A Community Cartography Project

Story Mapping Yesler Way

As one of this city’s oldest paths, the story of Yesler Way is the story of Seattle. It travels from the salt water of Elliott Bay via Pioneer Square, up to the International District, through the Central District and down through Leschi to Lake Washington. The original “Skid Row,” Yesler Way divided the “respectable” from the rabble, earning the nickname Profanity Hill both for its steep incline and the vices that lay at its foot. This street passes through neighborhoods where the history of the people who lived there and live there still are being erased by new construction and displacement.

Do you have a story about Yesler Way? Who lived, worked, and played along this street? Map your memories of the places and people around Yesler Way’s neighborhoods. We want to record these stories and add them to the online audio walking tour.


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Illustration by Rachel Kessler


This project was supported, in part, by a grant from 4Culture.