Showing 18 results

Authority record

Richards Photography Studio

  • 2.1.1
  • Business
  • 1919-1980

Turner Richards Studio was founded by Tacoma-born Turner Eugene Richards (1901-1968). (1) The Tacoma-based studio operated from 1919 through 1980 and its output included: moving images, portraits, industrial, society, business, advertising, news, and aerial photography.

The studio was first operated out of the Chamber of Commerce Building (2) where it provided both photograph and moving image services such as the recording of public performances and events for distribution with companies specializing in newsreels. (3) One of these events filmed was a local parade staged for the opening of the 1920 film “Last of the Mohicans” that played before the film at the Victory Theater in Tacoma in 1921. (4)

In 1935 the studio moved its location into the Tacoma Hotel the same year the hotel caught fire. (2) According to the Tacoma News Tribune, two policemen had to keep Turner Richards from entering his shop to save his expensive equipment. "He made several runs for the smoke-filled doorway but was stopped each time by the two policemen". (5) In the late 1930s, Turner Richards traveled to Hollywood to work as a photographer for Warner Brothers Studio. (6) Richards also developed Technicolor and animated films later used in Walt Disney productions. (1)

In the 1940s Richards expanded and opened Nancy’s Baby Portrait Studio located at 736 Pacific Ave in Tacoma. (7) By this time Turner’s sons, Bob and Nelson, became the photographers at their main studio located at 734 Pacific Ave. (8) Richards Studio expanded again in 1963 and opened another portrait studio at Villa Plaza, in Lakewood (9). On Sunday, February 18th, 1968 the Richards’ housekeeper found Turner Richards in his front yard and he is rushed to the hospital where he died. His death was caused by apparent suicide. (10) The Studio was then run by Edmond Paul Richards (1905-1984) and continued to operate until 1980 when it closed. (11) (12)

C.E. and Hattie King

  • 2.1.4
  • Business

C.E. (Charles) and Hattie King were photographers in Tacoma in the latter part of the 19th century. Charles King was hired by Northern Pacific in the 1870s to photograph land where the tracks were to be laid between Livingston, Montana and Tacoma. In the 1880s, Charles and Hattie were hired to photograph local churches, residences, and ships. Charles was known for being one of the earliest photographers to capture an image of Mount Rainier. Charles King would go on to serve as a Tacoma Police Captain.

Sutton, Whitney, and Dugan Architectural Firm

  • 2.2.2
  • Business
  • c. 1912-c.1973

The architectural firm of Albert Sutton and Harrison Allen Whitney operated in Portland, Oregon, from 1912-1950. After 1934 the firm name included Fred Aandahl, who had been a chief draftsman (1919-1923) and Associate (1923-1934). (1) The firm of Sutton, Whitney, and Dugan's projects included “the National Bank of Tacoma Building (1921), the W.R. Rust Building (1920), Scottish Rite Cathedral (1921), Annie Wright Seminary (1924), the campus of the College of Puget Sound (1923-1924; renamed the University of Puget Sound in 1960), and numerous residences.” (1) In 1927, a committee of Washington State architects for the state chapter of the American Institute of Architects conducted an architectural survey of all buildings in Tacoma. The committee presented awards to exceptional projects, and Sutton & Whitney received more than other Tacoma firms.(1) The highest Honor Award was given to the National Bank of Tacoma, and the College of Puget Sound and Annie Wright Seminary also received Honor Awards. “Sutton and Whitney received eleven awards from the committee for work ranging from commercial buildings to residences and schools.” (1)

Albert Sutton (1867-1923)
Albert Sutton was born on June 6, 1867, in Victoria, British Columbia; however, Sutton grew up in Portland, Oregon. (1) After attending the University of California Berkeley, he worked as a draftsman for the Southern Pacific Railroad. In 1888 Sutton moved to Tacoma and formed a partnership with James Pickles. (1) Sutton and Pickles designed commercial buildings in Tacoma, including the “Sprague Block (1888); the Sprague Building (1980); the U.S. Post Office (1889); the Abbot Building (1889); the Uhlman Block (1889); the Baker Building (1889); the Wolf Building (1889); the Joy Block (1882); the Berlin Building (1892); the Dougan Block (1890); and the Holmes & Ball Furniture Co. (1890).” (1) The pair also designed the Wilson Hotel (1890) in Anacortes, but their partnership ended in 1893. (1)

Afterward, Sutton began a partnership with Ambrose J. Russell between 1893 and 1895. (1) After his partnership with Russell ended, Sutton moved to San Francisco and worked primarily with Charles Peter Weeks. The firm Sutton & Weeks was established around 1901 and lasted until 1910. (1) Sutton then returned to the Northwest and opened a practice in Hood River, Oregon. (1) He partnered with Harrison A. Whitney of Portland in 1912 and returned to Portland in 1916. Sutton returned to Tacoma in 1918 to establish a Tacoma branch of Sutton & Whitney with Earl A. Dugan as an associate. (1) Sutton was an American Institute of Architects (AIA) member and a Mason. On November 18, 1923 Albert Sutton passed away in Tacoma due to a heart attack. He was 56. (1)

Harrison Allen Whitney (1877-1962)
Harrison A. Whitney was originally from Iowa and was educated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Whitney worked in Boston and Chicago then moved to Portland, Oregon, in 1904 where he was head draftsman for Whidden & Lewis. While working for Whidden and Lewis, Whitney contributed designs for the Lewis and Clark Exposition and the Multnomah County Courthouse.(2) Whitney began partnering with Sutton in 1912.(2) When the firm of Sutton, Whitney, and Aandahl was dissolved in 1951, Whitney became the senior member of Whitney, Hinson, and Jacobsen.(3)

Earl Nathaniel Dugan (1877-1956)
Earl N. Dugan was born in Perry, Iowa and in 1906 he graduated from the University of Illinois. (4) Dugan worked in Chicago and San Francisco before moving to Tacoma to work as a draftsman in 1910. “Dugan exhibited a sketch of German city hall at the Seattle Architectural Club's 1910 Exhibition.” (5) Dugan partnered with Sutton and Whitney’s firm in 1922 and he also worked with Mock and Morrison. (4) Dugan was the founding member of the Tacoma Society of Architects and a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Washington State Chapter. (4)(5) He died at age 79 on 12/22/1956 in Seattle, WA. (5).

John H. Sutton
John H. Sutton was the son of Albert and Mary Sutton. He was born in Hood Canal, Oregon, and moved to Tacoma in 1920. (6) He graduated from Stadium High School and attended the University of Washington. Like his father, John H. Sutton worked as an architect, and in 1957 he designed the first addition to the Annie Wright Seminary since his father designed the building in 1924. (6) John H. Sutton was a member of the Tacoma Golf and Country Club, the Little Church on the Prairie, the American Institute of Architects, and the Tyee member of the University of Washington Alumni Association. He passed away on August 1, 1973. (6)

Cow Butter Store

  • 2.3.5
  • Business
  • 1892-1944

The Cow Butter Store operated in downtown Tacoma at or near the corner of Pacific Avenue and Jefferson Avenue for 52 years, from 1892 to 1944. The owner and proprietor, James A. Sproule (1865-1949), an immigrant from Ireland, arrived in Tacoma after having apprenticed in the grocery business in Liverpool, England. He was en route to Australia where his sister lived when he discerned the advantages of starting a business in Tacoma. In 1914 he leased his store for two years and traveled to New South Wales, visited his sister, and promoted Tacoma as a place name there.

Mr. Sproule was active in civic affairs and ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1910. He belonged to many fraternal organizations, including Woodmen of the World and the Improved Order of Red Men. When the question of the 1885 Chinese expulsion from Tacoma was revisited in 1895, he served as one of three replacements in the Committee of Fifteen. He was president of the Mount Tacoma Club, which lobbied for changing the name of Mount Rainier, and summited the mountain in 1903. He served as vice president of the Washington chapter of the American Medical Liberty League, and maintained a stance against mandatory vaccination.

He was married in 1893 to Eliza Eccles (circa 1868-1928), and had two children. A daughter Eliza, known as Ella or Babsie (1895-1999), married F. Bernard Wright. He established Wright Western Marine, a marine supply business now known as Tacoma Propeller. His son Jasper Edward, known as Ed (1899-1960) operated Ed Sproule’s Butter Store from 1925-1936 at 1110-1114 Pacific Avenue.

