Manufacturers Building and Machinery Hall
Looking West on Yukon Avenue
Looking West on Lake Washington Avenue
It has been a while since I shared postcards from the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition that was held in Seattle, Washington in 1909. Many of the cards have similar views like these three above. The cards were printed by the Portland Postcard Company of Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington and display the official logo of the Fair in an upper corner of the card. The Manufacturers Building and the Agriculture Building were mirror images facing each other across Cascade Basin or what is now Frosh Pond on the University of Washington Campus. The third building is the Machinery Hall.
I like these three cards because they show people and vehicles, both automobiles and carriages. Looking carefully it is possible to see just part of the horse that is pulling the black carriage in two of the views. The car is colored red on two of the cards. It is interesting that moving vehicles whether horse drawn or motorized were allowed to drive along the same pathways where the pedestrians were walking. In some of the other postcards showing people the crowds were so large that it did not seem feasible to let cars or carriages drive along the same paths.
Today at Fairs people dress casually in jeans and tee-shirts but in 1909 those attending were dressed up. The women were wearing hats and long skirts the men were in suits and wearing hats too. The cards have been tinted or colored and reproduced in color but were originally black and white so we cannot be sure how accurate the colors may be.
The Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition opened on June 1 and closed on October 16, 1909. It attracted thousands of visitors. Originally the idea for the Fair was suggested by the Grand Secretary of the Arctic Brotherhood, Godfrey Chealander, as a way to mark the 10th anniversary of the Klondike Gold Rush. Chealander approached the Alaska Club and the Seattle Times with his idea to have a permanent exhibit in Seattle about Alaska. This evolved into the concept of a World's Fair or Exposition. Edmund S. Meany proposed using the University of Washington campus site, which had only three buildings and little landscaping in 1905. The state legislature endorsed the Fair if it would include at least four permanent buildings on the University of Washington campus at that time mostly forested land and if it would still attract out-of-town visitors even though it was a trolley ride distant from downtown Seattle. The title of the Exposition was expanded by the adding Yukon because the first Klondike gold strikes had been in Canada and then Pacific was added to emphasize trade with the Orient. The target year for the Fair was 1907 but due to scheduling conflicts the it was delayed until 1909.
For more information about the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition, see: