Donald Schmechel Oral History Collection
Watch oral histories with prominent figures in the Pacific Northwest including artists Jacob Lawrence and Kenneth Callahan; Governors Albert Rosellini and Dixy Lee Ray and Reverends David Colwell and Samuel McKinney.
View north to regrade at 7th and Virginia, ca. 1906
Dwellings in the process of being lowered appear to the right.
Date: 1906View this item
Eulalie Merrill Wagner Interview, July 14, 1986
Eulalie Merrill Wagner (1904-1991) was a philanthropist well known for the gardens of her 10 acre Tacoma estate, Lakewold. She was born in Seattle and attended St. Nicholas School and the Masters School, a preparatory school in Dobbs Ferry, NY. She married George Corydon Wagner (1895-1979) in the 1920s. They moved to Lakewold in 1938. Both Wagner and her husband had family ties to the local lumber industries; through her husband’s side with the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company and through her side with the Merrill & Ring Lumber Company. She was an avid golfer and served as president of many organizations such as the Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma Garden Club and Tacoma Junior League. She also supported the University of Washington Arboretum, helped to develop the native plant garden at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma and created the Wagner Endowment for Nursing Education at Tacoma General Hospital.
Date: 1986-07-14View this item
View east from near 1st Ave. and Pine St. to regrade activity, ca. 1906
The Washington Hotel appears at the top of the hill. Although the regrade started in 1903, James Moore, the owner of the Washington Hotel, refused to clear the property until 1906 when regrading of Second and Third Avenues were well underway.
Date: 1906View this item
Jesse Epstein Interview, January 22, 1988
Jesse Epstein (1910-1989) was a lawyer and the first director of the Seattle Housing Authority. Epstein was born in Russia and his family moved to Great Falls, Montana in 1913. Epstein attended the University of Washington where he graduated with a degree in political science in 1932 and a law degree in 1935. He became the director of the Seattle Housing Authority in 1939 and held that role throughout World War II until 1945. During his tenure as director he supervised the development of Yesler Terrace which was the first housing project in Seattle. Yesler Terrace also notable for the fact that it was not segregated according to race (in contrast to many other housing options in the country). In 1945 Epstein became the Regional Director for the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and became the West Coast Director the following year. In 1948 he left his position at FHA and refocused on his legal career. Epstein was heavily involved in multiple community organizations including Neighborhood House, the Mountaineers and the Washington Wilderness Association.
Date: 1988-01-22View this item
Regrade railway and steam shovel, ca. 1906
Possible location is near the site of the Washington Hotel. Although the regrade started in 1903, James Moore, the owner of the hotel, refused to clear the property until 1906 when regrading of Second and Third Avenues were well underway.
Date: 1906View this item
Karl William Edmark Interview, January 7, 1986
Dr. Karl William Edmark (1924-1994) was a cardiovascular surgeon responsible for the invention of the heart defibrillator.
Date: 1986-01-07View this item
Virginia Price Patty Interview, August 17, 1987 and March 28, 1988
Virginia Price Patty (1898?-1998). Patty was born in Paris, Illinois ca. 1898. Her family moved to Seattle in 1905 and her father started work with his cousin, Charles Wiley. Wiley’s hydraulic construction company was responsible for regrading Beacon Hill, King St. and Dearborn. She attended Lowell Elementary and graduated from Broadway High School in 1916. She earned her degree from Smith College in 1920 where her interest was drama and theater. Afterwards she returned to Seattle and attended Cornish College and business school. She worked briefly at the Cornish Theater and in the principal’s office at Garfield High School. Patty married Andrew Price in 1922 and they had three children. Price was involved in investment banking with the National Bank of Commerce where he served in multiple roles including vice president, director and chairman. Patty served as the Girl Scout Commissioner of Seattle and King County for four years starting ca. 1942. In 1946, she was named to the Board of Directors of Western Region Girl Scouts. She was also involved with the Junior League. In 1955, her husband Andrew passed away. She married Ernest Patty in 1968. He served as president of the University of Alaska prior to their marriage and was involved in establishing the school's mining and engineering department. He died in 1976.
Date: 1987-08-17; 1988-03-28View this item
John Ellis Interview, March 3, 1987
John Ellis (1928-) is a native Seattleite who was the head of Puget Sound Power and Light. Ellis attended John Muir Elementary School, Franklin High School and the University of Washington. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1950 and his law degree in 1953. Ellis became the vice president of Puget Power in 1970 and was promoted to the position of president in 1976. He retired from the company in 1992. Following his retirement he was heavily involved in Seattle’s baseball scene, serving as chairman and CEO of the Seattle Mariners and leading a campaign to fund a new baseball stadium.
Date: 1987-03-03View this item
View from 2nd Ave. of steam shovel and Washington Hotel, ca. 1905
Although the regrade started in 1903, James Moore, the owner of the Washington Hotel, refused to clear the property until 1906 when regrading of Second and Third Avenues were well underway.
Date: 1905View this item
Henry Kotkins Interview, July 16, 1987
Henry Kotkins was a native Seattlite, a Port of Seattle Commissioner and the founder of Skyway Luggage. Kotkins attended Garfield High School and the University of Washington. Kotkin’s father started the Seattle Suitcase, Trunk and Bag Manufacturing Company in 1910. Kotkins took over the business after his father’s death in 1936, when the Great Depression was threatening to shut it down. He turned the business around and changed the name to the Skyway Luggage Company, introducing innovations like wheeled suitcases in a variety of colors beyond black and brown. Kotkins served on the 1962 World’s Fair Committee and was a Port of Seattle Commissioner during the 1970s and 1980s. Kotkins was also a member of the Rotary Club of Seattle, the Corinthian and the Seattle Yacht Club.
Date: 1987-07-16View this item