The back story of the Lake Washington Ship Canal 'dig' will be shared Saturday, March 17, when the Woodinville Heritage Society offers another in its series of free monthly programs. The 10 a.m. presentation takes place at Brightwater Education Center, 22505 Highway 9, just north of Costco.
The presenter will be Seattle author David B. Williams, a Burke Museum curatorial associate. Williams and his co-author, Jennifer Ott, wrote Waterway: the Story of Seattle's Locks and Ship Canal after researching the false starts, political shenanigans and far-reaching economic and environmental impacts of the canal construction and operation. Williams will share some of the stories they uncovered during their research.
For example, when the canal opened in 1916, Eastside communities like Woodinville and Bothell found the lowered depth of Lake Washington resulted in a shallower Sammamish River, thus reducing critical boat service to the riverside
But the narrow cut that slices across Seattle today, 100 years later, gives boaters a travel link between Lake Washington and Puget Sound. Motorists take the canal for granted and frequently cross it without a thought, using the University, Montlake, Fremont, Aurora or Ballard bridge. Tourists flock to the locks in Ballard to watch a parade of boats pass through.
The WHS (Woodinville Heritage Society) programs are arranged by Deanna Arnold-Frady, who offers one April 21 on early Northwest wrestling. The program year concludes May 19 with Kevin Stadler's presentation, "Cows and Carnations," the story of the Frederick Stimson family, founders of Hollywood Farm, now the site of Ste. Michelle Winery.