Sept. 11, 2021

Ridwell Takes it All

If you are a typical Seattleite, you 1) fiercely recycle, 2) donate or repurpose as many of your used items as possible, and 3) aren’t sure what to do with all those Prime envelopes. Enter a 4-year-old Seattle startup called Ridwell! Their mission is to make it simple to get rid of your stuff responsibly.

We have written about recycling in the past, and it can be frustrating as the rules keep changing. Who accepts used pillows? Do old car seats really need to go to landfills? What should I do with burned out lightbulbs? There are many items in our modern lives that don’t have great recycling solution. Ridwell, a unique subscription-based program, offers a rotating recycling pickup program that deals with these used items that live in that “complicated to recycle” category.

Started on Queen Anne by Ryan Metzger and his son Owen, the two were simply trying to figure out how to recycle batteries. After making several calls to locate a battery recycling center, the pair thought perhaps other neighbors had the same issue, so they began what they called a “recycling carpool”. Things snowballed, and word of mouth fueled the growth of this neighborly endeavor. Recycling carpools became so large that it was clear the pair were onto an innovative solution to a common problem. There was so much demand for help with recycling, that the family turned it into a subscription service company.

To assist with decluttering and keeping things out of landfills, Ridwell offers a rotating category calendar to assist you in planning. There are so many items that don’t fit into curbside recycling programs that many items (that could have been recycled) end up in landfills.

Plastic film is picked up with each visit, but what about polystyrene, packing peanuts, old cords, chargers, or electronics? Ridwell heroes come to your home on a rotating schedule, take items away, and deliver them to the proper place for recycling. Polystyrene foam is taken to Styro Recycle in Kent. Prime envelopes? It turns out they can be recycled to make Trex composite decking. Who knew?

Simply sign up (plans begin at $10 per month if you sign up for a full year), log into your account, check the calendar for pickup items, and leave items on your porch in the darling vintage style box the company provides.

One of our team members signed up for the service and has found the user interface and dashboard to be well organized and easy to use. With several software engineers working on the website, it is intuitive, beautiful, and functional. The program has been rolled out in Portland, Denver, and Seattle, and more cities will follow soon.

While Ridwell can’t guarantee that each of these categories will be on the pickup rotation, they are eager to hear from their customers and get their feedback. Some of the items they are planning to pick up this year include:

Electronics, Eyeglasses, Bras, Halloween candy, Holiday lights, Kitchenware, Loose diapers, Kid’s clothes, Winter/summer wear, Kid’s toys, Car seats, Pet toys & supplies, Jewelry, Wine corks, Canned and packaged foods, Formal wear, School and office supplies, Birthday decorations, Tennis balls, Lego blocks, Cords and chargers.

If you are working to declutter your home or simply looking for better recycling opportunities, give a try.

Sept. 9, 2021

30-Minute Pulled Chicken Tacos

Everyone on our team loves to cook. But with school back in session, after school activities, and many parents back working in the office, the slow cooking of last year will need to wait until the weekend. So how do you get dinner on the table in 30-minutes (besides ordering pizza)? Team member Jen Svrcek shared this super easy crowd pleaser; a meal that is adult friendly and that kids gobble right up. This is an Instant Pot® recipe (your new favorite kitchen tool) but could easily be adapted for your slow cooker. Enjoy the last few weeks of September!


• 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts

• 1 15.5oz jar of salsa (we like Tostitos Chunky Salsa Medium)

• 1 8oz block of Philadelphia Original Cream Cheese

• Tortillas, taco shells, shredded lettuce, diced onions, cilantro, olives, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, or any favorite toppings for serving


1) Add the entire jar of salsa and chicken to your Instant Pot®.

2) Lock the lid and select High Pressure.

3) Cook for 12 minutes.

4) Prep toppings and heat tortillas or taco shells.

5) After time is up, turn off the pot and use the quick pressure release.

6) Carefully open the Instant Pot® and remove the chicken from the pot.

