Historic Images of Seattle

Seattle has a long history of social struggle and revolutionary politics that spans many decades. The indigenous people resisted European colonization in several wars in the 1800’s, including the Puget Sound War. Labor struggles have been a huge part of the history of this city, as have been immigration issues, especially in Chinese, Japanese, and other Asian communities. In the 1960’s and 70’s, the second strongest chapter of the Black Panther Party — after Oakland — was built here.

Big respect to all the warriors that came before us! Check out these historical images of Seattle that have been juxtaposed with the modern cityscape for some background:

“I love this waterfront shot from the 1890′s taken near the foot of present-day Broad Street. The shoreline was further inland before industry reshaped Seattle’s waterfront. Many Native Americans who remained in Seattle after white settlers arrived lived in shacks on the waterfront, including Chief Seattle’s daughter, Angeline (Kick-is-om-lo in Lushootseed). Renting a dugout canoe was a common way to get around the waterfront, or to West Seattle.”



“A lot of cities across America had “Hoovervilles,” shanty towns that sprang up after the Great Depression hit. Seattle was no exception. The future home of Terminal 46 was put on hold as the economy worsened, and the land was used for makeshift shacks, mostly occupied by single men. Seattle’s Hooverville had about 1,000 residents at its peak, elected its own mayor and enforced hygiene codes. By the time WWII began, the makeshift town was burned and bulldozed, but the site was used for nearly a decade before then.”



“A couple of Seattle’s iconic Duck tour bus-boat-things headed into a labor demonstration on 7th street in 1919.”

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