The archaeology of a Seattle city block from 1880s squatters, Great Northern Railroad workers, and the establishment of Pike Place Market.
Author(s): Alicia Valentino
An inconspicuous city block near today’s Pike Place Market held the remains of a 19th century shantytown, evicted in 1902 to prepare for the Great Northern Railroad tunnel beneath Seattle. Construction monitoring of a modern development yielded the remnants of middens and privies dating as early as the 1880s. Spared from the city’s major regrade projects, photographs, maps, and artifacts demonstrate that this parcel was once part of the dense carpet of "squatter’s cabins" covering the city’s hillsides above the waterfront until it was taken over by the GNRR. Several cabins were spared from demolition and appropriated by workers, accompanied by the construction of a mess hall and bunkhouses. Once the tunnel was completed, the railroad buildings were torn down and the property was partially cleared. This paper covers the history of the property and describes our findings from the remnants of the squatters and railroad workers who lived here.
Cite this Record
The archaeology of a Seattle city block from 1880s squatters, Great Northern Railroad workers, and the establishment of Pike Place Market.. Alicia Valentino. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Fort Worth, TX. 2017 ( tDAR id: 435386)
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min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;