When early settlers landed on Alki Point in 1854, what today is Seattle was only a heavily forested tract across the bay. Cluttered by hills and hemmed in by tideflats, the land didn't suit the dwellers' purposes.
So, as the settlement grew and flourished, it was also reshaped over the next century to meet the needs of the population. Eventually, Woodinville and other Eastside communities also absorbed some of that population, but not for another 30-40 years.
The impact of those alterations is the topic when David B. Williams appeared on Saturday, October 20th at one of the free programs presented monthly by the Woodinville Heritage Society.
In altering the landscape, the early citizens regraded Denny Hill, re-engineered the tideflats, and replumbed the lakes to provide better locations for business and easier ways to move through the challenging topography of early Seattle.
Williams has researched the topic extensively. Williams is a repeat presenter, having entertained the Woodinville audience last year with his story of the Lake Washington Ship Canal dig, including its impact on Woodinville and the Sammamish valley.
Williams is a naturalist, author and educator whose award-winning book, Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle's Topography, explores the unprecedented engineering that shaped Seattle during the early part of the 20th century. He is also a curatorial associate at the Burke Museum on the University of Washington campus.