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What is the history of Seattle, Washington, USA?

People, Pictures, Old Postcards and Stories From the Past

Explore Seattle, Washington, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures and genealogy.
"Seattle, se-attel, a city, capital of King co, Washington, is on the E. shore of Puget Sound, about 22 miles N.N.E. of Tacoma, and 47 miles N.E. of Olympia. The city is finely located, and its harbor, called Elliott Bay, 40 miles from the Strait of Juan de Fuca and 130 miles from the open Pacific, affords safe anchorage for the largest vessels. Lake Washington, about 20 miles in length and 2 miles in width, forms the eastern boundary of the city, and within its limits lies Lake Union. The transportation facilities of Seattle include the service of 4 railroads,—the Great Northern, the Northern Pacific, the Columbia & Puget Sound, and the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern. The city has almost 100 miles of electric and cable lines. It is the seat of Washington University (organized in 1872), and has also a custom-house, United States court, &c., 3 colleges, 1 academy, 1 seminary, 15 public and 7 denominational schools, about 60 churches, 20 banks, 4 daily and 16 weekly newspapers, a number of monthly periodicals, and manufactures of lumber, shingles, machinery, boilers, beer, bricks, tiles, boots and shoes, flour, woollen goods, &c. According to the census of 1890, the capital employed in all industries reported was $4,284,707, and the value of the annual product $9,207,195. Leading articles of export are lumber, coal, hops, and fish of various kinds. Seattle is the base of supplies for the coal-mines, fisheries, and lumber-camps of this region. Pop. in 1880, 3533; in 1890, 42,837; in 1892 (local census), 57,542."

Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ...
Joseph Thomas
January 1, 1895
J.B. Lippincott

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  • News 1851 - November 13 - The Denny Party lands at Alki Point, the first settlers of what would become Seattle, Washington
    November 13, 1851

  • 1856 - January 26 – First Battle of Seattle: Marines from the USS Decatur (1839) drive off American Indian attackers after an all day battle with settlers.
    January 26, 1856

  • 1861 - May 20 - Cornerstone of University of Washington laid in Seattle

  • News January 6, 1880 - Seattle, WA, was in the midst of their worst snowstorm of record. Hundreds of barns were destroyed, and transportation was brought to a standstill, as the storm left the city buried under four feet of snow.
    January 6, 1880

  • News 1886 - February 9 - Pres Cleveland declares a state of emergency in Seattle because of anti-Chinese violence
    February 9, 1886

    Seattle, W. A. May 12. - This afternoon at 5:30 o'clock a terrible accident occurred on the Front Street cable road on the corner of Pine and Second...Read MORE...

    Seattle, June 7. - The city is a scene of wreck and ruins. Yesterday afternoon the entire business portion of the city was burned to the ground, and, ...Read MORE...

  • 1893 - Great Northern Railroad completed to Seattle resources/ state-history-timeline/ washington.html

    Most of the Bodies So Charred as to be Unrecognizable-Thrilling Scenes as Guests, Awakened Shortly After Midnight, Leaped from the Windows -Pathetic...Read MORE...

  • 1894 - March 5 - Seattle authorizes 1st municipal employment office in US

  • News 1897 - July 17 – The Klondike Gold Rush begins when the first successful prospectors arrive in Seattle.
    July 17, 1897

  • 1897-99 - Klondike Gold Rush; Seattle grows quickly as a jump-off point for people heading to the gold fields. resources/ state-history-timeline/ washington.html

  • 1898 - May 21 - US Assay Office in Seattle, Washington authorized

  • Seattle, Washington, USA
    Lincoln High School, Seattle, Wash.
  • News 1901 - January 5 – Typhoid fever breaks out in a Seattle jail, the first of two typhoid outbreaks in the USA during the year.
    January 5, 1901

  • 1903 - Iron Chink fish cleaning machine invented by Seattleite Edmund A. Smith. resources/ state-history-timeline/ washington.html

  • News 1904 - December 19 - Dawson City hockey team begins 9 day walk to get a boat to Seattle to catch a train to Ottawa to play in Stanley Cup on Jan 13 1905
    December 19, 1904

  • 1906
    Seattle, se-at'tel, a city and subport of entry, capital of King Co., Wash., is on the E. shore of Puget Sound, 23 miles (direct) NNE. of Tacoma, on...Read MORE...

  • News 1907 - August 28 - United Parcel Service is founded by James E. Casey in Seattle, Washington
    August 28, 1907

  • 1909 - Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition held in Seattle to showcase the Northwest's setting and bounty of natural resources. resources/ state-history-timeline/ washington.html

  • Seattle, Washington, USA
    Alaska - Yukon - Pacific Exposition, Seattle 1909
    Hawaii and Oriental Foreign Exhibit Buildings from European Building
  • Seattle, Washington, USA
    Administration Building, Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, Seattle, Wash.
  • Seattle, Washington, USA
    Totem Pole and Pioneer Square, Seattle, Wash.
  • Seattle, Washington, USA
    Second Avenue, Seattle, Washington
  • News 1916 - July 15 – In Seattle, Washington, William Boeing incorporates Pacific Aero Products (later renamed Boeing).
    July 15, 1916

  • 1919 - Seattle general strike
    February 6 – The Seattle General Strike begins in the United States, affecting over 65,000 workers.

    February 11 - The Seattle General Strike ends...

  • 1922 - March 9 - KJR-AM in Seattle Washington begins radio transmissions

  • News 1924 - September 28 – U.S. Army pilots John Harding and Erik Nelson complete the first round-the-world flight. It takes them 175 days and 74 stops before they finally returned to Seattle.
    September 28, 1924

  • Seattle, Washington, USA
    Metropolitan Center, Seattle, Washington
  • News 1937 - September 14 - The mercury soared to 92 degrees at Seattle, WA, a record for September.

    The Weather Channel
    September 14, 1937

  • 1938 - December 29 - Construction on Lake Washington Floating Bridge, Seattle, begins

  • July 2, 1940: Lake Washington Floating Bridge dedicated in Seattle, Washington

    The Old Farmer's Almanac

  • News 1941 - Traffic Crash Fatal to Pair
    Publisher of Seattle Suburban Weekly and Wife Die When Auto and Truck Collide

    Seattle, Nov, 13. – (AP) – Mr. and Mrs. J. L. MANIRE, publishers of...Read MORE...

  • 1948 - Washington's first TV station (KING-TV) begins broadcasting in Seattle. resources/ state-history-timeline/ washington.html

  • News 1955 - June 9 - 100°F - Hottest day in Seattle Washington
    June 9, 1955

  • 1961 - Seattle is home to the first revolving restaurant. resources/ state-facts/ washington.html

  • 1962 - April 21 - Seattle World's Fair (Century 21 Exposition) opens resources/ state-history-timeline/ washington.html
    April 21, 1962

  • 1981 - October 7 - Seattle, WA, received four inches of rain in 24 hours, a record for the city.

    The Weather Channel

Seattle, Washington, USA Genealogy

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Updated: 4/30/2019 4:06:17 PM

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