FT Field Trip: Bill Speidel's Underground Tour

(The Schwabacher building, built in 1872, was Seattle’s first brick building. Here’s a photo from the tour alongside a photo from today!)

If you’ve stopped by our store in Pioneer Square, there’s a good chance you’ve seen a group from the Underground Tour gathered outside. After wandering through old Seattle (which is literally underground!), groups gather right by our little jewelry storefront.

With two Seattle newbies on the Fresh Tangerine team, it was clear our next team outing needed to be the Underground Tour!

After a few cocktails and treats at Damn the Weather,  we gathered our courage and headed underground. We settled in for a pun-filled, educational comedy routine about Seattle and the history of the tour. Once we got a taste of what was ahead, into the tunnels we went. It was incredible to see the underworld of old Seattle. Everything was so well-preserved and explained so vividly, it was easy to imagine what life might have been like. I might never complain about construction after learning people used to have to climb ladders in order to get in and out of shops!

Favorite moments from the FT Field Trip:
“I found it really helpful to finally be able to experience first hand what all of the people who walk past the store on a tour are experiencing. It helped me add context to what I see. I was most surprised by how much was preserved underground. There’s a whole city that we don’t see anymore!” – Kim

“I had actually gone on the Underground Tour a few years ago with a friend who was visiting from out of town. So while the information for me was a bit of a refresher, my favorite part was seeing everyone else on the tour enjoying their time learning a little more about Seattle's oldest historic district. Oh, and walking through the old gold vault where it's always frigid...creepy.” – Kia

“I loved having to figure out which landmark or street we were walking under during every stop. I thought I had a great sense of direction until I went on this tour!” - Olivia

“I knew Pioneer Square had a history as a seedy area in Seattle’s history, but was surprised to learn how much the working women of the 1800s contributed to the city’s development. The brothel workers were taxed (as “seamstresses”) at $520 a year…multiplied times 2,700, they were the OG girl bosses!” - Valerie

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