What Are People Doing?

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Every week the Town Crier blog will look back at Seattle’s near-forgotten Town Crier magazine to see what was happening then and talk about what’s happening now. One of the largest sections of the original Town Crier was “What People Are Doing,” highlighting things like, “Mrs. Francis Guy Frink was the hostess of a delightful picnic luncheon” and, “Miss Evelyn Colvin launched the ship Chalise on Tuesday.” In this series we’re revisiting the old column and tying it to our community’s current happenings, asking: “what are people doing?”

Today’s entry…

Town Crier writer Adele M. Ballard wrote in the July 26, 1919 edition, “And now the residents are seriously considering the exquisite propriety of changing the name of the one-time fashionable First Hill to Hospital Hill. Others are strongly in favor of ironically dubbing it Last Hill. Why? Oh, well, you know, it’s bound to be increasingly that for many of its temporary dwellers.”

Such doom and gloom, Adele! She lightens up…some. “While it may not be the most cheerful proposition in the world, in a way, for the owners of homes, yet even in this most healthful city extant it seems that such hostelries are a growing necessity. Unfortunately they are bound to give the First Hillers a rather gloomy outlook on life with

“Hospitals to the right of them,
Hospitals to the left of them,
Groaning like thunder:
Theirs not to question why,
Theirs but to do or die,
Pack household gods and fly –
Get out from under!”


Adele, a poetess, to boot.

Town Hall Seattle is a proud resident of First Hill. Our building has stood on it since 1916. Do you know about the First Hill Improvement Association? The organization champions a dynamic and safe First Hill through advocacy on key issues affecting the neighborhood; providing a forum for discussion; programming community events; tracking changes that impact the community; and connecting people to create the best neighborhood possible.

The First Hill event calendar can be found here. Town Hall’s event calendar can be found here.

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