Paulla Upjohn, a Seattle native, is the daughter of Ben and Florence Paris. Her parents married in 1916, and Ben Paris was a well-known Seattleite whose sporting good store became a Seattle landmark. Paula Paris Upjohn is married to Frank Upjohn, and the couple has lived in the same Medina waterfront home since 1952.
The collection consists of scrapbook pages, clippings, correspondence, brochures, reports, photographs and memorabilia relating to the Hospitality Committee activities, and the fair in general. It includes a 34 page report on the creation and achievements of the Hospitality Committee, and a detailed list and summary of the recreational activities of visiting performers. Upjohn’s personal calendar includes her handwritten notes.
The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, or Century 21 Exposition, opened on April 21, 1962 and closed six months later on October 31. The fair offered a wide range of exhibits, including science, commerce, industry, fine arts and government. There were also popular attractions like the “Gayway” amusement park, and live vaudeville performances on “Show Street” and other newly constructed fair venues.
The World’s Fair had a 15-20 million dollar entertainment budget, at the time the largest amount ever spent for a performing arts program within a six month period. Howard Shaw, the Performing Arts Director, signed dozens of celebrities, leading performers and diverse groups from around the world to be staged in the new Seattle Opera House, the arena, a playhouse and stadium.
The history of the fair Hospitality Committee began in the fall of 1961, when Madeline Sayers was asked by Ewen Dingwall, a Century 21 manager, to serve as the Chairman of the Hospitality Committee for the Performing Arts. By January 1962, a twelve member core group of women was formed, including Paulla Upjohn, who became the chair of the Welcome Committee. The fair management eventually provided an office for the Hospitality Committee in the Opera House, but all the Committee’s activities were considered a volunteer community service. For example, Paulla Upjohn and the other members entertained performers in their own homes, organizing and hosting large theme parties, picnics, cruises, tours and other area visits.
Paulla Upjohn’s Welcome Committee handled the arrival of visiting performers, arranging for caravans of drivers, organizing greeting ceremonies, gifts, flowers, airport and depot transportation and accommodations. Upjohn and her volunteer drivers were on constant call for six months, donating their time and often entertaining lavishly. The opportunity to serve the Seattle community in such a visible and prestigious capacity was considered an honor. The city tours of upscale neighborhoods, local sights, home visits and entertainments were also a way to showcase the sophistication and prosperity of Seattle to the visiting VIPs.
Restrictions on Access :
The collection is open to the public by appointment.Restrictions on Use :
The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.Preferred Citation :
Paulla Upjohn Collection on the Seattle World's Fair Hospitality Committee, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle
Detailed Description of the Collection
This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.