Its Friday and five o’clock somewhere. In 1900 the good fellows at the Puget Sound Brewing Company were doing some celebrating. Their fine product was on full display and samples were available all around. Fifteen years or so before prohibition, these Tacoma brewers made up a workforce of more than 1500 people employed in the making and distributing of excellent beers and ales. Before refrigeration, beer came in dated wood casks and Tacoma branded into the oak was a very good sign. Puget Sound Brewery made a German style lager and their wagons worked up and down Commercial street every morning delivering their products to the back doors of restaurants and bars fronting on Pacific and Broadway. The whole enterprise appears to be assembled and on display for this photo at the Holgate Street brewery’s loading dock. The Puget Sound Brewery tapped into the artisan wells that laced the hillside under the brewery district and had its own rail siding (underfoot here) for arriving Puyallup Valley hops, block ice, barrels and bottles and feed for the attached stables.Somebody needs to check the ID on that kid in the second row though.




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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.

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