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The Great Seattle Fire of 1889: Historical Photos that depict the Destruction and Aftermaths

On June 6, 1889, the Great Seattle Fire destroyed Seattle’s central business district. Burning through the afternoon and night, it was less than a day-long and occurred during the same summer as the Great Spokane Fire and the Great Ellensburg Fire. Seattle rebuilt quickly using brick buildings that stood 20 feet above the original street level. During reconstruction, its population surged, making it the largest city in the newly admitted state of Washington.

Seattle had experienced a beautiful spring in 1889. There was little rain, and temperatures were consistently in the 70s. The perfect weather proved to be a disaster, as the dry conditions conspired with a handful of other factors to cause the worst Fire in the city’s history. An assistant to Victor Clairmont, John Back, was heating glue over a gasoline fire in his woodworking shop at Front Street (now First Avenue) and Madison Avenue in the afternoon of June 6, 1889. Around 2:15, the glue boiled over, caught fire and spread to the floors covered by wood chips and turpentine. The water he used to douse the Fire served only to thin it and spread the flames further. By 2:45, the fire department had arrived on the scene, and everyone had been evacuated safely. The Fire had already spread out of control due to the dense smoke. The Fire rapidly spread to the Dietz & Mayer Liquor Store, which exploded, the Crystal Palace Saloon, and the Opera House Saloon. The entire block from Madison to Marion was on Fire due to alcohol.

Inadequate water supply

Fighting the Fire proved challenging due to Seattle’s water supply. Spring Hill Water Company was then in charge of providing water. There were only a few hydrants on each street, and the ‘pipes,’ which were hollowed-out logs (some of which would burn in a fire), were small. The water pressure dropped to the point that the hoses stopped working as more hoses were added to fight the Fire. Firefighters attempted to contain the Fire by pumping water onto the Commercial Mill from Elliott Bay, but the tide was out, and the hoses were not long enough to reach the side closest to the Fire. As the water pressure dropped, crowds harassed the firefighters. In addition to the diminishing water supply, the wind was a factor in spreading the Fire. Within a short time, the mill, Colman Building, and Opera House caught fire. During the Fire, Mayor Moran took command of the city from acting as Fire Chief Murphy (ironically, Chief Collins was away at a fire-fighting convention in San Francisco). Moran blew up the Colman block to put the Fire, but it spread past the block and up the wharf and Second Avenue.

The Fire quickly spread from Third Avenue to Trinity Church and then moved to the three-story Courthouse across the street. Eventually, the Fire spread to Fourth and University, but many buildings, including the Courthouse, were saved. A fire department attempt to water the Courthouse was unsuccessful because of the low pressure, which meant the hoses could only reach the first floor. Lawrence Booth, a quick-thinker, climbed to the Courthouse’s roof and poured buckets of water down its sides, saving both the building and public records. Jacob Levy’s house and the Boston Block were saved because of Booth’s leadership. The house of Henry Yesler was also saved, thanks to a person who covered the structure with wet blankets.

Destruction and loss caused by the Fire

The Fire had burned 25 city blocks by the morning of June 7, including the downtown business district, four piers, and several railroad terminals. Although there was extensive property destruction, few or no people were killed. James Goin, a young boy, has been killed in the blaze, but no reliable records have been found. During the cleanup process, over 1 million rodents were killed. Tens of thousands of people were displaced, and 5,000 men lost their jobs. More than $8 million worth of losses were estimated for the city, and that does not include people’s losses or damage to water and electrical systems. Total losses could be as high as $20 million.

The aftermath of the Fire

The city didn’t take much time to mourn. On June 7, 600 businessmen met in Seattle at 11 am to discuss coping with the current situation and plan for the future. During the two weeks of martial law, two hundred special deputies were sworn in to combat looting. In response to the charitable donations from all over the country, a relief committee was formed. Tacoma, a former rival but now an ally, collected $20,000 and sent a relief committee to help. A dining hall was converted from the armory so that displaced citizens could eat. The supplies from San Francisco (many of which had been ordered before the Fire) arrived by June 18. Relief bureaus closed as quickly as June 20 since tent restaurants had been set up quickly and had been able to meet people’s needs. Within a month of the Fire, more than 100 businesses were operating from tents.

