Place:Tacoma, Pierce, Washington, United States

Watchers


NameTacoma
Alt namesChebaulipsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS53020284
Commencement Baysource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) XI, 489
Commencement Citysource: Encyclopædia Britannica (1988) XI, 489; USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS53020284
T'kopesource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS53020284
T'koptsource: USGS, GNIS Digital Gazetteer (1994) GNIS53020284
TypeCity
Coordinates47.241°N 122.459°W
Located inPierce, Washington, United States     (1841 - )
Contained Places
Cemetery
Calvary Cemetery
Tacoma Cemetery
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Tacoma is a mid-sized urban port city and the county seat of Pierce County, Washington, United States. The city is on Washington's Puget Sound, southwest of Seattle (of which it is the largest satellite city), northeast of the state capital, Olympia, and northwest of Mount Rainier National Park. The population was 198,397, according to the 2010 census. Tacoma is the second-largest city in the Puget Sound area and the third largest in the state. Tacoma also serves as the center of business activity for the South Sound region, which has a population of around 1 million.

Tacoma adopted its name after the nearby Mount Rainier, originally called Takhoma or Tahoma. It is locally known as the "City of Destiny" because the area was chosen to be the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the late 19th century. The decision of the railroad was influenced by Tacoma's neighboring deep-water harbor, Commencement Bay. By connecting the bay with the railroad, Tacoma's motto became "When rails meet sails". Commencement Bay serves the Port of Tacoma, a center of international trade on the Pacific Coast and Washington State's largest port.

Like most central cities, Tacoma suffered a prolonged decline in the mid-20th century as a result of suburbanization and divestment. Since the 1990s, developments in the downtown core include the University of Washington Tacoma; Tacoma Link, the first modern electric light rail service in the state; the state's highest density of art and history museums; and a restored urban waterfront, the Thea Foss Waterway. Neighborhoods such as the 6th Avenue District have been revitalized. With over $1 billion having been invested in downtown Tacoma alone, private investment has surpassed public investment by a ratio of almost 4:1.

Tacoma has been named one of the most livable areas in the United States. In 2006, Tacoma was listed as one of the "most walkable" cities in the country. That same year, the women's magazine Self named Tacoma the "Most Sexually Healthy City" in the United States.

Tacoma gained notoriety in 1940 for the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which earned the nickname "Galloping Gertie".

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Early history

The area was inhabited for thousands of years by American Indians, predominantly the Puyallup people, who lived in settlements on the delta.

In 1852, a Swede named Nicolas Delin built a water-powered sawmill on a creek near the head of Commencement Bay, but the small settlement that grew around it was abandoned during the Indian War of 1855–56. In 1864, pioneer and postmaster Job Carr, a Civil War veteran and land speculator, built a cabin (which also served as Tacoma's first post office; a replica was built in 2000 near the original site in "Old Town"). Carr hoped to profit from the selection of Commencement Bay as the terminus of the Transcontinental Railroad, and sold most of his claim to developer Morton M. McCarver (1807–1875), who named his project Tacoma City, derived from the indigenous name for the mountain.

Tacoma was incorporated on November 12, 1875, following its selection in 1873 as the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad due to lobbying by McCarver, future mayor John Wilson Sprague, and others. However, the railroad built its depot on New Tacoma, two miles (3 km) south of the Carr–McCarver development. The two communities grew together and joined, merging on January 7, 1884. The transcontinental link was effected in 1887, and the population grew from 1,098 in 1880 to 36,006 in 1890. Rudyard Kipling visited Tacoma in 1889 and said it was "literally staggering under a boom of the boomiest".


George Francis Train was a resident for a few years in the late 19th century. In 1890, he staged a global circumnavigation starting and ending in Tacoma to promote the city. A plaque in downtown Tacoma marks the start and finish line.

In November 1885, white citizens led by then-mayor Jacob Weisbach expelled several hundred Chinese residents peacefully living in the city. As described by the account prepared by the Chinese Reconciliation Project Foundation, on the morning of November 3, "several hundred men, led by the mayor and other city officials, evicted the Chinese from their homes, corralled them at 7th Street and Pacific Avenue, marched them to the railway station at Lakeview and forced them aboard the morning train to Portland, Oregon. The next day two Chinese settlements were burned to the ground."

The discovery of gold in the Klondike in 1898 led to Tacoma's prominence in the region being eclipsed by the development of Seattle.

A major tragedy marred the end of the 19th century, when a streetcar accident resulted in significant loss of life on July 4, 1900.

Early 20th century

From May to August 1907, the city was the site of a smelter workers' strike organized by Local 545 of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), with the goal of a fifty-cent per day pay raise. The strike was strongly opposed by the local business community, and the smelter owners threatened to blacklist organizers and union officials. The IWW opposed this move by trying to persuade inbound workers to avoid Tacoma during the strike. By August, the strike had ended without meeting its demands.[1]

Tacoma was briefly (1915–1922) a major destination for big-time automobile racing, with one of the nation's top-rated racing venues just outside the city limits, at the site of today's Clover Park Technical College.

In 1924, Tacoma's first movie studio, H. C. Weaver Studio, was sited at present-day Titlow Beach. At the time, it was the third-largest freestanding film production space in America, with the two larger facilities being located in Hollywood. The studio's importance has undergone a revival with the discovery of one of its most famous lost films, Eyes of the Totem.


The Great Depression

The 1929 crash of the stock market, resulting in the Great Depression, was only the first event in a series of misfortunes to hit Tacoma in the winter of 1929–30. In one of the coldest winters on record, Tacoma experienced mass power outages and eventually the shutdown of major power supply dams, leaving the city without sufficient power and heat. During the 30-day power shortage in the winter of 1929 and 1930, the engines of the aircraft carrier provided Tacoma with electricity.

A power grid failure paired with a newly rewritten city constitution – put into place to keep political power away from a single entity such as the railroad – created a standstill in the ability to further the local economy. Local businesses were affected as the sudden stop of loans limited progression of expansion and renewal funds for maintenance, leading to foreclosures. Families across the city experienced the fallout of economic depression as breadwinners sought to provide for their families. Shanty-town politics began to develop as the destitute needed some form of leadership to keep the peace.

Tacoma's Hooverville

Tacoma Hooverville timeline

At the intersection of Dock Street EXD and East D Street in the train yard, a shanty town became the solution to the growing scar of the depression. Tacoma's Hooverville grew in 1924 as the homeless community settled on the waterfront. The population boomed in November 1930 through early 1931 as families from the neighboring McKinley and Hilltop areas were evicted.

Collecting scraps of metal and wood from local lumber stores and recycling centers, families began building shanties (shacks) for shelter. Alcoholism and suicide became a common event in the Hooverville that eventually led to its nickname of "Hollywood on the Tide Flats", because of the Hollywood-style crimes and events taking place in the camp. In 1956, the last occupant of "Hollywood" was evicted and the police used fire to level the grounds and make room for industrial growth.

In 1935, Tacoma received national attention when George Weyerhaeuser, the nine-year-old son of prominent lumber industry executive J.P. Weyerhaeuser, was kidnapped while walking home from school. FBI agents from Portland handled the case, in which a ransom of $200,000 secured the release of the victim. Four persons were apprehended and convicted; the last to be released was paroled from McNeil Island in 1963. George Weyerhaeuser went on to become chairman of the board of the Weyerhaeuser Company.

Post-WWII

In 1951, an investigation by a state legislative committee revealed widespread corruption in Tacoma's government, which had been organized commission-style since 1910. Voters approved a mayor and city-manager system in 1952.

Tacoma was featured prominently in the garage rock sound of the mid-1960s with bands including The Wailers and The Sonics. The surf rock band The Ventures were also from Tacoma.

Downtown Tacoma experienced a long decline through the mid-20th century. Harold Moss, later the city's mayor, characterized late-1970s Tacoma as looking "bombed out" like "downtown Beirut" (a reference to the Lebanese Civil War that occurred at that time); "Streets were abandoned, storefronts were abandoned and City Hall was the headstone and Union Station the footstone" on the grave of downtown.

The first local referendums in the U.S. on computerized voting occurred in Tacoma in 1982 and 1987. On both occasions, voters rejected the computer voting systems that local officials sought to purchase. The campaigns, organized by Eleanora Ballasiotes, a conservative Republican, focused on the vulnerabilities of computers to fraud.

In 1998, Tacoma installed a high-speed fiber optic network throughout the community. The municipally owned power company, Tacoma Power, wired the city.

Downtown revival

Beginning in the early 1990s, city residents and planners took steps to revitalize Tacoma, particularly its downtown. Among the projects were the federal courthouse in the former Union Station (1991); Save Our Station community group; Merritt+Pardini Architect (1991); Reed & Stem Architects (1911); the adaptation of a group of century-old brick warehouses into a branch campus of the University of Washington; the numerous privately financed renovation projects near the campus; the Washington State History Museum (1996), echoing the architecture of Union Station; the Museum of Glass (2002); the Tacoma Art Museum (2003); and the region's first light-rail line (2003). The glass and steel Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center opened in November 2004. America's Car Museum was completed in late 2011 near the Tacoma Dome.

The Pantages Theater (first opened in 1918) anchors downtown Tacoma's Theatre District. The Broadway Center for the Performing Arts manages the Pantages, the Rialto Theater, and the Theatre on the Square. Tacoma Little Theatre (opened in 1918) bridges the theater district and the hilltop neighborhoods.. Other attractions include the Grand Cinema and the Landmark Temple Theatre.

Crime

According to Uniform Crime Report statistics compiled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 2018, there were 950 violent crimes and 5,641 property crimes per 100,000 residents. Of these, the violent crimes consisted of 84 forcible rapes, 7 murders, 257 robberies and 602 aggravated assaults, while 963 burglaries, 3,674 larceny-thefts, 1,004 motor vehicle thefts and 46 instances of arson defined the property offenses.

Tacoma's Hilltop neighborhood struggled with crime in the 1980s and early 1990s. Due to its high crime rate, Washington residents nicknamed the city "Tacompton", in reference to Compton, California. The beginning of the 21st century has seen a marked reduction in crime, while neighborhoods have enacted community policing and other policies.

Bill Baarsma (mayor, 2002–2010) was a member of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, a bipartisan group with a stated goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets."

In 2004, Tacoma was ranked among the top 30 Most Livable Communities in an annual survey conducted by the Partners for Livable Communities.

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