Cammarano Bros, Inc.

  • 2.3.6
  • Business
  • 1921-2001

The Cammarano Bros, Inc., formerly known as the Cammarano Brothers Bottling Co., was located on South 19th and Jefferson Avenue. It was formed by brothers Philip, James, William, and Edward Cammarano in 1921. The business started out with two delivery trucks which the brothers drove. These trucks were piled with cases of soda bottles and tanks of carbonated gas. (1) The Cammarano brothers later expanded the business, which involved constructing a building to house the company’s sales department and gaining additional trucks. (2) The location of the bottling company changed several times, with the final location being 2324 Center St. The company closed in 2001.


  • 2.4.1
  • Business
  • 1888-1993

In 1888, Dennis Ryan built a smelter on the Tacoma Waterfront of what would become the town of Ruston. Under the leadership of William Rust, the smelter, called the Tacoma Smelting & Refining Company, processed lead. Ran successfully by Rust until 1905, the smelter changed ownership and names when it was sold it to the Guggenheim brother’s company ASARCO (American Smelting and Refining Company) for $5.5 million dollars. In 1912, ASARCO transformed the plant from lead to primarily copper smelting and refining. ASARCO received a lease from the Port of Tacoma in the 1920’s to expand the plant, which contained multiple processing buildings and the smokestack.

The smokestack, an integral fixture in Ruston’s landscape, transformed over the years. In 1905, it measured at 307 feet tall, and following complaints, was raised to 571 feet in 1917 to disperse smoke higher in the air in order to mitigate its impact to the surrounding area. Ruston’s smokestack was the tallest chimney in the world at the time. However, in 1937, following damage from an earthquake, the stack measured 562 feet tall.

ASARCO owned and operated the smelter until 1985, when it shut down the Tacoma smelter due to the falling price of copper. The smelter played an important role in the economy of Ruston and the South Sound area. Tacoma News Tribune reports that, “the Asarco plant had employed more than 1,300 workers at its peak” [1]. and the Tacoma Daily Index reports that “for most of its years in operation, it provided about 40% of Ruston’s tax revenues” [2]. Additionally, the operation of the smelter created unique environmental impacts in the surrounding areas. Throughout the years of operation, the smelter emitted arsenic both into the air and the soil, and the refining process included pouring molten slag into commencement bay. This resulted in the smelter being designated as a federal superfund site in 1987 [3]. The Washington Department of Ecology explains, “In the mid-1990s, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) required Asarco to start cleanup work in the Ruston/North Tacoma Study Area under the Superfund program” [4]. The process of this clean-up included demolishing the old smelter buildings, alongside replacing and capping the soil in and around the smelter site.

In January of 1993, in front of a crowd of nearly 100,000 onlookers, the smokestack was demolished with dynamite. The Tacoma News Tribune reported that, “The 75-year-old chimney was dropped in its tracks Sunday by strategically placed explosive charges that knocked away its underpinnings. Crushed by its own weight, the stack crumbled into a 250-foot-long pile of bricks, interspersed with metal bands and a few chunks of masonry up to 15 feet across” [5]. The demolition of the smokestack changed Ruston’s landscape as ASARCO continued the government-mandated clean-up process that would continue on for years. The Tacoma News tribune reports that, “In 2004, workers demolished the last building and finished burying the worst of the contaminated materials in a huge pit” [6]. Additionally, throughout this time, the neighborhoods and public parks in proximity to the smelter were being offered both soil testing and replacement. The Tacoma News Tribune reports that, “from 1993 to 2011, Asarco and the EPA lab-tested 3,570 properties’ soils for pollution, and 2,436 of them had at least a section of soil replaced” [7].

In addition to cleaning up yards, construction began in 2006 on the emerging commercial and residential hub of Point Ruston. Cleanup continued of the surrounding area, and Washington State received a settlement of $188.5 million from ASARCO’s bankruptcy claim in 2009, with $95 million initially set aside for the continued clean-up of the smelter [8]. In 2013, $5 million of these funds were put towards the Metro Trails Project, allowing for the contaminated soil to finish being capped, and the opening of the Dune Peninsula of Point Defiance Public Park opening in July 2019. Today, Point Ruston consists of restaurants, shops, residential facilities, and a walking path alongside Commencement Bay.