Most businesses opted to rebuild where they had been instead of relocating, and the rebuilding process began almost immediately. In the burned-out district, wood buildings were banned and replaced with brick buildings. The city’s hilly terrain was also leveled by raising streets to 22 feet in some places. In just one year, 465 buildings had been built, most of the reconstruction had been completed, and businesses had reopened.

Below are some historical photos that depict the destruction and the aftermaths of the Great Seattle fire.

#1 Ruins of the Puget Sound National Bank, June 1889

Ruins of the Puget Sound National Bank, June 1889

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#2 Ruins of the Occidental Hotel, June 1889

Ruins of the Occidental Hotel, June 1889

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#3 Ruins of Main St. wharves following fire, ca. June 1889

Ruins of Main St. wharves following fire, ca. June 1889

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#4 Ruins at 2nd Ave. and Columbia St. following the Great Fire, June 1889

Ruins at 2nd Ave. and Columbia St. following the Great Fire, June 1889

Front Street, Looking West from Second Avenue and Columbia Street from the Boston Block.

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#5 Reconstruction near 3rd Ave. and Yesler Way., June 1889

Reconstruction near 3rd Ave. and Yesler Way., June 1889

Left to Right: Post-Intelligencer Building, Yesler-Leary Building, Seattle Hotel. R. Korn Block. Copyright-McManus 1913.

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#6 Reconstruction near 2nd Ave. and Yesler Way, June 1889

Reconstruction near 2nd Ave. and Yesler Way, June 1889

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#7 Reconstruction near 2nd Ave. and Madison St., June 1889

Reconstruction near 2nd Ave. and Madison St., June 1889

Second Avenue, Looking North from Madison Street."

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#8 Reconstruction near 2nd Ave. and James St., June 1889

Reconstruction near 2nd Ave. and James St., June 1889

Looking southwest from Second Avenue and James Street."

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#9 Reconstruction at 2nd Ave. and Spring St. following fire, June 1889

Reconstruction at 2nd Ave. and Spring St. following fire, June 1889

Looking North from Spring Street.

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#10 Native American camp on Ballast Island, 1889

Native American camp on Ballast Island, 1889

Reconstruction and tents following the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1889 can be seen in the background.

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#11 Occidental Hotel ruins following fire, June 1889

Occidental Hotel ruins following fire, June 1889

Street and James Street, West facade.

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#12 Frye’s Opera House Ruins, June 1889

Frye's Opera House Ruins, June 1889

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#13 Fire ruins south from 1st Ave. S. and S. Washington St., 1889

Fire ruins south from 1st Ave. S. and S. Washington St., 1889

Looking South from Washington Street. side: Harrington & Smith, ship chandlers, etc. Dexter Horton Bank.

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#14 Fire ruins on west side of 1st Ave. between Columbia St. and Cherry St., June 1889

Fire ruins on west side of 1st Ave. between Columbia St. and Cherry St., June 1889

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#15 Fire ruins on 1st Ave., north of Occidental Square, June 1889

Fire ruins on 1st Ave., north of Occidental Square, June 1889

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#16 Fire ruins on 1st Ave., north of Occidental Square, June 1889

Fire ruins on 1st Ave., north of Occidental Square, June 1889

Looking North from Occidental Square. E. P. Edsen with cane.

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#17 Fire ruins of the Peoples Savings Bank near 1st Ave. and James St., June 1889

Fire ruins of the Peoples Savings Bank near 1st Ave. and James St., June 1889

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#18 Fire ruins near Post Ave. and Yesler Way, June 1889

Fire ruins near Post Ave. and Yesler Way, June 1889

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#19 Fire ruins near Columbia St. and Cherry St., June 1889

Fire ruins near Columbia St. and Cherry St., June 1889

Looking West from Columbia Street and Cherry Street.

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#20 Fire ruins near 2nd Ave. and Columbia St., June 1889

Fire ruins near 2nd Ave. and Columbia St., June 1889

Front Street looking southwest from Second Avenue and Columbia Street from the Boston Block.

