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March 29, 2013 at 5:42 PM
Sketched March 20, 2013
Pure. Clean. The best drinking water in the world.
People are raving about the mineral spring on 164th Street in Lynnwood where fresh water flows at a rate of 10 gallons per minute.
Betty Bowie, of Green Lake, has been coming here for more than 15 years. “If you make coffee with this water, there’s no comparison,” she told me after loading the trunk of her Subaru with an array of containers totaling more than 22 gallons.
Peter Monsaas, of Lake Stevens, said everyone in his family of four drinks this water. He discovered the well from friends who told him it’s good for brewing beer.
But is the untreated water really safe to drink?
The Alderwood Water & Wastewater District conducts periodic sanitary tests and posts results online. And according to their website, the 164th Street Artesian Well, originally drilled in 1956, has never failed a water-quality test.
That may explain why regulars feel so protective of this precious source. After I identified myself, Bowie seemed worried: “Are you going to advertise this in the newspaper?”
I spent about three hours sketching at the well, and just like the water, the flow of cars never stopped. Bowie said sometimes she has to wait 20 or 30 minutes for her turn, but she doesn’t mind. She said people are polite and often help her carry the full containers back to the car. “It’s a very positive kind of experience.”
Oh, and I did try the water. It tasted good!
May 29, 2009 at 4:46 PM
May 27, 9:46 a.m. [View larger]
[Continued from Thursday's post]
Jeanne Rogers and her husband, Gary, sat across from each other inside Interurban car 55. I situated myself on the seats across from them and sketched away while listening to a plethora of rail facts and stories. Interurban car 55 is not really a trolley, it’s an electric railroad. That’s one of the first things Jeanne clarified for me.
She and her husband are both second-generation railroaders. “That’s why I married him,” Jeanne says, “Because we could talk the same language.”
Jeanne’s father, Walter Shannon, was one of the last motormen to drive one of these cars. From the time he was 16 until the rail line was dismantled in 1939, the Interurban played a big role in Shannon’s life — and not just for work. The woman who became his wife and Jeanne’s mother was the daughter of the conductor he worked with.
After 1939 Shannon continued working for the company who operated the Interurban, North Coast Lines, but they had turned their attention to buses. Walt drove a bus until 1955, when “they nailed him down for being short 10 cents on the change box and he decided to quit,” Jeanne said. At age 45 he started a second career with the Snohomish County Sheriff’s office. “There were two jobs in his life,” Jeanne says. “The rails and the Sheriff’s office. He never talked about the buses.”
In 1992 the city of Lynnwood bought car 55 and raised funds to restore it, transforming it from the burger joint it had become into a treasured jewel that now sits under a protective shelter at Heritage Park. It’s usually behind a gate but you can go inside as I did if you take one of the tours conducted by the Rogers. (For more information visit the City of Lynnwood Heritage Park page.)
May 28, 2009 at 1:46 PM
May 27, 10:50 a.m. [View larger] [Map]
There’s something ironic about light rail service coming to Seattle this year. There was already light rail in the region a hundred years ago. It ran from Tacoma to Everett. I’m sure you’ve heard of the Interurban:
• Service between Tacoma and Seattle started in 1902. The Seattle-Everett line opened in 1910.
• The Greyhound bus station at Stewart and 8th used to be Seattle’s stop for the Interurban. It was built in 1928.
• The ride between Everett and Seattle had 26 stops and took 1 hour and 10 minutes.
• The single-ended electric cars had capacity for 45 passengers, including a gentlemen or smokers compartment.
• A one-way trip between Everett and Seattle cost 75 cents.
So, what happened to this awesome rail network? “When they improved Highway 99 in October of 1938 you really had easy access to Seattle. You could easily beat the time it took these guys,” said Jeanne Rogers, 62, a local authority on the subject and daughter of one of the last Interurban car operators. Cars and freeways beat the rails as a way of transportation and the Interurban was dismantled in 1939.
Jeanne and her husband, Gary, 68, a retired railroader like herself, are part of a committee that has helped restore car 55, one of six that covered the Everett-Seattle line. It’s on display at Lynnwood’s Heritage Park.
Come back tomorrow to read more about the Interurban and about Jeanne’s dad, Walter Shannon, who saw the job he loved go away when he was only 29.
City of Lynnwood Heritage Park page, HistoryLink.org, VintageSeattle.org.
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