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In general, the King County Archives holds county records relating to unincorporated county areas. Because Seattle's municipal boundaries have changed over time, and because some county government services lie within Seattle's boundaries, the King County Archives does hold records that relate to some Seattle neighborhoods.

Here is a partial list of some of these records. Please click on the links or contact the Archives for more information:

Early roads prior to incorporations and neighborhood platting:

  • King County Commissioners' Road Book maps (dating from approximately 1879)

Later roads through central Seattle:

  • State highway plans showing the Pacific Highway (later Highway 99)
  • State highway plats showing right-of-way of the Seattle Freeway (later Interstate 5) and location of structures to be displaced by construction

Seattle neighborhoods and public health concerns: historical photographs

  • 1920s automobile accidents which incidentally depict the neighborhoods in which they occurred.
  • Substandard housing in Seattle neighborhoods (citywide; some access by personal name and street address).
  • In-city solid waste refuse sites
  • Health Department participation in downtown parades and other civic events.
  • Mobile tuberculosis x-ray van in various Seattle and King County neighborhoods.

Ballard

  • Maps and plans of area and structures along Salmon Bay prior to construction of the Lake Washington Ship Canal (1916).

Central Seattle

  • King County plat book, Volume 1, 1853-1877, contains the original plat map of the "Town of Seattle," plus platted additions to Seattle, and the first plat map of the "Town of Renton." This volume appears to be a transcribed copy of earlier records.
  • Plans and other graphical materials relating to the King County Courthouse (formerly the County-City Building)
  • Historical photographs of the Pike Place Market
  • Hooverville photographs (1930s)
  • Records relating to the establishment of Harborview Hospital (1931)
  • Photographs relating to transit and construction of the downtown transit tunnel
  • Records, including photographs and plans, of the construction, existence and demolition of the Kingdome multipurpose stadium (1972-2000).

Duwamish River area

  • Donation Land Claims maps
  • Maps of riverside areas and of the commercial waterway that straightened the Duwamish River
  • Commercial waterway establishment and tax assessment records
  • Historical photographs of houseboats near the bridge to West Seattle

Fremont

  • Historical photographs of houseboats near the Fremont Bridge

Georgetown / Boeing Field area

North and northeast Seattle between 85th and 145th Streets

  • Historical photographs taken along several major avenues, including Greenwood Avenue N., 15th Avenues NW and NE, Roosevelt Way NE (10th Ave NE); Lake City Way (Bothell Highway, Victory Way); and Aurora Avenue N.
  • Early twentieth century road establishment maps showing streets and roads in the area
  • Historical photographs of several north Seattle neighborhoods, including Northgate, Licton Springs, and Matthews Beach.
  • Petitions, correspondence, resolutions, property records and contracts concerning King County's central role in securing property for the Sand Point Naval Air Station.

Waterfront areas along Puget Sound, Lakes Union and Washington, the Ship Canal, and central Seattle along Elliott Bay.

  • Tide and shore land plat survey maps, 1894-1958
  • Early twentieth century plans and photographs of county ferry facilities on Lakes Union and Washington

West Point area

  • Historical map and photographs (1964) of Fort Lawton area
  • Reports, studies and photographs relating to the West Point Wastewater Treatment facility and surrounding areas.

For additional information, including photographs, about all Seattle neighborhoods, contact the Seattle Municipal Archives (external link).

A bibliography of published materials about Seattle neighborhoods is also available online (external link).

TTY Relay 711

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 9 am-4 pm

Please note the Archives is closed Wednesdays.