Griffin Fuel Company

  • 2.4.2
  • Business
  • 1889-1966

The Griffin Fuel Company originated in 1889 as the Griffin Transfer Company. Founder Fred L. Griffin started the company in the Tacoma tide flats, originally transporting ice within established Tacoma fuel yards. The company eventually became a supplier of heating and fuel products to a large portion of the Tacoma population. Griffin Fuel transported coal, wood, sawdust, “fuel oil,” “hog fuel,” and “Presto logs” within Tacoma and the surrounding area. In 1949, Griffin Fuel Company was considered the “oldest and largest exclusive fuel dealer in the west." (1)

In 1931, Fred L. Griffin passed away and was succeeded as owner by his son, Edwin “Ed” L. Griffin. By 1942, Ed and his brother Fred expanded the business by opening a wholesale location by the name of “Griffin Bros” in Seattle. Griffin Fuel Company also opened oil storage facilities in Tacoma’s Lake district in 1951.(2)

In 1954 President of the corporation James S. Griffin changed the corporate name to James S. Griffin Co., and the company name also changed to Griffin-Galbriath Fuel Company. On Sept. 8th, 1965 the James S. Fuel Company liquidated all corporate assets and sold all property and naming rights to the Standard Oil Company of California, Western Operations, Inc. The Washington State Department ratified the official dissolution of Griffin-Galbriath Fuel Company on Dec. 5th, 1966.(3)

Astoria Iron Works

  • 2.6.1
  • Business
  • 1880-1930

Astoria Iron Works was a canning machinery company started in 1881 in Astoria, Oregon by John Fox. In 1906, he was joined in the venture by Nelson Troyer, formerly associated with the American Can Company at Astoria and Portland, Oregon. In 1913 the company opened a large factory in Seattle and became the Seattle-Astoria Iron Works. In 1928 the name changed to the Troyer-Fox Manufacturing Company and the company was bought by the Continental Can Company, Inc. In 1932, Troyer-Fox Manufacturing Company and the Continental Can Company, Inc. of Washington were both dissolved and their assets taken over by the Continental Can Company, Inc. of New York.

Willits Brothers Canoe Company

  • 2.6.2
  • Business
  • 1908-1967

Two brothers, Earl Carmi Willits (1889 – 1967) and Floyd Calvin Willits (1892 – 1962) founded the Willits Brothers Canoe Company in Tacoma, Washington in 1908. They relocated to a shop they constructed on the shores of Wollochet Bay near Artondale, Washington in 1914. The brothers moved the business one last time in 1921 to a factory they built on Day Island, in what is now University Place, Washington. Willits Brothers Canoe Company ceased production upon the death of Floyd Willits on June 10, 1962 and closed for good when Earl died on April 20, 1967. Upon Earl’s death, the company passed to half-brother Leonard Homer Willits, who expressed interest in continuing to produce canoes, but he died in 1973 without advancing the business beyond making a few repairs on canoes and selling some of the existing inventory of paddles and other accessories.

Willits Brothers Canoe Company (which the brothers incorporated as Willits Brothers, Inc. in 1926 and then reverted to the original unincorporated business name in 1937 after the state dissolved the corporation for non-payment of incorporation fees) produced a single model of a 17-foot double-planked canoe. The canoes built by the brothers evolved over time, and with the 10th model becoming the last version in 1930. After a few years of experimenting with Spanish cedar planking and oak and teak trim, the brothers settled on the standard materials of red cedar planking, mahogany gunnels, thwarts, and decks, white oak stems, and mahogany or spruce seats in their canoes. Most of the 951 canoes made by Willits Brothers Canoe Company were for paddling, although the company offered accessories to allow them to be sailed, rowed, or propelled by outboard motor. Also manufactured were spruce paddles, carrying thwarts, cartop carrier blocks and straps, wooden slat or upholstered seat backs, floor carpeting, copper air tanks, and canvas spray and storage covers. Repair of damaged Willits Brothers canoes and sale of repair parts also was a service offered by the company. The bulk of sales of Willits canoes were in Washington state to boys’ and girls’ camps, rental liveries, the Red Cross, and private individuals, although a significant market developed throughout the United States. Marketing was almost exclusively via word-of-mouth, since no records exist of advertisements being placed by the brothers in boating periodicals or newspapers.

