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Lakeridge Park and Taylor Creek (Seattle)

HistoryLink.org Essay 3120 : Printer-Friendly Format

Lakeridge Park occupies more than 35 acres of Taylor Creek and Deadhorse Canyon in southeast Seattle. The park is located south of the intersection of 68th Avenue S and Rainier Avenue S just inside Seattle's city limits. Taylor Creek is the fourth largest creek in Seattle.  The creek was named for Taylor Mill, a nineteenth century sawmill on the shore of Lake Washington.  The canyon through which the creek flows to the lake got its name after a horse that frequented the area died in the ravine.  Developer E. S. Goodwin platted the Lakeridge neighborhood in the 1920s and the City of Seattle established Lakeridge Park in Deadhorse Canyon in the 1940s.  In recent years, the park, canyon, and creek have been the site of an urban creek restoration program aimed at attracting salmon back to the creek to spawn.

Taylor Creek is named after the Taylor Mill, which sawed logs on the southeast shore of Lake Washington in the 1800s. In 1909, following the death of a horse that had frequented the area and become a favorite of local children, homesteader and logger Charles J. Walker named the creek's ravine Deadhorse Canyon.

In 1928, developer E. S. Goodwin filed a plat in the area and called it Lakeridge. The Seattle Planning Commission adopted that name for the neighborhood in 1947. The steep canyon did not lend itself to the construction of houses, so that same year, 30.5 acres was deeded to the city as a park. In the 1950s, an additional five acres was condemned by the city as a playground.

Beginning in 2000, under the leadership of Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, Cascadia Quest, and Friends of Deadhorse Canyon, volunteers planted native vegetation in the canyon.  SPU replaced two culverts.  The work was the start of ongoing efforts to return salmon runs to the creek.

Sources:
"Taylor Creek Highlights Urban Creeks Legacy," News Release, Seattle Public Utilities, March 31, 2000, (www.ci.seattle.wa.us/util/NRELEASE/nr-00-22.htm); William Dietrich, "As Once-forgotten Creeks Make a Comeback, Seattle Considers Its Values," The Seattle Times, April 16, 2000, (www.seattletimes.nwsource.com); Don Sherwood, "Lakeridge Park & P.G.," Interpretive Essays on the History of Seattle Parks, Handwritten bound manuscript dated 1977, Seattle Room, Seattle Public Library, Seattle, Washington.
Note: This essay was revised on October 31, 2011.


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Special Suite: Southeast Seattle |

Related Topics: Seattle Neighborhoods | Environment | Washington Rivers |

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This essay narrative is available in multiple languages
This essay made possible by:
The SCHOONER Project:
The Hon. Jan Drago
Seattle City Council
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods


Taylor Creek and Dead Horse Canyon in Lakeridge Park, 2000
Courtesy Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation


 
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