Stadium District Star Turn

Imagine, for a moment, how nice it would be to take an open car drive through the North End. Nothing fancy, no decorations, parasols, long white dresses or fake swans on the hood, just a nice drive along familiar streets about 100 years ago. Well here you are.

Not sure how this spellbinding piece of motion picture film survived but Dave Burns unearthed it for us to enjoy a century after the cameraman panned the streets of Tacoma’s North End from the window of a late teens automobile. Marshall McClintock from the North Slope neighborhood has done an amazing job of identifying the homes and structures in the film, those both lost and surviving. You’ll see the houses on Yakima Avenue, E Street and many other roadways now shaded by trees that were only saplings when the movie was made. As you roll along in your time machine set to about 1920, its interesting to see what you remember fromĀ from the present.


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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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