We all learned a little more about our community on Wednesday, March 27. Our free program on the Seventh Elect Church in Israel, and the recent transformation of its property into one of Ballard’s beautiful new parks, was well-attended at the Ballard branch of the Seattle Public Library.
Barbara Hainley shared the research of Friends of Kirke Park during the period of becoming one of Ballard’s newest parks. She shared such archival documents as the U.S. Census, religious community histories, property records, local newspapers, and local and insurance directories used to research The Seventh Elect Church in Israel and its founder.
Just a few highlights: Several buildings were sited on The Seventh Elect Church in Israel property in Ballard on 9th Avenue NW. Barbara Hainley traced the origins of founder Daniel Sult (later changed to Salwt), his census occupations from “laborer” to “evangelist” in the Midwest before arriving in Seattle and the histories of the various buildings on the property. For instance, research indicates that the large main building was given to the Sult and then moved to the property. Similarly, the farm building was moved from elsewhere in Ballard, and Hainley confirmed that even in the 1910s buildings commonly were moved from one site to another. Yet mysteries still surround The Seventh Elect Church in Israel’s founder, church members who lived on the property and members further away who pledged their belongings and property to the church.
Hainley asked Dr. Charles LeWarne to speak about the societies throughout our nation’s history that strove to build ideal communities. Notable examples are the Shaker settlements throughout the East and Midwest, and he showed photographs of restored buildings. Dr. LeWarne highlighted several communities in Washington state which were the subject of a book, Utopias on Puget Sound 1885-1915, published by University of Washington press. After the lecture, audience members shared a few memories of the church and Hainley, Weaver and LeWarne answered questions.
The current park preserves some elements of the property, such as fruit trees. Hainley and fellow Friend of Kirke Park Joan Weaver seek support for features of the park plan that were not developed, such as a trellis. If you’d like to contribute, go to www.tinyurl.com/kirkepark. For general inquiries, the Friends of Kirke Park e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org. Consider becoming a member to support our community programs.
We’re on Facebook! And Twitter @ballardhistory!