History & Haunting of Pike Place Market
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Pike Place Market vintage postcard.
The Pike Place Market in
Seattle is not only a great place to shop but also the most haunted place
in Seattle, if not all of
The Pike Place Market has
a long history, having been created in 1907. It all began when
rumors of price fixing began to circulate. As a result, the Seattle
City Council soon established a public market along the newly constructed
four-block boardwalk known as Pike Place.
On opening day, August 17, 1907, residents
were so eager for fairly priced fresh food that they swarmed over the first
dozen farmers, emptying their cars within just a few minutes.
Before long, a Pike Place landowner named
Frank Goodwin, who had earned his wealth with Klondike gold, built the
first marketplace building. His arcade opened on November 30, 1907.
The Outlook Hotel and
the Triangle Market were built the following year. Growing
demand led the city to extend the shelter in 1911 and hired the first
"Market Master” whose job was to run the daily lottery for assigning
stalls to competing farmers and vendors. In that first decade an
number of multi-level buildings were constructed, most of which
continue to make up the permanent arcades of the market today.
The Great Depression
had little impact on the market, as it offered the cheapest food in
town. In fact, during this time, the market actually expanded.
Pike Place market today, photo by Stéphane
University of Washington.
After the depression,
a number of hotels, restaurants and theaters soon popped up in the
area prompting Seattle to claim that Pike Place was "The Finest Public
Market In The World."
The market continued
to thrive through World War II, and in 1941 the main arcades were
purchased by an Italian farmer by the name of Joe Desimone. However, during the 1940’s and ‘50’s the market began to decline due
to the increased numbers of motor vehicles and the advent of
supermarkets in the suburbs.
While the market
continued to hold on, primarily supported by a community of arts and
crafts people, by the 1960’s the maze of aging buildings was slated
for demolition. However, a Seattle architect soon rallied a
group and began the "Save the Market” campaign. On November 2,
1971, voters approved a 17-acre historic district and the City of
Seattle established a Public Development Authority to rehabilitate and
manage the Market's core buildings.
Today, the historic
Pike Place Market, overlooking Seattle's waterfront, is one of the
most visited attractions in the city. Here, you can find fresh
foods of every kind, from a wide variety of colorful produce, to fresh
fish and herbs. Numerous other vendors sell flowers by the
dozens, beautiful arts and crafts, and Seattle souvenirs.
Regarded by many as
to be the seat of Seattle’s "soul,” the market displays items from
some 600 vendors on a daily basis in one of the city’s most historic
Speaking of "soul,” or "souls," I should say, the market is apparently
home to more than just its many vendors and historic flavor, but is said
to continue to host a number of restless spirits.
of the market’s most famous and popular visitors is Princess Angeline, the
eldest daughter of Chief Seattle. Her Duwamish name was actually
Kikisoblu, but the early settlers of Seattle dubbed her "princess” and so
she was called during most of her lifetime. Though the 1855 Treaty
of Point Elliott required that all Duwamish Indians were to leave their
lands for reservations, Princess Angeline ignored the order and remained
in the city.
Pike Place Market in 1911, photo courtesy
University of Washington Library
Princess Angeline, daughter of Chief Seattle
at home in
1890, photo courtesy
University of Washington Library
Living in a waterfront cabin on Western Avenue between Pike and Pine
Streets, she was considered by many to be the link that connected the
Native Americans of the area with the new settlers of the city.
Angeline made her living taking in laundry and selling hand-woven baskets
on the downtown streets of Seattle.
Becoming a familiar figure, The bent and wrinkled old woman, most often
seen with a red handkerchief over her head, a shawl around her shoulders,
and walking slowly with the aid of a cane, became a familiar site along
the waterfront.During this time a young photographer by the name of
Edward Curtis became
intrigued by her and often took pictures of her.
At the age of 85 on
May 31, 1896, Princess Angeline died and Seattle residents gave her a fine
funeral and burial. The funeral was held at the Church of Our Lady
of Good Help which was magnificently decorated and her casket was made in
the form of canoe. Her body lays in rest at Lake View Cemetery on
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