Cassandra Tate

The Junction is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) that was developed to pay for the parking lots in the Junction. The Junction Association merchants produce many community events throughout the year including Art Walk (year round 2nd Thursdays), Summer Fest (July), West Seattle Outdoor Movies (July-August) Harvest Festival (October) and Hometown Holidays (December). In addition, the Junction Association merchants pay to keep the streets of the Junction safe & clean, plus we fund the 95 flower baskets that beautify the Junction from May through September.

The Junction Association is funded through BIA business owner ratepayer dues, city grants and event sponsorships. If you would like to donate to the Junction as a community member, you may do so through our mailing address: 4210 SW Oregon St, Suite A Seattle, WA 98116 or through our donate button. Thank you!

 

The 2017 Junction Board of Directors:

Heather Leaman Bakery Nouveau President

Dave Groves Seattle Logo Pro Vice President

Ben Jenkins Shadowland

Jon Daniels Seattle Fish Company

Larry Johnson Windermere

Todd Carden Elliott Bay Brewing

Brad Loetel West Seattle Cyclery

Frank Gross Thunder Road Guitars

Phil Gustavson School of Rock

Allison Herzog The Beer Junction

Judi Yazzolino West Seattle Food Bank

Staff:

Lora Swift Executive Director Email 

The West Seattle Board of Directors meets the 4th Wednesday from 12 Noon to 1pm at the Junction Windermere. The meeting is open to the general public from 12:45pm to 1pm.