Seattle, located between Lake Washington and the Puget Sound, was first inhabited by the Dkhw'Duw'Absh and Xachua'Bsh people (now called the Duwamish Tribe) who occupied at least 17 villages in the mid-1850s, living in some 93 permanent longhouses along Elliott Bay, Salmon Bay, Portage Bay, Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish, and the lower Duwamish, Black, and Cedar Rivers. The first European settlers arrived in 1851 led by Arthur A. Denny. The city was named after Chief Noah Sealth, a well-respected leader of Duwamish and Suquamish tribes in the area. His grave is located on Bainbridge Island across the Puget Sound from the city. As of the 2006 U.S. Census there were 580,000 people calling Seattle home.
Seattle's history is one of boom and bust beginning with the lumber industry and the Klondike Gold Rush of 1896 which lasted well into the 20th century. In 1907, James E. Casey established the American Messenger Company, which later became UPS. Nordstrom and Eddie Bauer also call Seattle home. Shipbuilding boosted the economy during the early part of the 20th century. The area became a point of departure during World War II, as well as a major war goods manufacturing center with Boeing leading the way with construction of fighter and bomber planes. A downturn in manufacturing and economic opportunities prompted many people to leave the area to find work in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Seattle is still home to a wide range of industry, high technology, coffee baristas, civic and political activism, academics, art and music. Grunge music has been said to originate in Seattle with the popularity of bands including Nirvana and Pearl Jam.
Landmarks and points of interest in Seattle include The Space Needle and the Seattle Center where many local civic and cultural events, such as Bumbershoot, Folklife, and the Bite of Seattle are held annually. Other attractions are the Washington Mutual Tower, Smith Tower, Pike Place Market, the Experience Music Project, the Fremont Troll, the new Seattle Central Library and the Columbia Center. Seattle's annual cultural events and fairs include the International Film Festival, the Bite of Seattle and Hempfest. Street fairs with local artists, musicians and restaurants offer a plethora of entertainment throughout the summer months. Numerous Native American powwows, a Greek Festival hosted by St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Montlake, and several ethnic festivals round out the activities available.
History and art exhibits are housed in the Seattle Art Museum, Frye Art Museum the Seattle Asian Art Museum, the Museum of History and Industry, the Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture, Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, and the Loghouse Museum in Alki. Other attractions include the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum, the Center for Wooden Boats, the Museum of Flight, and the Nordic Heritage Museum. For nature lovers there are the Woodland Park Zoo, and history buffs, the Seattle Underground Tour. For outdoor enjoyment there are many parks, lakes, rivers and trails to enjoy like Mt. Rainier, Rainier Beach, Green Lake, Loyal Heights and Laurelhurst recreation areas.