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. Two single men, John Ross and William Strickler, searched out the land and in 1853-1854 they took claims at the northwest corner of Lake Union, which today is the Fremont neighborhood. It was not until 1916 that a ship canal was constructed which was large enough for industrial use. Continue reading “Fremont and Seattle’s Ship Canal”