B-Town Artist: Dave Branson Sketches Seahurst Park Beach

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Longtime Burien resident and local artist Dave Branson was out and about this last weekend, spending time sketching at Seahurst Park Beach, which played a significant role in his life growing up here since his family used to own a 9-acre wooded waterfront residential lot nearby.

Here’s what Dave had to say about this sketch:

It was a beautiful sunny day Saturday, so we went to Seahurst Park, and I did this sketch while we were there.

I was young when the sea wall went up at Seahurst Park, and it’s always felt like the park’s dominant feature to me. My Dad would jog at the park regularly, and I would join him sometimes when he could pry me away from Saturday morning cartoons. I remember when the sea wall was new and the concrete pavers on the path along the top of the wall hadn’t settled yet. They were musical because they would ring a little bit when we ran along the path.

Now I’ve heard that the northern part of the wall will be removed, just like the southern wall has been. It will take some getting used to. I’m still not used to how the southern half of the park has changed. I know it’s all for the best, environmentally, and now the beach will feel like the dominant feature of the park when our family visits the park in the coming decades.

Click to view larger image.

And for a little historical background on this part of Burien and the Branson family, here’s some info taken from the city’s website:

In the early 1900s, the land known as Eagle Landing Park belonged to the Branson family. The Branson property was part of a 200-acre parcel owned by the Seahurst Land Company, which supplied water to local residents from springs on the property. The original Branson estate was a 9-acre wooded waterfront residential lot. In 1915, a relative of the owner built a residence in the northern portion of the property, which was upgraded and expanded in the 1930s. A county road through the property was platted but never built, and has been vacated since 1935. The property was logged about 90 years ago, when much of the timber in Burien, Seahurst, and Gregory Heights was felled to supply wood for America’s Liberty Ships in World War I.

The steeply sloped property sits atop two geologic units – glacial lake clay and silt below, and glacial outwash sand and gravel above – both deposited during glaciation of Puget Sound in the last Ice Age. Springs trickle from the hillside at an elevation of about 50 feet. The area has a long history of slope instability, according to oral history and the topographic features of the site.

To see more of Dave’s art, check out his blog: http://popsiclemud.blogspot.com.

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