• If this little house could tell its story, what would it say?


    June 17, 2016

  • This is a story about a yellow house with a red roof near downtown Seattle.

    It was built in 1904 and purchased a year later by Patrick & Nellie Riley.

  • Patrick was a hostler at Seattle Brewing & Malting Co., makers of Rainier Beer.

    (Hostler = horse guy.)

  • From their porch, the Rileys would have seen Seattle grow up.

    The city's population tripled that decade.

  • The Rileys' daughter Hazel was the first kid at 1643 S. King Street.

    She grew up to be a candymaker.

  • Patrick was walking home from the store when a car hit him. He died at the scene.

    Nellie never remarried.

  • On the eve of World War II, the house was at the heart of Japantown.

  • In 1939, the Shojis moved in. 

    Gennosuke Shoji, left, was an Episcopalian minister.

    (See the little girl to the right of the chimney? She's Florence. Florence was disabled from an illness.)

  • The Shojis in the city directory, 1942.

    The next year, blank.

    No other Japanese either.

  • After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt ordered Japanese-Americans to internment camps...

    The Shojis included.

    Their neighbor two doors down would have watched as JapanTown emptied out.

  • Here are the Shojis after the war.

    Do you notice someone missing?

    Florence is missing.

  • Later Almanzor Guido moved in. (Back, middle.)

    He was a union cannery worker who liked to host parties.

  • In 1999, anarchists lived in the house, a hub for WTO protests.

    (Roommates called those guys "manarchists.")

  • In the 2000s, the house was a safe space for queer people & people of color.

    They sang LOTS of karaoke.

  • And then, after 40 years of activism, the house was sold.

    This is their farewell photo.

  • The Zeichners and their baby live here now.

    Kate is a nurse; Aaron works for the Gates Foundation.

  • Sometimes Kate thinks about the other kids from the King Street house.

  • Hazel Riley.

    Elizabeth, Joseph, Sam and Florence Shoji.

    A baby named Nico from the activist years.

  • And now baby Margo.