Burien Washington - Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services

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Developments in the Community
Parente Grocery and the Toonerville Trolley
In 1919, Frank Parente's father started Salmon Creek Grocery, near SW 116th and Ambaum. The Toonerville Trolley stopped nearby. The stop at SW 116th, in front of Laugerquist place, was a siding and "meet-'em-station." At 120th the tracks curved around Salmon Creek before continuing on to Seahurst and Lake Burien.
On weekends, people rode the streetcar out from the city and got off at Parente's store, where they bought refreshments and followed Salmon Creek down to the Sound. "As kids we used to walk down there," recalls Parente. "That would have been in the 1930s. There was an old skid road where they did logging. They would log the logs and skid them down to the Sound, and then they'd barge them away. . . . "

(It makes sense that those wishing to get to the beach from here would follow Salmon Creek. As late as 1955, SW 116th still did not connect with Ambaum. That year residents petitioned the county to bridge the head of Salmon Creek Ravine on SW 116th St, just west of Ambaum, to create better access to the Shorewood area.)

Hurt by the Depression and the closing of the streetcar line, Parente closed Salmon Creek Grocery in 1930. The nearby Lake Burien car line had run nine miles, from Riverside to Seahurst. It began in 1912 and made its last run in 1931. It was the only line of its kind in Seattle: single-tracked, over private right-of-way. Despite its operational problems, the line was vital to the growth of Burien.

Continue on to learn about the Burke Sawmill.

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