Except for periods during each World War, the company operated continuously from its founding until Earl Willits’ death in 1967. During World War I, production ceased while Earl served in the 137th Aero Squadron in England and France, and Floyd served in the 166th Depot Brigade at Camp Lewis, Washington. The brothers mustered out after the war, Earl as a Sergeant First Class and Floyd as a Second Lieutenant. The brothers were too old to serve in the military during World War II, but restrictions on the materials needed for manufacture of their canoes prevented them from continuing production for a time, even though demand remained strong. While the business was shut down, Earl worked as an automotive instructor at the Mount Rainier Ordnance Depot, and Floyd was on the payroll of the Day Island Club, which served the residents of the Day Island community.

Both brothers married later in life but did not have children. Floyd married first, on April 20, 1939, to Ruth Alice Carter. Ruth had been previously married to Victor Henry Morgan, the half-brother of Murray Morgan, a well-known Tacoma historian, author and columnist. Ruth’s marriage to Victor ended in divorce, but her marriage to Floyd lasted until her death on December 31, 1956. Earl married Laura Magill Smith on December 27, 1944. Laura was the widow of Elmer Smith, the attorney involved in and representing members of the Industrial Workers of the World (the Wobblies) after an incident during Armistice Day celebration in Centralia, Washington in 1919 in which several people were killed and a Wobbly was lynched. Earl and Laura were married for almost 10 years, divorcing in October 1954. Laura died January 16, 1994.

Western Boat Building Company

  • 2.6.4
  • Business
  • 1916-1982

The Western Boat Building Company was started in 1916 by Martin Petrich, Joe Martinac, and William Vickat in Tacoma, WA. (1) It was first located on the site of the former Tacoma Mill Company, now Jack Hyde Park, at the foot of Starr Street. (1) During the first year, the company employed 40 men building fishing boats up to 70 feet in length. The vessels were designed for use in Alaska, the Columbia River, and Puget Sound. (2) By the end of the year, fourteen fishing boats worth $90,000 left the plant, and the Western Boatbuilding Corporation began receiving inquiries from all over the Puget Sound and Pacific Northwest. (2) Though the company was successful, at the end of 1917, Martinac left “to pursue better wartime opportunities as a foreman at the Tacoma Shipbuilding Company.” (2) Then, in 1922, the company moved to East 11th Street on the Thea Foss Waterway. Western Boat Building Corporation built mostly fishing vessels until WWII. During the war, they built sub-chasers, minesweepers, and J-boats at the 11th Street yard. (1) They even started a second yard on D Street to build larger boats. After the war, Western Boat Building Corporation returned to building fishing vessels, tugs, and coastal freighters. In 1965 the 11th St yard burned down, and a new yard was built on Marine View Drive on the Hylebos Waterway. (1)

The Company was most known for building the Western Flyer. The Western Flyer was a 77-foot-long purse seiner built in 1937. (3) In 1940, John Steinbeck chartered the Western Flyer for his trip with Ed Ricketts to Baja, California. The year before, Steinbeck had published “The Grapes of Wrath” and was viewed as a possible Communist. (3) The vessel would become famous due to the voyage and its feature in Steinbeck’s book “The Log from the Sea of Cortez.” (3)

Tacoma Land and Improvement Company

  • 2.7.1
  • Business
  • 1873-1923

Soon after it selected Tacoma as the terminus for its western line in 1873, the Northern Pacific Railroad formed a subsidiary, the Tacoma Land Company, to develop the city and sell the town lots. It was first incorporated as the Southern Improvement Company and immediately renamed the Tacoma Land Company. The first president of the company was Charles Barstow Wright, an officer in the Northern Pacific Railroad who had been a member of the committee that selected Tacoma as the western terminus location. Fellow Northern Pacific officer Frederick Billings was vice-president, and John C. Ainsworth, owner of the Oregon Steam Navigation Company, was third director. Wright, Billings, and Ainsworth invested personally in Tacoma and were involved with the early development of the city. Tacoma Land Company was reorganized in 1899 and renamed the Tacoma Land & Improvement Co. The Tacoma Land & Improvement Co. was dissolved in 1923. These records are from the estate of former Tacoma Land Company vice-president Frederick Billings, who also served as president of the Northern Pacific Railroad from 1879 to 1881.

