Full Color Fantasy

This lovely color lithograph bird’s eye view of Tacoma and the Mountain is attributed to Edwin S Glover and was filed in the Library of Congress in 1878.1878.detail The original is held in the University of California Berkeley Bancroft Library and the very costly color litho publication was produced by A.L. Bancroft & Company.

The pastoral, Currier & Ives style rendering of New Tacoma is mostly a fabrication from the impossible aerial perspective to the grassy almost stump free landscape. But it was the sense of reality and open land that made bird’s eye views so useful to the Northern Pacific Railroad and land agents eager to lure investors to the far west. Not everything in the picture was a lie and for those that made it to Tacoma there were marvels and moments that no picture could capture.

This and other treasures like it are available for viewing at the Digital Public Library of America.   https://dp.la/

1879 Bird's eye in color

Way Back-History as Hidden Code


Stories From the Prairie Line, 1873

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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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