Newly discovered erratic in Seattle

Okay, my title’s a bit misleading but I did just learn about this erratic, though it has not existed for over 115 years. I was doing some research on the early history of Madison Street when I came across a reference to what some called the “Big Rock.”

The rock was located on the south side of Madison Street at what used to be known as Williamson Street and is now Tenth Avenue. Basically it’s the northwest corner of the Seattle University campus. On October 29, 1892, an article in the Seattle P-I described the rock as measuring 64 paces around and 12 feet high. It was in the news because crews were getting ready to blast it as part of a grading project on Madison. (There used to be another “Big Rock” in Seattle but it suffered a similar though less destructive fate.)

The paper further noted that “this rock has long been a landmark in the city. The names of the streets in the vicinity being only aScreen Shot 2015-05-20 at 4.50.04 PM tradition.” If you wanted to tell someone where to meet, you’d simply say near the “Big Rock,”  though you had to be a bit careful as the paper also included several notices about robberies taking place near the Big Rock. Apparently it was also quite the place for a little nineteenth century nookie, or maybe even a bit more, but as the P-I writer noted, “fortunately…the big rock tells no tales.”