WHEN: 10 a.m., Tuesday, July 4, 2017
WHERE: Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, West Lawn (west of the Cavanaugh House)
3015 NW 54th St
WHO: Col. John Buck, Commander, Seattle District
Chittenden Decedents, Speech by Cheryl Petersen (Great Granddaughter)
Honorable Pramila Jayapal, Washington’s 7th District
Honorable Ed Murray, Mayor of Seattle
Rear Adm. David Throop, U.S. Coast Guard, Commander, District 13
Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Wells, King County Council, District 4
WHAT: Ceremony commemorating the 100th anniversary of the official opening of the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks in Ballard.
NOTE: Two U.S. Navy EA-18G Growlers from Electronic Attack Squadron 138, the Yellow Jackets, from Naval Air Station Whidbey, are scheduled to fly over the Locks at 10:04 a.m., as part of the ceremony. During the July 4, 1917 ceremony, one of the earliest Boeing airplanes, a biplane, circled overhead.
WHY: The Hiram M. Chittenden Locks and the Lake Washington Ship Canal were completed in 1917 but were first proposed more than half a century earlier. The locks and canal were originally conceived to support timber, export coal and other heavy industry on Lakes Union and Washington.
Congress agreed to conduct a feasibility study to evaluate various routes. It was completed in 1892, but it was not until 1906 that wrangling over the routes among the various interests was resolved and focus was turned to designing a canal and lock system at the current locations. It was during the final discussions about the particulars of the proposed canal and locks that Maj. Hiram M. Chittenden became Seattle District commander and arrived in Seattle.
Chittenden quickly determined the route was acceptable, but the locks envisioned for the project would be inadequate. Chittenden led the effort that, in 1910, resulted in authorization from Congress for $2.3 million in funding for the locks. King County agreed to improve the attendant waterways. Construction began in 1911 and on July 4, 1917, the opening of the then-called Government Locks was officially celebrated.