Shelf Life Community Story Project
Amplifying community voices, learning from neighborhood stories, and interrupting narratives of erasure in Seattle's Central District.

Yesler Terrace Memories

Photo by Jill Freidberg

Photo by Jill Freidberg

Geraldine Cook's great grandparents came to Seattle, in 1901. She grew up with seven siblings, living all over Seattle, including in the Central District, where she was born. 

Geraldine Cook

We moved to Yesler Terrace, and I went to Washington Junior High.

My sister and I took all kind of classes, modern dance, tap dance, baton. It was a real mixture. I remember Mishiko, a Japanese girl. I remember Sammy Verzola and Manuel Verzola, Filipino. Mary German was a real good friend of mine, she's white. And then my friends were all 90% black, 99%. 

I remember this one time, we must have gotten into something we had no business, 'cause we were running. I remember running like mad, and there's this big pile of dirt that we ran up over, and it had water right in the middle of it and I stepped down and lost my shoe. I always remember that. I don't remember what my mother said, she probably was really mad.

Very memorable for me.  I just have the best memories  of Yesler Terrace.