The original Pioneer Square is a cobbled triangular plaza where Henry Yesler’s sawmill cut the giant trees that marked Seattle’s first industry. Known officially as Pioneer Square Park, the plaza features a bust of Chief Seattle (Sealth, in the original language), an ornate pergola and a totem pole.
Some wayward early Seattleites, so the story goes, stole the totem pole from the Tlingit native people in southeastern Alaska in 1890. An arsonist lit the pole aflame in 1938, burning it to the ground. When asked if they could carve a replacement pole, the Tlingit took the money offered, thanking the city for payment for the first totem, and said it would cost $5000 to carve another one. The city coughed up the money and the Tlingit obliged with the pole you see today.