in

What Bellevue looked like in the early 20th Century Through These Stunning Historical Photos

The first European Americans to settle in Bellevue were William Meydenbauer and Aaron Mercer, who claimed homestead tracts several miles apart. Neither remained permanently, and the first permanent settlers arrived in 1879. There was already a community consisting primarily of logging homesteaders by 1882. During the early 20th century, Japanese immigrants worked on the land to gradually clear it to support small-scale farming on leased land plots.

Bellevue had about 400 full-time residents by 1900. With the arrival of phone service in 1907 and mercantile stores in Medina and Bellevue, civilization began to surface. In 1913, car ferry services started aboard the Leschi. The bus left the Leschi dock in Seattle every 15 minutes and stopped at Medina and Meydenbauer Bay.

In 1920, the census showed about 1,500 residents in Bellevue and its surrounding communities. In 1919, the American Pacific Whaling Company moved its headquarters to Bellevue, wintering its boats in Meydenbauer Bay. The first Strawberry Festival was held in 1925 and drew 3,000 people, primarily from across the lake. This festival became an annual event, and Bellevue became a peaceful, pleasant farming town.

Below are some stunning historical photos that show Bellevue from the 1900s to the 1940s.

#1 Intersection of Bellevue Way and NE 8th, 1937.

Intersection of Bellevue Way and NE 8th, 1937.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#2 Aerial of NE 8th Street & Bellevue Way, Bellevue, 1937

Aerial of NE 8th Street & Bellevue Way, Bellevue, 1937

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#3 Congregation outside Sacred Heart Church, Bellevue, 1927

Congregation outside Sacred Heart Church, Bellevue, 1927

Bellevue's first Catholic church was established as a mission associated with Kirkland's Holy Family parish. Its first services were held in the parlor of the Downey family home. In 1913 the congregation moved into a small wooden building on Main Street near 108th Avenue NE. The brick building seen in this image was built in 1926; it later housed the Bellevue public library after the congregation outgrew the space.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#4 Winters House, Bellevue, 1935

Winters House, Bellevue, 1935

The way it was when I was growing up. Doris. Thought you would enjoy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#5 The old Bellevue schoolhouse, 1909.

The old Bellevue schoolhouse, 1909.

It was built in 1892 and located at about today's Main St and 100th; it later became Bellevue's first city hall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#6 View north up today’s Bellevue Way from Main, 1928.

View north up today's Bellevue Way from Main, 1928.

At that time Bellevue Way was called Peach St. The route to Kirkland and communities north was through Medina via the concrete slab road. It came through Medina, around Clyde Hill, past the points, roughly parallel to today's 520, and then connected with today's Lk Wash Blvd at the Northup/Houghton area.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#7 Hunt’s Point Road, 1937.

Hunt's Point Road, 1937.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#8 Viewing north, the road would later become Bellevue Way at about where Bel Square stands today, 1900

Viewing north, the road would later become Bellevue Way at about where Bel Square stands today, 1900

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#9 Baker house flower garden, Bellevue, 1912

Baker house flower garden, Bellevue, 1912

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#10 Baker House, Bellevue, 1912

Baker House, Bellevue, 1912

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#11 Baker House, Bellevue, 1912

Baker House, Bellevue, 1912

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#12 Beaux Arts Village gazebo on bridge, 1910

Beaux Arts Village gazebo on bridge, 1910

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#13 Bellevue ferry dock, Bellevue, 1910

Bellevue ferry dock, Bellevue, 1910

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#14 Bellevue Ferry Landing, Meydenbauer Bay, Washington, May 30, 1914.

