So curious is this 1947 photo from the archives of the Kirkland Heritage Society it almost makes a person want to put words to what the cop might be thinking: "You're not gonna believe this chief, but a car just crashed into the station!"
I loved the shot the minute we saw it while scrolling through the digital archives with society president Loita Hawkinson. I'm partial to old police photos, because my grandfather was a City of Bremerton cop who retired as assistant chief in the 1950s. So I have pics of gramps in uniform, outside the station, standing around with other cops, sitting on his big Harley -- he was one of the first motorcycle cops in Washington, it was said.
But this photo should be tangible to all residents today as well because the Kirkland Police Station has bounced around a bit over the decades and will move into the sometime in 2014. The station now is at on 5th Avenue, just up the hill from its 1946 location.
Back then it was located on Central Way on the south side of its intersection with Market Street. Coming down Market today the through-route still takes a hard left onto Central. This car didn’t quite negotiate the curve, slamming into the station at almost 4 a.m.
I didn't know the cop shop was ever located at Central and Market. When I was a kid, it was several blocks to the east on Central, at its intersection with Main. At some point in the '70s it moved to the present City Hall. The more vivid memory for most of us who have been around town a few years is the famous restaurant that once was right next to the '46 station location: The Flame, oh man -- but that’s another story!
Here’s the story behind these two old photos taken by F.J. King -- the third shows the location today. The photos were in The Seattle Times on Oct. 25, 1946. Apparently just before 4 a.m. that morning, the vehicle driven by Kirkland’s Rose Mehre woman came down Market when the steering jammed. Off the road road it went, fortunately just knicking the station.
All were OK. There were two passengers, Cecilia Black of Kirkland and her brother, U.S. Navy Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Lawrence Ottosen. The officer wiping his brow was Wallace J. Greetan. I love the look on his face - the leather jacket is pretty cool too!
No charges were filed. It was just a long-forgotten minor incident in the history of Kirkland Police -- which began with the hiring in 1906 of Marshall Charles Daniels, reportedly a veteran of the horrific Civil War Battle of Gettysburg.
But for those of us who have known Kirkland for awhile, it’s another poignant reminder of what used to be.