Writes of Way isn’t just about street names (or just about names, for that matter). So… here is our first post on a body of water! As recounted in Bitter Place N, Bitter Lake was so named because, according to HistoryLink,
A small, lake-bound sawmill operation at the southwest corner of Bitter Lake contracted with the Puget Mill and Brown Bay Logging Company to process their lumber cut from nearby forests. The tannic acid from logs dumped into the lake was so bitter that horses refused to drink from it, thus giving the 20-acre pond its name.
Its native name is čʼalqʼʷadiʔ, meaning ‘blackcaps on the sides’.
Born and raised in Seattle, Benjamin Donguk Lukoff had his interest in local history kindled at the age of six, when his father bought him settler granddaughter Sophie Frye Bass’s Pig-Tail Days in Old Seattle at the gift shop of the Museum of History and Industry. He studied English, Russian, and linguistics at the University of Washington, and went on to earn his master’s in English linguistics from University College London. His book of rephotography, Seattle Then and Now, was published in 2010. An updated version came out in 2015.