Street Improvements

Street Improvements

For many years Sequim streets remained unpaved. Horses and wagons, later automobiles and trucks, left a coating of dust on everything in town. Streets turned into heavily rutted washboards during the year. Every spring the City let out a contract to a local farmer and his grading machine and the main streets were smooth again. After periods of heavy rain, the dust turned to mud.

The Burlingame Road to Dungeness was an important commercial route until the railroad was laid through Sequim instead of Dungeness. Later State Highway 9 (now Old Olympic Highway) was laid on Washington Street through Sequim, connecting with the Port Williams Road at Mantle's Corner and west to Port Angeles.

In the early 1930's State Highway 101 was built, straightening Highway 9, and a new bridge across the Dungeness River provided a more direct route from Port Townsend to Port Angeles through Sequim.

In the 1950's residents began to protest against the condition of City streets and hard surfacing was begun. The Council directed that horses were to be kept off all resurfaced streets. The first City paving project was completed in November 1957.

When Elwha power was extended to Sequim in 1915, five streetlights were placed on poles along Washington Street and a warning light was installed at the intersection by Seal's store to let travelers know they could expect cross traffic. In 1953 a stop signal was installed and citizens were warned to "wait for the green light." As traffic increased, additional stoplights have been installed.

In 1952 the Council ordered the electric poles on both sides of Washington Street from Sunnyside to Fifth Street moved to the alleys in the middle of the block.

That same year, house numbers were assigned to each house in town. Residents refused to use them -- "they knew where everyone lived." House numbers were not accepted until 1953.