M. D. Woodin acquires future site of Hillman City business district for settlement on July 9, 1863.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 3/15/2001
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 3109

On July 9, 1863, M. D. Woodin homesteads a 160-acre area that includes the future Hillman City neighborhood of Seattle. In 1868, he receives his patent and gains ownership of the land.

The land had to be surveyed by the office of the Surveyor General of the United States before it could be homesteaded. A crew headed by Edwin Richardson surveyed the area. On September 4, 1861, the surveyors proceeded north along a route that would become 51st Avenue S. At Mead Street they crossed a trail that went from Duwamish Lake (Lake Washington) to Seattle.

At Dawson Street they entered a "Wet Valley" and crossed a brook, leaving the valley at Pearl Street. The surveyors described the land as "land rolling Soil second rate Timber Fir Cedar Hemlock and Maple. Undergrowth the same with alder, gooseberry and Fern."


"The Washington Tract Books," Vols. 126 and 127, Record Group 49, Pacific Northwest Region National Archives, Seattle, Washington; U. S. Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, "Cadastral survey field notes and plats for Oregon and Washington," Township 24 North, Range 4 East," University of Washington Microfiche M-3066, Newspapers and Microform, University of Washington Libraries, Seattle, Washington.

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