Creation of modern Seattle began on November 13, 1851, with the arrival of the Denny Party near Alki Point. These two dozen settlers optimistically named their first outpost "New York Alki" (by and by), but most relocated to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay the following spring.
West Seattle's development languished until its annexation in 1907, and the area's illusory remoteness (it actually lies only a few minutes from downtown by bridge or water taxi) encouraged a more leisurely lifestyle in pleasant residential neighborhoods and compact business districts such as The Junction and Admiral District.
Alki Beach has attracted summer crowds since the early 1900s, while further south, ferries have shuttled between Fauntleroy and Vashon Island since 1925. On the east, the Delridge neighborhood first developed as a Duwamish River port and industrial center called Youngstown.
For more detailed West Seattle historical information, visit West Seattle – Thumbnail History at HistoryLink.org.
– Courtesy of HistoryLink.org
Duwamish Cultural Heritage
While many of us are aware of Puget Sound’s rich Native American culture, West Seattle has a proud heritage of being the “first” community—home to a beloved Duwamish history. From their website: “The people known today as the Duwamish Tribe are the Dkhw’Duw’Absh, ‘The People of the Inside.’ We are the people of Chief Seattle. We are the First People of the City of Seattle, Mercer Island, Renton, Bellevue, Tukwila and much of King County, Washington. We have never left our ancestral homeland. We are bringing the strengths of our Native Nation, our culture, our teachings, and our Native values with us into the 21st Century.”
In 1851, when the first European-Americans arrived at Alki Point, the Dkhw’Duw’Absh occupied at least 17 villages, living in over 90 long houses, along Elliott Bay, the Duwamish River, the Cedar River, the Black River (which no longer exists), Lake Washington, Lake Union, and Lake Sammamish.
Today, the Duwamish have established a new Tribal Long House that welcomes visitors from across the United States. Visitors can enjoy seasonal events, art gallery and explore the Duwamish tribal history.
If you have not visited the Long House we encourage you to visit and learn more about our regional history. Visit www.duwamishtribe.org to learn more.