SONGS IN SHEET MUSIC FORM were being published in the Oregon Territories by at least the 1870s. Local musicians and songsmiths -- both professional and amateur -- would typically pay a local printing house to design some cover-art and then print a number of copies either for use onstage, or possibly to satisfy their personal vanity by seeing them available for sale at a local music shop, or even with the far-fetched goal of scoring a hit song. Their lyrical topics ranged from sentimental notions, to romantic thoughts, to regionally relevant ditties about the area's natural appeal. Notable examples over the decades include: Olympia's Francis Henry and his "The Old Settler" (1874); Bellingham's Alice Nadine Morrison and her "My Love Is All For You" (1920); and Seattle's Harold Weeks and his "Little Cabin in the Cascade Mountains" (1929).
But, individual songs are one thing, while folios of multiple songs are a whole 'nother matter. They are far more scarce. Seen here is what must be one of -- if not the -- earliest published booklet of songs that can be associated with Seattle. A recent eBay find, this (presumably circa 1890s) booklet is titled: All the Latest and Most Popular SONGS Of The Day - Comic and Sentimental - Compliments of The Leading Merchants and Business Houses of Seattle, Wash.  The printing firm of Finlayson & Gratke may have been based down in Astoria, Oregon, but the advertisers credited in the 48-page booklet are strictly Seattle-based -- and, interestingly enough, are largely booze & smokes oriented.

They include: The Merchants cigar shop (109 Yesler Avenue); Butler Cafe - The Choicest of Wines, Liquors and Cigars (Second Street & James Street); Gill & Gill liquors (806 Front Street); Delcho Beer, Wines, Liquors & Cigars (111 Yesler Street); The Demijohn Wines, Liquors and Cigars (910 Second Street); The Drum Fine Wines, Liquors and Cigars (812 Second Sttreet); L. Jaffe & Co. liquors; R. Satori & Co. Wines & Liquors (115 James Street); Harms & Dickman Wines Liquors & Cigars (corner Front Street & Marion Street); P.J. Smith's Oyster House (202 Yesler Street); and Seattle's fabled Horse Shoe tavern.

A few of the 20+ songs included here are: "A Pretty Girl, A Summer Night," "Kiss and Let's Make Up" -- and the new technology-inspired "Telephone In De Air." However, the commercial genius behind a publication such as this one is that it only included the lyrics to each composition, rather than those and the musical notation required to actually play the songs at home on your parlor piano. Thus, at the bottom of each song's page is a helpful reminder that: "The music for this song can be obtained at O. E. Pettis & Co.'s Music house." As for who the authors of these songs might be, we may never know as this publication failed to bother to mention them!