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Loading Close. Do Not Show Again Close. These tribes settled the area many thousands of years ago, where the saltwater, lakes and rivers made for an abundant selection of food. Puget Sound These same tribes were all in place when English sea captain George Vancouver sailed the inland waters as far south as what would one day be Seattle.
He instructed his lieutenant, Peter Puget, to continue exploring southward in smaller boats. The inland waters were named Puget Sound in the young naval officer's honor. It was the first permanent white settlement on Puget Sound.
Soon the fort was expanded to include a farm and a cattle and sheep ranch. A Methodist missionary, Dr. Richmond, established a mission at the fort to convert the local Indians to Christianity. Bythe same year the mission was abandoned as a failure, the fort was thriving, as a result of strong sales of beef, butter and cheese to the Russian settlements in Alaska. Inthe United States Navy assembled a fleet of ships for a voyage of exploration. The expedition was led by Lieutenant Charles Wilkes, a naval officer with a scientific background.
InWilkes and his crews reached Fort Nisqually, which they made their first headquarters. From Fort Nisqually, Wilkes sent out several surveying parties. One group explored and charted the waters of Puget Sound, giving many of the places the names they bear today, including Commencement Bay, as this was the point from which the exploration commenced. De Lin was described by late historian Murray Morgan as "a long-nosed, spade-bearded Swede.
Within a year, he'd shippedboard feet of lumber to San Francisco. De Lin was followed soon after by Job Carr, who bought land and built a cabin on a spot he hoped would become the terminus for Northern Pacific Railroad. In response, the legislature portioned out of it King, Jefferson and Pierce County. The legislature also passed laws appointing the first Tacoma washington wife. officers and located the county seat at Steilacoom, which was chosen largely because it was the only town in Washington with its own jail.
Dougherty and Alexander Smith. John Bradley was appointed sheriff and John M. Chapman was appointed probate clerk. The law locating the county seat contained the following language: "Pierce County is not the largest in the state, but it is one of the most important; it has about miles of salt-water shore line, with many bays and inlets and several important islands.
It has a greater variety of elevations than any other county in the state, reaching from the tide level of Puget Sound to the summit of Tacoma-Rainier, which mountain is wholly within the boundary of the county, thus giving a panorama of scenic beauty unequaled anywhere, and a climate ranging from a mild and salubrious temperate Tacoma washington wife. quality in the valley to the most rigorous, up on the mountain side. The mountains and foothills are full of coal and precious metals. The rivers, fed by the glaciers of Mount Tacoma, possess almost immeasurable waterpower.
The year saw the first land claims in what would become the city of Orting, which was later incorporated in Inthe state's first school district, Steilacoom School District No. This was also the year of the most ificant skirmish with the Indians, the so-called Indian War ofwhich resulted in a handful of deaths. McCarver gave the city its first name - Commencement City. InTacoma consisted of a lumber mill, two stores, a saloon, a hotel, a jail, a blacksmith and approximately citizens.
McCarver's personal secretary, the wealthy Clinton P. Ferry, who liked to be referred to as "the Duke of Tacoma," helped to found the region's first museum. Among his artistic donations were the two maidens guarding the Division Avenue entrance to Wright Park, which can still be seen today. Boom Years When the Northern Pacific Railroad announced in that its Tacoma washington wife. terminus would locate in Tacoma, the city and surrounding county rapidly grew into a regional leader. William Fife, who struck it rich in a Canadian gold rush, founded the first general store on the northwest corner of Ninth and Pacific avenues in Tacoma.
Tacoma was officially incorporated in by an act of the Territorial Legislature.
The next 20 years were boom years for the county. Lumber continued to reign, dominated by the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Co. Numerous other Pierce County towns were founded during this time - many built around the success of their own local sawmills. This period also saw the founding of two of the county's colleges, Pacific Lutheran University and University of Puget Sound.
InRudyard Kipling traveled through the region and wrote, "I do not quite remember what her natural resources were supposed to be, though every second man shrieked a selection in my ear. They included coal and iron, carrots, potatoes, lumber, shipping and a crop of thin newspapers all telling Portland that her days were ed. Aside from being the first mayor of the town, he Tacoma washington wife.
husband of Eliza Jane Sumner, who many consider to be the inspiration for the name of the town to the east of Puyallup. The Meeker Mansion is still open to the public in downtown Puyallup. The boom was not good for all citizens, however.
Inthe citizens of Tacoma tried to run all Chinese residents out of town. Those involved were indicted, but never brought to trial. Bust Years Then came the Panic of '93, when the depression caused 17 Tacoma banks to close their doors. William Fife, who had grown his fortune and then lost it all, left the area to seek after more faraway gold.
Many ed him. From tothe population of the county shrank by 30 percent. It didn't take long for the region to recover. By warehouses and grain terminals lined Tacoma's Thea Foss waterway.
World War I brought an industrial boom as the region's lumber was used in local shipyards. The U. Army built Camp Lewis on 70, acres of land on the Nisqually plain purchased by Tacoma voters. In Novemberthe voters also created the Port of Tacoma, which began improving industrial waterways and facilities. New Deal recovery programs and military spending helped. Camp Lewis expanded and became Fort Lewis. Public Works Administration funds built the Tacoma Narrows Bridge which became famous as Galloping Gertie when it Tacoma washington wife. in a wind storm four months after it opened.
World War II increased demands for shipyard work in the Port of Tacoma and agricultural products from the Puyallup valley. Reflecting a national mood of fear and lingering discrimination, the Puyallup Fairgrounds temporarily became an internment camp for many local Japanese residents. World War II also brought a huge influx of African Americans to the region, in the form of shipyard workers and returning veterans. As an example, Tacoma's African American population grew from in to 3, by the end of Like the many other diverse groups that discovered Pierce County, most of them stayed here for good.
Looking Ahead From the s until today, both the county and its incorporated cities have all continued to grow, through hard times and good times. The past has given us a rich foundation and the future has never looked better for Pierce County.
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