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Get to Know Your Community: East Seattle

Get to Know Your Community is part of an occasional series offering insights into unique neighborhoods on Mercer Island and surrounding Lake Washington and the Puget Sound.

This post is the third in a series offering insights into the unique characteristics of specific neighborhoods on Mercer Island and surrounding Lake Washington, including Dawn Vista, Tarywood, Parkwood, Sammamish, Issaquah, Newcastle, and Judkins Park.

Located at the northwest corner of Mercer Island, East Seattle is one of the oldest and most historic communities on the Island. It has a fascinating history as the area where Mercer Island's development first began. The Mercer Island Historical Society referred to East Seattle as the “birthplace of Mercer Island as a community.”

In the late 1800's, the development of the Island, and East Seattle, began when C.C. Calkins started buying land on the Island to create a primarily residential community, free from industry. Calkins built a hotel near the ferry dock to attract residents of Seattle to Mercer Island. Visitors flocked to the hotel, and they grew to love the small community that included rental cottages, several homes, ferry dock, store, school, church, post office, and dance hall -- all within the area of East Seattle. President Benjamin Harrison stayed at the Calkins Hotel in 1891. The popularity of the hotel ended only when it burned down in 1908.

After the first bridge was built, the business district was moved to its present location on the island. Until 1960, there were two municipalities on the Island: one known as East Seattle, and the other called Mercer Island. In the early 1960s, the two merged and became The City of Mercer Island. The first East Seattle School property eventually became the location for the original Boys and Girls Club and Secret Park.

The East Seattle community covers an area of .62 square miles, with a population of 1,368. Boundaries are roughly west of 71st Ave SE, to Lake Washington; south to SE 32nd and 67th Ave SE to the lake; and north SE 20th St and Roanoke Way.

East Seattle boasts some of the oldest homes on Mercer Island, as well as, some of the newest and most expensive. There are many excellent examples of restored classic homes, some dating back to the original development of the Island, and even a few considered "Gold Coast" level. Currently, a waterfront property is for sale at $6,895,000.

East Seattle also has many points of interest, including Slater Park, Secret Park, Calkins Landing, Garfield Landing, and Proctor Landing. The landings provide public water access points to Lake Washington. East Seattle is also one the best locations to enjoy Seafair weekend. It is home to several viewpoints facing the lake events.

East Seattle is an ideal area for a walking tour of historic and architecturally interesting homes. Many people are fascinated by the blending of historic and 21st century homes. I invite you to share your knowledge of East Seattle. If you have other questions about East Seattle, please contact me at 206-230-0833.

Previous Profiles:

Get to Know Your Community: First Hill

Get to Know Your Community: Island Point

By Ken Urman

Ken Urman is a full-time Realtor with more than 20 years experience, and is ranked among the top performers in his profession. He lives in Mercer Island,  WA. and serves Mercer Island and the communities around Lake Washington. Buyers and Sellers benefit from the power of his experience, professionalism, and perseverance in achieving their real estate goals. Learn why Ken is a better choice for your real estate needs at www.kenurman.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Kendall Watson January 17, 2013 at 08:20 PM
NIce one, Ken! I think East Seattle is the neighborhood that saw the most expensive residential home sold in the state in 2012, a distinction Mercer Island's had for 3 out of the last four years.
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA January 18, 2013 at 03:35 AM
. Ken- Here's what followed at the site & still there (long closed). Our last child went there from our house up above on First Hill. http://mail.aol.com/37288-111/aol-6/en-us/mail/get-tmpimg.aspx?id=AOLP.63521&h=m06
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA January 22, 2013 at 11:40 PM
Ken- Keep these coming! Mercer Island's history is really quite interesting. JerryG-

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