Day's Tailor-D Clothing, Inc.

  • 2.9.1
  • Business
  • 1902-1973

Frank E. Day (1874-1947) arrived in Tacoma from Fayette, Iowa in 1900. In 1903, he and Frank L. Shull filed articles of incorporation to form Shull-Day and Company. The company quickly became known for its "Big 5" work overalls. In 1906, the employees unionized with the United Garment Workers of America forming Local 201. The slogan "Western Made, Union Made" began being used to advertised the company's products. The company was operated out of 100-108 South 29th Street and employed 100 people by 1908. By 1928, the company had changed its named to Day's Tailor-D Clothing, Inc. Frank's sons, Hollis and Judd, took over the company following the death of their father in 1947. The company grew rapidly and began offering casual and dress slacks and sportswear. They became well known for the "College Cords" and "San Juan Slacks." By the 1950s, Day's reported 400 employees and a payroll of a million dollars. They were one of the largest employers of women in the region. They began an affiliate company in Canada called CanaDay's and operated manufacturing plants, distribution centers, and retail stores across the United States. In 1973, the company merged with Warnaco Inc.

KAYE Radio

  • 3.4.8
  • Business
  • 1951-

KAYE 1450 AM is a Puyallup-based radio station that was started in 1951 and which is currently known as KSUH-Hankook. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was involved in a national debate with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) about free speech, as the station heavily featured right-wing political topics. Many of the conflicts of the 1960s were discussed on KAYE, such as civil rights, welfare programs, urban renewal, patriotism, socialism, and the antiwar movement. Since these topics were not discussed in a manner that showcased multiple perspectives and leaned heavily to the political right, KAYE was accused of violating the Fairness Doctrine as outlined by the FCC. Thus began a long legal dispute over KAYE's possible suspension and its petition for renewal. In November 1973, after reaching a settlement, Jim Nicholls, the owner of KAYE at the time, agreed to leave the station after which ownership of the station passed to Henry Perozzo. Under Perozzo's ownership, KAYE became KUPY. The station formerly known as KAYE is now KSUH-Hankook. Jean Suh has transformed it into the first Korean-language radio station in Washington. The station now features a range of Korean music, Korean-language news, legal advice, and promotion for local businesses.

Tacoma News Tribune

  • 5.1
  • Business
  • 1883-Present

The Tacoma News Tribune’s history dates to 1883 and was the consolidation of three Tacoma newspapers, The Tacoma Daily Tribune, The Tacoma News, and The Daily Tacoma Ledger.

In 1881, the Weekly Ledger was started by F. Radebaugh and H.C. Patrick, under the firm name Radebaugh & Company. Previously, Radebaugh had served on the reportorial staff of the San Franscico Chronical. He had first visited Tacoma in June 1879. Radebaugh became familiar with Patrick, who owned and operated a weekly newspaper in Santa Cruz. The two came to an agreement to move the business to Tacoma with Radebaugh as the paper’s editor and Patrick as the business manager. The paper quickly became a success and Radebaugh bought out Patrick’s share. Until 1837, The Ledger served as a morning paper. Its name remained on the nameplate of The News Tribune and Sunday Ledger until 1979.

H.C. Patrick purchased the Pierce County News from George W. Mattice and changed the paper’s name to the Tacoma Weekly News. The News was then converted into a daily on September 25, 1883; however, he later sold The Daily News in 1885. R. F. Radebaugh started The Tacoma Daily Tribune in 1908 and sold the publication in 1912 to Frank S. Baker. Baker would go on to purchase the News and Ledger in 1918. Baker was the president of the Tribune Publishing Company and was a highly regarded newspaper man of the western United States. The News and Tribune were combined into an afternoon daily and the first issue was printed on June 17, 1918.

In 1937, The Daily Tacoma Ledger stopped publication. The News Tribune is merged with the Ledger to form The News Tribune and Sunday Ledger. Then in 1979 The Tacoma News Tribune became the official name of both daily and Sunday newspapers. During 1986, Tribune Publishing Company sold the majority of its holdings to Viacom, Inc., and McClatchy Newspapers. That year, the Tacoma News Tribune became a subsidiary of McClatchy Newspapers. McClatchy Newspapers is the second largest newspaper publisher in the United States, and it originally started as Sacramento newspaper in 1857. The Tacoma News Tribune became The Morning News Tribune on April 6, 1987, until October 4, 1993, when name changes to The News Tribune.