7) Add the block of cream cheese to the sauce in the pot. Use the sauté setting and stir until melted, combined, and smooth.

8) Shred the chicken with two forks and return it to the cooking pot, stirring to combine.

9) Salt and pepper to taste.

10) Serve with warm tortillas, taco shells, shredded lettuce, diced onions, cilantro, olives, diced tomatoes, or diced avocado.

Posted in Cooking, Recipes
July 30, 2021

Bert Lindgren's Old Time Dances

Queen Anne homes that were built nearly a century ago are full of architectural character, charm, and wonderful regional history. Thanks to local archives, we can piece together the story of the original owners of 1915 Dexter Ave N (it's for sale! click to see), the Lindgren family, who contributed to the live music and dancing culture in Seattle and Western Washington.

Berthold Ferdinand Alexander (Bert) Lindgren (1891 – 1950) emigrated from Sweden in 1893 at the age of 2 with his parents, Nils, and Laura Lindgren, professional tailors. They lived in Colorado for a short time before setting up shop in Everett, Washington. Bert was a precocious music student, and learned to play the piano, organ, and accordion. As a young man, he was the theater organist for several silent film houses in Seattle and Everett. He was a member of the Musicians Union and the Swedish Club, and found work playing keys at the plethora of Scandinavian dances that Seattle was famous for.

Bert met Rosamond Wrage, a professional violinist, at one of these dances. The couple married in 1919 and had one daughter, Laurene (born in 1921). Much of their work was in Seattle at theaters and dance halls, so purchasing the new home at 1915 Dexter Ave from the builder in 1927 meant less commute time for the couple. Rosamond taught their daughter Laurene to play the violin, and the family was well known throughout the northwest for their wide variety of musical styles.

There was a gradual transition from silent films to "talkies" in Seattle between 1928 and 1933. As theaters added this new sound technology, Bert’s work as a silent film organist diminished. He continued to play at dances and perhaps area churches, but he yearned to run his own show. After several years of planning, he opened “Bert Lindgren's Old Time Dance” at the Bothell Way Pavilion in 1939. He was a natural entertainer and was well known for his charisma, charm, and musical knowledge. It was truly a family affair, with wife Rosamond and daughter Laurene playing violin at these popular dances. Of interest, census reports state that the two violinists worked 12 hours per week, and ads for the dances state “5 hours of dancing from 9pm to 2am Friday and Saturday”. The ads the family ran in the local newspapers also state that dances featured modern, old-time, Scandinavian, square dance, and the “winning Russian sleigh bells” styles of music.

This wonderful home is waiting for the next owner to continue the Seattle story and pursue their own dreams and opportunities.

Posted in House History
July 1, 2021

5 Seattle Staycation Ideas

With more than 46 percent of the U.S. population fully vaccinated, it appears that life as we once knew it is returning. Meeting with friends and family for dinner and gatherings is becoming more frequent, and offices all around the country are slowly opening their doors and welcoming employees back to work in person. Although we are making progress, there are still many parts of quarantine life that are still with us. Restrictive international travel is just one of them.

While many sought-after countries by American tourists are starting to open such as Mexico and Netherlands, there are still many countries in Europe and Asia that are closed or restricted to US tourists. Europe is often one of the most popular destinations among American tourists; in fact, according to ETIAS US, each year, approximately 12 million Americans visit countries like France, Italy, and Germany.

But what are we to do while some of the most enchanting cities and countries to visit are still approaching proper conditions to open their borders to American passport holders? Many people in the US have been doing their best to create exciting and innovative “staycations”. In fact, one of our Queen Anne clients decided to treat their family to a staycation in West Seattle by the beach. They packed up and rented a beach house on Airbnb with a pool and lived there for a week to enjoy beautiful Alki Beach and its many amenities. 

Our team was inspired by this idea and understand the rich opportunities there are for Seattle residents to engage in their own “staycations” with an area featuring such diverse experiences. So, for you and yours, here is a list of the top five Seattle staycation ideas as the world slowly starts opening again.

