This collection includes a variety of materials related to the history of the Lake Washington Ship Canal such as maps, photographs, postcards, correspondence, tourism ephemera, and more. Discussion of the canal dates back to 1854 when Seattle pioneer Thomas Mercer proposed the idea of Lake Union serving as a connection point between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington. Due to lack of funding, competing interests and disagreement over the best route for the canal (some preferred a southern route through Beacon Hill rather than a northern route through Lake Union), it took 63 years from the time of Mercer's first suggestion to the official opening in 1917. For a complete history of the canal, take a look at "Dig the Ditch!": The History of the Lake Washington Ship Canal.
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