The continued existence of the house at 621 9th Avenue is surprising, considering its First Hill location. Tall buildings loom near the capacious dwelling, which is set back from 9th Avenue on the steep corner of Cherry Street. The house dates from about 1900, and surely holds many stories. I’ve never been inside, but I imagine that the view of Elliott Bay from the third floor is breathtaking.
Cooking from vintage cookbooks brings the past right into the kitchen, and I do so often. Seattle has produced many cookbooks over the past century or so, beginning with the wonderful 1896 Clever Cooking. Until the 1920s, most recipe books could be a bit vague on details — contemporary cooks understood how much dry wood it took to produce a medium-hot oven, or how much sugar ½ a teacup would be. Once the influence of work flow engineer Lillian Gilbreth and cookbook author Fannie Farmer (who advocated standardized recipe measurements) spread, home cooks had an easier time following cookbook recipes.
In May 1907, newlyweds Ella Allen Scott and Quincy Scott embarked upon what was even then considered an eccentric honeymoon: they took the train from New York (where they’d met as art school students) to Minneapolis/St. Paul, purchased a pair of horses, and began the 2000 mile ride to Seattle. Traveling across mostly open country, Ella and Quincy paralleled the Northern Pacific Railway tracks. They slept under the sky, occasionally in barns, and once or twice — memorably — in the comfortably bedrooms of kind obliging farm families. Both were 25 years old.