Bellevue Ferry Landing, Meydenbauer Bay, Washington, May 30, 1914.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#15 Bellevue Grade School basketball team, Bellevue, 1928

Bellevue Grade School basketball team, Bellevue, 1928

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#16 Bellevue School, 1900

Bellevue School, 1900

Bellevue School, on Main Street in Bellevue, Washington was built in 1892 after the city passed its first school levy. Students entered the school building at one corner, under the ornate bell tower. This photo shows the schoolhouse with a group of students gathered on the steps. Bellevue School was also known as Main Street School.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#17 Climie Hill on beach at Meydenbauer Bay, Bellevue, 1920

Climie Hill on beach at Meydenbauer Bay, Bellevue, 1920

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#18 Daniel and Sarah Jane Whitney on their farm, Bellevue, 1900

Daniel and Sarah Jane Whitney on their farm, Bellevue, 1900

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#19 Employees posing outside McRae & Branigan grocery, Bellevue, 1910

Employees posing outside McRae & Branigan grocery, Bellevue, 1910

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#20 Midlakes Grain and Feed Store, Bellevue, 1914

Midlakes Grain and Feed Store, Bellevue, 1914

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#21 Mina Mary Schafer outside Jane McDowell’s Candies, Bellevue, 1934

Mina Mary Schafer outside Jane McDowell's Candies, Bellevue, 1934

During the 1930s, Bellevue resident Mina Schafer entered the candy business. She was known for her delicious candies and she did a great deal of experimenting until she produced the product that she wanted. Her husband, Louis, built the cottage shop which she named for her mother, Jenny (Jane) McDowell. (In the late 1800s her mother changed her name to Jenny because the name Jane had the connotation of a "loose" woman.) The shop was connected to the house by a bell system so that when a customer entered the shop Mrs. Schafer was alerted by the bell and could run down to the shop to wait on her customer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#22 View of Medina, 1916

View of Medina, 1916

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#23 Bellevue School interior, 1909.

Bellevue School interior, 1909.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#24 Bellevue Garage, 1915.

Bellevue Garage, 1915.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#25 Addie Hurley and Gladys Younger in Charley Younger’s Candy Shop, Bellevue, 1930

Addie Hurley and Gladys Younger in Charley Younger's Candy Shop, Bellevue, 1930

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#26 Albert S. Burrows house, Bellevue, 1900

Albert S. Burrows house, Bellevue, 1900

Burrows Home, Bellevue. Built 1880's, burned 1925.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#27 Alfred Renfro, Jr. playing in snow at Beaux Arts Village, 1910

Alfred Renfro, Jr. playing in snow at Beaux Arts Village, 1910

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#28 Baker house and outbuildings, Bellevue, 1913

Baker house and outbuildings, Bellevue, 1913

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#29 Bell’s Hotel, 1900

Bell's Hotel, 1900

Bell's Hotel (also often called the Hotel Bellevue or the Bellevue House) at 2330 1st Ave. (intersection of 1st and Battery Sts). The Hotel survived the Great Fire and stood at this location until 1937.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#30 Bellevue Ave., looking north from about Olive Way 1931

Bellevue Ave., looking north from about Olive Way 1931

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#31 Bellevue Garage, Bellevue, 1915

Bellevue Garage, Bellevue, 1915

The office part is about 20x40 with a partition half way to the ceiling in the middle, front part office and back part for excess supplies, also batting charger stove, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#32 Bellevue Garage, Bellevue, 1925.

Bellevue Garage, Bellevue, 1925.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#33 Bellevue Grade School building under construction, Bellevue, 1920

Bellevue Grade School building under construction, Bellevue, 1920

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#34 Bellevue Mercantile Co., Bellevue, 1917

Bellevue Mercantile Co., Bellevue, 1917

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#35 Boat dock, Bellevue, 1908

Boat dock, Bellevue, 1908

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#36 Burrows family gathered on the front porch of their house, Killarney (now Bellevue), 1880

Burrows family gathered on the front porch of their house, Killarney (now Bellevue), 1880

This house was located at the lake end of S.E. 15th. The lady wearing the hat was Bellevues first teacher in 1884.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#37 Businesses and apartments at E. Pike St. southeast corner of Bellevue Ave. E., Seattle, Washington, May 15, 1909.

