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Union Bay (Seattle)

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Union Bay is a body of water located in Lake Washington, Seattle, Washington The bay has the Laurelhurst neighborhood to the north and the Montlake and Madison Park neighborhoods to the south The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, which carries State Route 520, crosses over a portion of the bay

Marsh Island and Foster Island are located in Union Bay, and are connected to the mainland and each other by the Arboretum Waterfront Trail and the Foster Island Trail Union Bay ends at the eastern opening of the Montlake Cut, which connects Union Bay with Portage Bay an arm of Lake Union to the west—this marks the beginning of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, which runs through Seattle and connects Lake Washington to Puget Sound


  • 1 History
  • 2 See also
  • 3 References
  • 4 Bibliography
  • 5 External links


When the level of Lake Washington was dropped nearly nine feet in 1916 as a result of the opening of the Ship Canal,1 a good portion of Union Bay and Union Bay Marsh and wetland became dry land, furthered by landfill and, belatedly, sanitary landfill The marsh and much of the bay was filled from 1911 to 1967 The Montlake Landfill in use from 1926 to 1967 was the fictional home of television clown J P Patches, resident 1958 through 19812 The University Village shopping center 1956 and most of the east main campus of the University of Washington UW but for Husky Stadium sit on this land today What remains of Union Bay Marsh is the restored remnant within the Union Bay Natural Area of the UW3

As well as providing the outlet for Lake Washington, Union Bay receives the water of Arboretum Creek, and Ravenna Creek via pipeline from Ravenna Park through south Ravenna, daylighted past the restored Union Bay Natural Area

The shores of what is now Union Bay have been inhabited since the end of the last glacial period, about 10,000 years ago Ancestors of the Native American Duwamish tribe today, until the 1850s the Dkhw’Duw’Absh, "the People of the Inside", of the Skagit-Nisqually Lushootseed Coast Salish nations had villages around Union Bay

The village of hehs-KWEE-kweel "skate" was of the hloo-weelh-AHBSH from s'hloo-WEELH, "a tiny hole drilled to measure the thickness of a canoe", for the narrow passage through then-large and resource-rich Union Bay marsh Traces of the marsh survive as the Union Bay Natural Area and the Foster Island area of north Washington Park Arboretum The trees and the island of Stitici Stee-tee-tchee were their ceremonial burial ground Stitici, Little Island, is now called Foster Island4 The village was at the northeast tip of what is now Madison Park One of the longhouses forerunners of cohousing for tens of people may have been used as a potlatch house The Duwamish Tribe is today leveraging the sacred site in the path of substantial enlargement of State Route 520 through south Union Bay between Redmond and Interstate 5, in their quest for recognition5

The prominent village of SWAH-tsoo-gweel "portage" was on an abundant and much larger Union Bay, and what is now Ravenna was their backyard before the arrival of European settlers,6 Laurelhurst in summer7 The Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway was built around 1886 along what is now the Burke-Gilman Trail, following what was the shoreline past where the UW power plant and University Village are today8 A longhouse was near the present UW power plant across Montlake Boulevard from the IMA building, others were around the north shores which were about mile farther north than today, and shores east of what is now the Union Bay Natural Area, with a longhouse or two between what is now the Center for Urban Horticulture and Children's Hospital Villages were diffuse6

Cheshiahud or Lake John and his family were among the memorable residents around Union Bay in the early decades of Seattle

See alsoedit

  • Ravenna, Seattle


  1. ^ Phelps, US Army Corps of Engineers project 1913-1916, pp 67–69
  2. ^ 1 Fill sites 1911, 1920, 1926; last acreage, in the University District, closed 1966 or 1967
    11 Phelps, pp 208, 210; "HISTORY @UBNA", below
    2 Stein
  3. ^ 1 "HISTORY @ UBNA" Center for Urban Horticulture Departments, University of Washington nd, 1999 per "Montlake Landfill Information SumMarchy, January 1999" on page Retrieved 2006-04-21  Check date values in: |date= help
    2 "Ravenna" Seattle City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas Office of the Seattle City Clerk nd, mapjpg c 17 June 2002 Retrieved 2006-04-21  Check date values in: |date= help
    3 ""University District", map" Office of the Seattle City Clerk nd, mapJpg sic dated 13 June 2002 Retrieved 2006-04-21  Check date values in: |date= help
  4. ^ Thomas Speer quoted in Switzer
  5. ^ Switzer
  6. ^ a b Dailey, 26 and 27, ref 2, 8
  7. ^ Rochester
  8. ^ Phelps, p 25
  1. Higman, Harry Wentworth Union Bay, the life city" Seattle, University of Washington Press, 1951 Print


