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Mystery Building Identified: It’s Lakewood School

The one room Lakewood Grade School located at 48th Ave S and Snoqualmie Street taught only 1st and 2nd graders from 1916 to 1927.

RVHS Photo Catalog # 01.057.001, Seattle Public Schools Archives

The existence of a Lakewood School came to light by a chance remark in a conversation I was having with Charles “Bud” Creevey. That conversation was the last I had with him as he passed away about a year later in February of 2000. Bud was a retired Seattle Firefighter and had worked as part time delivery truck driver for my dad, Art Anderson, who had the Grayson & Brown Hardware and Furniture Co. in Columbia City. He worked there in the early forties during the war. I was in high school during those years and also worked at the store after school and on Saturdays. One of my jobs at the store was to help Bud with the two man deliveries. I got to know him very well and whenever we ran into each other over the years we enjoyed reminiscing about our mutual delivery experiences. 

During that last conversation I had with Bud, when he mentioned the existence of the Lakewood School, we talked about two specific delivery experiences that we would have liked to forget. We were delivering a bedroom set that had a dresser with a large plate glass mirror. Rather than stand it on edge and tie it like we should have, as we only had a short distance to go, we laid it flat on the bed of the truck. That was a big mistake as there was a chuckhole in the road and the mirror went flying and shattered. We learned a good lesson and were in the dog house with my dad.

 On another occasion we were delivering a sofa sleeper out in the north end on Aurora Ave. The house was on the other side of the street from us and rather than go around the block, we parked and proceeded to carry it across the arterial street when there was a break in the traffic. We learned something else. Always tie down the spring unit on a sofa-sleeper before moving it. In the middle of Aurora Avenue it sprang open and the cushions and mattress went flying.

Bud had told me he had attended the Lakewood school about 1921 as a second grader. I didn’t even know that it existed until Bud asked me if I knew about the school.  He said it was close to 48th Ave. and Snoqualmie St and was a one room school. He also said it was for just the early grades and other students that attended with him were Bill McGinnis. Burke Howard and Bob Kimball. 

Burke, until recently lived just around the corner from my home which is about two blocks from Snoqualmie Street where the Lakewood school was located. Burke’s wife Mary had worked in the office at Grayson & Brown.

Bob Kimball was a nephew of “Beans” Kimball, as he was called, and he owned and operated a small company that produced “Kimball’s Baked Beans” in the early days. They produced the baked beans in a part of their home, as I remember it, and it was located on the west side of Renton Avenue just south of where it joined Empire Way, now Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The cross street just to the north was Waldon. I don’t remember if their baked Beans were just distributed locally or shipped to other areas but they were very popular here in the Valley and they were very tasty. I made frequent deliveries to their home and business.

Getting back to the Lakewood School, I tried to find more information about the school without success. I was talking on the phone to Elenor Toews, director of the Seattle School Archives, and I mentioned the possible existence of a Lakewood school to her and she had no knowledge or records of it. After a few weeks went by she called me back and said she had a photo of a one room school and no information as to the name or the location. She suspected it was an annex for a grade school and could it be the Lakewood School that I had asked her about? Could it have been an annex for the nearby Hawthorne grade School? She sent me a copy of the photo and she also mentioned that she was putting the finishing touches on a revised book on the history of the Seattle Schools and she would like to find the name and location of that photo to include in the book.  

I sent a copy of the photo to Louise Creevey as she had indicated she would show it to Burke and Bob Kimball for possible identification. Her husband , Bud, had passed away. Sure enough, both Burke and Bob said that was the one room school they had attended, and gave the exact location, about two blocks north of my home. As you go west on Snoqualmie street, it crosses 48th Avenue and continues just half a block where it dead ends at a steep bank that drops down to 47th. The school was on the south side at the end of Snoqualmie Street with the entrance facing east.

Not only that but they remembered the name of the school’s teacher, Miss Bow. Their classmate McGinnis added some more information. His brother, Daniel McGinnis, was the janitor for the school and they lived next to the school. He would come over every day and do the janitor work. The school was for 1st and 2nd grades only and existed from 1916 to 1927 and it was an annex to Hawthorne. Needless to say, Eleanor was delighted to be able to put a caption on the photo and include it, along with the information, in her new book which should be available soon.

The Lakewood School was about on the dividing line between Hawthorne and Whitworth grade schools. Burke went on to Whitworth, Bob to Hawthorne and then both to Franklin High. Bill McGinnis was in the Franklin Class of 1929.

Days Gone By - South District Journal 3/13/2003

By Buzz Anderson


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