Businesses and apartments at E. Pike St. southeast corner of Bellevue Ave. E., Seattle, Washington, May 15, 1909.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#38 Delbert Hutchison and John Viehmann, Bellevue, 1938

Delbert Hutchison and John Viehmann, Bellevue, 1938

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#39 East Channel Bridge, Bellevue, 1939

East Channel Bridge, Bellevue, 1939

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#40 Entrance to ferry dock, Bellevue, 1915

Entrance to ferry dock, Bellevue, 1915

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#41 Farm and residence near Bellevue, 1915

Farm and residence near Bellevue, 1915

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#42 Farmland and road near Bellevue, 1915

Farmland and road near Bellevue, 1915

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#43 Ferry Leschi at Bellevue ferry dock with the Triton approaching, Bellevue, 1917

Ferry Leschi at Bellevue ferry dock with the Triton approaching, Bellevue, 1917

First Covenant Church in Seattle began as a small group of Swedish immigrants who found other like-minded Swedes and formed the Swedish Christian Mission in early 1889. The Great Fire of June 1889 briefly stalled plans to build a church building, and the first church building was dedicated in May of 1891, at Ninth Avenue and Stewart Street. The congregation grew quickly and a new, larger building was constructed in 1910-11 for the more than 2000 Swedish immigrants who regularly attended services.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#44 George Hanson residence, Bellevue, 1925

George Hanson residence, Bellevue,  1925

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#45 Godsey home, Bellevue, 1910

Godsey home, Bellevue, 1910

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#46 Grace Hill outside chicken coop, Bellevue, 1912

Grace Hill outside chicken coop, Bellevue, 1912

Grace Hill is shown near the chicken coop at the Baker House in Bellevue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#47 Highland Dairy Farm truck, Bellevue, 1900s

Highland Dairy Farm truck, Bellevue, 1900s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#48 Highland School, Highland, 1910

Highland School, Highland, 1910

The school was built in 1887 and used until 1934, when the new Highland School opened. It was later used as a home, offices, and a floor covering business. It was moved in 1972 to make way for State Route 520. The building was destroyed by a fire in 2001. The bell is now housed at Stevenson Elementary in Bellevue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#49 Houses and farms, Bellevue, 1900

Houses and farms, Bellevue, 1900

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#50 Log cabin in the snow, Bellevue, Washington,1905

Log cabin in the snow, Bellevue, Washington,1905

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#51 Main house, Bellevue Farm near American Camp, San Juan Island, 1910s

Main house, Bellevue Farm near American Camp, San Juan Island, 1910s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#52 Main Street School, Bellevue, Washington, 1920

Main Street School, Bellevue, Washington, 1920

Bellevue School, also called the Main Street School, opened in 1892. By 1912, the size of the schoolhouse doubled to accommodate the growing population. Although teachers taught some high school classes in Bellevue beginning in 1910, many of the city's early high school students had to travel to Seattle to complete their education.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#53 Medina ferry dock, Medina, 1925

Medina ferry dock, Medina, 1925

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#54 Medina ferry dock, Medina, May 30, 1914

Medina ferry dock, Medina, May 30, 1914

Medina, Washington, a suburb of Bellevue on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, was platted as Medina Heights in February 1914. The community was served by ferries and steamers from Leschi, four miles across the lake to the southwest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#55 Mercer Slough bridge construction, July 28, 1939

Mercer Slough bridge construction, July 28, 1939

The easternmost part of the Lake Washington Floating Bridge construction project was a new four-lane highway that crossed Mercer Slough in Bellevue and connected into existing roads.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#56 Navy personnel at Naval Training Station, Seattle, 1918

Navy personnel at Naval Training Station, Seattle, 1918

During World War I a temporary Naval Training Station was set up on the University of Washington campus, near where the university's health sciences center is now located. The training camp was active from 1917-1919, during which time over 5,000 mostly college students were trained for both naval and naval aviation units.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#57 Northwest corner Bellevue Ave. E. and Pike St., Seattle, Washington, May 15, 1909

Northwest corner Bellevue Ave. E. and Pike St., Seattle, Washington, May 15, 1909

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#58 Outbuildings at Bellevue Farm near American Camp, San Juan Island, 1910s

Outbuildings at Bellevue Farm near American Camp, San Juan Island, 1910s

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#59 Panoramic view in vicinity of Bellevue, 1915

Panoramic view in vicinity of Bellevue, 1915

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#60 People posing with Seattle Ferry sign on Medina ferry dock, Medina, 1925

