The Origins of Pike Place Market's Famous Pig

How did a pig become the symbol of a market best known for fish?
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

When you think of Pike Place Market, its fishmongers may come to mind—with their entertaining fish tossing, they tend to attract a lot of attention.

A few feet away, however, is something a little less flashy and a little more sentimental: Rachel the Piggy Bank.

Although plenty of Seattleites and tourists take a moment to ham it up for a photo with the 550-pound bronze pig, they may not realize they’re in the presence of a local hero. In 1986, the nonprofit Pike Place Market Foundation decided a piggy bank was just what was needed to help raise funds to support housing and services for low-income neighbors. The foundation hired Whidbey Island sculptor Georgia Gerber to create the bronze beauty, christened “Rachel” in honor of the 750-pound pig who won first place at the 1985 Island County Fair.

The market’s unofficial mascot has been bringing home the bacon ever since, collecting an average of $10,000 per year to support the community.

 

Related Content

Author Molly Wizenberg in her home with dog

Long a trusted voice on matters of the kitchen, Wizenberg's 'The Fixed Stars' deals with matters of the heart

Colorful bad artwork on display

Upstairs at Café Racer, feast your eyes on the Official Bad Art Museum of Art

Lily Verlaine as the Caterpillar in 'The Burlesque Alice In Wonderland'

Are we pivoting away from placeholder programming and reimagining what live performance can be?

As artists find new ways to connect, things are getting weird and wonderful