The city of Seattle with 'launched' when the first settlers landed on Alki Point on November 13, 1851. Shortly thereafter they made their way to the shores of Elliott Bay, where Henry Yesler established a sawmill in 1853. Seattle grew rapidly in its early years, the result of industrialization and the subsequent growth of urban areas that was similarly affecting much of the country in the post-civil war era. The city also benefited and grew in the mid-1880s as a result of becoming connected to the rest of the country through the transcontinental railroad system. But in 1889 Seattle's early optimism came to a halt when a fire burned 124 acres in the city and left the business district devastated.