Burien Washington - Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services

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The First School in Seahurst
Beginnings as a Tent Schoolroom
The first school in Seahurst began in 1913 in a real estate office at SW 152nd and 22nd Ave. SW (the trolley terminus). Later that year it was moved into a tent. In order to get a teacher, the school had to have ten pupils. Since there were only nine school-aged children in the area, five-year-old Etta Marasch was drafted to go to school. (Other accounts say this draftee was Angelo Balzarini).

During rainy weather, children worked under umbrellas in their tent schoolroom. In its second year, the Lake Burien School moved three-quarters of a mile east to a real estate office at 10th SW and SW 152nd.

A year later a new Lake Burien School, "the last of the old schools," was completed at the current park location, and opened its doors to 13 students in eight grades. Miss Snow taught the lower grades and Mis Emory the upper. Some of the students included Cecil Paul, Bessie Bennett, Harry Bowen, and Eleanor Vandeveer (whose father was the Seattle prosecuting attorney).

The Craftsman-style structure was the only elementary school in the new district. There were two classrooms, a lunch room, and playroom downstairs, with two rooms and a principals office upstairs. The building was also used as a community meeting place and boy scout headquarters.

Continue on to learn about the daily life of some early residents.


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