Grit City Magazine

  • 5.6.1
  • Business
  • 2017-

Grit City Magazine was founded in 2017 by Sierra Hartman, Sara Kay, and William Manzanares IV. The project began as an online only publication. The first print edition was issued in September of 2018. The magazine is produced quarterly with new issues released in March, June, September, and December.

Port of Tacoma

  • 7.1.2
  • Business
  • 1918-

The Port of Tacoma was established on November 5, 1918. The Pierce County voters elected Chester Thorne, a banker; Edward Kloss, a longshore official; and C.W. Orton, a fruit and dairy farmer, who served as the first three commissioners. (1) The Port initially consisted of 240 acres of land in the Tacoma Tide flats. (1) The first ship to visit the Port was The Edmore. The Edmore arrived on March 25, 1921, to pick up lumber headed for Japan.

Advocates for public control of waterfront areas had existed since the 1890s. Private docks and facilities in Steilacoom, Ruston Way, and Old Town Tacoma had existed since the 1880s because of shipping and railroads. (2) In 1911 the Washington State Legislature passed the Port District Act, enabling counties to establish public port districts. The Tacoma City Council hired Virgil G. Bogue to educate Pierce County voters about the possibilities of a public Port of Tacoma. He designed a plan to develop Commencement Bay and created a Wapato-Hylebos Waterway. The plan connected basins to industrial plants, railroads, warehouses, and highways. The first vote on the issue failed to pass, and the defeat occurred because of the belief that the port would benefit only urban Tacoma businesspeople. (2)

After World War I, the vote passed, and construction on the Port of Tacoma began. Engineer Frank J. Walsh was hired to create a master plan for developing the Port of Tacoma and advocated for the port's first two piers to be on the Middle Waterway. Voters approved the plan in May 1919, and a $2.5 million bond was issued to fund land purchase and construction. (2)

The 1920s were busy years for the Port of Tacoma, with regular vessels visiting the port and continued development, including the Ruston Smelter, Hooker Chemical Company plant, and port commissioners' support of an airport between Tacoma and Seattle. (2) The Great Depression placed pressure on Tacoma's waterfront, slowing down construction projects and tonnage. The port had to cut wages multiple times and reduce rents for businesses leasing land. It was not until after Franklin D. Roosevelt became president that Tacoma's maritime commerce began to recover. (2)

During WWII, the Port of Tacoma assisted the military with troops from Fort Lewis headed to the Pacific theater from the Port of Tacoma piers. Furthermore, materials and goods also left the port destined for US troops. (2) As a result, Tacoma dockers were busier than during the Depression, but employment lagged as Seattle monopolized the region's army and navy business. The increased mechanization on the docks funded by the US military to speed up loading and discharge reduced longshore worker employment. (2) After 1945 and the war ended, the west coast's cargo trade dropped 90 percent. (2)

Post-WWII, the Port of Tacoma Commission resumed attracting manufacturers to the Port Industrial District. Soon, Purex, Concrete Technology, Stauffer Chemical, and Western Boat Building were established in the Industrial District. (3) However, the port was still behind its pre-war business levels. Therefore, in the 1950s, the commissioners strove to make more improvements to attract development. For example, the Industrial Waterway was dredged to accommodate larger ships, and the Industrial Waterway Bridge opened in 1953. (3) The real change occurred with the achievement of government funding due to the adoption of the Tibbetts-Abbett-McCarthy-Stratton (TAMS) plan, which emphasized how the Port of Tacoma had easy access to deep water in Commencement Bay. As a result, waterways were extended and widened. In 1959, the port purchased the former Todd Pacific Shipyard from the United States Navy, and the site became the Port Industrial Yard. (3) The port then leased its new property to private companies.

