“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Seattle in King County, Washington — The American West (Northwest)

Fremont Bridge

Fremont Bridge Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Douglass Halvorsen, December 28, 2012
1. Fremont Bridge Marker
Inscription.  Late at night on June 15th of 1917 the world's first vehicle crossed the Fremont Bridge. Foot traffic was allowed across the bridge deck the next day and has continued in a steady stream since then, along with horse drawn conveyance, trolleys, bicycles and automobile traffic. For decades trolleys remained the major mode of transportation for people moving about the city. The original Fremont Bridge trolley poles have been restored to the bridge deck, though not in their original placement.

Before straightened into a channel, this site served as a seasonal home to the Duwamish people, who fished and hunted here on marshy banks and were supplanted by settlement. In photographs, as Lake Washington Ship Canal was being built (ca. 1911), the site is revealed as a mud flat, houses and shacks on its banks, weirs controlling the flow of water, and the neighborhoods on either side straggling up the banks and hills. Snapshots of the opening of the canal, on the 4th of July, 1917, show a more orderly landscape with crowds filling the streets and canal banks. This is still the place of nature and people, commerce and leisure, a crossroads of water
Fremont Bridge image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Douglass Halvorsen, December 28, 2012
2. Fremont Bridge
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and steel.

The Fremont Bridge is one of four bascule bridges that span the Lake Washington Ship Canal ('bascule' is French for balance). In addition to replacing the bridge's gears, recent renovations removed steel X bracing and replaced it with concrete pillars. The bridge has been retrofitted over the years to accommodate transportation and safety needs as times changed, although its essential character, presence and importance in connecting city neighborhoods and the flow of commerce remain as they ever were. From the trails on either side of the canal the viewer may watch the elegant movement of the bridge as it raises and then lowers, something that happens about 35 times a day. As it must have seemed in those first days, its action is majestic, entertaining and a celebratory event.
Erected 2009.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Bridges & ViaductsNative Americans. A significant historical date for this entry is June 15, 1917.
Location. 47° 38.823′ N, 122° 20.978′ W. Marker is in Seattle, Washington, in King County. Marker is on 4th Avenue North, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Seattle WA 98109, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Westlake and Dexter Historic Shelter (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Fremont Troll
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(approx. 0.3 miles away); Lenin in Fremont (approx. 0.3 miles away); Boeing's Lake Union Seaplane Hangar (approx. one mile away); L'Amourita (approx. 1.2 miles away); De La Mar Apartments (approx. 1½ miles away); Seattle Fisherman's Memorial (approx. 1.6 miles away); You're Now a Part of History (approx. 1.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Seattle.
Also see . . . - Fremont Bridge. (Submitted on January 18, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon.)
Credits. This page was last revised on January 21, 2018. It was originally submitted on January 18, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. This page has been viewed 149 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 18, 2018, by Douglass Halvorsen of Klamath Falls, Oregon. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 24, 2022