1.     Rent an Airbnb in a Seattle Neighborhood You Have Yet to Explore

There are plenty of beautiful neighborhoods in Seattle with many reasonably priced Airbnbs in good locations. Some of the best areas to explore with options on Airbnb include Ballard, Capitol Hill, Fremont, Belltown, and South Lake Union.

These neighborhoods are great spots because they are all close to the water, and all are uniquely Seattle. Ballard has historic sights to see, Capitol Hill offers some of the more beautiful architecturally significant homes in the northwest, Fremont boasts some of the best parks for an afternoon picnic with views of the city, Belltown is perfectly located by Pike Place Market, and South Lake Union is the ideal summer spot for anyone who would like to boat, swim, or urban sightsee.

2. Reserve a Campsite in a Washington State Park.

One of the reasons so many people end up permanently relocating to Washington state is the proximity to nature and outdoor activities within an hour's drive of the city. Many Washington State Parks have available campsites and make reserving a spot inexpensive and easy. Go to to access a multitude of state parks with an easy reservation system. The campsites make it easy to either car camp, or if you are feeling adventurous, pitch a tent and set up a proper site. Each park offers unique amenities and often features hiking trails and sights for the whole family. Some recommendations for parks close to the city include:

       Lake Sammamish State Park

       Yakima River Canyon

       Denny Creek Campground

       Olallie State Park

3. Book an Urban Nature Home

One urban treehouse in Seattle has garnered a lot of attention from staycationers and tourists alike. On VRBO the “Seattle Urban Tree House” is located just ten minutes from downtown and offers the beautiful, lush nature of the northwest while still being centrally located. Perfect for people wanting a quiet weekend by the pool (yes, there is a pool) or people looking for an ideal location for a night out on the town.

4. Rent a Houseboat

This is one of the best ways to experience life on the water unique to only a few Seattleites. For a weekend or longer, you can experience peaceful life on the water. There are many services that rent these precursors to the tiny home, including Airbnb, VRBO, and private rentals from residents. A perfect location to the University District, Fremont, and Queen Anne. Don’t forget that Ivar’s Salmon House is just down the way for a relaxing sunset dinner on the water.

5. Rent a Room at the Westin Hotel Seattle

The pinnacle of class in Seattle, this 891 room hotel is the perfect city getaway for a weekend or extended stay. Fully airconditioned, it fills up when the temperature goes up. The Westin features gorgeous views of the Seattle skyline, a fully operational gym, the famous 1900 Bar and Lounge, and they welcome Fido. In addition to the luxurious dining options the hotel provides, there are several restaurants within walking distance. Don’t forget about Dimitriou's Jazz Alley!

We hope that this list inspires you to get out and see what the city has to offer. Sometimes we forget about the treasures in our own backyard.  We also encourage you to come up with your own staycation ideas and share them with our team. Now, get out there and explore!

June 17, 2021

1512 - 1st Ave West House History

Bessie Phillips, Seattle Actress, Circa 1905Walking through the house and gardens at 1512 – 1st Avenue West, (listing here) one can only imagine what it must have been like in 1905 when this enchanting home was built. Who were the original owners? What brought them to Seattle? What did they do for work? Thanks to census reports and meticulously kept records at the University of Washington and the Washington State Archives, we can share the story of Corry and Harriet Bushnell, the original owners, who made this their home.

Corydon “Corry” Addison Bushnell was born in Eugene Oregon in 1866, one of 8 children born to John Corydon “J. C.” Bushnell, a homesteader and farmer, and Jemima Melvina Bushnell. Corry’s parents came to Oregon from Ohio, taking full advantage of the Homestead Act of 1862 which gave individuals from the United States and around the world the opportunity to claim free government land. Over 1.6 million people were offered the opportunity to claim and settle more than 270 million acres of public land, including single women over the age of 21.

We do not know about Corry’s youth in Oregon, but we know that he grew up to be a revered photographer of the time, capturing stunning photographic portraits of local actresses, musicians, opera singers, politicians, business owners, and notable suffragettes. About 159 Bushnell portraits are preserved in the University of Washington Archives.

