Nicknamed the ‘Emerald City’ from the lush evergreen forests of the area and located on the shore of Elliot Bay, Seattle is the northernmost major city in the United States and the largest and most populous city in the state of Washington with a population of 608,660.
The area that makes up Seattle has been inhabited by humans for at least 4000 years. The first European to visit there was George Vancouver during his 1791-95 expedition to the Pacific Northwest. In 1853 the area was named Seattle by a rendition of the name of a chief of the two Indian tribes the Duwamish, and the Suquamish. The chief’s name was ‘Sealth’, hence the name ‘Seattle’. Seattle was the site of several boom and bust cycles including the 1896-99 Klondike gold rush and was also the site of a great fire of 1889, which destroyed the central business district. The former finance company ‘Washington Mutual’ was founded in the immediate wake of the fire. In
1907 the companies U.PS(formerly known as the American Messenger Company), Nordstrom, and Eddie Bauer were also founded in Seattle. Until 2001, the aircraft company Boeing was centered in Seattle. During World War Two, the city was the point of departure for many soldiers who fought in the Pacific. The city flower is the Dahlia and the city bird is the Great Blue Heron.
The sub-genre rock music known as ‘Grunge’ got it’s start and recognition in Seattle during the Early nineties. Bands such as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Mother Love Bone, and The Screaming Trees shaped the musical movement from inside Seattle itself. Today, the city focuses it’s musical energies by producing a lot of ‘Indie’ rock. The Progressive rock band ‘Queensryche‘ also originated there. Seattle is also home to the first ‘Starbucks’, the popular coffee company that has literally taken the world by storm. Considering that, there really is no wonder that the city has a reputation for heavy coffee consumption.
A major symbol of Seattle is the Architectural masterpiece the Space Needle. At 605 feet high and 138 wide, from the top of the needle one can see the downtown Seattle skyline, Mount Rainier, Elliot Bay, and the surrounding Islands. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, it is the location of one of the first revolving restaurants that was built by architect John Graham. Another popular tourist attraction in Seattle is their International district, Seattle’s ‘Chinatown’. The center of Seattle’s Asian American community, it highlights the past experiences of any Asians who had come to Seattle with hope for discovering the American dream. In 1987, the International District gained Federal status as the ‘Seattle Chinatown Historic District’.
Today Seattle is home to three professional sports teams. The National Football League’s ‘The Seattle Seahawks‘, Major League Baseball’s ‘The Seattle Mariners‘, and Major League Soccer’s ‘The Seattle Sounders FC‘. Seattle’s professional sports history began at the start of the 20th century with the Hockey team ‘The Seattle Metropolitans‘, who in 1917 became the first American hockey team to win a Stanley cup. Until 2008, the NBA team the ‘Seattle Supersonics‘ were also located in Seattle. “History of Seattle: The Jet City Takes Off“~Seattle’s Convention and Visitors Bureau.