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Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Google Earth, Seattle

The Seven Hills of Seattle. Known for the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and Starbucks Coffee to tourists.

To locals, Seattle is more of a land and sea of opportunity. Business opportunity in the city, trade by sound and sea. The city is nestled on the shores of the Puget Sound and Lake Washington. It also encompasses Lake Union. Small wonder that house boats are so common and that a house boat was chosen as one of the settings for Sleepless in Seattle. 

Puget Sound has a maximum depth of 930ft but averages about 600ft deep in the main basin (between the entrance and Tacoma, WA). The Puget Sound is ideal for shipping with such ease of access for carrier ships. Lake Washington has a max depth of 214ft. Lake Union has a max depth of 50ft. Both lakes connect to the Puget Sound and can accommodate trade and shipping. 

A bit of  famous Seattle overcast!

Similar to the development of California, there was some sparse trade occurring in the Seattle area prior to the discovery of gold, but population increased tenfold once gold was discovered. Gold was first discovered at Fraser River, located in British Columbia, in 1857. The doorway to the Fraser River was the Puget Sound and the miners poured in to pan the rivers in search of gold dust. Another smaller gold rush occurred on the Clearwater River within NezPerce reservation lands between Washington and Idaho in 1859. Gold was discovered in Alaska in 1897 and this was later known as the Klondike Gold Rush. Gold was brought to the states onthe Alaska steamer Portland and Seattle quickly became the staging area and last civilized stop for miners who were heading into the wilderness of Alaska.


Petrey, Whitney. By Ship and Rail to the Gold and Woods of the Puget Sound: the motives and means behind the development of the Pacific Northwest. Research paper for Maritime History since 1815 at East Carolina University.


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Maritime Culture by Whitney Rose Petrey is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License