The Heart Of The City
Many cities have farmers markets and open-air venues where growers, producers and craftsmen sell their goods. Over the years many have become local institutions and some boast regional reputations but there is only one Pike Place Market.
When you come to Seattle spending some time at the market is a must. On an early visit to this city we spent an afternoon at Pike’s Place Market. Visited the aquarium, bought flowers and left with a bundle of freshly steamed Dungeness crab for a feast back at the hotel. We get back to Seattle often and have always made time for a visit to Pike’s Place Market.
If you’re cruising out of the Seattle port or making a port call the Market is less than a mile and a half south from the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal. Don’t leave without picking up some fresh flowers or maybe take home some salmon or crab.
If you haven’t been introduced to Dungeness crab it is the Pacific Northwest’s exclusive crab delicacy. This crab is slightly bigger than the common Blue crab with larger and meatier clays. If you don’t know this crab, don’t leave Seattle without trying them and Pike Place Market is the place to get them.
A Long History
This market has been a part of Seattle’ story for a long time. Leading up to the summer of 1907 the rapid growth of the city had produced a system of wholesalers who had taken control of the buying and selling of fisherman’s catches, farm produce, dairy products and dozens of other commodities. They had, over the previous years, driven retail prices up in the boom-town while reducing their wholesale costs. The situation was growing out of control when Seattle City Councilman, Thomas Revelle put forward a proposal where the city would create a public market where fisherman, farmers and citizens could come to sell and buy goods directly in an open market.
Beginning on August 17, 1907, crowds of shoppers seeking fish, produce and hard goods flocked to the new marketplace. In just weeks, dozens of sellers were gathering daily to sell along the newly created road named Pike Place.
Frank Goodwin, who had made a fortune in the Klondike Gold Rush, began building the permanent structures that make up the Market and it continues today as a thriving and exciting place to visit and shop along the Seattle waterfront.