The city is situated on an isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington, about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canada–United States border.A major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the fourth-largest port in North America in terms of container handling as of 2016 The settlement was moved to the eastern shore of Elliott Bay and named "Seattle" in 1852, after Chief Si-Ahl, or Chief Sealth, or Chief Se-Atle (pronounced "See-Atle",with a guttural "Atle" sound) of the local Duwamish and Suquamish tribes.
A 1912 city development plan by Virgil Bogue went largely unused.
Seattle was mildly prosperous in the 1920s but was particularly hard hit in the Great Depression, experiencing some of the country's harshest labor strife in that era.
Seattle is also the birthplace of rock musician Jimi Hendrix and the alternative rock subgenre grunge. Charles Terry and John Low remained at the original landing location and reestablished their old land claim and called it "New York", but renamed "New York Alki" in April 1853, from a Chinook word meaning, roughly, "by and by" or "someday".
The name "Seattle" appears on official Washington Territory papers dated May 23, 1853, when the first plats for the village were filed.
Seattle achieved sufficient economic success that when the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 destroyed the central business district, a far grander city-center rapidly emerged in its place. Portland docked with its famed "ton of gold", and Seattle became the main transport and supply point for the miners in Alaska and the Yukon.