Seattle's history is that of a pioneer town, fueled by persistent and entrepreneurial founders wanting to create a new life. The... more » area's first settlers were a group of only two dozen led by Arthur and David Denny who arrived at what is now Alki on November 13, 1851.
After the winter they moved to the area near Elliott Bay which is now Pioneer Square. Two men helped lay the city's foundations in quite different ways. Arthur Denny took the industrial approach by funding a lumber mill and establishing a real estate business. David "Doc" Maynard took a civil approach by setting up stores, hotels, restaurants, and hospitals.
Together their city grew into Seattle, named after the Native American chief, Sealth, and the city quickly grew to almost 4,000.
On June 6, 1889 a small pot of glue was left on a stove too long and it erupted into the Great Fire of 1889, destroying almost everything in the area within a few hours. The city rebuilt, and almost all buildings in this area were created soon after 1889, with over 50 of them designed by architect Elmer Fisher.
WIth the Klondike gold rush from 1897-1899 came many gold prospectors and the city was once again a boomtown, with a steady supply of nearby gold. The large proportion of men encouraged a city of vice with many saloons and brothels opening up as the area quickly catered to pleasures of the flesh.
In the 1960s the city had had enough and decided to level the district and start afresh. Citizens were outraged and rallied together to save the historic area, creating one of America's first historic preservation districts.
Today the area offers stunning architecture, restaurants, and well-kept tree-lined streets, but the underground passages below the city remember stories of a Seattle much different than you see today. less «