Home’s destruction leaves a void to fill

If you’ve commuted on the Krain Highway, officially 400th Street Southeast, every day for several months or if you’ve only driven that road a few days each month but done so for many years, you may have recently felt an uneasiness – perhaps a slight sense of disorientation. At first it was difficult to isolate a reason for such feelings, but eventually you realized they were caused by a space where there shouldn’t be one. A hole in the landscape, around 212th.

  • Monday, June 29, 2009 11:58pm
  • Opinion

Wally’s World

If you’ve commuted on the Krain Highway, officially 400th Street Southeast, every day for several months or if you’ve only driven that road a few days each month but done so for many years, you may have recently felt an uneasiness – perhaps a slight sense of disorientation. At first it was difficult to isolate a reason for such feelings, but eventually you realized they were caused by a space where there shouldn’t be one. A hole in the landscape, around 212th.

Then, in a rush, it came to you. The old Silvestri farmhouse is gone; squooshed into kindling and hauled away in a Dumpster.

And a lot of local history vanished with it.

Initially, the place was actually two tiny Muckleshoot one-room houses built in the early 1880s, prior to Washington statehood. Then, in 1889, under the Homestead Act and President Benjamin Harrison, Gilbert Courville and “his wife from Osceola” bought the two houses and 160 acres for 12 bucks. (Talk about a real estate deal.) How much the Indians were paid for their homes isn’t clear, but I’d guess about 50 cents each.

After that, the acreage was sold in various combinations and permutations too confusing to clearly delineate. In 1890, Ellen Neely – of Neely Mansion fame – bought 80 acres for $500. Around 1895, a few acres were sold to a fellow from London, England. During the early 1900s, another section was sold to Edwin and Mary Inglis, a family name of certain historical significance in this region. There were other transactions as well. Sometime between 1900 and 1930, the two original houses were connected, forming one large building that dominated the skyline of that crest just west of 212th.

Finally, in 1932, widow Clotilde Silvestri purchased the house and a substantial part of the original homestead from Roy Higgins. She and her son Rick operated a diary on the property and, from then on, the place was known as the Silvestri Farm.

In 1934, Rick married Emma Berilla – another family name of some notoriety in these parts – and brought his blushing bride to live on the farm. In September 1955, he purchased the house and 75 acres from his mother.

Eventually, Rick and Emma’s youngest daughter Joyce inherited the house and half the land. Through the years, the property was further divided and sold in various parcels. Finally, Joyce’s son, Joe Poleski, ended up with the original house and 10 acres. Then, a couple of weeks ago, Ty “Buzz” Inglis – there’s that name again – drove his excavator through the center of the house and that was the end of that.

During the demolition, a 1913 Seattle newspaper fell out of the kitchen wall. Headlines indicated the 16th Amendment was ratified, authorizing an income tax, and Grand Central Station had opened in New York City. It advertised the first sedan-type car (a Hudson) – “the most economical car in America” – for $695 and the world’s finest woman’s corset for $4.

So it goes.

More in Opinion

Humility allows for tolerance of other’s opinions

Each of us has grown up in different circumstances. Each has been shaped by our life experiences. Each of us sees the world around us differently as a result. Why, then, should it be so difficult to understand that no two people will agree on every issue?

President Trump working toward the vision of our Founders

President Trump is working to return power and liberty to the people.

Inslee: ‘It’s our state’s destiny … to fight climate change’

In his State-of-the-State address, the governor made the case for an ambitious carbon tax.

Culture, politics have and continue to shape race relations

“The central conservative truth is that it is culture, not politics, that determines the success of a society. The central liberal truth is that politics can change a culture and save it from itself.”

Better luck this year, Eyman

2017 was a stinky year for Tim Eyman. It ended with a thud last week when he confessed to not collecting enough signatures to get onto the ballot a measure that would reduce car tab fees and kneecap Sound Transit.

Every day, I was inspired by citizens of Enumclaw | Liz Reynolds

Whether we’ve seen eye to eye or simply disagreed, my conversations with all of you, on the sidewalks of downtown, at restaurants or in grocery stores, council meetings to community auctions, are what have kept me inspired, kept me going and kept me feisty.

Fake news or bad reporting?

This has not been a good month for reporting. But one wrong fact does not fake news make.

Don’t label all Trump supporters as racist

While the column correctly points out that Trump supporters are happy with his performance and still enthusiastically support him, Mr. Elfers had to inject the liberal “lie” that Trump supporters are racist.

Political turmoil makes nations stronger

Finish this sentence: “What doesn’t kill you___________.” This is how I introduced my recent continuing education class entitled, “President Trump a Year Later.” Of course, this quote is normally completed with the words, “makes you stronger.”

U.S., Russia agree on Middle East situation

Since Russia helped Syria’s Bashar al-Assad stay in power and helped to defeat ISIS, are Russia and the U.S. at odds in the Middle East? Is Russia threatening American dominance in the region? The answer to both is no.

Page-turners: Best books of 2017

Continuing an end-of-year tradition that dates back more than 15 years, the King County Library System has chosen its Best Books of 2017.

Anthem protests about equality, not disrespect

For all who write negative comments about the football players who took a knee and posted that “this is not the America we grew up in,” let me share a few of the personal events from my life growing up in Tacoma Washington as a white woman.