Still There

Not really sure what they were thinking in cutting off Jefferson between Commerce and Pacific but since it will only effect motorized traffic I’m sure we will adjust. This very early, moody photo of the Pinkerton Building (the oldest building in the entire University of Washington system) captures the character of the neighborhood 110 years ago. At the photographer’s back in 1905 was the Northern Pacific Railroad passenger depot and for immigrants and tourists just arriving at the terminal city of the northern transcontinential railroad this was what they saw. Six years later, Union Station was finished, the old wood framed depot was demolished. The shops, houses and boarding homes in this picture became the heart of Japantown before disappearing entirely after World War 2. Save this image to your phone and next time you are on campus stop at the top of the stairs up to Jefferson from the Prairie Line. This is what you will see, edited by time and in present day color.Pinkerton

Written by

This site is about the way history, in this case of a city and it's surrounds, is remembered or recorded in stories and small bits of memory. It's also about the way images and stories go together, how they inform and enrich each other and how we as thinking people fill in the content between a narrative and a visual document. So here is my city in time past, the way it looked and the people and events that create its character. For more than 20 years I have taught a 5 credit course on the History of Tacoma at the University of Washington Tacoma. With an average of 30 or 40 students a year, each doing a research paper as their primary focus for the course, I have benefited from many paths of inquiry and many researched and assembled stories. Here are some of them in the retelling along with the treasures of photographs and images in the collections of the Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma Public Library, University of Washington Digital Archives, Washington State Archives at the Office of the Secretary of State, Library of Congress, Washington State University, Alaska State Library, and many other archives, libraries and private collections.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: