Breaking News
More () »

West Seattle's Log House Museum explores the city's history and looks toward its future

The museum itself is a historic landmark. #k5evening

SEATTLE — The Log House Museum tells the story of Seattle's birthplace.

"It's a City of Seattle historic landmark," said Elizabeth Rudrud, director of programs and community outreach for the Southwest Seattle Historical Society.

The historical society operates the museum in a building that once served as a wealthy family's carriage house, just a few hundred yards from the location where white settlers first landed on the shores of Puget Sound.

"This was sort of a resort area for people from Seattle coming out here to escape the city," Rudrud explained.

Today, the property is a showcase for special exhibits and home to one-of-a-kind artifacts, including pieces of the old West Seattle Bridge. It's also home to a large ornamental sculpture depicting a swimming lady, a relic from early in the last century when indoor saltwater swimming flourished along the shores of the Duwamish Peninsula.

"We believe that this one came from the Alki Beach natatorium," Rudrud said.

This is also the home of Alki's original Lady Liberty.

"Over time, she was damaged," Rudrud explained, "She was used to recast a replacement, and we have the original in our collection." 

Totem poles are not a local indigenous tradition, so the half-century-old reproduction standing just outside the museum is a real conversation starter.

"We've been continuing to talk with Duwamish folks about how we can best present Coast Salish art when we talk about this totem pole," Rudrud said.

Just one of many discussions sparked by a complicated history that belongs to all of us who call this place home.

"We need to learn about our past so we can really understand one another."

The current Log House Museum exhibition details the history of West Seattle's Longfellow Creek, known as "the backbone of the Duwamish Peninsula." It features photos by Tom Reece. It's co-sponsored by the Duwamish Alive Coalition and Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association

The Log House Museum is located at 3003 61 Ave. SW, Seattle, WA  98116. It's open from noon to 4:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Admission is a suggested $5.00 donation.

KING 5's Evening celebrates the Northwest. Contact us: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Email.

RELATED: One of Seattle's most popular pools was once a mudhole with a great view

RELATED: The very unlucky man who singlehandedly destroyed the West Seattle Bridge in 1978

Before You Leave, Check This Out