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A Sore on the Body Politic

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December 3, 2009 by foghi

While my friend was looking up information about the Odd fellows Comet Lodge (she is still on the hunt), I was scanning council minutes for anything about Everett “Big Hutch” Hutchings and the saloons on Estella Street. I was quite surprised to find only two liquor licenses remain in the city files – one for the Country Inn Roadhouse, Big Hutch’s digs, and one for the Vienna Bar that was directly across Estella Street from Hutch.

Hutch is mentioned in the city minutes along with the proprietors of several other “saloon-keepers”. After perusing the files I found several letters of interest – let’s start with a correspondence from the “Office of Kenneth MacKintosh, Prosecuting Attorney for King County” dated April 22, 1908.

A Sore on the Body Politic

A Sore on the Body Politic – Prostitution

“I desire to call your attention officially to a condition of affairs existing in your city which you have within your power to rectify. There are six resorts selling liquor under licenses granted by you which are being so conducted that they are constantly violating the laws of this state. The places … are as follows: “Roxy’s,” the proprietor of which is Roxy Reber; “Rainer Bar,” the proprietor of which is L.C, Bregonze; “Lincoln Park,” the proprietor of which is Charlton and Bowman; “Germania Park,” the proprietor of which is F Brand; “Vienna Grocery and Bar,” the proprietor of which is L. Pavish; and “Bohemian Park,” the proprietor of which is Richard Bishop. The proprietor of each one of these places has been found guilty of selling liquor on Sunday and of maintaining a nuisance, and it seems to me that these convictions give you sufficient foundation to revoke their licenses.”

The letter goes on to say…

“There exists no reason why one man upon your police force, to say nothing of the entire department, cannot keep these places from being, as they have been, the harbor for dissolute and depraved men and women, and form violating every law upon the statute books which it is within the power to violate”
“You may choose one of three courses in dealing with this matter, –
(First) You can revoke the licenses of these resorts and thus entirely abolish them with t her attendant vice, or
(Secondly) You can see to it that your police department compels them, if you still allow them to hold their licenses, to maintain order, disperse the degenerates who frequent them, clean out their dance halls, close up their bedrooms, and conduct themselves in an orderly and decent manner, or
(Thirdly) You may allow them to continue in the way in which they have been going, to the discredit of your city and the humiliation of your citizens, and compel the county to bear the expense of policing and prosecuting them.”

In conclusion…

“I sincerely hope, however, that you will co-operate with me and cut out these sores which exist in your body politic.
Yours respectfully,”

The question now is how did our city fathers respond to the County Attorney. Did they revoke the licenses of those named above, allow them to continue up until annexation, or did the offices of Kenneth MacKintosh enforce the law of the land?

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One thought on “A Sore on the Body Politic

  1. […] of members of the secret societies – the Masons and the Oddfellows. We will give you an update to those findings when we return. If there is something which interests you – give us a shout […]

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You have stumbled across the blog for Friends of Georgetown History, a group based out of Seattle, WA dedicated to the preservation of the Georgetown neighborhood. Through research and storytelling, the Friends of Georgetown history have quite a few historical facts to share about the eclectic hood of Georgetown, home to the original Rainier Brewery. Enjoy, share and comment - this is how the stories get told!

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Georgetown was incorporated as a city in Washington State on January 8, 1904. It was annexed to the city of Seattle on March 29, 1910.

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