In the late 1960s, the Port of Tacoma built new warehouses and piers for container cargo and continued to expand its land holdings. (3) Port of Tacoma and ILWU members experienced labor and management cooperation, but tensions continued due to increased mechanization and containerization. (3)
Global trade increased at record rates in the 1970s, and the Port of Tacoma benefited from trade with Pacific Rim countries. When the American embargo on trade with the People's Republic of China ended in 1979, China joined Japan, Taiwan, and Korea as trading partners with Washington state. (3) As a result, the port outperformed tonnage moves and revenues from the previous decade.

The Port of Tacoma became a pioneer in trade and transportation history when it opened the North Intermodal Yard in 1981. It was the first dockside railyard on the located on western coast of the United States. The intermodal yards bring modes of transportation together in one location then containers can be transferred across modes. (4) In the 1980s, Mitsubishi joined other automobile manufacturers in shipping vehicles using the Port of Tacoma. Later, the Commerce Department approved the Port's Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) designation in 1983, and Mazda started using the FTZ site to add U.S.-made accessories to imported vehicles. (4) Additionally, the arrival of Sea-Land and Maersk shipping businesses in 1985 made Tacoma the fastest-growing port in North America. (4)

During the 1980s, the Port of Tacoma was involved in negotiations and litigation with the Puyallup Tribe over waterfront ownership. (4) The Puyallup Tribe claimed land in the port, part of downtown Tacoma, Fife, and a stretch of Interstate 5. The tribe stated that the area was their historic land and, in the reservation, established for the tribe in 1857. (4) The tribal members accepted a $162 million land settlement in 1988, and a year later, a federal law was passed approving the settlement. (4) With the negotiations and settlement agreed upon, the Port of Tacoma continued to work with the Puyallup Tribe on development and environmental issues.

In the 1990s, the Port of Tacoma continued to grow as Taiwan's Evergreen Line began serving the Port's Terminal 4. (4) However, while trade increased, large-scale manufacturers disappeared from the Tacoma tide flats. For example, in 1992, Tacoma Boat closed after struggling with bankruptcy. (4) Additionally, in 2000 Kaiser Aluminum smelter closed in 2000 due to power costs and the effects of a long strike. Throughout the 2000s, the port continued to build new facilities while demolishing historic old ones. (4) In October 2003, the 146.5-acre Marshall Avenue Auto Facility opened at the port allowing the Auto Warehousing Company to store and process 20,000 vehicles at a time. (4)
Currently, the port owns about half of the Tacoma Tide flat’s 5,000 acres. "Real estate and marine cargo operations at the port support more than 42,000 jobs and nearly $3 billion in labor income. The port-related activity also generates over $100 million annually in state and local taxes to support education, roads, and police and fire protection for our community." (1) The Northwest Seaport Alliance makes the Port of Tacoma the fourth-largest container gateway in the United States and a primary gateway for trade with Asia and Alaska. (1)

Beaver Hill Coal Mining Company

  • Business

The Beaver Hill Coal mine was located between Coos Bay and Coquille, Oregon, and a part of Southern Pacific Corporation. [1] George Watkins Evans was an engineer and manager of the Beaver Hill Coal Mine Company beginning in about 1920. [2] Previously, he worked for the Northwestern District of the U.S Bureau of Mines surveying coal fields as an engineer and geologist. [3]

Tacoma Railway and Power Company

  • Business
  • 1888-1938

The Tacoma Railway and Power Company operated the Tacoma Railway and Company Streetcar. It was the first transit system in Tacoma, and on May 30, 1888, it started service as a passenger trolley line.(1) Tacoma's first two streetcar lines were established along Pacific Avenue and Tacoma Avenue.(1) On July 4, 1900, Trolley car No. 116, owned by the Tacoma Railway and Power Company, lost traction on the Delin Street grade and jumped the tracks on the "C" Street trestle. The streetcar crashed 100 feet into a ravine, killing 43 people and injuring 65.(2) The Tacoma Railway and Power Company were later found liable for the accident, which resulted in lawsuits almost bankrupting the company. To prevent bankruptcy Tacoma Railway and Power put over $100,000 into a trust fund and "informed the lawyers either to accept the money and distribute it among the claimants, or the railway would go into receivership." (2) The settlement was accepted.(2) The final day the streetcars ran on June 11, 1938, was celebrated as a city holiday. In 1938, Tacoma replaced the 76-mile streetcar system with buses. (1)