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#21 Fire ruins near 2nd Ave. and Cherry St., July 1889

Fire ruins near 2nd Ave. and Cherry St., July 1889

View of rubble near the waterfront following the Great Seattle Fire on June 6, 1889. Sign for Guarantee Loan-Trust Co. appears in the foreground. The 1890 City Directory lists the location of the company at 2nd Ave. and Cherry St.

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#22 Fire ruins near 1st Ave. S. and S. Washington St., June 1889

Fire ruins near 1st Ave. S. and S. Washington St., June 1889

Commercial Street, Looking North from Washington Street.

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#23 Fire ruins near 1st Ave. and Yesler Way, June 1889

Fire ruins near 1st Ave. and Yesler Way, June 1889

Yesler Avenue look East from Front Street. Transcribed from back of photograph: Left to Right: Post-Intelligencer Building, Yesler-Leary Building, Seattle Hotel. R. Korn Block.

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#24 Fire ruins near 1st Ave. and Madison St., June 1889

Fire ruins near 1st Ave. and Madison St., June 1889

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#25 Fire ruins from 1st Ave. S. and S. Jackson St., June 1889

Fire ruins from 1st Ave. S. and S. Jackson St., June 1889

Looking Northeast from Jackson Street. Dexter Horton and Co. building left of center. Fire began at southwest corner of Front Street and Madison Street. 1. Yesler College. 2. Brown's skating rink. University of Washington Digital Collection regarding Yesler College: 'Boarding and day school for boys. Non-sectarian. Classical, scientific and commercial courses. Primary intermediate and preparatory departments.

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#26 Fire origin from 1st Ave. and Spring St., June 6, 1889

Fire origin from 1st Ave. and Spring St., June 6, 1889

Front Street looking South from Spring Street. Fire began at southwest corner of Front Street and Madison Street. Center: dome of Frye's Opera house. M. R. Maddock's building is the white building.

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#27 Fire at southwest corner of 1st Ave. and Madison St., June 5, 1889

Fire at southwest corner of 1st Ave. and Madison St., June 5, 1889

Looking south from Second Ave. and Pike St. Photo by Asahel Curtis. Fire began at southwest corner of Front St. [1st Ave.] and Madison St. 1. Yesler College.

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#28 Fire at 1st Ave. and Madison St., June 6, 1889

Fire at 1st Ave. and Madison St., June 6, 1889

Front Street [1st Ave.] looking south from Madison St. Right foreground: Kenyon block, location of Seattle Times.

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#29 Columbia and Puget Sound Railroad Depot and Machine Shop, 1880

Columbia and Puget Sound Railroad Depot and Machine Shop, 1880

Railroad Stations. Columbia and Puget Sound Railroad Depot and Machine Shop. Built in 1876 and demolished by fire June 6, 1889.

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#30 3rd Ave. and Jefferson St. after the fire, July 1889

3rd Ave. and Jefferson St. after the fire, July 1889

Corner of Third Ave. and Jefferson St. following the 1889 fire. Businesses shown include the Palace Saloon, Jake Berkman Furnishing Goods, Queen City Loan Office, Tin Type Gallery and Harness Shop.

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#31 Temporary buildings at 2nd Ave. and James St. following fire, June 1889

Temporary buildings at 2nd Ave. and James St. following fire, June 1889

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#32 Temporary tents at 2nd Ave. and Marion St. following fire, June 1889

Temporary tents at 2nd Ave. and Marion St. following fire, June 1889

Looking northwest from Marion Street. Stairway to Stetson and Post Row, Second and Marion Street.

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#33 Yesler Way ruins after fire, June 6, 1889

Yesler Way ruins after fire, June 6, 1889

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#34 1st Ave. from Columbia St. after Seattle fire of June 6, 1889.

1st Ave. from Columbia St. after Seattle fire of June 6, 1889.

