History

THE OLDEN DAYS AT HALLER LAKE
On May 4, 2006 long time Haller Lake resident and Haller Lake Community Club member Joanne Arnell gave a wonderful presentation about growing up in the Haller Lake community. She passed away on June 27, 2007. She was born on December 30, 1920 in Seattle. Joanne grew up in the home her parents built on N. 133rd and 1st Ave. NE.

Download

OUR NAMESAKE
Theodore N. Haller owned and developed the real estate around the lake which bears his name. Although born in York, Pennsylvania in 1864, Haller arrived in the Pacific Northwest when he was an infant. His father, Granville Haller, was an army officer assigned to command Fort Townsend, whose site is now a state park. Upon leaving the military, Granville settled in Seattle, and built a mansion on First Hill, the first of many elaborate dwellings which were later to make up the neighborhood of Seattle’s elite. Named Castlemount and built on the corner of Minor Avenue and James Street, it dominated the view of the top of the hill from Elliot Bay for years. Educated at elite private schools in Portland and at Yale University, Theodore became a lawyer, learning the profession in Seattle at the firm of his brother, George. After briefly practicing law in Port Townsend, he eventually settled in Seattle following his brother’s death. Arriving to a charred ruin of a city immediately following the great fire of 1889, Theodore moved into his parents’ mansion and began to manage the family’s extensive real estate holdings, completing a downtown office building which he named after his late brother, and overseeing agricultural land spanning several counties. About this time, he married Constance Reed. They had no children and later divorced.

Theodore’s platting of the Haller Lake Tracts around Haller Lake in 1905 was one of his many business transactions, probably representing the only geographical landmark in the area which still bears the Haller name. Castlemount gave way to a federal housing project during World War II, and its site is now occupied by a medical clinic. By the time of Theodore’s death at Providence Hospital in 1930, the Haller Building on 2nd and Columbia had already been renamed the Title Trust Building. Its Romanesque-type architecture, reflective of many buildings in Chicago, languished, and the site is now occupied by the Norton Building, erected in 1959, whose developer was former Governor Booth Gardner’s stepfather.

EDWARD S. INGRAHAM
Ingraham High School is named after an adventurous gentleman who engaged in many careers but is remembered for being the first superintendent of Seattle Schools.  Born in Maine in 1852, he was educated at a teachers’ college where he claimed that incessant reading injured his eyes, giving him an excuse to go west to visit his brother.  Ten days after arriving on Yesler’s wharf on August 26, 1875, he was hired as a teacher at Central School, which was on 3rd and Madison.  A certain Miss Chatham was the only other teacher in the building.  At the time, there were two other schools in Seattle, each with two teachers:  North School at 3rd and Pine, and South School at 6th and Main.  Both were on the edge of virgin forest.  The Belltown School at 3rd and Vine opened one year later.  Total enrollment was about 150.  Schools were heated by stoves, water was available at a pump, and janitors, electric lights, and telephones were nowhere to be found.  Ingraham mostly taught art and history, requiring his students to recite the United States Constitution verbatim.

A grading system was first introduced by Ingraham in 1876, and the first trappings of high school courses commenced shortly thereafter.  He was named superintendent of Seattle Schools in 1883, a position he had held in everything but name until that time.  He presided over the graduation of Seattle’s first high school class in 1886, which numbered twelve.  When the Central School burned in 1888, Ingraham took the initiative to arrange its students’ accommodation in the other facilities until Central School was replaced.

Ingraham High School is named after an adventurous gentleman who engaged in many careers but is remembered for being the first superintendent of Seattle Schools.  Born in Maine in 1852, he was educated at a teachers’ college where he claimed that incessant reading injured his eyes, giving him an excuse to go west to visit his brother.  Ten days after arriving on Yesler’s wharf on August 26, 1875, he was hired as a teacher at Central School, which was on 3rd and Madison.  A certain Miss Chatham was the only other teacher in the building.  At the time, there were two other schools in Seattle, each with two teachers:  North School at 3rd and Pine, and South School at 6th and Main.  Both were on the edge of virgin forest.  The Belltown School at 3rd and Vine opened one year later.  Total enrollment was about 150.  Schools were heated by stoves, water was available at a pump, and janitors, electric lights, and telephones were nowhere to be found.  Ingraham mostly taught art and history, requiring his students to recite the United States Constitution verbatim.

A grading system was first introduced by Ingraham in 1876, and the first trappings of high school courses commenced shortly thereafter.  He was named superintendent of Seattle Schools in 1883, a position he had held in everything but name until that time.  He presided over the graduation of Seattle’s first high school class in 1886, which numbered twelve.  When the Central School burned in 1888, Ingraham took the initiative to arrange its students’ accommodation in the other facilities until Central School was replaced.

Ingraham resigned the superintendency shortly thereafter and went into the printing business, a vocation in which he had apprenticed before embarking on his teaching career. He also found time to serve on the state board of education following Washington’s admittance into the union, and was elected to the city council.

He caught gold rush fever in 1898, and he and his party of 16 embarked on the schooner Jane Grey.  The ship foundered 100 miles off Cape Flattery, and 34 of the 61 aboard drowned.  Ingraham’s tenacity revealed itself as he managed to cut a launch loose, reach Vancouver Island with 26 others, and swiftly organize a second party which reached Kotzebue Sound.  While in Alaska, he led a rescue mission 175 miles up the Selawik River in order to save some miners who were dying of scurvy.

After mining and prospecting in Nome, he returned to Seattle with his family in 1901.  He was an avid mountain climber, Ingraham Glacier on Mount Rainier being named for him, and was later instrumental in establishing Seattle’s first Boy Scout chapter.  He continued to teach part time, and passed away in 1926.

A school board report from Ingraham’s tenure as superintendent contains resolutions prohibiting the use of rawhide for corporal punishment and the playing of marbles during school hours.  This seems tame in comparison to the ban on the instruction of the German language during World War I because it was offensive.  Nowadays the school board bans Indian mascots for the same reason.


– Greg Dziekonski, HLCC Historian