We booked tickets to do the Underground Tour of Pioneer Square in Seattle Sunday. Before our tour we stopped at Pike Place Market for breakfast. We had Mee Sum Pastries and Piroshky Piroshky Russian pastries. I love the flowers of the market.
The guys got some smoked salmon. Beautiful fresh vegetables.
The Pioneer Building, where the Underground Tour begins.
The tour begins in Doc Maynard’s Public House, a 1890s saloon. The city had a chance to remedy the town being founded on soggy tideflats after the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 burned down 25 square blocks of wooden buildings. They raised the roads by building retaining walls 8’ or higher on either side of the old streets, filled in the space between the walls and paved new roads over top. Property owners couldn’t wait for the street to be finished so they rebuilt their structures with their first floor display windows and lobbies in an area that would become basements. The old sidewalks are now hollow tunnels, preserved beneath the streets and sidewalks of Pioneer Square. Discussions of early streets filled with sawdust and toilets becoming backyard flowing fountains made you really appreciate modern convinces.
It was interesting hearing the story of the totem pole in Pioneer Square. It was originally stolen from a Tlingit village in Alaska where the City of Seattle’s prominent citizens claimed it was taken from an adandoned village. When it was subject to arson years later, a costly replica was carved by descendants of the carvers of the original totem.