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#35 1st Ave., at the start of the fire, June 6, 1889

1st Ave., at the start of the fire, June 6, 1889

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#36 1st Ave., from James St. after the fire of June 6, 1889

1st Ave., from James St. after the fire of June 6, 1889

Looking north. Merchants National Bank and the Starr-Boyd building to the left; Pioeern Square Building under construction to the right.

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#37 1st Ave., looking north from Pioneer Square, 1890

1st Ave., looking north from Pioneer Square, 1890

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#38 2nd Ave. from Cherry St. after the Seattle fire of June 1889

2nd Ave. from Cherry St. after the Seattle fire of June 1889

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#39 2nd Ave. in Seattle after the fire of June 6, 1889

2nd Ave. in Seattle after the fire of June 6, 1889

The Boston Block is in the foreground at right, and the Stetson-Post Block with the tower is in the background on the left.

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#40 Aftermath of a fire in Dawson, Yukon Territory, October 14, 1898.

Aftermath of a fire in Dawson, Yukon Territory, October 14, 1898.

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#41 Aftermath of Seattle fire of June 6, 1889 as seen from Railroad Ave. to the east.

Aftermath of Seattle fire of June 6, 1889 as seen from Railroad Ave. to the east.

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#42 Aftermath of Seattle fire of June 6, 1889, 2nd Ave. and Columbia St., showing destroyed wharves.

Aftermath of Seattle fire of June 6, 1889, 2nd Ave. and Columbia St., showing destroyed wharves.

Looking west from top of Boston Block.

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#43 Aftermath of Seattle fire of June 6, 1889, depicting officers of the Washington National Guard.1889

Aftermath of Seattle fire of June 6, 1889, depicting officers of the Washington National Guard.1889

Standing, left to right: A. P. Brown, J. M. Howell, J. A. Hatfield, S. W. Scott, Wm. Kimball, J. C. Haines, Fred Grant, L. S. Booth, Paul D. Heirry, Wm. T. Sharpe; last four unidentified. Sitting, left to right: Wm. J. Gorham, E. M. Carr, Joseph Green, Joseph W. Phillips, Wm. R. Thornell, Wm. H. Fife, L. A. Dawson, C. L. F. Kellogg.

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#44 Looking north at the ruins of the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway Company tracks, Washington.1889

Looking north at the ruins of the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway Company tracks, Washington.1889

Possibly looking north from the vicnity of Columbia St. and Mill St. (Yesler Way).

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#45 Looking south showing ruins in the vicinity of the waterfront area, Washington.1889

Looking south showing ruins in the vicinity of the waterfront area, Washington.1889

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#46 Looking south showing the ruins of the downtown area, Washington.1889

Looking south showing the ruins of the downtown area, Washington.1889

Shows the waterfront to the right and businesses established in temporary tent structures.

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#47 Looking southeast on 2nd Ave. from near James St.1889

Looking southeast on 2nd Ave. from near James St.1889

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#48 Looking southwest toward the harbor, Washington.1889

Looking southwest toward the harbor, Washington.1889

Shows destruction of the wharves and businesses established in temporary tent structures including the Louvre Barber Shop, Home Chop House, and the Calfornia Lodging House.

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#49 Looking west from 1st Ave. between Columbia and Cherry Streets, Washington.1889

Looking west from 1st Ave. between Columbia and Cherry Streets, Washington.1889

Shows ruins of what is possibly the McDougall Southwick Building.

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#50 Looking west from 2nd Ave. and Cherry St., Seattle, Washington, 1889

Looking west from 2nd Ave. and Cherry St., Seattle, Washington, 1889

Ruins of the Merchants National Bank at 701 1st Ave. to the left; advertisement indicates the future site of the Guaranteed Loan and Trust Company Savings Bank at 2nd Ave. southwest corner of Cherry St.

