Then & Now: 8th Ave NW & NW 58th Street

The black & white photo, courtesy Anna Jensen Kvam, was taken between 1903 & 1934 and appears in the book, Passport to Ballard, and is from the photo collection of Paul Dorpat.

The photo is undated, but we are able to assign an approximate date based on two factors. In 1903 the “Cow Ordinance” went into effect making it illegal for cows to roam freely. Then in 1934, our neighborhood became a construction zone when the city started grading and paving the dirt roads.  Since the cow is leashed and the road is dirt, we have an approximate date.


8th and 58th - 2

Then & Now:  Looking north from the corner of 8th Ave NW & NW 58th Street

The location is approximate because there were too few data points for me to confirm the exact location. The first aerial photos of our neighborhood were taken in 1936, and by this date 8th Ave NW had been graded, widen and paved. One home in the original photo is still standing at 5816 8th Ave NW. Today the home is almost completely covered by trees and shrubs and barely visible in the photos.

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The photo is of Jesse Jensen, who once lived at 330 NW 51st Street. Jesse was Anna Jensen Kvam’s father.  A 1967 Seattle Times article (see: JENSEN, K – April 9, 1967 – Seattle Times), describes Jesse as a “dairy farmer” and also as owning a “plastering business”.

If you believe you have additional information to help confirm this photos location, date or subjects, let me know. I would love to see how close I came to the exact information!

Thank you to my husband and sweet baby boy for humoring me on Sunday morning and walking up and down 8th Ave NW in order to figure out the approximate location.

Rasmus Peter Jensen – The original West Woodland Neighbor

While Guy C. Phinney was busy building on Phinney Ridge, Rasmus Peter Jensen was making a name for himself right here in the West Woodland neighborhood.

Rasmus Peter Jensen, also known as Robert later in life, was born on June 14, 1862 in Skjod, Viborg, Denmark.  At the time of his birth his father, Jens, was 38 and his mother, Sidsel, was 39. Jensen immigrated to Seattle in 1889, the year Washington became a state, and homesteaded in the West of Woodland Park district, today’s West Woodland neighborhood. His original farm house was built in 1889 near the corner of 7th Ave NW and NW 60th Street.  The picture below of the Jensen Homestead was taken in 1891 and is courtesy MOHAI.


Jensen was a carpenter by trade and owned a construction business and a general store, Woodland Grocery, Flour & Feed, which was located on the corner of NW 60th & 4th Ave (photo at bottom of page). The photo of Jensen and his crew, below, was taken sometime between 1900 and 1910.  Jensen (far right) takes a lunch break with his construction crew at a house they are building. The men have carried their food to the site in lunchboxes. Photo courtesy of the Seattle MOHAI.


Jensen married his sweetheart Marie E.D. Hansen in 1892. They had two children during their marriage – Anna & Nathalia.  In their wedding photo below, Jensen wears a formal coat and trousers and Marie wears a dark dress with a shaped bodice and puffed sleeves. At the time, many women still followed the older custom of choosing a wedding dress that they could also wear at other times.

Jensen’s great-nephew, Dennis Jensen, told me that Rasmus died on January 9, 1943 in his home at 404 NW 60th Street at the age of 80.

Jensen_wedding_portrait_1892                 woodland flour and seed

For those of you who live to the south of NW 60th & 7th Ave NW, while working in your yards be on the lookout for rusted horse shoes, broken spades or other farm tools. The homes in the area are built on the old Jensen homestead. You all may have a piece of Seattle history right under your feet.

If you have old photos of the neighborhood, please share them with your West Woodland Neighbors by posting on this site, or emailing a JPEG copy to

Photos and historical data courtesy the MOHAI – Seattle.