History of Seattle Municipal Railway's Division C, the streetcar line that once connected Burien with White Center and Seattle.
August 13, 2006
Seattle Commercial Club Supports Streetcar

1913 letter from the Seattle Commercial Club supporting acceptance of the streetcar line by the City of Seattle for financial reasons.

City of Seattle
Municipal Archives
Clerk File 53879
Communication Seattle Commercial Club urging acceptance of Highland Park & Lake Burien Ry
October 16, 1913

Seattle Commercial Club
First Avenue and Columbia Street

October 15, 1913

Honorable City Council,
Seattle, Washington.


There was submitted to the Seattle Commercial Club at its regular meeting held July 22, 1913, a report from our Municipal Affairs Committee on the matter of the acceptance by the city of the Highland Park and Lake Burien Railway. The report was thorough. A copy of the same is herewith attached.

You will note that the committee recommended the adoption of the report and the acceptance, by the city, of this line, and the report of said committee was unanimously adopted and the President was authorized to appoint a committee of three to appear before your honorable body, expressing the view of the Commercial Club on the subject above named.

Any consideration you may extend to said committee will be very much appreciated.

Very respectfully,
By Otto A [Knox ?]

--- ---
Seattle, Washington, July 22, 1913

To the Seattle Commercial Club.


The statistics regarding the cost and operation of the Highland Park & Lake Burien R. R., which were referred to the Municipal Affairs Committee, have been carefully considered and we
find the following facts:

In the summer of 1912 a large number of people living in the south part of the city and also people living south of the city limits, united in an effort to secure transportation into Seattle. For this purpose they organized the Highland Park & Lake Burien Railroad Company. By the sale of stock and subscriptions thereto about $100,000 was secured. With this money the company proceeded to build a car line extending from a point at the mouth of the Duwamish River, west of the Spokane Avenue bridge south to Lake Burien, a distance of nine miles. The cost of the line was $124,000. Thirty thousand of this amount was borrowed from the Mercantile National Bank of Seattle for the purpose of completing the work.

Not having sufficient funds to purchase rolling stock a single car was leased from the Seattle Electric Company and with this single car the company operated the line for three months or until November, 1912. At that time the heavy rains caused a slide which compelled the company to suspend operations. As the company was out of funds and the stock non-assessable, a meeting of stockholders was called to decide what was best to do. At this meeting a committee was appointed to see what could be done about leasing or selling the line. This committee, after careful consideration, decided to offer the line to the City of Seattle.

There is now an indebtedness against the company of about $30,000, which the company proposed to liquidate and to turn the line over to the city as a gift, free of all indebtedness.

(For more detailed facts in regard to the H. P. & Lake Burien R. R., we hand you herewith a statement from Mr. A. K. Wylde, written at the request of the Chairman of this committee.)

In view of the fact that this car line opens up a large agricultural country and in view of the fact that the citizens of Seattle have several times recently voted in favor of municipally owned car lines, we believe it would be wise business policy for the city to accept the offer of the Highland Park & Lake Burien R. R. Co., and arrange for the operation of said line at the earliest possible date.

Respectfully submitted.


Cost of Promotion and Construction.

3,638.81 Rights of way and franchise expenses

6,601.69 Engineering
36,638.46 Grading and trestles
50,235.69 Track (Nine miles)
18,223.43 Electrical Equipment
3,104.74 Office expenses
1,752.25 Legal and miscellaneous
932.82 Insurance
547.82 Interest
2,200.00 Deposit with City of Seattle
360.00 Maintenance of road bed, slides, drainage, etc.

The above statement certified to be substantially correct as to the cost of Highland Park and Lake Burien Railroad by Mr. F. W. Mitchell, Secretary.

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at August 13, 2006 10:59 PM
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