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#51 Looking west from 2nd Ave. and Columbia St., Washington, 1889

Looking west from 2nd Ave. and Columbia St., Washington, 1889

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#52 Looking west from between Columbia St. and Cherry St. Washington, 1889

Looking west from between Columbia St. and Cherry St. Washington, 1889

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#53 Bread line at the tent of the Tacoma Relief Bureau in vicinity of 3rd Ave. near Union St., Washington, 1889

Bread line at the tent of the Tacoma Relief Bureau in vicinity of 3rd Ave. near Union St., Washington, 1889

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#54 Bread line leading to tent of Tacoma Relief Bureau in vicinity of 3rd Ave. near Union St., Seattle, Washington, 1889

Bread line leading to tent of Tacoma Relief Bureau in vicinity of 3rd Ave. near Union St., Seattle, Washington, 1889

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#55 Bread line leading to tent of Tacoma Relief Bureau.1889

Bread line leading to tent of Tacoma Relief Bureau.1889

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#56 Devastated section of the city, Washington, 1889

Devastated section of the city, Washington, 1889

Shows new building construction on the left, and piles of pipes and fixtures in the foreground.

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#57 One of the tents of the Tacoma Relief Bureau in vicinity of 3rd Ave. near Union St., Washington, 1889

One of the tents of the Tacoma Relief Bureau in vicinity of 3rd Ave. near Union St., Washington, 1889

Shows relief workers and baskets and piles of bread and other food and supplies.

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#58 Remains of Dexter Horton & Co. bank, 1st Ave. S. and S. Washington St., with John B. Denny of the Washington National Guard on duty, 1889

Remains of Dexter Horton & Co. bank, 1st Ave. S. and S. Washington St., with John B. Denny of the Washington National Guard on duty, 1889

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#59 Remains of Dexter Horton & Co. bank, 1st Ave. S. and S. Washington St.

Remains of Dexter Horton & Co. bank, 1st Ave. S. and S. Washington St.

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#60 Ruins of Dearborn Block, 322 1st Ave. S., with John B. Denny of Washington National Guard on duty, 1889

Ruins of Dearborn Block, 322 1st Ave. S., with John B. Denny of Washington National Guard on duty, 1889

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#61 Ruins of Puget Sound National Bank in the Occidental Hotel Building, corner of James St. and Yesler Way, 1889

Ruins of Puget Sound National Bank in the Occidental Hotel Building, corner of James St. and Yesler Way, 1889

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#62 Yesler Way looking east from Western Ave, 1889

Yesler Way looking east from Western Ave, 1889

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#63 Looking north from S. King St., remains of buildings with chimney standing at right, 1889

Looking north from S. King St., remains of buildings with chimney standing at right, 1889

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#64 Walls of burned building at right; cable car tracks at left, 1889

Walls of burned building at right; cable car tracks at left, 1889

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#65 2nd & Commercial Street

2nd & Commercial Street

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#66 Looking north on 1st Ave. S. from Jackson St, 1889

Looking north on 1st Ave. S. from Jackson St, 1889

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#67 Looking south on 1st Ave. from near Madison Street

Looking south on 1st Ave. from near Madison Street

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#68 In foreground are twisted rails of the Columbia and Puget Sound Railroad.

In foreground are twisted rails of the Columbia and Puget Sound Railroad.

Row of ruins from left to right: Frye's Opera House, Toklas and Singerman Co., Union Block, Merchants National Bank, Post Intelligencer.

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#69 Looking east at the ruins of the Occidental Hotel at corner of James St. and Yesler Way.

Looking east at the ruins of the Occidental Hotel at corner of James St. and Yesler Way.

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#70 Looking north on 1st Avenue S. at Yesler toward the ruins of the Yesler-Leary Building, Seattle, Washington, 1889

Looking north on 1st Avenue S. at Yesler toward the ruins of the Yesler-Leary Building, Seattle, Washington, 1889

Yesler-Leary Building was located at the northwest corner of 1st Ave. and Yesler Way.

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#71 Looking northwest showing the ruins of the Occidental Hotel, corner of James St. and Yesler Way, Seattle, Washington, 1889

Looking northwest showing the ruins of the Occidental Hotel, corner of James St. and Yesler Way, Seattle, Washington, 1889

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#72 Looking west on Main St., Seattle, Washington, 1889

Looking west on Main St., Seattle, Washington, 1889

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#73 Showing the ruins of buildings along 1st Ave. from Columbia to Yesler, Seattle, Washington, 1889

Showing the ruins of buildings along 1st Ave. from Columbia to Yesler, Seattle, Washington, 1889

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#74 The ruins of Frye’s Opera House, Seattle, Washington, 1889

The ruins of Frye's Opera House, Seattle, Washington, 1889

Frye's Opera House at northeast corner 1st Ave. and Marion St.