Corydon and Harriet were married in Oregon, then a few years later moved to Seattle where he established the James and Bushnell Studio in 1902. Harriet Jane Hattie Herron Bushnell purchased the home; her name alone was on the deed. This was quite unusual for the time but would have been practical if Harriet were protecting an inheritance or if the couple wanted to shelter their largest asset from creditors in case the newly founded photography studio was not a success. Corry Bushnell did indeed have a successful and prosperous career documenting Seattle’s elite, and the studio was in business until 1922, when Bushnell joined forces with the Pinney Photography Studio.

Not much is known about Harriet, and the couple never had children, but they lived in the beautiful home at 1512 – 1st Avenue West for more than 40 years. In his retirement, Corry took photographs to accompany a volume of poetry written by Pearl Riggs Crouch, a notable author of the time. This volume can be seen at the University of Washington Archives.

Of interest, occupations among neighbors in the 1930s included a train conductor, a ship captain, a painter, a candy maker, a billing clerk, a gardener, and a fireman. This historic home is waiting for the next owner to continue the story of trailblazing in a city that has seen much change and opportunity in the last 100 years. If you would like to learn about the history of your old home, contact our team.

Posted in House History
June 3, 2021

Compass Concierge: 7 Reasons We Love This Program

Your home is most likely your greatest investment. For most of us, there is a lot of equity locked up within those walls. But what if there was an easy way to tap into that equity and use it to elevate your home? By providing upfront costs associated with those improvements and services, Compass Concierge does just that. Our team will help you develop a plan with suggested home improvements to prepare your home for the market so you can get top dollar without tapping into your savings or taking out a high-interest loan. This program is a no-interest loan (up to $50,000) to sellers so you can make all those improvements that will make your home more desirable to today’s buyers.

1. Maximize the value of your home.

Most Seattle buyers are looking for turnkey properties. Projects are not for everyone, and it is our experience that buyers want a house that is ready to live in, and they are willing to pay a premium for that option. This will easily increase the market value of your home and make it attractive to a wider range of buyers. 

2. Show your home in its best light.

From fresh paint to refinished or new flooring, the Compass Concierge program can help your home look its very best before going on the market. Everyone enjoys walking through a beautifully maintained and well-appointed home.

3. Sell your home faster.

We have watched over the years how fast homes sell when they are “move in ready”. The Compass Concierge program will help you attract more buyers, which translates into your home selling more quickly.

4. Reduce the risk of buyers backing out.

Offering a home for sale that is in pristine condition reduces the likelihood that a buyer will pull out of the sale after the home goes to escrow. Buyers feel most comfortable purchasing homes that are in good repair and ready to live in. Flaws and “projects” sometimes scare buyers, especially as the closing date gets closer. Offer a home that is move in ready, and your buyer will be excited about closing quickly.

5. No upfront costs or interest to homeowners.

The funds will be advanced to you for home improvement services, and you can use any provider. If you have a favorite painter or handyperson, hire her/him/them. Do you need some help finding good people? We have worked with many wonderful vendors over the years and can help you find just the right person. When your home sells, you pay back the costs of services rendered and nothing more. 

6. Compass Concierge is hassle free.

From assessing which updates will increase your home’s value the most, to recommending the very best professionals and trades, we will be there every step of the way.

7. No loans or lines of credit to apply for

Getting a home equity loan or a line of credit to pay for repairs and improvements is expensive and time-consuming. There are loan origination fees, interest, and other expenses, not to mention your time with a banker or a loan officer. With the Compass Concierge program, you are granted a line of credit in the form of a no-interest cash card. Use it to pay your favorite vendors!

Many services are approved, but not limited to:

Interior Design

General Contractor






Professional Cleaner

Landscaper / Designer


Contact us today to find out more about this innovative program. We are here to help you get your home in top condition and ready to sell.

