The founding of Seattle is usually dated from the arrival of the Denny Party in 1851. The next April, Arthur A. Denny abandoned the original site at Alki in favor of the better protected site on Elliott Bay that is now part of downtown Seattle. Around the same time, David Swinson "Doc" Maynard began settling the land immediately south of Denny's.
Seattle in its early years relied on the timber industry, shipping logs (and, later, milled timber) to San Francisco.
When Henry Yesler brought the first steam sawmill to the region, he chose a location on the waterfront where Maynard and Denny's plats met. Thereafter Seattle would dominate the lumber industry.
Charlie Terry sold out Alki (which, after his departure barely held on as a settlement), moved to Seattle and began acquiring land. He either owned or partially owned Seattle's first timber ships. He eventually gave a land grant to the University of the Territory of Washington (later University of Washington), and was instrumental in the politics to establish an urban infrastructure.
The logging town developed rapidly into a small city. Despite being officially founded by the Methodists of the Denny Party, Seattle quickly developed a reputation as a wide-open town, a haven for prostitution, liquor, and gambling. Some attribute this, at least in part, to Maynard.
Real estate records show that nearly all of the city's first 60 businesses were on, or immediately adjacent to, Maynard's plat.
All of this occurred against a background of sometimes rocky relations with the local Native American population, including a pitched battle January 25, 1856.
Seattle was incorporated as a city on December 2, 1869. At this time, the population was approximately 1,000.
Points of Interest
- Dinah Laurel Lance (formerly)
- Jonah Hex (21st century)
- Lions (Earth-AD)
- Grunge (Wildstorm)
- Oliver Queen (formerly)
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