History of Seattle Municipal Railway's Division C, the streetcar line that once connected Burien with White Center and Seattle.
July 17, 2005
The Dashley, Lynch, and McGraw Lake Burien Connection

The Following History, As Told To Robbie Lynch Howell By Her Father Robert Lynch (from http://www.lakeburien.com/Howell.htm)

By Robbie Howell; December 7, 1997

Fred and Bill Dashley and Chas. Shoening struck it rich together mining for gold in Alaska. When they returned to Seattle they wanted to invest their good fortune. One day while hunting, Chas. Shoening discovered a beautiful lake. He and the Dashley brothers soon returned and bought up the land around the lake from the Von Boorian family. At this time it was called Lake Burien after the Von Burians.

Bill, Fred and Chas. each sub-divided and developed their portion. Fred owned most of "Old Burien" and part of the northeast portion of the lake, and land extending north and east from the lake. In 1912 he built one of the first three houses on the lake at 1235 SW 152nd Street where it still stands today in 1994. Lynn Majors and James Coury purchased the home in 1993 from George and Kathleen Holland who raised eight children there.

Chas. Shoening owned east and some south portions of the lake. He built a hunting lodge and raised sheep, cows and lots of pigs which he sold wholesale at his meat market located at Second Avenue and James Street, the present site of the Smith Tower. The lovely well preserved hunting lodge is also standing today at 11th and SW 154th. Though his recollections of Chas. are hazy, my father vividly recalls and was very impressed by the brown bear that was chained to the hunting lodge and the full set of gold teeth framed by the smile of his wife.
Bill Dashley owned the west end of the lake and land to 21st Ave. and some lots north of 152nd SW on 20th and 21st SW. Before describing it, I must mention that my paternal grandmother Ella Lynch was the first wife of Charlie Lynch and the first in our family to buy property in Burien. She purchased Lot I, Block 4, Dashley’s Addition No 2 from Fred Dashley on July 19, 1912 for $360.00 . Ella paid $40.00 down and the balance in full July 15, 1916. She had wanted to buy land on the lake, but these properties were not being offered for sale as yet.
My father Robert Lynch informed me that after World War I the asking price for Dashley’s 75x150' lots was $300.00 and nobody was buying.
Bill Dashley built his first house at the NW corner of the lake. For a time he lived there with his buddies, McGrogan and Ire. The house can be seen in the well publicized photo taken of the lake in 1915. Fred's house is located in the distance on the left side of the picture.
While Bill was out selling off his lots he would leave a note on the back door: "Go in and help yourself to anything, but wash the dishes before you leave.

My parents, Robert and Dorothy Lynch are presently living on the site where Bill Dashley built his first house.

Robert's dad Charlie Lynch, Florence and Tom McGraw and Bill Dashley were very good friends. In fact Tom and Charlie were raised together in Seattle and as a young man Charlie would come out to the lake with the McGraw’s. Bill would throw parties for all of his friends. There were outhouses and a well on Bill's property. As there wasn't enough room for everyone to sleep in the house, they would pitch their tents in the yard.

When Robert was about 6 years old his parents brought him along to camp with them. They traveled by double ended trolley. The conductor would remove the controls at the end of the destination and put them on the other end of the trolley for the return trip . On one of the trolley trips to Burien between Salmon Creek and Burien, Robert and his parents watched as deer and other animals trapped by a forest fire tried in vain to escape.

Charles (Charlie) Lynch was Superintendent of mails at the King Street Station before World War I. He authorized an RFD mail route on the sparsely populated dirt roads of Burien. The mail route followed the original streets laid out by Bill Dashley; from Southwest 152nd Street to 21st Avenue Southwest to Southwest 144th Street to Ambaum Boulevard Southwest.

When the war came along Charlie served his country in France as a Captain in charge of the mails. When he returned home he went back to his old job. It wasn't long before the Federal Reserve grabbed him and put him in charge of the mail and the guards.

The first one in our family to buy on the lake was Robert's grandmother's sister's daughter Alma. She married Sam Moseley and they bought the original house from Bill Dashley for Alma's father, who raised chickens. In 1921 it caught fire. The whole house being made of cedar boards, swiftly burned to the ground.

Sam and Alma then began an extensive addition to the chicken house, converting it into a home. They added a bathroom, put in plumbing and a kitchen sink. Uncle George died and Sam and Elma Moseley sold it to Charlie and his second wife Polly.

Meanwhile Charlie's sister, Alice (Toots) Lynch and Bill Dashley had fallen in love and were married. Theirs was a May-December relationship. Bill constructed a new three bedroom house for them to live in. It was located next door to where the first house had been before it burnt. The main bedroom had a large picture window and a view of the lake. The other bedrooms faced north and south. There were cherry trees which Toots felt compelled to protect. Using her 22 she'd shoot the Robins out of the trees and then bake Robin Pies.

Eventually Bill's house was bought by the Catholic Church. It was turned into a convent and was home to the nuns and priests for many years. It changed hands again and Frank and Janet McCarroll demolished the convent in order to build their dream home.

The same contractor who built Toots and Bill's house also built one for Tom and Florence McGraw. They bought the parcel located on the lake to the south of Bill's home at 15260 20th SW where Bud and RoJean Mount reside today.

Before Tom moved to Burien he drove a jitney in which he transported people up Magnolia Hill. His father was governor of the state of Washington and was influential in establishing the ship canal from Lake Union to the Sound.

Tom became half owner in Burien's first lumber company, "Bannerman and McGraw." It was located along the trolley track at 8th SW and 153rd. They brought the lumber out on the flatbed railroad car. The railroad car and the trolley shared the same track.

Robert's Grandmother Elizabeth (Libby) Lynch bought the three lots to the north of her son Charlie's lot. My father recalls riding from Seattle in a taxi with his grandmother shortly after cars were introduced. When it came to the end of the plank road on Delridge Way the taxi became mired in the mud. "We went down in the mud and that's as far as we got," Robert said. The cars had wheels like wagon wheels but a term of horses had to pull us out."

Toots Lynch was married to Bill Dashley until the day he died

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at July 17, 2005 4:48 PM
Lost Seattle
Check out my book Lost Seattle for more explorations of history and urbanism.
These pages are an archive. For my new content, visit ba-kground.com.
Copyright Rob Ketcherside; contact roket swirly gwu.edu