Burien Washington - Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services

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Early Homesteaders
The O'Days, Busses, and Kunhausens
Access to the shoreside areas near Salmon Creek, which would become residential neighborhoods, was not possible until logging had cleared the plateau above. The first roads were logging roads, from Seola Beach up to Myer’s Way--the early land link with the rest of Seattle. A few rough roads ran east into Edward S. Solomon’s parcel, 320 acres in the Mayfair and Hermes Depression.

Homesteaders near Salmon Creek were the O’Days, Busses, and Kunhausens. The O’Days’ 10-acre parcel lay between 18th and 21st SW, and 112th and 114th - the northern edge of the Ravine at the time. Michael O'Day tended 10 acres of potatoes, a major source of income for the family.

The O’Days’ nearest neighbors were the Busses, who built a cabin in 1906 on 10 acres near 116th SW and 21st SW. Paul and Mary Busse and their daughter Minnie Katherine chose this spot because it lay on higher ground than their previous home on the Duwamish River, which had flooded the previous November. South of the Busses lived the Kunhausen family. Despite having six children and a modest two-room shanty, the Kunhausens took the Busses in until they finished their own cabin.

Paul Busse worked as a "powder man" for Jacob Ambaum, doing much of the blasting work on the roads between White Center and Burien, especially Ambaum Blvd. and the Highland Park / Lake Burien Rail Line.

Salmon Creek was frequently fished by the locals. Essel and Otis Haselton--whose 30-acre farm lay between 128th and 131st SW, from Ambaum to 8th Ave. SW - were one such couple. “Otis thought I was a pretty fair fisherman,” recalled Essel. “He always sent me on ahead and I usually caught most of the fish. Salmon Creek was much bigger then and full of nice trout.”

Continue on to learn about early development in the community.

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