Today is the second anniversary of this TacomaHistory.wordpress blog. In the last year, 60 new stories have been added to the 270 total posts exploring the city’s further adventures, tragedies, triumphs and follies. We have profiled good people and bad and followed the events and misadventures of characters that both praise and dis this place we call home. 76,135 views have been recorded in 2017 bringing the site’s total since launch to 134, 838. There have been hundreds of comments, corrections and scolds sent our way via the blog, Facebook and Twitter.

Just want to take a moment and recognize the vital role the Tacoma Public Library, Washington State Historical Society, University of Washington Digital Collections, HistoryLink and many other public archives play in telling our shared stories and understanding our collective past. I’m not sure wisdom or the better aspects of human nature are ever easy to recognize or find but if we want to go searching I think the past is a good place to start. Its why we have memories and libraries and the stories we tell each other.

The most popular new stories last year were


Alternative Facts 1943

NEON WARS ,  Parts 1 & 2


Hate Crime, December 7, 1964

Still Chasing the Story

View From the Top

Hard Core

Chasing the Story

Kit House

The most popular sites overall are;

31 Flavors

The Ancient


Way Back-History as Hidden Code

Gone to Market

Tacoma’s Grandest Secret Space

Nihonmachi, ca. 1920

Olmsted’s Phantom City

Brown Spots

Alternative Facts, 1943

The Day the Old Days Died

Market Street Ghost



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.


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