  • Dailey, Tom nd "Duwamish-Seattle" "Coast Salish Villages of Puget Sound" Retrieved 2006-04-21  External link in |work= help
    Page links to Village Descriptions Duwamish-Seattle section
    Dailey referenced "Puget Sound Geography" by T T Waterman Washington DC: National Anthropological Archives, mss nd ref 2;
    Duwamish et al vs United States of America, F-275 Washington DC: US Court of Claims, 1927 ref 5;
    "Indian Lake Washington" by David Buerge in the Seattle Weekly, 1–7 August 1984 ref 8;
    "Seattle Before Seattle" by David Buerge in the Seattle Weekly, 17–23 December 1980 ref 9;
    The Puyallup-Nisqually by Marian W Smith New York: Columbia University Press, 1940 ref 10
    Recommended start is "Coast Salish Villages of Puget Sound"
  • "HISTORY @ UBNA" Center for Urban Horticulture, Departments, University of Washington nd, 1999 per "Montlake Landfill Information Summary, January 1999" on page, retrieved 21 April 2006
  • Phelps, Myra L, Public works in Seattle Seattle: Seattle Engineering Department, 1978 ISBN 0-9601928-1-6
  • "Ravenna" Seattle City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas nd, mapjpg c 17 June 2002, retrieved 21 April 2006 Note caveat in footer
    Maps "NN-1030S", "NN-1040S"jpg dated 17 June 2002
  • Rochester, Junius 2001-06-09, revised 2002-11-20 "Seattle Neighborhoods: Laurelhurst – Thumbnail History" HistoryLinkorg Essay 3345 Retrieved 2006-04-21  Check date values in: |date= help
    Rochester referenced Christine Barrett, A History of Laurelhurst Seattle, WA: Laurelhurst Community Club, 1981, revised 1989;
    Paul Dorpat, Seattle: Now & Then, Vols II and III Seattle, WA: Tartu Publications, 1984 and 1989;
    Lucile Saunders McDonald, The Lake Washington Story, Seattle, WA: Superior Publishing Co, 1979;
    Brandt Morgan, Enjoying Seattle's Parks Seattle, WA: Greenwood Publications, 1979;
    Harry W Higman and Earl J Larrison, Union Bay: The Life of a City Marsh, Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1951;
    J Willis Sayre, This City of Ours Seattle, WA: Seattle School District No 1, 1936;
    Sophie Frye Bass, Pig-Tail Days in Old Seattle Portland, OR: Binfords & Mort, 1937;
    Roger Sale, Seattle: Past to Present Seattle, WA: University of Washington Press, 1976
  • Stein, Alan J "Patches, Julius Pierpont", HistoryLink 2 March 2003, retrieved 21 April 2006 Stein referenced Jack Broom, "The JP Generation," Pacific Magazine, The Seattle Times, 4 April 1993, pp 6–11,14-17;
    Bill Cartmel, "Hi Ya, Patches Pals," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 11 April 1971, pp 6–7;
    Erik Lacitis, "Patches Understands – and Survives," The Seattle Times, 23 February 1978, p A15;
    no title, The East Side Journal, 31 May 1962, p 3; Ibid 14 May 1969, p 19
  • Switzer, Jeff 2005-02-20 "Duwamish Tribe seeks protection for Foster Island" King County Journal Retrieved 2006-07-21 
  • "University District" Seattle City Clerk's Neighborhood Map Atlas nd, mapjpg 13 June, retrieved 21 April 2006 Note caveat in footer

External linksedit

  • Union Bay Natural Area Official site
  • Seattle Photographs Collection - University of Washington Library

Coordinates: 47°39′N 122°17′W / 4765°N 12229°W / 4765; -12229

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