The town, originally born of the railway, remains strongly on the maps of Washington as a small college town, and the railway, which brought the teachers college to the modern, maintains its place in the town. The historical society of Bellingham and the Bellingham Railway Museum mark the importance of the railway in not only settling the town, but bringing the academics that laid out the teachers college, the actors who made it a university, and the beautiful bucolic landscape that maintains it.
SEATTLE, and ITS EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS.
Seattle Pacific, which started out as the Seattle Seminary before eventually becoming a Christian-affiliated private university, still requires a Christian Faith Exploration Requirement. This requirement involves a mandatory involvement in "co-curricular activities exploring the meaning of the Christian faith and its implications for life, academic disciplines, and society... participation in campus-based faith exploration activities such as chapel, GROUP and other worship services, and/or non-worship-based programs such as faculty- and staff-led discussion groups (cadres) and campus forums on contemporary issues." The University focuses all of its activities, including the new IMAGE: A Journal of Arts and Religion, on the approach as it pertains to the Christian faith. Its location embodies its history as a Christian school.
Since its inception over a hundred years ago, the University has been housed on Queen Anne Hill, ironic for its nominal dedication to the queen who stood staunchly opposed to the Protestant Church but forever devoted to the work of Christianity in England, is the highest hill in Seattle. Its elevation reaches 456 feet at its highest point, although the highest point in the city is West Seattle. The Hill is situated just north of the Seattle Center, south of Fremont, and across from the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The Hill was an early popular building point for the city's elite, with its Christian church and engaging vistas.
Queen Anne, a neighborhood toponym, refers not only to the residential and business district at its apex, but also to the hill itself. In name too, differentiates itself from the Lower Queen Anne, the city's center. They are connected at Counterbalance, where cable cars ran up and down the hill, as trains ran in and out of Bellingham.
Queen Anne was settled with the arrival for the Denny Part at West Seattle in November of 1851. Denny, who arrived forty years before SPU took hold as a seminary, is nationally credited with founding Seattle upon arrival at Alki Point. The party included Arthur Denny, his father, stepmother, and three brothers; his wife, her sister, and her husband also came. They escaped from a fearless battle with the natives at American Falls on Snake River, and met John Low, who with them founded the town on the Puget Sound.
With a stake of 320 acres, Denny settled Lower Queen Anne to Elliot Bay, bound by Mercer Street and Denny Way. The Northern Pacific Railway, traveling down from Bellingham, reached Seattle in 1883, and after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889, the cable car opened the top of the hill in 1902 to a larger demographic than the previously secluded Seminary had anticipated. The Great Seattle Fire of 1889 was a key shaping agent in the city, and because the university was founded after the fire, it was unchanged by this critical moment, but instead was brought out of it.
The late 19th Century brought with it a great many fires that destroyed cities from coast to coast; on June 6, 1889, Seattle was struck by this gruesome fear. Like the stories of all the Fires, from that of Chicago to that of Atlanta, the Seattle Fire is clouded by legend; an early newspaper report blamed a spilled glue pot of James McGough, although the Seattle Post-Intelligencer corrected the story quickly. The fire burned 19 city blocks, which were built of almost entirely wood; nonetheless, 10 brick buildings also burned down to the ground. The fire ripped through the business district, the railroad terminals, and the wharves, before the sound kept it literally at bay. The massive destruction of property forbade a much more gruesome cruelty than actually befell the city; the cleanup process did not include any bodies.
SEATTLE PACIFIC UNIVERSITY: THE FREE METHODIST MOVEMENT and WASHINGTON STATE
After the fire, Seattle was galvanized into a new phase of self-creation. The fire had cleansed the town of many dishabille buildings, and had also expunged a vast quantity of the rat population. The Seattle elite and government joined forces to form a new Zoning Commission and Zoning Code; and the city grew quickly under the new, encouraging guidelines. Construction jobs increased the population, and cooperatively, the role of the choice was increased, as many saw an opportunity to create a morally clean city, as could only be accomplished, they deemed, by the hands of God.
Only thirty years old, the Free Methodist Movement, which came from New York city's Burned-Over district, came to Seattle in the midst of the tumultuous rebuilding process. Free Methodists, whose core belief was that it was unholy to charge for pew seats, not only welcomed the construction workers picking up the pieces after the Seattle fire, but also were widely accepted by them. They spread West of New York City to North Chili, laying out colleges and seminaries as they went. As the Presbyterians who settled the lands of Appalachia were key to the establishment of universities, colleges, and banks there, the Methodists did the same as they trekked their way westward from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
Roberts Wesleyan College and Ohio Wesleyan were two markers of their westerly movement; abolitionists, they were less welcomed in the south, but still made their roots known, however, they continued as far west as the rails would take them. Eventually, they reached the banks of the Pacific in Seattle; their evangelical Protestantism was new to the area, and with theology that mirrored other churches of Holiness, they traditionally abstained from alcohol and tobacco. Accordingly, creating a secluded community on top of Queen Anne Hill was only natural.
Seattle Pacific University watched from its towering height as Seattle morphed into the thriving, world-class city it is today; despite its traditional roots, it faced a dual tug to stay in the area: while the city grew with profusion of liberal ideas contradictory to their spiritual teaching, not only good their missions extend further to the people of Seattle with the growth of the city, but they would also be able to provide their students access to this gateway to Canada and the Pacific rim.
Following World War II, the College grew from about 400 students to 1,400. In 1949, a School of Recreational Leadership was launched, paving the way for increased physical education programs and ultimately intercollegiate sports. During this time, the building of Royal Brougham Pavilion was begun, built to serve not only College interests but also used as a means of outreach to city youth as well. From its founding to 1944, the school had built only four permanent buildings; between 1944-59, five more were constructed for academic purposes. In 1955, SPC acquired 155 acres on Whidbey Island called Camp Casey. It provided new opportunities for field study and outdoor education."
The region continued to develop with unflagging supports to the University as an institution of higher education; the advent of the Microsoft, Boeing, and Nintendo age provided an intellectual elite that supported the university-air of Washington, from which UW also greatly benefited.
THE UNIVERSITY of WASHINGTON: THE STATE'S UNIVERSITY
While SPU grew on Queen Anne's at the auspice of the Free Methodists, the Legislative Assembly of the Washington Territory passed "An Act to Relocate the Territorial University" in Seattle. It was to provide a "good and sufficient deed to ten acres of land, eligibly suited in the vicinity of Seattle, be first executed in the Territory of Washington for University Purposes." It was this land that had previously been given by the Denny Part for the establishment of the University in downtown Seattle in 1860, the current site of the Fairmont Olympic Hotel on University Street.
The Territorial University opened in 1861, before the great fire; it was a small school, frequently closed for lack of funding, and its emphasis was on liberal arts and sciences. When the territory achieved statehood in 1889, its funds firmly established the University, which relocated in 1895 on the Seattle Campus. Because of its involvement in the state, it was supremely subject to the officiation of the government in providing for it not only the funds required to run, but also the land where it could do so. The land was always that of the government, and remains public to this day.
As such, its urban campus was the site for the 1909 World's Fair, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition; it was focused national attention not only the northwest but also the city of Seattle. The University, as is the problem with all urban educational institutions, is the poster-child for the state;…