The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks (aka Ballard Locks) is situated at the west end of Salmon Bay and the Lake Washington Ship Canal, separating the fresh waters of Lake Union and Lake Washington to the east from the tidal waters of Puget Sound to the west. At the same time, the locks maintain the water level of Lake Union and Lake Washington approximately 20 feet above sea level and use a system of gates and sluices to raise and lower commercial and recreational vessels between the two water levels.
The complex consists of a small lock and a larger one that is 80 feet wide. Construction was completed in 1917 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Locks are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the American Society of Civil Engineers Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks.
One of the significant historic buildings within the Ballard Avenue Landmark District is this neoclassically detailed brick structure, constructed in 1893 for William Cors and Robert E. Wegener. They were the proprietors of the Ballard Wine House who considered themselves to be “artists in compound mixtures and fancy beverages.” The former saloon is situated at the corner of Ballard Avenue NW and 20th Avenue NW, along the main commercial street when Ballard was its own city, before being annexed by Seattle in 1907.
Having some time between recent doctor appointments at the UW Medicine’s Northwest Hospital & Medical Center, I drew this totem created by master Tsimshian carver David Boxley as a tribute to his sister-in-law Cindy Sue James (1965-2016). Dedicated May 6, 2007, the totem honors her legacy and pays tribute to all cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.
The top figure is the Eagle, or Laxskiik, of the Tsimshian Nation. Below is a shaman wearing a bear-claw headdress and representing doctors and caregivers battling cancer. At the base is Cindy Sue, serving as the foundation for her family and tenderly clutching the shoulders of her grandson, Dominic, 7, “the light of her life, from the day he was born.”