These are some of Pike Place Market's most enduring figures, as described by Market figures who are very much alive. The playful preteen son...

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These are some of Pike Place Market’s most enduring figures, as described by Market figures who are very much alive.


The playful preteen son of Polish immigrants, “Jacob” hangs out at Bead Zone in the Market’s DownUnder, where he enjoys mixing his favorite color red beads into boxes of other color beads. Bead Zone is just outside an area that once housed horse stables, where Jacob worked as a groom in the Market’s early days. Though Jacob sometimes picked pockets to buy treats, he was popular at the Market and had a beautiful smile — crooked front teeth and all. He died of a lung infection or pneumonia.

Maid in misery

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A young German or Russian immigrant, she worked as a maid in a Market hotel in exchange for room and board. Her quarters were what is now the kitchen of the Alibi Room, where people feel her lonely presence. She led a short and unhappy life, feeling like a captive because she spoke no English and had no friends. One thing that gave her joy was watching the glamorous dancers and prostitutes who frequented the Market back then. She wanted to be like them — but knew she never could.

Imposing gentleman

A distinguished man with money, this mysterious creature of the night ambles along Post Alley. Tall, dressed in a top hat and black suit and carrying a cane, he liked to visit the theater as well as the brothel in the old LaSalle Hotel. People never were certain of his identity but knew they didn’t want to cross him — or cross his path. He wasn’t evil, just intimidating.

Elusive boy

Pike Market Child Care and Preschool once was a children’s clinic. That could explain a sighting last September when teacher Lesa Valenzuela arrived early one morning to see what appeared to be a boy inside with short dark hair and a blue shirt. Before she could get a good look at his face, he ducked behind an easel and vanished. Before Valenzuela could finish telling a co-worker what she saw, the co-worker asked: “Does he have short black hair and no face?” The co-worker had seen the boy several times before — but never his face.

Sources: Faye the Tattooed Psychic (; Mercedes Yaeger (

Text by Stuart Eskenazi, illustrations by Susan Jouflas, Seattle Times staff

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