Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Susan J. Henry Memorial Little Library

7/28/15 ink, watercolor, colored pencils
On my way home from Shoreline this morning, I took a slight detour west through the Bitter Lake neighborhood in search of another Little Free Library. (This time I even remembered to bring along a book from my over-stuffed shelves to contribute!) Carefully constructed but unadorned, the library looked rather basic. The fence behind the library, however, had another part of the story to tell: metal letters facing toward the house spelling out “Susan J. Henry Memorial Library.”

Assuming that Susan J. Henry was a family member or some other loved one of the home owner, I was curious nonetheless, so I Googled the name. It turns out that the former Capitol Hill branch of the Seattle Public Library was actually called the Susan J. Henry (1854-1921) branch. She was the wife of Seattle capitalist Horace C. Henry. In 2003 the library was replaced by a new building and renamed the Capitol Hill Branch. I’m guessing that the sign was salvaged from the previous building. You learn something every day!

Another thing I learned today is that the Bitter Lake neighborhood I drove through is full of trees with bad haircuts. I now have a whole new area to cover this winter when I sketch from my car.


  1. How great that they saved the sign. Nice sketch of the free library! I finally saw one here and didn't have a camera or a sketchbook with me. lol

  2. Great story and a sketch that's perfect.


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