Posted in Compass Concierge
Dec. 16, 2020

10 Safe Holiday Activities in Seattle

The holiday season is here! The kids will soon be out of Zoom school and most of us will have some time to relax, rest, and in some small way, celebrate the season. As I write this, one COVID-19 vaccine has been released and others are on the horizon. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is cautioning against most in-person gatherings, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find other creative, fun, and safe ways to celebrate.

We asked our clients and team members to share their favorite unique, fun, and safe ways to enjoy the season this year. Some ideas we expected, but others were so darn creative that we can’t wait to share them with you! I hope you find an activity on this list for everyone.

1. WildLanterns – Woodland Park Zoo

New this year, a stunning outdoor lantern festival at the Zoo is unlike anything we have seen. WildLanterns, presented by Sound Credit Union, offers a larger-than-life, immersive experience perfect for all ages. Tickets are $28.95 for adults, $23.95 for children, and admission is free for those 2 and younger. There is a limit on how many people can be in the Zoo at the same time, so visitors may purchase tickets for a specific entrance time. Masks are required, so this is the perfect occasion for that animal-print mask you have been saving. Visit WildLanterns here.

2. Rick Steve’s Europe

More than 1 million armchair travelers have subscribed to Rick Steve’s YouTube channel, and for very good reason. The best-selling travel author and host of public television's "Rick Steves' Europe" has posted over 1800 videos to his channel, all streaming now. If your travel plans were put on hold or if you would like to investigate some new spots for future travel, spend some time this month learning from this Northwest travel guru. Visit Rick's YouTube Channel here.

3. A Christmas Carol – ACT Theater Virtual Event

It wouldn’t be Christmas without this Seattle Holiday Tradition. With a 45 year run, the ACT was very creative this year and brought the magic of Charles Dickens’ classic ghost story to life in an all-new radio-style audio play. Put on your favorite pajamas and pop some corn, then listen anytime you like and as often as you like until December 27. “Tickets” are available here. In the spirit of the times, the ACT is offering tickets at a “what feels right” price. You are also able to purchase this radio show as the perfect gift for those missing live theater this year.

4. Canlis Community College

2020 has been especially hard on restaurants. Queen Anne’s beloved Canlis has pivoted beautifully offering drive-thru burgers, a crab shack, a yurt experience, and our favorite, Canlis Community College. Canlis designed and executed a six-week “semester” of programming that featured cooking classes, wine tasting classes, and some fun sections about Seattle history and culture. Our favorites were the bread baking and jam making classes! Find them at Canlis Community College

5. Write a COVID-19 Journal

This has been a year like no other, and we have heard some incredible stories of resilience and grit. If you have been asked by friends and family to write your pandemic experiences down, you may feel like saying, “It’s just not that interesting”. But yes, your stories are interesting. And they will be even more interesting to future generations. Write about first hearing that a worldwide pandemic had been declared. Where were you? How did you feel? What did you do? How did school, work, or volunteer activities change? How did life change? You have a compelling story and a unique perspective. Write it down.

6. Candy Cane Lane

A team member has fond Seattle memories of her parents packing the car with kids, giving each a candy cane, then driving through “Candy Cane Lane” to look at the beautifully decorated houses. A Seattle institution since 1949, Candy Cane Lane is located in the Ravenna neighborhood at N.E. Park Road. A loop of just 23 homes, all the neighbors participate and go over the top with decorations, lights, and music. Since you don’t need to get out of your car, this is a great activity to do with your Bubble crew. Betcha can’t drive through just once!

7. Join the SIFF

Have you watched all the things on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, PBS, and Disney? SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival) has gone virtual with indie films and from all around the world. They offer gift memberships for those hard to buy for friends. Running right now, the SIFF is featuring French Cinema Now, featuring nine recently-released French language films, hand-picked by SIFF staff. Vive la France!

8. Secret Santa with Elfster

Secret Santa gift exchanges are fun, but sometimes difficult to organize when we can’t be together. One of our team members gathered a group of people, all ages, and gave the names and an email address for each participant. Then, the elves took care of the rest. Players receive an email inviting them to join in the Secret Santa exchange. The elves generate the game pairing up the people in your group and set the parameters (which are set by the organizer, like price, date, etc.). Good old fashioned fun shipped right to your door!

