Unemployed workers build the Seattle shantytown Hooverville in October 1931.

  • By Greg Lange
  • Posted 1/01/2000
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 1981
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In October 1931, unemployed workers build shacks on nine acres of vacant land located a few blocks south of Pioneer Square in Seattle. They call the shantytown Hooverville, in ironic homage to President Herbert Hoover (1874-1964), on whose beat the Great Depression began.

Seattle's Hooverville remained in existence for the years of the Depression. It was one of several such communities of shacks and shanties that homeless people built in King County during the 1930s.


Jesse Jackson, "The Story of Seattle's Hooverville," in Calvin F. Schmid, Social Trends in Seattle (Seattle: The University of Washington Press, 1944), 286-287.

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