Cedar River Walk and Some History

Even though we’re in the middle of a Seattle Freeze I’ve been missing my walks so yesterday we set out for the Cedar River Trail.

We were greeted by other walkers including these ducks who were led by their fearless leader apparently looking for a handout. I would have obliged if I’d had some bread on me, but I did not.Β  (Probably for the best as we’re advised not to feed the waterfowl.)

We walked the northern part of the trail passing the Boeing plant and these almost completed 737’s.

We also enjoyed watching planes land at the Renton Airport

and distant views of the Seattle and Bellevue skylines with Mercer Island in between.

And now for a bit of history.

It’s here that the Cedar River flows into Lake Washington, but it didn’t always.Β  Over a hundred years ago Lake Washington emptied from its south end into the Black River. The Cedar River flowed into the Black, merged with the Green and emptied into Elliott Bay as the Duwamish River.

But In 1911 the citizens of Renton diverted the Cedar into Lake Washington to help mitigate flooding in the area.

Then in 1916 the Lake Washington Ship Canal Montlake Cut was completed which connected Lake Washington to Lake Union in the north and this lowered the level of Lake Washington by 8 feet drying up the Black River.

So the Cedar was left flowing into Lake Washington and ultimately out of the lake in the north via the new Ship Canal and Ballard Locks into Puget Sound.

A major engineering feat but not without ramifications as I learned when visiting Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry recently.

History is complicated isn’t it?Β  That’s enough for now.

~ Susanne

8 Comments on “Cedar River Walk and Some History

  1. Seems like nobody cared about the Native Americans at the time. No change there then. 😦
    Lovely shots of a crisp winter’s day, Susanne. πŸ™‚
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Thanks Pete. Unfortunately it’s true. I didn’t mean to end my post on a downer but I always think of that history when I walk the trail. Thanks as always for your comment.

  2. Messing with nature has severe ramifications that we just don’t consider, as a whole. Sad.

  3. Thanks for including the history with your photos. I knew about the river drying up from the canal, but didn’t know about the Cedar being diverted. They sure did a lot of major changing of waterways and terrain around here. I’m still amazed by the fact they removed entire hills in Seattle.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the history. I learned about it when I went to watch the salmon spawn up the Cedar R. last fall. And MOHAI has a great exhibit on all the engineering done in the Seattle area over the last 100 years or so, including all those razed hills. Thanks so much for your comment. 😊

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