Thursday, June 18, 2015

Pioneer Square District and The Underground Tour

One of my favorite books that I have often re-read is a christian fiction romance novel that takes place near Seattle in the 1860's called A Bride in the Bargain by Deeane Gist.

I was very excited to learn upon my arrival that a lot of the characters and places in the book were actual people and places!

No surprise my favorite part of Seattle was the oldest part of town, named The Pioneer Square District.

Early one morning with my cup of Starbucks in hand I literally "got myself lost" just wandering around looking at all the beautiful old buildings and watching in wonder as the city started to wake up.

Around 9:00 I went on the Underground Tour under Pioneer Square's sidewalks and streets. 

If you do not appreciate old things, the tour might not be for you.
I just loved it and thought it was very interesting!

As their website says:
"As you roam the subterranean passages that once were the main roadways and first-floor storefronts of old downtown Seattle, our guides regale you with the stories our pioneers didn’t want you to hear. It’s history with a twist!"

The tour focused a lot on the founders who basically created Seattle and laid the literal foundations for the city today, who are several of the characters that pop up in The Bride in the Bargain Book like Doc Maynard and Henry Yessler and his saw mill.

After the Underground Tour I visited the Klondike Museum ran by the National Park Service.

At this point my feet were killing me! I took the underground light rail to Westlake Center and bought a new pair of shoes at Nordstrom store #1. The sales associate looked at me funny and couldn't figure out what I was saying when I politely asked for a size ten shoe, then he rudely told me I had a thick southern accent! 

For the rest of the day I wondered around "lost again" on purpose checking out different neighborhoods, window shopping, people watching, and just soaking up the whole experience!

I have not been to too many cities but I must say I was very surprised at how nice people were, most of the time, if any locals saw me with my map out they would ask where are you headed? and give me the best directions to get there and if the trolley or light rail would be best. I never could seem to figure out the bus routes though. I had trouble finding the light rail station at first and a very nice police officer walked me to it and even helped me find the ticket booth.

I wish that I had taken more pictures. Next time I travel I will take a camera and not rely solely on my iPhone. Using the GPS on my phone plus the all the pictures quickly depleted my battery.

Around 6:00 my Cousin Jill and I took the Monorail over to Seattle Center and went up in the Space Needle and then we toured the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum, which I will post about tomorrow!




















The skylights that once let light into the underground. They were original clear and have oxidized to a beautiful purple shade over the next century.



There is alot of "junk" mixed in with some neat old artifacts on The Underground tour. If you do not appreciate old stuff the tour may not be for you. All of the stories about the underground was the best part.



Looking up through the skylight from the underground to street level.


We walked through what was once a bank vault.

Our tour guide had the Elvis thing going on.

Gorgeous old pergola in Pioneer Square. Our tour guide told us how a semi-truck knocked it down about 10 or so years ago and the man's insurance had to pay like $3 million to have it restored!

This area was the old red light district and speakeasy during the prohibition era. When I toured the MOHI museum there was a great exhibition on the 1920's and the Prohibition Era.




An old icebox the liqueur was stored in during prohibition.











Part of the original plumbing for Seattle.





Can you tell what looks odd in this picture?



Nordstrom Store #1.
At the Klondike Museum I learned all about John Nordstrom and how he original went up to the Yukon during the Gold rush, he came back to Seattle to invest his $13,000 earnings and started a shoe store with a business partner.



Books I bought on The Underground Tour and at The Klondike Museum


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