The following history is an abridged text. For more information, view the full document
The history of Jacob Ambaum Park includes not only details of Jacob Ambaum's life and times, but also the story of the roads and streetcar line he helped build - both of which played a vital role in opening up Burien to settlement and development.
In 1870, the Soloman family purchased 319 acres in North Burien from the U.S. Government. The Solomans settled near SW 128th and Ambaum Blvd, an area known as Mayfair and Hermes Depression. Soloman hoped that draining this swamp would yield rich bottomland for farming. After failing to do so, however, he sold off the land. Some of the early buyers included the Jacob Ambaum family.
A skilled jack-of-all-trades, Jacob Ambaum, a German immigrant via Ohio, was a road-builder, realtor, investor, and chicken rancher. In 1902, he brought his wife, Mary, to homestead in Hazel Valley. Ambaum's thickly timbered property extended from 126th to 128th SW, and from Ambaum Blvd. to 8th Ave. SW, including the present site of St. Bernadette's School. An existing house, dating to the 1880s, sat on the property. A new house was built in 1916. The Ambaums' homestead was bordered in the front by a large gate flanked by imported Norway spruce.
Continue on to learn about the early development of the area