The Origins of Pike Place Market’s Famous Pig
By Jake Laycock
June 28, 2016
How did a pig become the symbol of a market best known for fish?
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.