Photo by Steve Shay, Slideshow by Steve Shay and Heather Nelson
Pictured left & right are brothers Barry & Dwight 'Bud' Hawley, whose late father, also Dwight, was instrumental in getting the Shilshole Marina built. They cut two birthday cakes at the marina for its 50-year birthday celebration. Click on photo for SLIDESHOW.

SLIDESHOW: Happy 50th birthday Shilshole Marina


In 1962 Shilshole Bay Marina was formally dedicated during Seattle’s World Fair – Century 21, and offered moorage for 1500 boats. The marina's 50th birthday was celebrated Friday evening, Sept. 14, in front of the marina, with the idyllic backdrop of boat masts clustered together with the sun poking through. Salmon was served to the public, and Tracy McKendry, General Manger of Recreational Boating for the Port led the crowd, singing "Happy Birthday", before two birthday cakes were sliced.

"It's great to celebrate 50 years of boating here at Shilshole since 1962, and clearly a tremendous asset for the Ballard community and the Seattle Community, and as I hear from Shilshole, the best of the Northwest for the marinas," said Kurt Beckett, Chief of Staff, Port of Seattle. "I think the reason that's the case is it's the people, whether it's our community of liveaboards that helps make this place safe 24/7, our community up on the hill and surrounding neighborhoods, many of them customers here, so thanks for your business, and the larger community that makes this possible."

McKendry introduced brothers Dwight 'Bud' and Barry Hawley. Their father, the late Dwight S. Hawley, the 44th District State Representative, was instrumental in getting the marina's breakwater started and completed. A plaque in front of the building honors their father.

"This is the 50th anniversary of the completion but we can also call it the 85th anniversary when my dad started back in the 1920's to try to promote it's usage here," said Dwight 'Bud' Hawley. "I was born in 1924, and in 1930 I started coming down on Ballard Beach which was right here. We'd go swimming and have a fire. Then when dark came, the cars would start coming down and all the lovers would be steaming up the windows. Those were great days, too. But this is a wonderful facility and the port has done a wonderful job."

"I remember 50 years ago when they had the dedication," said Barry. "The breakwater was actually done in '58. I am very proud of my father. He made a dedication speech and I'd like to read the last paragraph of it. He said, 'I am pleased to be here representing the many fine citizens both living and deceased who had a part in making this great project possible. This is truly a civic project in which there has been full cooperation between the public and all branches of government. Shilshole breakwater and moorage will be a living monument to this effort. It will enhance the recreational value of the great Puget Sound area, and Seattle, the boating capital of the world.'"

Gael Tarleton, Commission President, King County’s Port of Seattle, and 36th District State House candidate, attended the birthday party. She recalled falling in love with Seattle, and the scenic Ballard waterfront.

"The very first time my husband and I visited Seattle, we went to Chinooks (Restaurant), then to Golden Gardens Beach first," said Tarleton, now a Ballard resident. "It was Sept. 12 and 13, 1988, and here we are exactly 14 years later. We lived in Virginia, and came here for vacation, to fly-fish, do guide-boating on the peninsula. While walking Golden Gardens I said to my husband, 'We're going to move out here.' And two years later we did. He went to grad school at UW. It was a win-win for both of us on many levels."

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