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#75 Ruins of the Occidental Hotel, corner of James St. and Yesler Way, Seattle, Washington, 1889

Ruins of the Occidental Hotel, corner of James St. and Yesler Way, Seattle, Washington, 1889

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#76 View from the waterfront, Seattle, Washington, 1889

View from the waterfront, Seattle, Washington, 1889

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#77 Yesler Way west of Third Avenue in the summer of 1889.

Yesler Way west of Third Avenue in the summer of 1889.

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#78 1st Ave. between Columbia St. and Yesler Way, Seattle, 1889

1st Ave. between Columbia St. and Yesler Way, Seattle, 1889

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#79 Businesses housed in tents and street traffic, 1889

Businesses housed in tents and street traffic, 1889

The back of the photo has advertising for businesses that were in the fire. The caption reads "A Few of the Survivors and Where They May Be Found."

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#80 Frye’s Opera House catching fire, with Minneapolis Art Studio on the right and a large crowd of people gathering in the street (recto), 1889

Frye's Opera House catching fire, with Minneapolis Art Studio on the right and a large crowd of people gathering in the street (recto), 1889

The back of the photo has advertising for businesses that were in the fire.

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#81 Large line of people in front of the Tacoma Relief Bureau tent near Third Ave. Union St, 1889

Large line of people in front of the Tacoma Relief Bureau tent near Third Ave. Union St, 1889

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#82 Looking north on Commercial St. showing a member of the Washington National Guard and two men, 1889

Looking north on Commercial St. showing a member of the Washington National Guard and two men, 1889

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#83 Looking south past the ruins of the Frye Opera House on Front St. near Madison St, 1889

Looking south past the ruins of the Frye Opera House on Front St. near Madison St, 1889

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#84 Looking south showing tents along Yesler Way and construction of the Standard Theatre and other buildings, 1889

Looking south showing tents along Yesler Way and construction of the Standard Theatre and other buildings, 1889

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#85 Looking southwest from a hill showing tents in the burned district and Elliott Bay, 1889

Looking southwest from a hill showing tents in the burned district and Elliott Bay, 1889

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#86 Lumber and ruins along Front St, 1889

Lumber and ruins along Front St, 1889

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#87 Waterfront with reconstruction along Front Street, 1889

Waterfront with reconstruction along Front Street, 1889

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#88 New building construction at center right after the Fire, 1889

New building construction at center right after the Fire, 1889

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#89 Aftermath of the Seattle fire of June 6, 1889

Aftermath of the Seattle fire of June 6, 1889

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#90 The walls standing were those of brick buildings on First Avenue, west side, between Yesler Way and Columbia Street.

The walls standing were those of brick buildings on First Avenue, west side, between Yesler Way and Columbia Street.

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#91 Looking west toward waterfront and West Seattle, 1889

Looking west toward waterfront and West Seattle, 1889

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#92 Aftermath of the Seattle fire of June 6, 1889

Aftermath of the Seattle fire of June 6, 1889

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#93 1st Ave. and Cherry St, 1889

1st Ave. and Cherry St, 1889

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#94 1st Ave. S. showing Washington National guardsman, 1889

1st Ave. S. showing Washington National guardsman, 1889

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#95 Looking east from 1st Ave. and James St.1889

Looking east from 1st Ave. and James St.1889

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#96 Looking north on 1st Ave. from Cherry St, 1889

Looking north on 1st Ave. from Cherry St, 1889

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#97 Looking south along cable car tracks on 1st Ave. from around Marion and Madison Streets, June 1889

Looking south along cable car tracks on 1st Ave. from around Marion and Madison Streets, June 1889

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#98 Looking south on 1st Ave. from Columbia St, 1889

Looking south on 1st Ave. from Columbia St, 1889

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#99 Looking southwest from 3rd Ave. and Jefferson St, 1889

Looking southwest from 3rd Ave. and Jefferson St, 1889

This is as it looked a week or two after the fire. The debris was being removed, tents were everywhere, and new brick houses were constructing. It was a tented city later.

