Next up, Bill Spiedel’s Underground Seattle Tour. The tour starts in the heart of Pioneer Square in the building with a brief history lesson on how Seattle was founded and how it grew from there. There was a lot of information, but it was really interesting. The information I’ll share is not in order and probably missing some parts since there is so much it was hard to remember it all. Seattle is named after an Native American Indian chief, Chief Seattle. Seattle is a logging town on the water and Seattle used to be at sea level. Currently it is above sea level due to the high tides that would flood the streets and do damage to the buildings and streets. Back then, the very ingenious Seattlites thought it was a really good idea to lay down the saw dust from the local saw mill. Saw dust doesn’t mix well with water…in fact, as said by the tour guide, it looks like oatmeal. This got so bad that the city had to lay down the law and order businesses to build their buildings higher so that the roads could be lifted to solve the oatmeal problem. For about 4 years, while businesses were still adding additional floors, the main floor was still at sea level while the road continued to be lifted. People had to go down about 30 feet on ladders to get to the front door of the businesses.
This tour went underneath the city’s current sidewalks and some businesses in Pioneer Square.
I wanted to save the two best pieces of information for last. One, in early Seattle, there were no toilets. People used outhouses. Thomas A. Crapper, from England, introduced toilets to the Seattlites. First of all, the name is simply hilarious and from my understanding it was just a complete coincidence that he was in the toilet business. Here is a picture of a Crapper!
Lastly, in Early Seattle, the city wanted to be more aware of what kind of occupations the people had because the more people in one occupation the more they were going to tax. They took a poll and after they realized there was oddly an insane amount of women who claimed they were “seamstresses”. After further research the city knew it was just a code name for prostitution. As a result of the poll, people of the city found out that the most income was coming from “seamstresses” and gambling. Who’da thought!
Until next time!