Dutch Ned is still looking for his little house
Born Nils Jacob Ohm in 1828, this Dutchman arrived in Seattle in 1854. Nicknamed “Dutch Ned” by the locals, he was a funny old man who was a bit slow due to a childhood injury. He made his living in the potholes throughout Pioneer Square’s streets with sawdust from Yesler’s sawmill.
Dutch Ned didn’t make much money and lived in a small shack on the corner of Bellevue Avenue and Republican Street. His biggest fear was to be forgotten and left to die in his pitiful shack. So he spent most of his hard-earned money on a beautiful stone-and-marble mausoleum at Lake View Cemetery.
Being so proud of his lavish landmark, Dutch Ned would spend most of his spare time reading and hosting picnics from what he called his “little house.” In his later years many of the locals would tease him by stating that when his time had come, they’d just toss his old bones in Potters Fields. Fearing this to be true, the poor old man would spend every spare moment in the parlor of the Bonney-Watson Funeral home, sitting and waiting for God’s angels to carry him away.
The ghost of Dutch Ned roams Lake View Cemetery
In death, he was indeed laid to rest in his mausoleum. But his life-long dream would come to a sad end. In the 1970s his “Little House” had to be torn down as it was falling apart. All that remains is a portion of the marble door where his body lays at rest. Or is he at rest?
Some say that Dutch Ned’s spirit roams the streets of Pioneer Square. Dutch Ned can be seen standing on the corner in his overalls with his shovel in hand. But most of all, he is seen wandering the grounds of Lake View Cemetery as well. It is believed that his spirit won’t rest until he finds his favorite little spot in the world, his “little house.”
The story of Dutch Ned is found in Ross Alisson’s book Spooked in Seattle.
About the author:
Ross Allison is the president and founder of AGHOST (Advanced Ghost Gunters of Seattle-Tacoma) with over twenty years of experience investigating the paranormal. Ross is also owner of Spooked in Seattle Tours. The tours are given by bys, horse-drawn carriage, or on foot. Very popular with tourists, the tours also are attracting locals who want to find out more about the hauntings in the Emerald City.