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#100 Aftermath of the Seattle fire of June 6, 1889 showing 1st Ave. S, 1889

Aftermath of the Seattle fire of June 6, 1889 showing 1st Ave. S, 1889

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#101 Goods piled on the Oregon Improvement Co. dock, 1889

Goods piled on the Oregon Improvement Co. dock, 1889

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#102 Group of men examining the ruins, 1889

Group of men examining the ruins, 1889

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#103 Front of the Safe Deposit Building located at 701 2nd Ave, 1889

Front of the Safe Deposit Building located at 701 2nd Ave, 1889

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#104 Front St. and ruins of the Merchants National Bank, 1889

Front St. and ruins of the Merchants National Bank, 1889

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#105 Ruins on Yesler Way, 1889

Ruins on Yesler Way, 1889

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#106 Temporary businesses and trolley car, 1889

Temporary businesses and trolley car, 1889

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#107 Temporary tent structures erected after the fire on the right, 1889

Temporary tent structures erected after the fire on the right, 1889

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#108 Block between 1st and 2nd Avenues and from James (at right) to a little north of Cherry (at left), 1889

Block between 1st and 2nd Avenues and from James (at right) to a little north of Cherry (at left), 1889

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#109 Boston Block on the southeast corner of 2nd Ave. and Columbia St, 1889

Boston Block on the southeast corner of 2nd Ave. and Columbia St, 1889

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#110 The firefighters standing in the ruins of the Occidental Hotel, 1889

The firefighters standing in the ruins of the Occidental Hotel, 1889

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#111 The ruins along Front Street, 1889

The ruins along Front Street, 1889

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#112 The ruins along Front St. including the Merchants National Bank, 1889

The ruins along Front St. including the Merchants National Bank, 1889

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#113 The ruins of buildings, 1889

The ruins of buildings, 1889

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#114 The ruins of Frye’s Opera House at Northeast corner 1st Ave. and Marion Street, 1889

The ruins of Frye's Opera House at Northeast corner 1st Ave. and Marion Street, 1889

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#115 The ruins of the Dexter Horton and Co. bank at 1st Ave. S. and S. Washington Street, 1889

The ruins of the Dexter Horton and Co. bank at 1st Ave. S. and S. Washington Street, 1889

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#116 The ruins of the Dexter Horton and Co. bank at 1st Ave. S. and S. Washington Street, 1889

The ruins of the Dexter Horton and Co. bank at 1st Ave. S. and S. Washington Street, 1889

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#117 The ruins of the Northwest Cracker Factory and a safe on the street, 1889

The ruins of the Northwest Cracker Factory and a safe on the street, 1889

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#118 The ruins south from 2nd Ave. and Seneca Street, 1889

The ruins south from 2nd Ave. and Seneca Street, 1889

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#119 The west of 1st Ave. from Columbia St. to Cherry Street, 1889

The west of 1st Ave. from Columbia St. to Cherry Street, 1889

The finest lot of business houses in the city in 1888-89 were those represented by these ruins. The block extended from Yesler Way to Columbia Street, 550 feet, and then down Yesler 160 feet more. The people were proud of this great block. The fire wiped it out in an hour.

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#120 Two guards arresting a looter in the ruins, 1889

Two guards arresting a looter in the ruins, 1889

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#121 Two safes and two men in front of ruins of the Cracker Factory, 1889

Two safes and two men in front of ruins of the Cracker Factory, 1889

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#122 Washington National Guard member standing to the left, 1889

Washington National Guard member standing to the left, 1889

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#123 Waterfront in the vicinity of Washington Street, 1889

Waterfront in the vicinity of Washington Street, 1889

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#124 Frist Ave. and Cherry Street, 1889

Frist Ave. and Cherry Street, 1889

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