9. Worship Services

Houses of worship are almost entirely online now in the Seattle area. While you may have your own place of worship, this is also a great opportunity to attend a virtual service and learn about another church or another faith. Whether you respect Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Christianity, Taoism, or Judaism, there is an online service for you to enjoy and learn from.

10. Play in the Snow

There is nothing quite as wintery as a walk in the snow. It is sometimes hard to imagine that just an hour away from Seattle is a winter wonderland for skiing, snowboarding, sledding, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. If you don’t have the right gear, rentals are available at Summit East Nordic Center, off I-90 at Exit 54. Be sure to check the road conditions first!

Oct. 29, 2020

Halloween Chili Recipe

We call this “Halloween Chili” because beginning in 2009, one of our team members began making gallons of this tasty dish on Halloween night for whoever might want to come in out of the cold (and often Seattle rain) for a hot bowl of traditional chili. It is reported that there were rarely leftovers. The recipe is for one batch that fits in a large crockpot.


·        2 pounds ground beef or ground turkey*

·        2 (15 oz.) cans tomato sauce (Glen Muir Organic if available)

·        4 (15 or 16 oz.) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed

·        1 (15.5 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes (add everything in the can)

·        1 sweet onion diced

·        1 green pepper diced

·        1 red pepper diced

·        1 diced jalapeño pepper (wear gloves to chop)

·        2 cloves minced garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)

·        5 tablespoons chili powder

·        1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder (it adds a nice smoky flavor)

·        4 tablespoon dark unsweetened cocoa powder

·        2 tablespoons Mexican oregano

·        2 tablespoons honey

·        1 teaspoon cumin

·        1 tablespoon salt (or more to taste)

·        1 teaspoon black pepper

·        1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

·        1 teaspoon allspice

·        1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

·        2 bay leaves


1)     In a large pan, saute the onion and peppers until soft and translucent. Add the garlic and jalapeno near the end so these do not scorch. Remove and set aside. 

2)     Cook ground beef or turkey over medium-high heat until browned, stirring frequently. Drain the excess fat.

3)     Place chili powder and cumin in the pan and heat until aromatic; toasted, but not burned. This gets rid of that “raw spice” flavor.

4)     Add all ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes.

5)     Alternatively, put everything in a crockpot and let it go on low for 8 hours. Season to taste before serving.

6)     Serve warm with additional toppings such as shredded cheese, chopped green onions, sour cream, and cilantro.  Cornbread and a salad make it a meal.

What you don’t eat will refrigerate well for about 3 days and freeze beautifully for up to 6 months.

*If making this a vegetarian dish, substitute 3 cups sautéed vegetables (such as mushrooms, zucchini, an extra red pepper, sweet potatoes, and corn) for the meat.  I usually made an extra vegetarian batch for gatherings.

Posted in Cooking
Oct. 27, 2020

Ideas for Halloween 2020

Halloween is Saturday, and it will be like no other Halloween our little goblins have experienced. Many gatherings, traditions, and local festivities like trick-or-treating on Queen Anne Avenue and in Magnolia Village have been canceled. Other close contact activities such as haunted houses and costume parties have been put on hold.  Disappointing, yes, but this year is an opportunity to be creative. We asked our team members and several clients how they would be celebrating, and this is what we heard. We hope you find inspiration!

·       Dress up, everyone! If you ask a group of kids, they will tell you that their favorite part of Halloween is choosing a costume. Allow kids to choose and assemble a costume that makes them feel proud and strong, and we highly recommend that adults dress up as well. Do share photos on social media (please ask permission first) to stay connected.

·       Share one of your favorite movies with your family or whoever is in your bubble. The team recommends the first Harry Potter movie, Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, and Frankenweenie.

