Back to Blog

Pike Place Market Blog

Blog Search: History

On this day in Market history, 110 years ago, November 30, 1907...

"There were cheers when Councilman Tom Revelle, got up in top hat and tails, approached the podium; more cheers when a farmer thrust in his hands a huge pumpkin; and still more when he set it down by the speaker's stand, placed his silk hat on it, and with political resonance addressed the assemblage:

This market is yours. I dedicate it to you, and may it prove a benefit to you and your children. It is for you to defend, to protect and to uphold, and it is for you to see that those who occupy it treat you fairly; that no extortion be permitted and that the purpose for which it was created be religiously adhered to. This is one of the greatest days in the history of Seattle, but it is only a beginning for soon this city will have one of the greatest markets in the world. ...It is here to stay and there is no influence, no power, no combination and no set of either political or commercial grafters that will destroy it.

The assembled farmers and consumers cheered, the band struck up another march, and the crowd dispersed to shop at stalls filled with late fall produce"

-Excerpt from Soul of the City: The Pike Place Public Market by Alice Shorett and Murray Morgan

On the public market’s first day, August 17, 1907, crowds of shoppers seeking fresh produce and bargains descended upon the new marketplace. The first farmer sold out of produce within minutes.

August 17, 2017, marks the 110th anniversary of Pike Place Market's historic founding. Join us for a celebratory event!

110th Anniversary Events:

Caspar Babypants Concert & Fundraiser

Saturday, August 12, 6-7 p.m. | MarketFront Pavilion

Dance, clap and sing along while supporting a great local cause with everyone's favorite kindie rocker Caspar Babypants, performing for the first time in the brand new Pike Place MarketFront Pavilion. Donations are encouraged to support Pike Market Childcare and Preschool, serving families of all income levels since 1982. Caspar Babypants' brand new album, Jump for Joy, will be available for purchase, as well as original artwork by Pike Place Market artist Kate Endle.


John Stamets "Portrait of a Market" Photography Exhibit

Thursday, August 17, 6:30-8:30 p.m. | Pike Place Market Arcade

Honoring the work and life of local photographer John Stamets, this walking tour features 20 panoramic Widelux photos from his 1987 book Portrait of a Market, displayed throughout the  Market Arcade at the original locations that they were taken. The large-format photos capture the vitality and abundance of Pike Place in the mid-1980s. The photographs provide a unique insight into an important chapter in the history of Pike Place Market and reflect how the Market has changed while remaining true to its rich tradition of diverse residents, merchants, farmers and shoppers.

The twilight tour will provide an opportunity for people to document their own history of the Market. At each location where the photos are displayed, visitors can shoot photos showing the Market's past and its continued vitality in the present. 


Sunset Supper

Friday, August 18, 7:30 p.m. | MarketFront Pavilion

Celebrate the 110th as you sip and savor your way through many of the region's best restaurants, wineries, breweries and distilleries while meeting local chefs and winemakers. It will be a night to remember, complete with a raffle and dancing under the stars. The Pike Place Market Foundation is offering a ticket deal specifically for Market Insiders - 110 tickets for $110. To purchase tickets visit and enter promo code "110MARKET" (2 ticket limit).

If you are interested in volunteering contact Lindsey Falkenberg: 206-774-5255 or Volunteers receive a ticket offer for one volunteer ticket at $50 and one companion ticket at $75. Only volunteers who are finished with their shift by 9 p.m. are able to attend the event. The funds raised benefit the mission of the Pike Place Market Foundation and support the thriving, caring community at Pike Place Market. This year our goal is to raise $350,000 for the Market community.



Evening Farmers Market

Wednesdays, 3-7 pm | On the Pike Place Cobblestones

Wednesday night is locals' night at the Evening Farmers Market! "Meet the producer" and dozens of local farmers set up on the Pike Place cobblestones. Shop after work and fill your tote with just-picked-that-morning fruits and veggies, beautiful bouquets, artisan food and drinks, and specialty farm products. Plus, enjoy long summer evenings with live music, fun kids activities, food tastings, and a chance to explore the brand new MarketFront expansion.


In the early 1940s, World War II tensions resulted in the tragic internment of thousands of Japanese Americans in the United States. The majority of the Pike Place Market's farmers were forced from their homes and livelihoods, never to return.

In 1998, local Japense-born artist Aki Sogabe was commissioned by the Japanese American Citizen League Seattle Chapter to create artwork honoring the memory of long-time Japanese American farmers. “Song of the Earth” was created with papercut images transferred onto five porcelain enamel panels, each 3 feet by 5 feet. The project took her one year to complete and has been on display ever since at Pike Place Market's main entrance near the corner of Pike Street and Pike Place.

Read More

Pike Place Market is more than fish, flowers, and produce - it's a thriving community, built by generations of families and businesses who've defined the Market as a cultural and historic icon.

This new monthly series by Seattle Weekly tells stories of the "People of Pike Place Market", from the perspective of those who've played an active role in building this unique community in the heart of Seattle.

Photo by Rosemary Dai Ross/POSTheadshots

The first installment features Joe Desimone (pictured), whose grandfather, Guiseppe Desimone was an original Pike Place Market farmer when the Market opened in 1907. Guiseppe eventually became part-owner of the Market and helped define the Market as a thriving, caring community.

"If my family had not kept the rents low in Pike Place Market, or had not worked with people in difficult times, there possibly would not have been a Market today. I'm very proud of the fact that my grandfather and father took a real chance - and now Seattle has something that is the envy of the world." - Joe Desimone

Read full article on Seattle Weekly

Pike Place Market celebrated its 108th birthday yesterday! But did you know the Market was almost demolished in the 1960s? For this month's trivia question, can you figure out why Pike Place Market was nearly torn down?

A. It was severely damaged by the Great Seattle Fire.

B. A tsunami hit Seattle, destroying parts of the Market.

C. Gold was discovered underground, beneath the Market.

D. A proposal was being seriously considered to replace the Market with a
plaza that would include a hotel, an apartment building, four office
buildings, a hockey arena, and a parking garage.

Read More

Happy birthday and 108th anniversary to Pike Place Market! On this day in 1907, Seattle shoppers surrounded the first farmers’ wagons on Pike Place to score fresh produce from the surrounding countryside. Thank you, Seattle, for continuing to support your Market through the years. We couldn’t do it without you, or the 500+ amazing and dedicated farmers, craftspeople, merchants, artists and buskers who make this place real.

Read More