Seattle is a West Coast seaport city and the seat of King County. In 2015 an estimate had Seattle with a population of 662,400. This makes Seattle the largest city in both the state of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America. In July 2013 a Newsweek survey placed it as the fastest-growing major city in the United States, it remained in the top five through May 2015 with an annual growth rate of 2.1%. The Seattle metropolitan area has an estimated 3.6 million inhabitants and is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the United States.Much of the growth is recent and has been attributed to the success of the sports team and the good weather. The city is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington, about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canada–United States border. A major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the third largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2015. Seattle is known for having a great restaurant scene due to a tremendous supply of fresh seafood. Numerous chefs that have begun their culinary careers in Seattle have risen to regional and local prominence.
Like all areas in the United States Seattle was previously inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers. Arthur A. Denny and his group of travelers, subsequently known as the Denny Party, arrived from Illinois via Portland, Oregon on the schooner Exact at Alki Point on November 13, 1851. The settlement was moved to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay and named “Seattle” in 1852, after Chief Si’ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.
Logging was Seattle’s first major industry, but by the late 19th century the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding center as a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. By 1910, Seattle was one of the 25 largest cities in the country. Having access to fresh timber and the waterfront made Seattle highly desirable territory. It quickly grew and was becoming known as a place where the next great industrialist was likely to emerge from. However, the Great Depression severely damaged the city’s economy. Many businesses had to close their doors and what was once viewed as promising turned to memories. Growth returned during and after World War II, due partially to the local Boeing company, which established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing. The money put into aircraft design and production by the government of the United States in the early years of the Cold War greatly benefited Seattle. Corporations in the Seattle area were some prime recipients of contracts during this period. The Seattle area developed as a technology center beginning in the 1980s, with companies like Microsoft becoming established in the region. In 1994 the Internet retail giant Amazon was founded in Seattle. The stream of new software, biotechnology, and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city’s population by almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000.
Seattle has a noteworthy musical history. From 1918 to 1951, nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs existed along Jackson Street, from the current Chinatown/International District, to the Central District. The jazz scene developed the early careers of Ray Charles, Quincy Jones, Ernestine Anderson and others. Seattle is also the birthplace of rock musician Jimi Hendrix and the alternative rock style grunge.
Seattle is known for many great things, much more than we could ever list on our home page…that’s why we have an entire site.
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