Alan J. Stein and Paula Becker

Before Amazon, Microsoft, Starbucks, or even Boeing, there was the Klondike Gold Rush that began in 1897. And Seattle’s port-town provisioning of the miners basically established this city. Alaska, in a sense, put us on the map. Thus the 1909 extravaganza documented in the photo-history Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition: Washington’s First World’s Fair (HistoryLink, $29.95) by Alan J. Stein and Paula Becker. Today they’ll show and discuss images from extensive local archives at MoHaI and the UW—which incorporated much of the Olmsted Brothers’ AYP design into today’s campus. The tourist rides, pseudo-educational displays, and international pavilions are all gone, of course. (My favorite: The Upside Down House.) But their spirit lives on in SeaFair each year and in the Seattle Center remnants of the 1962 World’s Fair. Before it was cool to scoff at growth (or worry about economic busts), Seattle was proud of its sudden boomtown prominence. BRIAN MILLER

Sat., June 13, 2 p.m., 2009

 
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