Looking toward Salmon Bay from Shilshole Bay in the early twentieth century before the Locks were built. Salmon Bay Charlie’s house is on the Magnolia side. White settler farms are on the Ballard side. Courtesy of Webster & Stevens Collection, Museum of History and Industry #83.10.9067. Circa 1914

The WEST POINT DIG: A Legacy (excerpt from Magnolia: Making More Memories)

“Today’s peaceful appearance and seemingly unchanged shape of the sand spit we call West Point was not always so. Steep bluffs and narrow fjordlike passages left by melting Ice Age glaciers afforded no beaches. Condors soared overhead. Sea and land were wracked by furious winds, earthquakes, landslides, and tidal waves. The sea rose and fell. Then, about 5,000 years ago, the sea level stabilized and a beach was formed.

The beach offered shellfish in abundance. The sea was filled with marine life of great variety. The uplands above the cliffs that bordered the beach teemed with wildlife. Douglas fir, red cedar, hemlock, and alder rose high above the beach, sheltering birds and mammals. Oceanspray, huckleberry, blackberry, and fern grew thickly under the trees. The stage was set for human habitation.

“Over 4,000 years ago, humans began to inhabit this idyllic locationmore