Find Maritime Attractions

Popular Keywords

Close Search

Stan Sayres Memorial Pits

  • Built 1957

The first week of August brings one of the most popular and famous water events to Seattle, the Seafair Hydroplane Races. The “thunderboats,” so-called because early racers installed booming engines from World War II-era fighter planes, use Stan Sayres Memorial Pits on Lake Washington as their staging area, as nearly a quarter million people watch from shore and boats on the lake. The pits were named after a pioneer hydroplane racer, who brought the sport’s leading trophy, the Gold Cup, to the area.

The pits sit at the head of Wetmore Slough near the site of temporary Duwamish Indian camps before the arrival of Anglo-European settlers. Pioneers recognized the area’s potential as a maritime hub, and an early scheme to build a canal from Lake Washington to Puget Sound included Wetmore Slough. (The canal was later built to the north.) The immediate area went through several transformations, although by the early 1960s, it had deteriorated into a garbage dump. After establishing the pits in 1957, the city redeveloped the dump into a public park. Visitors are allowed to walk the pit area, though during the days leading up to the race and race day itself, special passes are required.

  • Connect

  • Phone
  • 206-684-4075
  • Visit

  • Support

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Similar Listings

San Juan Island National Historical Park

San Juan Island National Historical Park was created in 1966 to celebrate the resolution of international problems with non-violent means. In the late 1850s, pressures built between the United States and Great Britain over possession of the San Juan Island group. The Treaty of Oregon in 1846 left ownership unclear. In 1859, the two countries […]

More Info
Skunk Bay Lighthouse

Skunk Bay Lighthouse

The Skunk Bay Lighthouse near the northern tip of Bainbridge Island is a fully operational lighthouse owned and operated by a private association. It was constructed in 1965 by local maritime author Jim Gibbs based on plans for the Mukilteo Lighthouse. It is not open to the public.

More Info
Willapa Bay Interpretive Center

Willapa Bay Interpretive Center

Oyster harvesting has been a mainstay of the Willapa Bay economy since the 1850s, and the Willapa Bay Oyster House Interpretive Center gives you the whole story. You’ll learn about the history of the oyster industry in a replica of an oyster station house. The center features quotes from numerous oyster family pioneers and their […]

More Info