People posing with Seattle Ferry sign on Medina ferry dock, Medina, 1925

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#61 Kelfner Fruit and Vegetable Stand, Bellevue, 1920s

Kelfner Fruit and Vegetable Stand, Bellevue, 1920s

The owners of this stand, John and Frances Kelfner, settled in Bellevue in 1911. They specialized in growing Island Belle grapes. These grapes were developed by Lambert Evans at his Stretch Island vineyard. The grape became the most commonly grown in the Puget Sound region. In fact, in 1918 the Island Belle Grape Growers' Union was formed to help market the grapes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

One Comment

View More Comments

#62 Roundcliffe Apartments on Bellevue Ct. E., 1925

Roundcliffe Apartments on Bellevue Ct. E., 1925

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#63 School in Bellevue, Washington, 1909

School in Bellevue, Washington, 1909

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#64 Seattle Municipal Railway trolley looking north on Bellevue Ave. just south of Denny Way, 1921

Seattle Municipal Railway trolley looking north on Bellevue Ave. just south of Denny Way, 1921

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#65 Students on steps of Bellevue School, Bellevue, 1912

Students on steps of Bellevue School, Bellevue, 1912

100th & Main grade & high school combined. Addition was made to original building of 1892.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#66 Students on steps of Bellevue School, Bellevue, 1900

Students on steps of Bellevue School, Bellevue, 1900

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#67 Swedish Tabernacle, Seattle, 1925

Swedish Tabernacle, Seattle, 1925

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#68 Truck delivering water on Bellevue Avenue, Seattle, 1911

Truck delivering water on Bellevue Avenue, Seattle, 1911

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#69 Two women carrying buckets of water from the relief wagon, Bellevue Ave., during the water shortage of November 21, 1911.

Two women carrying buckets of water from the relief wagon, Bellevue Ave., during the water shortage of November 21, 1911.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#70 Wagon load of lettuce on Aries farm, Bellevue, 1918

Wagon load of lettuce on Aries farm, Bellevue, 1918

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#71 Walt Robison Motors, Bellevue, 1930

Walt Robison Motors, Bellevue, 1930

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#72 Whaleboats at Bellevue, 1920

Whaleboats at Bellevue, 1920

From the 1920s to 1940, the ships of the American Pacific Whaling Company wintered in Bellevue, Washington. While there, the company made repairs to the ships and equipment and got them ready for the next Alaska whaling season. In 1940, the docks were turned over to the United States Coast Guard for a repair base.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#73 William Cruse on sidewalk with hose, Bellevue, 1915

William Cruse on sidewalk with hose, Bellevue, 1915

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#74 William L. Rhodes home on Capitol Hill, 1909

William L. Rhodes home on Capitol Hill, 1909

A number of Seattle businessmen worked downtown and owned homes on Capitol Hill. The house in this photograph belonged to William L. Rhodes and his wife Claudia. Rhodes was the president and manager of the Rhodes 10-cent Stores.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#75 William T. Ivey residence, Bellevue, 1910

William T. Ivey residence, Bellevue, 1910

William Ivey served as justice of the peace, postmaster, notary, and insurance agent. He took over as postmaster in 1891 when Isabel Bechtel retired; he served in this post for 23 years. Ivey's home also served as a post office.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#76 Women and children wading in Meydenbauer Bay, Bellevue, 1912

Women and children wading in Meydenbauer Bay, Bellevue, 1912

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

#77 New home of Benson Northup nearing completion, 1889

New home of Benson Northup nearing completion, 1889

In 1889, the Benson Northup family left their old log home and moved to a new house in the Houghton area, north of Bellevue and now part of Kirkland. Seattle photographer David R. Judkins photographed them on the porch of their nearly completed home. The house has Italianate touches, with a cupola, low-pitched roof, and brackets under the roof eaves. It also has scrollwork brackets on the porch.

-1 Points
Upvote Downvote

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Written by Aung Budhh

Husband + Father + librarian + Poet + Traveler + Proud Buddhist. I love you with the breath, the smiles and the tears of all my life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.