From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
SEATTLE, the county-seat of King county, Washington, U.S.A., and the largest city in the state, situated on a neck of land between Elliott Bay (an eastern arm of Admiralty Bay, Puget Sound) and the fresh-water Lake Washington; about 865 m. by water N. of San Francisco, about 185 m. by rail N. of Portland, Oregon, and about 28 m. N. of Tacoma. Pop. (1870) 1107; (1880) 3533; (1890) 42,837; (1900) 80,671; (1 9 10 U.S. census) 2 37, 1 94. Of the population in 1 9 00, 41,483 were of foreign parentage and 22,003 were foreign-born. The area of the city in 1910 was about 83.45 sq. m., of which 29.42 sq. M. were water surface, 23 sq. m. being salt water. Seattle is the terminus of the Northern Pacific, the Canadian Pacific (using the tracks of the Northern Pacific), the Great Northern, the Chicago, Milwaukee & Puget Sound (1909),(1909), the Oregon & Washington (1910; a joint extension to Puget Sound of the Southern Pacific and Union Pacific), the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (using the tracks of the Northern Pacific), and the Columbia & Puget Sound railways. It is served by inter-urban electric lines to Tacoma and Everett; is the starting-point for steamers to Alaska and to Prince Rupert, British Columbia (Grand Trunk Pacific line), and for lines to Japan, China., Siberia, Hawaii, the Philippines, Australia, Mexico, South America and Pacific coast ports of the United States; and is a port of call for coasting vessels. The city has the excellent salt-water harbour of Elliott Bay to the W.; and to the E. there is a fresh-water harbour, Lake Washington, connected with Puget Sound by the Lake Washington Canal, an artificial improvement of the natural waterway by Lake Union, a great V-shaped body of water in the north-central part of the city, and by Salmon Bay, a narrow channel setting in from Puget Sound on the N.W. Crossing the S.W. part of the city is Duwamish river, which empties into Elliott Bay. At Bremerton, Kitsap county, about 15 m. W. by S. of Seattle, is the Puget Sound Navy Yard, protected by Fort Ward, with one dry dock (1910) 836 ft. long and 110 ft. wide, another 627 ft. long, and two docks 650 ft. long.
The surface of the city is hilly, the greatest height being 500 ft. above sea-level. The higher hills, the better residential parts of the city, are reached by cable railways or by electric railways following winding routes. Many of the higher hills, especially in the business district, have been removed by hydraulic power and large parts regraded. Lake Washington, to the E., is 22 m. long, and 1 to 4 m. wide, with an area of 50 sq. m., a shore line of 80 m. and a maximum depth of 225 ft; its waters are deep and clear and never freeze. In the north-central part of the city is Green Lake, about 1 m. long and z m. wide. On Puget Sound and Lake Union and about these two lakes, both with wellwooded shores and both furnishing excellent boating and canoeing, are the principal parks of the city. In 1910 the total park acreage under the park commissioners was 1058 acres. Immediately S. of Green Lake is Woodland Park (179 acres) with athletic fields and a zoological collection. On the southern shore of Union Bay (a circular, nearly landlocked arm of Lake Washington) in the east-central part of the city is Washington Park (163 acres). Farther S. near Lake Washington are Madrona. Park (9 acres), Frink Park (20 acres), which adjoins Leschi Park (q acres), and Mount Baker Park (12 acres). Near Lake Union is Volunteer Park (48 acres) on Capitol Hill, containing a public observatory (460 ft. above sea-level) and a statue of W. H. Seward by Richard Brooks. Schmitz Park (30 acres) is woodland on the West Seattle peninsula, overlooking the Sound; and between Volunteer Park and Washington Park is Interlaken (46 acres). Kinnear Park (14 acres) is near the entrance to the harbour. Nearly all these parks command views of the Cascade and Olympic ranges. The city owns large areas which are to be improved as parks, including Ravenna Park, which has a noble native fir and cedar forest and sulphur springs. Private. parks include the White City (on Lake Washington), Golden Gardens (50 acres) and, in West Seattle (annexed in 1907), Luna Park, an amusement place with a natatorium. North of the city on Lake Washington are the links of the Seattle Golf and Country Club. Practically a part of the city's park system and to be crossed by its boulevards are the campus of the university of Washington, and the fine grounds (605 acres given to the Federal government by the city) of Fort Lawton. On the campus of the university are a statue of Washington by Lorado Taft and a bust of J. J. Hill by Ben Frolick.
The principal public buildings are the county court house (on a commanding site), the county almshouse, the municipal building, a federal building, the Y.M.C.A. building, a Labor Temple, a Carnegie library (1905), with several branches throughout the city and about 128,000 volumes in 1910, and the buildings of the university of Washington. In Georgetown, immediately S. of the main part of Seattle and nearly hemmed in by parts of the city, is the county hospital. The city has many churches, including Chinese, Japanese, Finnish, Scandinavian, German and Russian. Seattle is the see of a Roman Catholic bishop, and St James Cathedral is the finest church in the city. The First Presbyterian Church has a large auditorium.
Of the many educational institutions, the most important is the university of Washington (see Washington), which was established here by the legislature of 1854-1855. Among the others are: the Washington Preparatory School for Girls; the Holy Names Academy and Normal School (under the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary); the College of Our Lady of Lourdes; Adelphia College; the Brothers' School; the Seattle College; three business colleges; the Seattle Art School, in connexion with which the Art Students' League of Seattle was formed in 1909; and a good public school system including six high schools in 1910, one of which has an excellent collection of the fauna and flora of the Pacific Coast. On Mercer Island in Lake Washington is the parental school of the municipal public school system. The city has a cosmopolitan press, including two Japanese dailies.
