South Park Bridge and Military Road (the real road)

Walt Crowley did a short blurb on his excellent website HistoryLink.org.

I’ll just post it right here, I hope he doesn’t mind.


In 1860, the military road is completed from Fort Vancouver to Seattle. It passes through Olympia, Fort Nisqually, Fort Steilacoom, and Fort Puyallup. The Reverend Daniel Bagley and family are the first to travel the road to Seattle.

The U.S. Congress authorized the road in 1853.



Now if what the government is calling Military Road is the real military road, then it is proof positive that the Government spends like drunken sailors, and has them lay out roads too.  It is an easy grade to drive, but it would require constant leveling side to side.  that would be far to expensive.  Besides, none of them go near Forts Nisqually or Stillacoom.  These two Forts would have been on spur road off the main military road that ran straight from Seatle to Fort Mahoney/Maloney.  All the defensive forts gaurding water passages in the state, came off that main road.

The only known piece of military road is on 14th ave S next to the South Park Bridge.  It is paved with bricks from McCallister’s brick plant.   The bridge used to cross the river on 14th Ave. south, going on a straight shot North to Volunteer Park, where the militia could gather.  You can see the traces of the road in old photos.  It crosses the north of what is now Boeing Field at a diagonal till it hit the Albro bridge (passing through the Georgetown electric plant).  It then goes on a straight shot to Volunteer Park/Cemetary, passing by the VA hospital.  You can’t drive it today without being shifted onto 15th, because the land was taken for use by the City of Seattle.

click this, then click on the little circle on the map.  scrol in close enough to read the road numbers.  Hold the down arrow key till you reach the city of Puyallup.  It lands right on Fort Mahoney (which a marker is to the right).


Now if you click on it again and scroll down more slowly.  You will see it continually touches near 14th Ave. S.  Stop at the bridge.  It touches perfectly at the bridge crossing.  The next bridge is South Park/16th Ave. bridge, with a small spur of 14th ave.  The Cannabis Research center is on the left, I never said the neighborhood didn’t get seedy.  He must be a make love not war kinda guy.  Push down again and continue till the map becomes grey.   You pass through many freeways along the way going east-west diagonally.  Stop when the map turns grey.  Zoom out and you will understand why the road got chopped up and misnamed.  It passes through two airports.  Railroads were granted right-of-ways by the national government, Airports were not.  They had to use eminent domain and pay residential prices for valuable commercial property.   At the south end of the airport is a blue lake.  There is a Cemetery there as well.  I believe it was called either Lakewood Cemetery or Edgewood Cemetery.

I’ll pause in my tour for a minute to recount the respect city and county planners have for the war dead.  At the north end of Volunteer Park, is the Lakeview Cemetery.  All the bones of the soldiers were buried in Volunteer Park, till the Parks Department decided that parks are for the living and not the dead.  The bones were moved not just once, but twice.  The southern point of this section of Military Road, Edgewood Cemetery, has been taken for other purposes too.

The circle in Volunteer Park goes around a datum point, an object that surveyors use to find reference points when surveying in the hills, and surrounding city.  Before the tank, it must have been an very tall tree.  The field had been logged off recently, and one would have been left for this purpose.  There is a walkway up the sides of the water tank, and a deck at the top.  The water tower was the original “Space Needle”.  At the top it has an exibit on the Olmstead Brothers plans for the city.  It basically laid everything out connecting park to park, by boulevards.  R H Thomsen, the city engineer, laid out the rest.  Two precedents had been set by Military Road.  1.) Move from Park/Cemetery to Park/Cemetery by road. 2.) move in a strict straight axis.  Thomsen followed through on the axis part.  He moved mountains of dirt to make straight roads and good grades (1/12th of the amount moved compared to the Panama Canal Project.  2.) Always have a resting place at the end of where your going.  The Olmsteads main addition was to utilize graceful sweeping curves, and follow lakes and rivers.  The city was organized into four quadrants, and each have the same repeating plan, including South Park.  But that section was taken for other uses, and wasn’t considered worthy of the civilizing effect of urban planning.  What should have been a Park at the end of Riverton Drive, is now a Federal Post Office transfer depot.  It shares a private bridge with Boeing at what should be called 21st ave, S..  That would be Parcel # 0423049057.


The empty space is the Post office.

These people are real scum.  They are more toxic than the Duwamish River is itself.  They are elected officials, but don’t even bother to register with Redstate and participate in Democracy.  They can leave comments to my diary, but instead prefer to stay in the dark.  This may seem to be a local issue, but really the Port of Seattle affects the entire western region.

Next Diary:  Why I believe Concord Street is the location of Chief Sealth and the Duwamish Tribes original Longhouse.   Parcel number 7883608717 would be my guess, but 14th and Concord is another good possibility.

Note: The county seems to have shut down the e real property site

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