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The Historic Pacific Highway
in Washington

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Des Moines Memorial Drive
A Living Road of Remembrance

Des Moines Memorial Dr. in 1916  

Formally known as;
Highline Road, 1912 - 1921
Pacific Highway - 1922 - 1925

Originally called the High Line Road, or sometimes the Des Moines Road, the road was a major thoroughfare between Seattle and Tacoma from around 1916 up to the 1920's and was thought at the time to be more important than the more well-known Pacific Highway a few miles to the east. 

Des Moines Memorial Drive traces a path through the middle of the region of King County informally known as Highline, beginning in downtown Des Moines at Marine View Drive. 

It continues approximately north through SeaTac to South 188th Street, then turns west and becomes part of SR 509. At Ambaum Boulevard and Normandy Road it turns north again and heads approximately northeast through Boulevard Park and becomes 14th Avenue South at SR 599 and the city boundary of Seattle

On Armistice Day, November 11, 1921 the Seattle Garden Club chose a meandering north-south road joining Seattle with Des Moines for a tree planting effort to honor those Seattle area men and women who had died in World War I. 

The High Line Road was, at the time, the shortest distance between Seattle and Tacoma and it was thought that in coming years, as it was paved and widened from the Pierce/King County line to Tacoma, it would also be the most heavily traveled route. 

Des Moines Memorial Drive, also known in the past as Des Moines Memorial Way, is the only remaining "Road of Remembrance" dedicated to the memory of those who died in World War I. In 1921 

In 1925 Des Moines Memorial Drive was temporarily used as US 99 from Des Moines to the south end of Seattle until the rest of Pacific Hwy S was completed. 

In the 1920s The Seattle Times reported: "Along the Pacific Highway for miles between Seattle and Sunnydale, small American flags fluttered in the breeze, one on each of the thousand and more memorial elms which have been planted in memory of our state’s heroes who made the supreme sacrifice. 

The latest tribute was paid to the heroic dead by the highest military genius of France, come here as a messenger of peace, directly from the Peace Portal at Blaine."

Seattle's Road of Remembrance - Victory Way

2011 map

Highline Historical Society has information about the road. - Here.

Looking north

Looking north


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