There are an associated charities organization and a "charities endorsement committee" (1903), which is under the auspices of three commercial associations. For children there are a receiving home (1896, under the Washington Children's Home Society); the Seattle Children's Home (1884, under the Ladies' Relief Society of Washington); and a children's orthopaedic hospital (1907). The Seattle Federation of Women's Clubs supports a Girls' Home and Training School (1909). Under Roman Catholic control are a Deaconess Home, the Mount Carmel Home (under the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus), and the House of the Good Shepherd (under the Sisters of the Good Shepherd). The Ladies' Hebrew Benevolent Society, the Ladies' Montefiore Aid Society and the Hebrew Benevolent Association are Jewish charities. Other charities are the Seattle Seamen's Friend Society, the Florence Crittenton Home, the Lebanon Rescue Mission, the Japanese Women's Home, the Seattle Fruit and Flower Mission, and the Kenny Home for Old Ladies (Presbyterian). The principal hospitals are the Pacific (1899), the Seattle General (1894, under the Deaconess Home Association), the Providence (1877, under the Sisters of Charity), the Minor, the Wayside Emergency (1900), the Municipal and the County.
The situation of Seattle makes it important commercially and industrially. For its manufactories electric power is derived from Snoqualmie Falls (N.E. of Seattle) from Puyallup river (S.W.) and from Cedar river.
The total value of the factory product in 1905 (excluding Ballard) was $25,406,574 (nearly one-fifth of that of the state), or 65.8% more than in 1900. The increase was particularly marked in the value of flour, $4,593,566, or 2 53.9% more than in 1900. Other important manufactures in 1905 were: packed meats and slaughter house products ($3,419,085); malt liquors ($2,121,631); foundry and machine shop products ($I,771,571) - there is a large manufactory of nuts and bolts; lumber and timber ($1,519,247); confectionery ($821,123); canned and preserved fish ($610,356); and ships and boats. In what was formerly Ballard, now the 13th ward, on Salmon Bay, there are large mills for the manufacture of red cedar shingles.
Seattle is the most important seaport of the state, being the commercial and industrial centre for the customs district of Puget Sound. In 1909 the net tonnage of vessels entering the harbour (local figures) was 2,467,351 tons. The foreign exports in 1908 (Harbour Master's Report) were valued at $18,413,735, the foreign imports at $23,805,727. Its exports and imports make up the greater part of the commerce of the district, which has Port Townsend as its port of entry, and the city is rivalled only by San Francisco among the cities of the Pacific coast in the amount of its water-borne traffic. The chief exports are wheat, flour, timber, hay, potatoes, live stock, fruit, fish (salmon), oats, coal (from the mines E. of Lake Washington), hops, cotton (from the Southern States), dairy products and general merchandise; and the imports include silk, rice, coffee, tea, sugar, spices, indigo and other Oriental products. Practically all the gold from Alaska and the Yukon territory is received here, and nearly 80% of the Alaskan trade is done through Seattle. The foreign trade is with China, Japan, Siberia, Hawaii, the Philippines, Australia, Mexico, South America and Europe. The Chamber of Commerce has an excellent commercial museum.
The city was chartered in 1880, and under the charter of 1896 (as amended since) elections are biennial. By an amendment of. 1908 the initiative and referendum were introduced; an initiative petition must be signed by To % of the voters at the preceding municipal election; a petition for a referendum on any ordinance passed by the city council must be signed by 8% of the voters at the preceding municipal election. The city council is composed of one councilman elected for a two-year term from each ward (in 1910 there were 14 wards), and two councilmen elected at large and serving for four years. The municipality owns the watersupply system with its source at Cedar Lake and Cedar river, 28 m.
S.E., and an electric lighting plant (for which power is derived from the falls of the Cedar river), but most of the lighting is supplied by private companies. The city has undertaken the regrading necessitated by the hilly site of Seattle. In 1909 the assessed valuation of the city was $185,317,470 and the city's debt was $8,J70,380 (bonded) and $8,933,973 (net debt for local improvements). The first permanent settlement here was made in 1852 by settlers who a year before had established New York, a village at Alki Point, on the W. side of Elliott Bay and in the present city limits. The name Seattle was given to the settlement in honour of a Dwamish chief of that name, who died in 1866 and who was friendly to the whites. In 1853 a town plat was filed, King county was erected, and Seattle became the county seat. In 1855 Seattle had a population of 300. In January 1856 in an attempt to exterminate the whites the neighbouring Indians unsuccessfully attacked Seattle, which was defended by the U.S. sloop-of-war "Decatur." The first railway reached Seattle in 1884. In 1885-1886, when there were anti-Chinese riots here led by the Knights of Labour, martial law was declared by the governor and the Chinese were defended by local vigilance committees. A destructive fire in 1889 and the financial depression of 1893 checked the city's growth, which, however, received a new impulse from the discovery of gold in Alaska and the Yukon territory in 1897, as Seattle became the outfitting place for prospectors and the port to which gold was shipped. The town of South Seattle was annexed in 1905; and the city of South-east Seattle, the town of Ravenna, the town of South Park, the city of Columbia, the city of Ballard, the city of West Seattle, and Dunlap, Rainier Beach and Atlantic City were annexed in 1907. From the 1st of June to the 15th of October 1909 the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition was held in Seattle on grounds which now form part of the university campus, between Lake Union and Lake Washington; of the twelve central Exposition buildings some were afterwards turned over to the university. The purpose of the Exposition was to exploit Washington, the Yukon and the entire north-west on the Pacific slope.