Past Experience: Making the Cut

Seattle | 1916
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

Part of the Lake Washington Ship Canal connecting Puget Sound to Lake Union and Lake Washington, the Montlake Cut became a reality on August 26, 1916, when engineers opened a coffer dam and released water from Lake Union into the cut, above. A similar dam on the Lake Washington side was opened a few days later to link the lakes. Three weeks earlier, on August 3, the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, then called Government Locks, opened to boat traffic. Though not formally dedicated until July 4, 1917, the locks and the ship canal immediately changed Seattle’s economic landscape. During the first month, 1,558 vessels used the locks. Most of the traffic involved wood products, but tugs, fishing boats and sand-and-gravel barges were well represented, too. Today, the Ballard Locks remain the busiest in the United States but leisure craft far outnumber commercial vessels and floatplanes, such as the Gorst flying boat heading back to its manufacturer on Lake Union in 1935, below. One of Seattle’s top tourist attractions, the locks draw more than a million people annually.

Related Content

A Bellevue-based fund is now scouring the market for opportunities in food processing and packaging.

Fresh off its IPO last year, Redfin’s market cap is clearly off the charts. Less clear is whether it’s going to truly disrupt the industry.

Seattle agriculture startup Phytelligence sharply cuts the time it takes to grow trees, but what's happening with the next big apple is complicated.

The list of 238 bids for HQ2 has been cut down to 20.