Thursday, October 13, 2011

If this is Thursday it must be postcards, 8

Pay Streak

In addition to the rides shown on two of the three postcards below there were many other attractions including an upside down house. (I am still looking for a postcard of that one.)

These two rides look pretty tame compared to those found at the Western Washington State Fair also known as the Puyallup Fair today. I guess there was no bungee jumping in 1909.

Fairy Gorge and Tickler on "Pay Streak," 1909

Scenic Railway on "Pay Streak," 1909

“Pay Streak is a gold prospector's term, referring to veins or layers of gravel from which a worthwhile ("paying") concentration of gold ore can be extracted.” For more information, please see:

Part of the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition of 1909 was an area labeled “Pay Streak.” It was in this section of the grounds that fair visitors found the rides and info-entertainment items. Small fees were charged for the rides and entrance to these exhibits or amusement park items. There were large outdoor living displays and rides much like fairs have today. Some of these exhibits were eligible for prizes in the same way that those on the main fair grounds were. Part of the proceeds from the commercial sites on Pay Streak helped defray the costs of the fair itself so Pay Streak was an important part of the exposition.

The main avenue was divided into two parts near what is now the Burke-Gilman trail. Upper Pay Streak was found along 15th Avenue NE from 40th to Pacific Street and Lower Pay Streak was located where the western half of the University of Washington Medical/Health Sciences complex and Marine Sciences facilities are found today. For those of us familiar with the Hydraulics Lab, I would guess that location would have been on Lower Pay Streak as well. It also means that two familiar buildings now existing along 15th Avenue NE, the new Physics building and the LDS Institute of Religion, are currently on what was Upper Pay Streak.

Tokio Cafe on "Pay Streak," 1909

At one end of Pay Streak was the very popular Tokio Café shown here. It was one of the major attractions. Look at all the crowds of people milling around the entrance to Pay Streak! This would have been an ideal spot for any restaurant. No wonder it was so popular.

Look for a few more pictures from Pay Streak on a future postcard Thursday.

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