An oral history of recollections of Bernard “Barney” Keebler Interviewed by Gene Pugh in March, 2000.
“After WWII’s shortages ended, things began to bloom in the Burien and Seahurst areas. Barney’s market specialized in the finest quality of meats, poultry and fish.
When I came to this area in 1948 the Olde Burien area had a small Tradewell store at the corner of 152nd and Ambaum. Across 152nd, there was the Langness Drug Store on the corner, then Conlan’s Grocery, then the feed store, and also Mansfield’s Grocery. Out in Seahurst there was Wright’s Grocery and Barney’s Market. Delphine McDade had a dance studio at the corner a block west of the grocery. To the east there was Ralph Burkhart, architect. Rose Johnson had a candy store and next was the Post Office where Irene Weeks worked. Then there were two real estate offices, Ted Peterson and Bill McMahon. Gladys St. Pierre had a little gift shop and bookstore. On the corner of 22nd the Chevron station was run by Ted Raymond and Dick Rogers. They had all kinds of business
Going to the east on the other side of 22nd, Wrights’s Grocery and Barney’s Meats were in the corner store. A tiny little barber shop was run by Bob Sheen. Next to the barber shop there was Dr. P.C. Wilde, whose receptionist was Mrs. Gilliland. Next door there was the dentist, Bob Campbell, but he had a bad leg and Frank Gallant took over
On the southeast corner of 22nd and SW 152nd, Ivan Phillips had a gas station – ‘way back. That is the site where St. Francis School is now located. St. Francis Church was built in 1929. Father Giboney was the first pastor. The school was opened in 1953. At that time the convent was built for twelve nuns who came here from San Francisco. The growing parish, probably over 1,000 now, outgrew the early church and a new church was started in 1965 by Father Quick. The old one was then used for the education program for the young people
Across the street was a Texaco station and Val Kirk’s Pharmacy (He sold that to “Jack…”)(ed. Bozanitch)
The Seahurst and Three Tree Point homes were first built as summer homes, by people who came out from Seattle for just three months of the year. There were such wonderful people. When I came to Seahurst there was not a single house for sale. Nobody wanted to leave here. But the Gregory Heights area had no yet grown. So my friend took me out to show me an area all covered with scotch broom, with a sweeping view. There were only four houses up there. They had a view in all directions before the trees grew up, and no airplane noise from the airport. People soon began to move in there and “Pop” Leonard and his two sons, Kenny and Art, built a lot of the new homes up there.
I enjoyed the kids. Whenever they came in I would give them either a hot dog or some chipped beef. We also had a pickle barrel and the kids could stop by after school and buy a pickle for a nickel.
One little girl, daughter of my regular customer, used to ride her horse around the neighborhood. One day when she was about 12 or 13 she came by but I was very busy out front. So she came and knocked at the back door. When I went out to answer it she said, “We want some chipped beef.” So, of course I gave it to her..
Ivan Phillips had his gas station farther east in the Burien area and he was later the guard at the bank, then called Seattle Trust and Savings. Another Ivan, Ivan Yeakel, was in the real estate business. His son took over the business later..
Ted Peterson was another businessman in Seahurst. Those companies always ordered turkeys as gifts for their employees during the holidays..
I retired after 20 years in the Seahurst market. Those were the best years of my life. I had a lot of fun.”