Ivar Haglund

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Ivar Haglund
Ivar Haglund, 1960.jpg
Ivar Haglund, 1960
Born March 21, 1905 (1905-03-21)
Seattle, Washington
Died January 30, 1985 (1985-01-31) (age 79)
Seattle, Washington
Cause of death heart attack
Nationality United States
Known for Folksinger, restaurateur

"Flounder" of Ivar's

Port Commissioner of Seattle

Ivar Johan Haglund (21 March 1905 – 30 January 1985) was a Seattle folk singer and restaurateur, the "flounder"[1] of Ivar's.[2]


Ivar Haglund was born in Seattle, Washington, the son of pioneers Johan Ivar Haglund, a Swedish immigrant and Daisy Hanson Haglund, daughter of Norwegian immigrants. His maternal grandparents had purchased Alki Point in 1869 from Seattle pioneer Doc Maynard. The house was Seattle's oldest house, now located at 3045 64th Avenue SW in West Seattle. His mother died of starvation when he was only three on February 26, 1908,[3] while under treatment by Linda Hazzard, a so-called fasting specialist. However, following autopsy, it was determined that his mother had been suffering from terminal stomach cancer, possibly for years, and that she would have died without Hazzard's "treatment". The official cause of death was reported as stomach cancer.[4] Ivar himself was treated by "Dr." Hazzard several times after his mother's death, likely due to his father's belief that Hazzard's treatment had eased his late mother's suffering and extended her life.[5]


Ivar's Acres of Clams

In 1938, he opened Seattle's first aquarium along with a fish and chips counter on Pier 54. In 1946, he opened a full restaurant there, Ivar's Acres of Clams, which with the fish and chip counter survives to this day (although they have been thoroughly remodeled). He coined its motto, "Keep Clam."[2] He expanded the fine dining and fish and chips restaurants into a regional chain.Today, there are 24 Ivar's fast casual Seafood Bars, three Fish Bars, and three full-service restaurants: Ivar's Acres of Clams, Ivar's Salmon House and Ivar's Mukilteo Landing.[2]

After his neighbor on Pier 56 put up a sign reading "Don't Feed Sea Gulls, Health Regulation" in 1971, Haglund responded with his own sign encouraging customers to feed the seagulls.[2] In 1976, Haglund bought the Smith Tower, a Seattle landmark that was once the tallest building in North America west of the Mississippi River. In 1983, he was elected port commissioner after filing as a prank. He died of a heart attack just over a year later.[2]

In 2009, the Ivar's restaurant company enlisted local historians to conspire in a hoax, in which historic billboards were placed underwater, ostensibly by Haglund before his death, and then "rediscovered." [6]


  1. ^ Ivar’s Carte Clam Card Ivar's restaurants official site. Accessed January 29, 2008 (no longer working). Later ref.: "Ivar’s Makes a Splash with Salmon House Bar Remodel". April 11, 2013. Retrieved November 20, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Haglund, Ivar (1905-1985), (Paul Dorpat, HistoryLink, June 20, 2000) Accessed January 29, 2008.
  3. ^ Lacitis, Erik (3 November 2011). "Washington State Death Records for King County". Washington State Archives. Retrieved 3 November 2011. 
  4. ^ "Starvation Caused Woman's Death: Condition of Stomach Made it Impossible for Ms. Fannie Haglund to Retain any Food Whatever for Weeks". Seattle Daily Times. February 27, 1908. 
  5. ^ Hazzard, Linda Burfield (1867-1938): Fasting Proponent and Killer (Kathrine Beck, HistoryLink, October 26, 2006) Accessed January 29, 2008
  6. ^ Lacitis, Erik (12 November 2009). "Ivar's undersea billboards a hoax devised as marketing ploy". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 3 May 2011. 

Related reading[edit]

  • Stephens, Dave Ivar: The Life and Times of Ivar Haglund (Seattle: Dunhill Publishing, 1986)

External links[edit]