The fire started on the corner of Front Street (now First Avenue) and Madison. | Photo via Seattle City Archives
A few weeks ago, we asked what you wanted to learn about this year and quite a big percentage mentioned local history. So why not dive into one of the wildest stories in city lore: the Great Seattle Fire of 1889?
Saddle up, y’all. There are some serious whoa moments ahead.
It’s 2:30 p.m. on June 6, 1889 and the fire begins with an honest mistake. An employee of a wood and paint shop at Front Street (now First Avenue)accidentally kicks a pot of hot glue over into a pile of wood shavings next to him.
When the fire catches, the staff member tries to douse the fire with a bucket of water, however... this causes the turpentine in the glue to spread and the fire along with it.
At 2:45 p.m., the fire department arrives. But by this time, there’s too much smoke for the firefighters to find the source of the flames.
And it spreads
During this time, Pioneer Square is filled with buildings built out of wood by pioneers. It was also filled with a lot of places to drink... and like busy humans, fire really likes alcohol.
The fire moves on to the liquor store next door and the nearby Crystal Palace and Opera House Saloons — all of which then explode.
It’s not long before the majority of the downtown area is completely up in flames, leaving the Seattle Fire Department to fight a battle it wasn’t quite ready for with its chief out of town and a problematic infrastructure.
Read to a Dog | Friday, Jan. 20 | 3:30-4:30 p.m. | Bainbridge Island Library, 1270 Madison Ave. N., Bainbridge Island | Free | Let your little one build up their reading confidence by practicing out loud with some very supportive pups.
Funhouse Flea | Friday, Jan. 20 | 4-8 p.m. | El Corazon, 109 Eastlake Ave. E., Seattle | Free | Grab some new vintage threads, get a tarot card reading, and find some other cool knick-knacks at this alternative flea market.
Saturday, Jan. 21
From Internment to Inbetweening with Willie Ito | Saturday, Jan. 21 | 2-3:30 p.m. | Museum of Flight, 9404 E Marginal Way S., Seattle | Free with admission | The Walt Disney Studios animator talks about life in the internment camps during WWII and his work on films like “The Lady and the Tramp.”
Raku Firing Workshop | Saturday, Jan. 21-Saturday, May 6 | Times vary | Seattle Pottery Supply, 35 S. Hanford St., Seattle | $50 | Roll up your sleeves and learn hands-on skills to become a pottery pro.
Sunday, Jan. 22
Harlem Globetrotters | Sunday, Jan. 22 | 3 p.m. | accesso ShoWare Center, 625 W. James St., Kent | $24-$104 | Catch all the trick shots, fancy footwork, and finger-spinning action from the legendary basketball entertainers.
Good Comedy | Sunday, Jan. 22 | 6:30 p.m. | Here - After, 2505 First Ave., Seattle | $15 | Comedy Central’s Bo Johnson and Bumbershoot’s Chris Mejia present some of the best touring stand-ups in the biz.
We have a calendar filled with events and activities you can plan for in advance. Click the button below to bookmark ideas for upcoming date nights, family outings, and time with friends.
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*Sniff, sniff* The Seattle Storm announced that the team would be retiring Sue Bird’s No. 10 jersey at the end of the coming season. The ceremony for our hometown basketball legend will take place on Sunday, June 11 during a game against the Washington Mystics. 🥇 (Seattle Times)
To celebrate the Lunar New Year, the Seattle Krakenwill sport a special edition jersey designed by local artist Monyee Chau during the team’s Saturday, Jan. 21 home game warm-ups. The new design replaces the regular “S” with a jade rabbit in honor of the Year of the Rabbit. An auction is live for fans who want their own jersey. 🐇
We’re a proud city. The White House recently namedlocalEugene Cho an “Outstanding American by Choice,” a recognition of great service given to naturalized US citizens. Eugene, founder of Quest Church, received the award for his efforts to end worldwide food insecurity. ❤️ (KING 5)
We guess our sights were set too high. A plan for a new, 100-story skyscraperwas recently cut in height by 150 ft — meaning it would no longer qualify as one of the nation’s top 10 tallest buildings. The updated plans include 90 stories and 784 apartments. 🏗 (Puget Sound Business Journal)
District 3 City Councilmember Kshama Sawantannounced that she would not be seeking reelection to a fourth term this year. Instead, Sawant — a member of the Socialist Alternative party — announced she would put her efforts in to launch “Workers Strike Back,” a national campaign that aims to improve worker conditions. (The Stranger)
No surprises here — Deception Pass was just ranked the sixth most beautiful state park in the US by Travel Lens. The site used metrics like number of Yelp reviews that call the place “beautiful” to make its determinations. 🌲 (Travel Lens)
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Our days are currently changing in length by about ~2 minutes everyday. | Photo by @br3nn3nfoto
We’ve got some good news for you, Seattle — we’re only a few days away from 5 p.m. sunsets.
It’s definitely a big milestone toward getting out of the Big Dark. But if you keep track of daily sunrise and sunset times, it may really feel like it’s taking awhile — and that’s because it is.
While our days change in length by ~3:30 minutes around both equinoxes, our days change by only three seconds on the two solstices.
This is due to something called the “geometric effect” — it essentially points out that the rate of change between our day lengths speeds up and slows down based on what angle the Earth’s axis is tilted is at. And Seattle, being at a higher latitude, sees this effect much more than some of our friends closer to the equator.
But look on the brightside — that means our days are getting exponentially longer as we speak. ☀️
Today’s issue was written by Alina.
Editor’s pick: I’ve been dying to write about the Great Seattle Fire since SEAtoday launched in 2021. It just feels like one of those stories where everything that could go wrong, does. It’s a wild ride that makes a good dinner story if you find yourself sitting with history buffs.
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