Ye Olde Curiosity Shop

1001 Alaskan Way, Pier 54
Seattle, WA 98104


About Us

“Everything in the world is there, sardined into Ye Olde Curiosity Shop... It’s the world boiled down.” --- Seattle Post-Intelligencer newspaper, June 1, 1927

Before the Space Needle. Before Woodland Park Zoo. Before the Seattle Aquarium. Even before the automobile replaced the horse and buggy, there was Ye Olde Curiosity Shop!

When Joseph Edward Standley set up his curio and souvenir shop on the waterfront in 1899, Seattle was a rough ‘n’ tumble town. The city was still reeling from the Great Fire only ten years before, and the newly replaced wooden docks rang with the footsteps of timber laborers, mine workers, and wannabe gold prospectors headed to the Alaska Yukon.

Those footsteps usually took people down to Ye Olde Curiosity Shop, and in greater and greater numbers throughout the years. The lumberjacks changed to office workers and world travellers, but they all wanted to know: where else could a body see a walrus skull with three tusks, buy a miniature totem pole, and touch the vertebra of the world’s largest whale? Local and international visitors alike found “1001 curious things” in Daddy Standley’s free museum.

As they will today. Over the course of five generations, the collection has done nothing but get more interesting. The ongoing stewardship of Standley’s family has brought shrunken heads, mummies, natural oddities, taxidermy treasures and manmade wonders from all over the world into the shop. Ye Olde Curiosity Shop plays host to more than a million visitors a year these days, and many are on a return trip, eager to share the experience with their great-grandchildren.

Currently closed for the rebuilding of the seawall, Ye Olde Curiosity Shop will reopen July 1, 2015... keeping it curious for another hundred years!

Images provided by, Ticketmaster
Please use "Flag This Place" to alert us about content that is inappropriate or needs immediate attention. Nothing you submit will be shared with other site visitors.

Upcoming AARP Events

View All AARP Events »

Find information about getting a COVID-19 vaccine in your state. CDC information is available at; additional AARP information and resources are at En español, visite

AARP Member Card

Join or Renew Today


  • Immediate access to your member benefits
  • Discounts on travel and everyday savings
  • Subscription to the award-winning AARP The Magazine
  • An ally on the issues that matter most to you in Seattle
  • Free membership for your spouse or partner