Le Chic En Rose

Diaries of an independent traveller

As I said in my first post about Seattle (Part 1 here), our plans were derailed somewhat by an untimely dose of flu, which meant I spent a couple of days in bed.

In the afternoon of our first day there we did manage to visit the Klondike Gold Museum which is situated near Pioneer Square, the old historical quarter of Seattle.

The welcome note from the tourist website gives the following introduction,

“Welcome to the birthplace of Seattle. Laying claim as the city’s “first neighborhood”, Pioneer Square is a richly historic place known for its Renaissance Revival architecture, First Thursday art walks, night life, delicious lunch spots, and quirky boutiques. Explore the depth and beauty of Seattle’s first historic district”

I do remember the buildings were elegant and appeared to date from the late 1800s. A huge fire in 1889 destroyed many of the older timber-style homes of the middle 19th century when the city was first built. The town was subsequently rebuilt at a higher level than the original foundations. You can explore the old town via a tour which takes you on an interesting walk through a series of underground passageways and networks called the “Seattle Underground”. I believe a number of tour companies offer underground tours but we didn’t do one, mainly as I didn’t feel up to it and we also heard that the conditions below ground are rather damp and mouldy. I found a company (see here) offering tours but can’t give you a personal recommendation.

However I can highly recommend the Klondike Gold Rush Museum, which gives an overview of the whole Gold Rush era and explains more about the starting-off point for many would-be prospectors in Seattle. We had already visited Alaska and in particular the Skagway township, which was the final port of call before the gold fields themselves (see here, here and here). It was fascinating to go back to the starting point and take up the story from Seattle.

I took so many photos that there are really too many to share. The following give you a glimpse of the exhibits at the museum and also take up the stories of some of the characters and personalities who came to Seattle in search of adventures! Soapy Smith, whom we had “encountered” before up in Fairbanks, was one of the them (see here)!

Certainly the museum visit was one of the main highlights of our short sojourn in Seattle. On the way back to our apartment in Belltown we wandered through a pretty vertical green garden complete with a small waterfall – it was in the vicinity of Pioneer Square, a pleasant and leafy part of town. We are always more drawn to older style buildings and historical areas when we visit new places.

I still have a post to share about our day trip to Bainbridge Island and our train journey up the Pacific Coast on board the Amtrak Cascades.

Copyright © 2022 Rosemary Thomas Le Chic En Rose

3 thoughts on “Old Trip Seattle – Part 2, Pioneer Square and Klondike Gold Rush Museum

  1. Gilda Baxter says:

    I would love to visit Seattle. In fact I have a Brazilian friend who lives there and has even invited me to her wedding there. Unfortunately I was not able to go and Seattle has eluded me ever since.
    The museum looks really interesting.
    Was it cold when you visited? I know the weather there can be a bit cold and wet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Gilda I wish I hadn’t had the flu whilst I was there as it did affect my enjoyment and ability to do as much as we’d planned 😦 Actually the weather was quite mild (we were there at the end of August 2018). They had had a hot, dry summer and there had been a number of wildfires, which meant the whole area around Seattle and the Sound was covered in smoke haze. We loved the Gold Rush Museum, the Pioneer Square area, the markets and the sea front. We took the ferry out to Bainbridge Island which made a nice day trip. We did miss out quite a bit though. I think if you had a local guide it would really enhance your experience – locals always know the best places to visit! Definitely pack a raincoat for any visit to the North West part of America (both USA and the Canadian Pacific Coast!).


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