Book Release — Waterway: The Story of Seattle’s Locks and Ship Canal

Why does a city surrounded by water need another waterway? Find out what drove Seattle’s civic leaders to pursue the dream of a Lake Washington Ship Canal for more than 60 years and what role that canal has played in the region’s development over the past century. Historians Jennifer Ott and David Williams, author of Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography, explore how industry, transportation, and the very character of the city and surrounding region developed in response to the economic and environmental changes brought about by Seattle’s canal and locks.

Order your copy now here.

Maritime Folknet Songwriting Contest

Maritime Folknet has announced a songwriting contest to commemorate the centennial of the Lake Washington Ship Canal; January 9, 2017 is the deadline for submissions. The top fifteen songs will be professionally recorded by Jack Straw Cultural Center, with funding from King County 4Culture. All muscial genres are encouraged.  Find all the details on their website:





Drawing the Line: A Temporary Tracing of Lake Washington’s Historical Shoreline

A hundred years ago this summer, the Montlake Cut was completed, and Lake Washington began to flow out into Lake Union (and then to Puget Sound, via the Ballard Locks). By October of 1916, Lake Washington was nine feet lower, and a whole lot of places that had been underwater no longer were. On August 28th (Bicycle Sunday), local historian and artist Mikala Woodward will be temporarily reviving this vanished landscape by walking the former shoreline with a field chalker. The journey will begin at the Mount Baker Rowing & Sailing Center at 10 am and wind up at Seward Park in the early afternoon. The chalk line is non-toxic and will last 3-5 days. A handout explaining the project and the history behind it will be available at info stations along the route. Many thanks to Amir Sheikh and the Waterlines Project for historical mapping, and to 4Culture for a generous Heritage Project grant.

Digging the Lake: The Lake Union Underwater Archaeology Project Classroom Heritage Trunk

Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, in partnership with The Center for Wooden Boats and MOHAI, has created a heritage trunk for classroom use. “Digging the Lake” introduces students to the varied themes that make up the history and geography of an urban lake, using the Lake Union Underwater Archaeology Project as a focus. Photos, videos, maps, suggested activities, and resource materials allow elementary and middle school students to learn about methods of historical research, including the use of primary and secondary sources and the role of underwater archaeology. The trunk also includes diving equipment that children may try on.

The trunk is available to rent through the Museum of History and Industry’s Education Department. To arrange to rent the trunk, go to MOHAI’s Portable Museum Request Form on their website.

Eastside Heritage Center: Change Over Time

Eastside Heritage Center‘s curriculum focuses on specific people who lived in various places around Lake Washington, whose lives were affected by the lowering of the Lake in 1916. Each unit includes a brief biography, primary source documents, historic photographs, a map showing the shoreline before and after the lake was lowered, and suggested questions and activities, aimed at 7th grade students. Developed in partnership with the Bellevue School District. For more information or to obtain curriculum materials, contact Eastside Heritage Center at


520 History Curriculum

History, Geography, and Civics lesson plans exploring how communities in the SR 520 corridor region have been shaped by their environment and how those communities have utilized and altered that landscape to fit their needs. Lesson plans are aligned with state standards, and include primary and secondary sources, guiding questions for discussions and classroom activities, and ideas for classroom based assessment (CBA) activities. The lessons are targeted at grades 3/4 and 7/8, but can be easily adapted for other grades.

Developed by the Washington State Department of Transportation in partnership with HistoryLink.

Cartographic Imagination

Students of the University of Washington’s Department of Landscape Architecture, Advanced Graduate Design Studio put together an exhibit of installations inspired by the Ship Canal. See the results here: