Seattle Central Waterfront, Part 7: Waterfront Park

  • By Paul Dorpat
  • Posted 5/24/2000
  • Essay 2477
See Additional Media

Pier 58, now Waterfront Park, was once the renowned Schwabacher's Wharf. It was built in 1902 and taken over in 1909 by the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad, the last of four transcontinental railroads to reach Seattle.

Built by hardware retailers from San Francisco, Schwabacher's Wharf was the site of several historic events. The freighter Miike Maru docked there on August 31, 1896, and opened trade between Seattle and Japan. The following year, on July 17, 1897, the steamship Portland arrived bearing a reported ton of gold from Canada's Klondike River valley via Alaska. The ensuing gold rush would make Seattle "The Gateway to Alaska" and enrich local merchants, including the Schwabachers, who provisioned tens of thousands of eager prospectors.

The pier was remodeled in 1974 as part of Seattle's new Waterfront Park, whose basin replaced the Schwabacher Wharf.

To go to Part 8, click "Next Feature"


Clarence B. Bagley, History of Seattle (Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1916) and History of King County (Chicago: S. J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1929); Richard C. Berner, Seattle in the 20th Century, Vols. 1, 2 & 3 (Seattle: Charles Press, 1991, 1992 & 1999); Padraic Burke, et al., Pioneers and Partnerships: A History of the Port of Seattle (Seattle: Port of Seattle, 1995); Walt Crowley, National Trust Guide: Seattle (New York: Preservation Press, 1998); Paul Dorpat, Seattle Now & Then, Vols. I, II & III (Seattle: Tartu Press, 1984, 1988 & 1989); Edmond S. Meany, History of the State of Washington (New York: MacMillan Company, Publishers, 1950); Murray Morgan, Skid Road (New York: Viking, 1951); David J. Olson, et al., Port in a Storm: An Historical Review of the Founding of the Port of Seattle (Seattle: Port of Seattle, 1970); Roger Sale, Seattle: Past & Present (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1976); James R. Warren, King County and its Queen City: Seattle (Woodland Hills, CA: Windsor Publications, Inc., 1981). Note: This item was corrected on February 14, 2022.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You