Hooverville (in Seattle) burns down on April 10, 1941.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 2305
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On April 10, 1941, Hooverville, the Depression-era shantytown built south of Seattle's Pioneer Square, burns down. As this town within a town became engulfed in flames, the smoke could be seen all over Seattle. After the fire, the Seattle Port Commission condemned all shacks and other abodes in the area.

The shantytown started about 1931, at the beginning of the Great Depression, by out-of-work laborers. Several times the Port of Seattle and City of Seattle attempted to get rid of the shantytown, but it wasn’t until the fire, which occurred when the Great Depression was over, that they succeeded.

Hooverville was bounded by S Charles Street and S Dearborn Street on the north, almost to S Connecticut Street (renamed Royal Brougham Way) on the south, Railroad Avenue S (renamed South Alaskan Way) on the east, and Elliott Bay on the west.


The Seattle Times, April 10, 1941, p. 8.

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