Fremont History Articles

Fremont and Seattle’s Ship Canal

Seattle’s earliest white settlers saw immediately that it would be possible to connect its freshwater lakes to the saltwater Puget Sound by means of a canal.  At a Fourth of July picnic in 1854, Thomas Mercer proposed the name of Lake Union because that body of water was in the middle between Lake Washington to the east and Puget Sound to the west.

Seattle settlers of the 1850s Thomas Mercer and David Denny took land claims at the south end of Lake Union near today’s Seattle Center.  

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J.P. Dean Building

3500-3506 Fremont Ave N.

The J.P. Dean Building was named for Mr. Joseph P. Dean, the original building owner. Mr. Dean was a millwright who lived at 1554 NW 50th St. He worked at the Fremont sawmill in the 1890s but later moved to Ballard and worked at the Seattle Cedar Lumber Manufacturing Company. He was promoted from millwright to foreman to master mechanic during his career at Seattle Cedar Lumber. His handsome Queen Anne style 1902 house still stands prominently at the NE corner of 17th NW &

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Do-It-Yourself Public Art

At the very bottom of Troll Avenue, over the ramp entrance to Fremont Lake Union Center, a permanent and very decorative green iron frame stands waiting for your own open air masterpiece in Fremont.

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Fremont History Events

National Preservation Month

Venue: Fremont Public Library
When: May 1, 2018 - May 31, 2018

“From Ross Creek to the Ship Canal, How the Canal Impacted Fremont”: There will be a month long display of photographs, stories and maps presented by the Fremont Historical Society in partnership with the Seattle Public Library in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Lake Washington Ship Canal, the Ballard Locks, and the Fremont Bridge on July 4, 1917.

Please join us for a reception on Saturday, May 13 from 11 am to 1 pm and an opportunity to chat with Historical Society members about the display.

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Fremont History Timeline

Read and learn about the historical stories in chronological order on our Timeline Page.

Fremont Then and Now

Interact with our then and now photos to see the Seattle places as they were years ago at our Then and Now Page.


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Our Mission

The Fremont Historical Society was formed in 2004 by a group of Fremont residents interested in sharing their knowledge and learning more about the neighborhood’s history.



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