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Seattle is the largest city in the Northwest. It is located about 3 hours north of Portland on Puget Sound and it is the nation’s 23rd largest metropolitan area.

Pioneer Square was the heart of the city in the early days of Seattle. The Pergola served as a Trolley Station.

Seattle’s Public Market is still a popular place to shop.

When the lower levels of the city were covered with landfill late in the 19th Century, a piece of history was preserved with it.

You can take a very interesting Underground Tour of early Seattle where the streets and many buildings were built on stilts to stay above the mud. The tours are given daily and they start from Pioneer Square.

The Tinglet Indian Totem Pole and the Pergola at Pioneer Square. 

Early day Seattle was started as a lumber town. Settlers were savvy enough to see the economic potential in selling the timber to the many ships that were calling on Seattle. The original part of town was built around and on the water using wood. In fact, the town’s first water system was made by drilling logs out and connecting them together. The old buildings we see today were built after the great fire and most of them were built out of brick and stone.

Much of the city burned in 1889 and this provided an opportunity to raise the ground level well above the water level. By raising the ground level, the early Seattleites were able to rebuild their crude sewer system that allowed backflows in their water closets and those occurred twice daily at high tide. The toilets became fountains and unaware of this, newcomers became known as “wet backs”.


Luna Park opened in West Seattle in 1907.

In 1909, Seattle was the site of the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. This view shows the Court of Honor and Government Group buildings at the heart of the Exposition.

Welcome Arch at Seattle’s Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition.

A close-up view of the end of the Agricultural Building.

Nome Circle Bandstand.

The Forestry Building became Forestry Hall at the University of Washington.

Pay Streak was the area set aside for amusements and the midway.

To the left you can see a snow covered exhibition building on Pay Streak.

Tickler and Fairy Gorge along Pay Streak.

The Ferris Wheel along Pay Streak.

This early view of Second Avenue from Union Street shows The Bon Marche’ Department Store to the left.

Frederick & Nelson Department Store, once the pride of Seattle, went out of business in 1992. Nordstrom purchased the building and gave it a grand makeover, After several additions over the years, the building is much larger today.

The first non-Indian settlers in Seattle, the Pioneers, landed at Alki Point in 1851. Alki beach has always been very trendy (reminds me of California) as this scene from early in the 20th Century shows.

Before the Space Needle was built, Seattleites wanted to be able to view their fair locale from a high perch. Some of the best views in Seattle can be seen from the Water Tower at Volunteer Park. No elevator here. I try to get to the top at least once daily whenever I visit Seattle.

Luna Park Seattle

Department Stores

Last updated 10-28-16

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