This short street runs just over a tenth of a mile from 50th Avenue NE by St. Bridget Catholic Church in the northwest to NE 50th Street by Villa Academy in the southeast. It was established in 1913 as part of the Montlake Tracts addition by “Magdalena Nicklas, a widow.” Legal advertisements in The Seattle Republican newspaper in 1908 show her husband’s name to have been John Nicklas. Based on this article by Valarie Bunn, this FamilySearch page, this Find a Grave page, plus an item in the November 25, 1941, issue of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, saying that 20 years earlier “the first woman to homestead on Sand Point, Mrs. Magdalena Nicklas, eighty-two, dies at her home,” we can expand the Nicklases’ biographical information to be Magdalena Kummer, 1839–1921, and Johann “John” Nicklas, 1834–1908, who were farmers in what is now Přimda, Czech Republic, but was then Pfraumberg, Austria–Hungary. They came to the United States in 1867 and to Seattle in 1878, and their land claim covered the 160 acres between what is now NE 45th Street on the south, NE 55th Street on the north, 45th Avenue NE on the west and 55th Avenue NE on the east.

Map of land claims in what is now Laurelhurst, Seattle
Map of land claims in what is now Laurelhurst, from A History of Laurelhurst by Christine Barrett, published 1981.
Photograph of Joseph and Frances Nicklas, The Seattle Star, June 26, 1924
Joseph and Frances Nicklas featured in The Seattle Star, June 26, 1924. Joseph was the son of John and Magdalena, and was 17 when the family made their claim in 1878. The caption reads: “Just down the lane, over the stile,” you will find it — bowered in trees — the abode of peace and good-will, the “old homestead” of Joseph and Frances Nicklas. They settled there in ’78 — and there they are today, within the limits of a great city — happy and blessed with life’s greatest gift — serenity of soul. To them in their simple life is vouchsafed that which kings of the earth and their royal consorts would perhaps barter for, even unto the half of their kingdoms. But “kings of the earth” literally, indeed, are the homekeeping hearts at 50th and East 55th — Seattle, Washington. (That location is today where NE 55th Street, Ivanhoe Place NE, 50th Avenue NE, and NE Sand Point Way meet.)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.