What began in Montlake as a tiny log flume is now an 8-mile (13-km) urban waterway for sailboats, kayakers, and an impressive fleet of industrial vessels heading to sea. In 1854, pioneer Thomas Mercer recognized the need for a passage to the ocean from Seattle’s two landlocked water bodies, Lake Washington and Lake Union, to replace the cumbersome transport of natural resources such as coal and timber. The Ship Canal and the Locks were completed in 1917 by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Four drawbridges cross the Canal at strategic points in Ballard, Fremont, the University District, and Montlake, at the western edge of Lake Washington.
Hiram Chittenden Locks