Seattle’s Pike Place Market celebrates 114th anniversary

Aug 17, 2021, 11:49 AM

Pike Place Market...

Pike Place Market in Seattle. (AP file photo)

(AP file photo)

Seattle’s Pike Place Market is celebrating its 114th anniversary on Tuesday, marking the occasion with a downloadable digital book laying out the history of the iconic public marketplace.

Dave Grohl, Brandi Carlile busk at Seattle’s Pike Place Market

The origins of Pike Place date back to August 1907, when years of complaints by farmers over price gouging by wholesalers saw eight farmers set up shop on the corner of First Avenue and Pike Street to sell their produce themselves.

As the market’s new digital book notes, they eventually “sold all their produce within minutes” on that first day, with one farmer at the time describing a scene where a “society woman stormed my wagon, crawled over the wheels and crowded me off to a respectable distance.”

“When I got back the wagon was swept as clean as a good housewife’s parlor, and there in a bushel basket was a quart of silver,” he added. “Even if I didn’t have the opportunity to so much as put a price on an ear of corn, it gave me a good price for my vegetables.”

Today, Pike Place Market features dozens of booths surrounding its year-round farmer’s market, including bakeries, fish sellers, butchers, and specialty food stands, as well as over 300 buskers performing live music throughout the week.

You can get the market’s new downloadable history book here, or read it in PDF form at this link.

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Seattle’s Pike Place Market celebrates 114th anniversary