History of Seattle Municipal Railway's Division C, the streetcar line that once connected Burien with White Center and Seattle.
July 17, 2005
White Center Remembers pp 50-52

Sam Metzler


Samuel and Lucretia Metzler came to South Park in 1905 from Harrington, Washington. Mr. and Mrs. Metzler had both homesteaded in Eastern Washington where they had engaged in wheat farming. Mr. Metzler was impressed by the large stands of timber that were five miles southwest of South Park and decided that it would be good land for farming.

The Metzler place was purchased from Dan McMilIen which was built by Dan's father, John, in 1889. The house, located at 11200 15th Avenue S.W., was remodeled and enlarged with an upstairs by the Metzler family. In 1971 Phares Metzler remodeled the house again so that he would be able to house his fish lure factory and shops at the old residence.

The oldest service station in the White Center area was operated by Harry Metzler at 16th S.W. and S.W. 112th from 1922 until his death in 1950. It is still standing at that location.

{REMEMBER THE WINTER OF ā€˜06? If not then here is how it was. Old timers can remember snows which came every winter without fail bringing 3ā€”4 feet of white fluff and frozen ponds, lakes and streams. This is 1906 view of the Metzler home covered by snow at 15th SW and SW 112th.}

On the tract of land where the Metzler's had a prune and an apple orchard is the new White Center Library. The Systematex Controls Manufacturing Co. also purchased two acres of the orchard land for their factory.

Henry Metzler was very active in sports. With his brother Harry he built a thirty foot tower for diving at Lake Hicks which was a popular recreational lake for swimming. During the early years the lake was used for ice skating during winter. In the early pioneer days the winters were colder and skating was quite common. Consequently the community developed some outstanding ice skaters.

{THE METZLER HOME built 1889 still standing located at 15th SW at 112th}

Ella (Mrs. Roberts), the eldest of the Metzler children, has remained in the community living at Shorewood, attended high school at Broadway in Seattle. This meant she that would hike five miles to South Park in the early 1900s where she took the street car to Broadway. This ten mile hike each day more than took the place of physical education.
Harry and Henry also attended Broadway High School. Fred attended West Seattle High School, By the time Phares attended high school, Highline had been built.

The first road in the early days was called Metzler Road. It ran along S.W. 112th and joined S.W. 108th. It then continued to the location of present day Meyers Way. While this was called Metzler Road, it was a well used trail as far back as the mid 1880s.

Sam Metzler, a man of vision, said that the population between Seattle and Tacoma would be joined by a continuous growth. Transportation was needed if the area that Sam had subdivided into residential lots was to sell and develop. Sam joined with others in building the Highland Park ā€” Lake Burien street car. It was given as a gift on October 16, 1913 to the City of Seattle. The promoters were required to make the street car line from Riverside (Spokane and West Marginal Way) to Seahurst financially sound.

While Sam Metzler was also instrumental in seeing that roads were constructed, he played a prominent role in building this area's new Mt. View School, The old one room school was located at S.W. 107th between 15th S.W. and 14th S.W. It had been built in 1894.
"My father was on the school board from 1906 to 1916," states Fred, "and he was very unpopular with some of the residents as he wanted a new building with two rooms and a basement. Many considered building more than a one room school an unnecessary educational frill."
The new school building was opened in 1910. By 1925 the school had grown to seven rooms.

{THE METZLER FAMILY (lā€”r) Henry, Ella, Lucretia holding Fred, Sam and Harry}

It is interesting to note that the Mt. View Elementary School was named by Sam Metzler because of the superb view of the Cascade and Olympic Mountains.

Sam Metzler also figures prominently in the development of the Mt0 View Water Company. The Mt. View System purchased water from the City of Seattle at the city limits and distributed it to the owners of stock in the system. A $25.00 share entitled a purchaser to one water tap. A good water system played a big part in developing the residential area since developers like Sam Metzler could supply the purchaser of the lots with water, Arthur Taylor and Edwin Frances played an important part in maintaining the water system before it became a water district.

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Metzler were citizens whose support was given to all that was the best in the economic, social and civic life of the community as they reared a family of five children - Henry, Harry, Ella, Phares and Fred.

Fred Metzler was appointed to the King County Park Board by Commissioner Ed Munro. He served ten years up to the time the Park Board was dropped by the new county charter. He was instrumental in working for parks in the Highline district which included Lakewood, Munro Seahurst, and White Center field and park.

Today, Fred has a very successful insurance business in White Center. He began his State Farm Insurance business about 32 years ago. He now shares an office with Mel Olson at 9839 17th S.W. Both have a rapidly growing clientele.

{A PAIR OF SUMMER FRIENDS WERE Emily Taylor and Phares Metzler in a photo taken at the Metzler family home in 1914.}

Posted by Rob Ketcherside at July 17, 2005 4:00 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