·       Since Halloween is on a Saturday this year, it’s a great day to enjoy more time-intensive projects. Pumpkin carving is fun, but this is the year for baking and decorating cookies, a cake, or anything else your kids can dream up.

·       Host a virtual Halloween party so kids (ok, and adults) can show friends their costumes. Plan a game or two, and just let the kids (and adults) have fun together, Hollywood Squares style.

·       One of our team members is staying home, filling a piñata with candy and trinkets rather than taking the kids around the neighborhood.

·       This is also a great time to “Boo Your Neighbor”. Fill a bag with wrapped treats and leave it on your neighbor’s doorstep with a nice note and a tag. Don’t forget to wash your hands before packing bags.

If your family participates in trick-or-treating this year, check out the guidelines The Seattle Times has shared in this article. Here are some of our favorite suggestions:

·       If anyone in your family is ill or has symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home.

·       Do not go to homes with porch lights turned off. This is a universal sign that they are not participating or that someone in their family is ill and they don’t want to expose anyone.

·       All people 2 years and older should wear face masks. Plastic masks and most fabric Halloween masks don’t offer adequate protection, so wear an approved mask under your costume or decorate a mask to coordinate. Parents, please set a good example and wear your masks.

·       Carry hand sanitizer and use it.

·       Don’t travel in packs and try to stay at least 6 feet from other groups.

·       No eating candy while out and about. Rather, bring it all home and wash your hands, and wipe down wrappers.

Whatever new traditions or options you choose, we hope you enjoy the weekend!





Posted in Halloween
Oct. 1, 2020

Prohibition, Bootleggers, and Rumrunners in Seattle

Vintage homes comprise a special type of charm. Classic architecture, fine craftsmanship, and rich history help us imagine a bygone era. What was daily life like? What ideas were valued by people of the time? And what was happening in this young city in 1922? Thanks to accurate records, we can piece together the life of the young couple who would call 1510 Warren Ave N home (it's for sale! Click here). We also know that this home was built during the height of Prohibition in Seattle.

Harold and Ella Mae Wiedemann purchased this house new from the builder in 1922, moving from a rented home in the Greenwood neighborhood. We know that Harold was employed by Fisher Bros. Co. a food wholesaler located in the 1201 Western Ave. building. This architecturally significant office building was constructed in 1910 and was home to many of Seattle’s most prominent maritime businesses and food wholesalers. The Queen Anne location would have been convenient for Harold, and this beautiful Queen Anne home would have been a smart purchase for a hard-working young family.

Harold began work in the grocery industry as a porter then worked his way through the ranks to become a wholesale salesman of canned fruits, a very lucrative career in the early 1900s. Seattle was disrupted by Prohibition between 1916 and 1933, which played out on Puget Sound, in the local waterways, and in town hall, as Roy Olmstead, a former Seattle police officer, operated Seattle’s largest booze smuggling and distribution operation.

Speed boats or “rumrunners” were in high demand as locals purchased alcohol from Canadian wholesalers then transported it to Seattle for distribution. These fast vessels were able to outrun U.S. Coast Guard vessels, thus their notorious nickname.

In 1922, the year this home was built, the first bootleggers' convention was held in Seattle. More than 100 “ booze runners and wholesale dealers” meet for the first time to form an alliance/association/cartel. While we have no evidence that Harold Wiedemann was at the meeting or involved in the distribution of liquor, it was well known that Seattle grocers and food wholesalers were deeply connected in the distribution of illegal beverages.

The smugglers and distributors agreed on rules and regulations for their new association. They regulated prices, called for use of approved business methods, agreed to purchase liquor from both Vancouver and Victoria wholesales to keep prices down, and unanimously agreed to boycott drug smugglers and to assist law enforcement in their capture and arrest. The group was well organized.

This Queen Anne block must have been a vibrant place to live and thrive, as U.S. Census reports list neighbors from all over Europe and the UK including Norway, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, and Germany. Occupations on this block included teachers, accountants, stenographers, a pharmacist, and an insurance agent. This beautiful Queen Anne home is ready for the next generation to tell a new Seattle story.