Long before it was a tech mecca, Seattle was a timber town whose fortunes were tied to lumber mills like the one Henry Yesler established in what is now known as a Pioneer Square. Back then, Yesler Way was known as Mill Street, its path forged by the logs that were dragged down the hill to carve a makeshift road to the waterfront (hence its other name – Skid Road).
As the town developed and grew, so did the landscape. Where once there were lumber mills now stands Smith Tower, the city’s first skyscraper built in 1913. Its white tower remained the tallest building on the West Coast until the ‘60s, a nod to Seattle’s continued role as a mover and a shaker.
The identity of Seattle has changed and evolved since its lumberjack roots, but it has continued to be a pioneer, not only in industry and architecture but also in music. As tribute to our city’s groundbreaking roots, we bring you the Mill Street Sessions — stripped down songs by Northwest artists recorded in the iconic Smith Tower.