Sunday, June 5, 2016

Event -- Seattle Underground Tour

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to Seattle's Underground Tour, which is a guided exploration of part of the old city that Seattle was built over. Seattle was founded in the latter half of the 1800s, but it initially experienced a great deal of problems due to the local geology. The town was essentially built on wet sand and sawdust from the local lumber mill. Furthermore, most of the houses were built from wood. As a result, the city suffered flooding from tides (toilets would overflow during the high tide), sinking buildings, and fires. The Great Seattle Fire of 1889 destroyed a huge portion of the city, and it was decided that new construction would be built with fireproof materials; not only that, but buildings were also constructed over old structures, leading to the creation of the Seattle underground. For a time, the "basement level" was still used for business.
The Seattle underground has a certain aesthetic and represents culture from a century ago. The aesthetic is mysterious, yet quaint. The culture is that of a people who cobbled together what would become one of the United States' most prosperous cities. There is a certain unorthodox science to how the city's problems were solved.
Madame Lou Graham appears in the picture above with some of her girls. Prostitution was a large part of Seattle's economy, and when Madame Lou Graham died she left her fortune to the schools of Seattle. Although more conservative people had objections about the source of the money, it was nonetheless a huge boon to the education system.

Selfie of me in the Seattle Underground Tour.


Bennett, Jeanette. "The Woman Who Laid the Foundation of Seattle." The Association of Temporal Anthropologists:. 23 May 2013. Web. 05 June 2016.

Seattle Municipal Archives. "Brief History of Seattle." CityArchives. Web. 05 June 2016.

Seattle Underground Tour. Web. 05 June 2016. <>.

Speidel, Bill. Seattle Underground Tour. 1965. Guided Tour. Pioneer Square, Seattle.

"The Great Seattle Fire." University of Washington Digital Collections. Web. 05 June 2016. 

No comments:

Post a Comment