Burien Washington - Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services

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Herman Peters
A Belief in Progress
Peters believed in progress. In 1903, he built a grocery store (and later a service station) at the three-cornered parcel bounded by South 152nd, 8th Ave. South and Des Moines Rd, which served the area until 1969. He also built a large fish pond there, fed by an artesian well. In 1904, Peters established the Sunnydale Telephone Company, financed by himself and a friend, Ebon Greene. Through an agreement with the Seattle telephone company, they connected their wires to the Georgetown branch. Peters installed phones, kept them repaired, collected monthly charges, and handled all the business. His telephone poles were often used for fencing around residents’ property.

In 1905, Peters built a large cedar home, which burned down shortly before State Highway 518 was built over the site where it stood. The old Herman Peters home was a Sunnydale landmark for many years. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by vandals in 1968.

By 1915, Peters convinced the Puget Sound Electric Company to bring electricity to the area. He also owned the area's first gasoline buggy, which he used on his rounds maintaining phone service. Many times, however, his daughter Hilda had to hitch up the horse and buggy and tow the car out of a mudhole. Hilda Carver, mother of Dorothy Carver and Eleanor C. Nelson, was born on September 5, 1895. She lived in the area all her life.

Herman Peters was the area’s first Justice of the Peace, as well as a notary in 1897. He donated land for and helped build Sunnydale's first church, and served on the Sunnydale School Board. He died in 1949 at the age of 80, and was buried in Riverton Crest Cemetery near his first wife, Anna Simons Peters.

Continue on to learn about Herman's descendants, the Mathison family.


14700 6th Avenue SW   /  Burien, WA 98166  /  Ph: (206) 988-3700  /  Fax: (206) 243-2784
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