1. Native American Roots

    Archaeological records date the first inhabitants of the Seattle region to 11,000-12,000 years ago. Tribes included the Suquamish, Duwamish, Nisqually, Snoqualmie, and Muckleshoot, who, despite their harsh environment, evolved into complex societies that traded with other tribes.

  2. Denny Party

    In 1851, Chief Sealth of the Duwamish Tribe greeted Arthur A. Denny and his group of European settlers at West Seattle’s Alki Point . Subsequently, Denny served as a delegate to the Monticello convention, which gave rise to the states of Oregon and Washington.

  3. Northern Pacific Railroad

    Seattle’s neighbor, Tacoma, was the original terminus of 1873’s Northern Pacific Railroad, linking the region to the rest of the country. By 1893, another transcontinental railroad, the Great Northern Railway, extended into Seattle, eventually supplanting Tacoma as the Puget Sound region’s main rail depot.

  4. Lumber Mills

    When timber baron Frederick Weyerhaeuser purchased nearly a million acres of railroad land in 1900, Seattle’s mushrooming logging industry turned a corner for even more rapid growth and exploitation of natural resources. Until then, entrepreneurs such as Henry Yesler ruled the wharf, and erected the pioneer town out of lumber from ancient old growth forests.

  5. Great Fire of 1889

    Natural resources created a boomtown whose rapid growth drew more than 1,000 new residents every month. Seattleites learned the impermanence of wooden structures in 1889, after a catastrophic fire destroyed much of the downtown area.

  6. Klondike Gold Rush

    The Alaska Gold Rush  officially kicked off in 1897 after a gold-filled steamship docked at Seattle’s waterfront. As the last gas for prospectors and suppliers bound for the gold fields, this city prospered as never before.

    Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
  7. Boeing’s Beginnings

    Recognizing the need for airplanes as the United States entered World War I in 1917, William E. Boeing hired pilot Herb Munter to design a seaplane for the Navy. The rest of the giant Boeing Corporation’s success is history.

  8. Rise of Microsoft

    In 1975, Harvard dropout Bill Gates and his high school friend Paul Allen founded Microsoft. From the suburb of Redmond, they launched a personal computer revolution and have never looked back. Today, Microsoft’s Windows operating system is the dominant computer platform, and the company employs more than 50,000 people worldwide.

  9. Nisqually Earthquake

    If Seattle is a boom and bust town, it certainly felt the boom in a magnitude 6.8 earthquake on the morning of February 28, 2001 . Workers escaped their offices, if they could, to see the earth rolling, pavements cracking, and cars violently swaying. The region suffered more than $1 billion in damages.

  10. Green River Killer Caught

    The Seattle area lived under a dark shadow of brutal serial killings as dozens of women became victims of the Green River Killer. Twenty years of intense investigation led to the capture of Gary Ridgeway in 2001. He was convicted in 2003.

Top 10 Famous Seattleites

  1. Chief Sealth (1786–1866)

    Seattle draws its name from the Duwamish leader.

  2. John Nordstrom (1871–1963)

    Originally a shoe seller, the Nordstrom family empire is now a chain of upscale department stores.

  3. Eddie Bauer (1899–1986)

    The inventor of the goose-down parka opened his first store of clothes and sporting goods in Seattle.

  4. Bruce Lee (1940–1973)

    This Kung-Fu legend and movie star lived in Seattle.

  5. Jimi Hendrix (1942–1970)

    A self-taught and innovative electric guitarist, Hendrix’s original compositions continue to influence today’s music.

  6. Ted Bundy (1946–1989)

    The serial killer of the 1980s admitted to 30 murders and was executed in 1989.

  7. Howard Schultz (b. 1953)

    Schultz turned a few local coffee stores into the global Starbucks Empire worth billions of dollars.

  8. Bill Gates (b. 1955)

    Co-founder of Microsoft and one of the world’s richest men, he continues to run the company today.

  9. Jeff Bezos (b. 1964)

    This Internet billionaire founded giant web retailer in 1995.

  10. Gary Locke (b. 1949)

    The first Asian-American governor in the US, Locke was elected in 1997.

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