Atlas Obscura pioneering off-script tours of unexpected Seattle

Historian Jared Steed leads a tour of the Lake View Cemetery, where figures from Seattle's early years are buried. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)
Historian Jared Steed leads a tour of the Lake View Cemetery, where figures from Seattle’s early years are buried. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)

Do you know the name of the first woman to own a brothel in Seattle, what it says on Chief Sealth’s daughter’s gravestone or the history of Seattle’s Nisei veterans?

If you’re looking for a deeper dive in the sometimes forgotten corners of our region’s history, then Atlas Obscura tours are for you. I took one of Lake View Cemetery — a place I thought I knew well from my underage drinking years — and was surprised by all I learned.

The beloved website — known for guiding travelers “off the beaten path” — has set up operations here in the form of cool workshops and tours. Upcoming offerings include a walking tour of the “Past, Present and Future of the Alaska Way Viaduct,” a “Mechanical Music” workshop with Antiquarian Horologist (it means someone who studies time) Nico Cox, and a “Sculpture Stroll” around Magnuson park, including a visit to the original Sound Garden.

And you thought you didn’t have anything to do this weekend!

The gravestone of Princess Angeline, daughter of Chief Sealth, in Lake View Cemetery was erected by the Seattle historical society in 1958, and could probably use some updated language. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)
The gravestone of Princess Angeline, daughter of Chief Sealth, was erected by the Seattle historical society in Lake View Cemetery in 1958, and could probably use some updated language. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)
A participant in the Lake View Cemetery tour holds a photo of Steve McQueen (sporting Canadian Tuxedo) as a pallbearer at Bruce Lee's funeral. Lee and his son Brandon's grave sites draw visitors from around the world. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)
A participant in the Lake View Cemetery tour holds a photo of Steve McQueen (sporting Canadian Tuxedo) as a pallbearer at Bruce Lee’s funeral. Lee and his son Brandon’s grave sites draw visitors from around the world. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)
"Americanism is a matter of the mind and the heart. Americanism was not and never was a matter or race or ancestry." Words from Franklin Roosevelt grace a memorial to soldiers of Japanese ancestry from the Seattle area who died fighting for the U.S. in WWII. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)
“Americanism is a matter of the mind and the heart. Americanism was not and never was a matter or race or ancestry.” Words from Franklin Roosevelt grace a memorial to soldiers of Japanese ancestry from the Seattle area who died fighting for the U.S. in WWII. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)
Steed stands on the tomb of the Denny family, the first white settlers in Seattle. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)
Steed stands on the tomb of the Denny family, the first white settlers in Seattle. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)
Snow falls on the graves of Chinese Americans buried in Lake View Cemetery. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)
Snow falls on the graves of Chinese Americans buried in Lake View Cemetery. (Photo by Alex Stonehill)
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Sarah Stuteville

Sarah Stuteville is a print and multimedia journalist. She’s a cofounder of The Seattle Globalist. Stuteville won the 2011 Sigma Delta Chi Award for magazine writing. She writes a weekly column on our region’s international connections that is shared by the Seattle Globalist and The Seattle Times and funded with a grant from Seattle International Foundation. Reach Sarah at sarah@seattleglobalist.com.
Sarah Stuteville

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