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SEATTLE, the largest city of Washington, and the county-seat of King co. It is a port of entry and is on the E. shore of Puget sound. It is the terminus of 8 transcontinental railways, four of which, the Great Northern, the Northern Pacific, the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul, and the Union Pacific-Oregon-Washington railroads, enter the city on their own tracks. The Canadian Pacific and Grand Trunk make connections by water. The Canadian Pacific also has connection by rail. There were in 1919 within the city limits, 269 miles of street railway. There is steamship connection with all parts of the world by trans-Pacific lines and by the Panama canal.

The city is located between the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges, with Puget sound on the W. and Lake Washington on the E. The business and manufacturing sections of the city occupy levels nearer the sea, while the residential districts are on the hills. In recent years regrading operations of great magnitude have resulted in reducing the elevation of many of the streets. Within the limits of the city are two large lakes, one of which is faced by a public park. The climate is healthful, with a temperature ranging from 96 to 11°. Severe cold is practically unknown. The precipitation averages 33.9 inches per year. Seattle is the ocean gateway through which lumber, wheat, fruit, copper, lead, and other raw products of the N. W. part of the United States make their way to tidewater and thence by ships to the Atlantic, to Europe and to world markets. Elliott bay, the main harbor, is a broad sheltered indentation in the E. shore of Puget sound. The mouth of the bay is more than 6 miles across. Between this outer harbor and the main water front stretch approximately 5 miles of deep water which is nearly 3 miles across at its narrowest point. The water front is well supplied with piers. One completed in 1920 has a capacity for berthing eleven 9,000-ton ocean ships at one time. It is 310 feet wide and half a mile long. The ship canal provides facilities for ships 780 feet in length. The outer and inner harbors together have a total frontage of 194 miles. The cargo handling facilities represent an investment of over $20,000,000, of which $7,000,000 have been spent by the municipal port of Seattle. Out of the city operate ship services to Alaska, Yokohama, Shanghai, Hongkong, Manchuria, Batavia, Calcutta and other Oriental ports.

The park and boulevard system of the city comprises nearly 200 acres. There are over 20 improved playgrounds and about 25 miles of scenic boulevards, an observation pier, and a bathing pavilion. The most important parks are Woodland, Ravenna, Kinniar, Madrona, Volunteer, Washington, and Jefferson. The University of Washington covers, with its campus, 355 acres within the city limits. The notable buildings include the Cathedral of St. James, Providence Hospital, Federal building, Y. W. C. A. building, Rainier Club, and a public library. There are many business building, clubs and theaters. The city has excellent educational facilities including libraries and musical and art institutions. The public library has 9 branches and circulates more than 1,500,000 volumes annually. Practically every religious denomination is represented by churches. It is the seat of the Catholic diocese of Washington.

Seattle has developed greatly in recent years as a commercial city. The total imports for the fiscal year 1920 amounted to $173,527,650, and the exports to $228,186,694. A large commerce is carried on with China and Japan and it has trade relations with practically every country in Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as Australia. Practically all the trade with Alaska is carried on through Seattle.

It is the center of a great agricultural and stock raising area which includes practically the States of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. It is also the principal headquarters of the great lumbering industry of Washington. Its business in fish exceeds $73,000,000 per annum.

The industrial importance of the city has greatly increased in recent years. This has especially followed the opening of the Panama canal. During the World War it was an important shipbuilding center and nearly 20% of all the merchant ships secured by the government during the first 12 months of the war were launched in the yards of the city. In 1920 there were over 40,000 workers in shipyards, metal working plants, and in the 1,300 industrial establishments. The annual payroll amounts to over $200,000,000. Lumber and flour manufacturing rank after shipbuilding in importance. Industries connected with the steel and iron industry made great headway in the five years dating from 1915. Among other important industries are rolling mills, car shops, meat packing plants, manufactures of logging and mining machinery, wireless apparatus, wood pipe, gas engines, airplanes, stoves, shoes, cans, bags and rope. Power is furnished by hydro-electric plants, and it has been developed on a low basis of cost.

There were in 1919 seven National and many private banks. The saving deposits amounted to $61,416,305. The bank clearings in that year were $2,021,004,351.

In 1909 the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition was held in Seattle. It was attended by nearly 8,000,000 persons. Pop. (1900) 80,671; (1910) 237,194; (1920) 315,312.

Collier's 1921 Seattle - Lake Washington Canal.jpg
© Ewing Galloway