Showing 122 results

Authority record

Thor Tollefson

  • 6.1.5
  • Person
  • 1901-1982

Thor Tollefson was born in Perley, Minnesota on May 2, 1901. He was the oldest of seven children. His family moved to Tacoma when he was ten years old, and when his father died, he dropped out of school to go to work and support his mother and siblings at the age of fourteen. After seven years of working in the lumber mills he went back to school and graduated from Lincoln High in 1924. He then went on to the University of Washington and graduated from law school in 1930. He married Eva Tollefson in 1934 and they had three daughters.

After opening a private law practice, Tollefson was elected Pierce County Prosecutor in 1938 and served in that office until 1946, when he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives as a Republican for the 6th congressional district. He served nine terms in Congress, until he was defeated for re-election in 1964. As a congressman he served as chairman of the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries and was twice appointed U.S. delegate to the Interparliamentary Union. After leaving Congress he was appointed Director of the Fisheries Department for Washington state by Governor Dan Evans in 1965. He retired from the department in 1975 and passed away on December 30, 1982 at the age of 81 years old.

Erna Spannagel Tilley

  • 6.1.6
  • Person
  • 1887-1982

Erna Spannagel Tilley (1887-1982) was a supporter of the arts in Tacoma. She was born in South Dakota to a German immigrant father and Wisconsin-born mother. She and her four siblings moved with their parents to Spokane, Washington where she attended high school. After graduating from the University of Washington, she married Homer H Tilley (1884-1953) in 1911. He was employed by Metropolitan Insurance Company and transferred to Tacoma by 1917.

Their social circle included artists, writers, poets, and dramatists throughout Puget Sound. In later life, Erna Tilley profiled several of these artists in her books, ”A Gateway to Friendship” (1970) and “Remembrances of Five Notables” (1971). She helped organize the Tacoma branch of the Drama League of America in 1918, and was involved throughout its existence and transformation into the Tacoma Little Theatre. An active board member for 28 years, she chronicled it in “The History of the Tacoma Little Theatre” (1965).

In 1929 she was named Tacoma’s official hostess, authorized by the city council to run the Welcome Wagon, a job she held for at least ten years. She helped orient new residents to city resources and distributed sample goods from local businesses. In 1935, she served on the first board of the Tacoma Art Association which developed into the Tacoma Art Museum. She documented its beginnings in “Resume: Early History of Tacoma Art Association”. Later she was also a founding member of Allied Arts of Tacoma, receiving its Allied Arts Civic Award in 1969.

She worked as a real estate salesperson and was concerned about the course of Tacoma’s urban development. She was a board member of the Tacoma Municipal League and received their Distinguished Citizen Award in 1977. She died July 6, 1982 at the age of 94.

The Tilleys had two daughters; the first, Julia, was born in 1913. She lived with her parents until sometime after 1960 when she was institutionalized. She died in a nursing home in 1980.

Margaret Tilley was their second child, born in 1916. A 1933 graduate of Stadium High School, she attended the College of Puget Sound for two years, then transferred and graduated from the University of Washington in 1937. Her weekly letters to her mother began when she was employed at the Custodial School in Medical Lake, Washington for a year. She returned to Tacoma and served as an editor of the Tacoma News Tribune’s society page for two years. In 1941 she moved to San Francisco and resumed writing letters. By 1944 her job with the American Red Cross entailed service on troop transport trains, assisting wounded servicemen from the Pacific theater on their return to points east. She was attached to Army groups in China and Japan in WWII. She was on General Douglas MacArthur’s staff of the Joint U.S. Military Advisory Group to the Republic of China when it was evacuated to Japan in 1949. She joined the Foreign Service in 1950 and served in Vienna, Damascus, London, Montevideo, Pretoria, Milan, and Bangkok. She maintained a correspondence with her mother during her years abroad. She retired in November 1972 and died in Tacoma on January 3, 1974, age 57.

Ronald Magden

  • 6.1.8
  • Person
  • 1926-2018

Ronald Magden was born in Mountain Home, Idaho, in 1926. (1) He received his Ph.D. in History from the University of Washington in 1965 while teaching at Renton Junior-Senior High School. (2) After receiving his Ph.D., Magden started teaching at Tacoma Community College until his retirement in 1983. (2) Magden helped to edit ILWU Local 23’s grant proposal to the Washington Commission for the Humanities in 1977. However, after the hired writers struggled to write Local 23’s history, Magden was asked to take on the project in 1979. This was the beginning of a thirty-year study in Longshore history and the Pacific Coast. (1) He was known as a local historian, researcher, and educator. Magden’s first book, The Working Waterfront, was published in 1982. (2) He wrote eight more books: Pioneer School, Furusato (Going Home), History of Seattle Waterfront Workers, The Working Longshore Men, and Mukashi Mukashi (Long Long Ago). (2) Magden married Joan Lorraine Mulroney on August 9th, 1949, and they had three children together. Magden passed away on December 31st, 2018. (2)

Stallcup Smith Family

  • 6.2.1
  • Family

The Stallcups moved from Denver, Colorado to Tacoma, Washington in 1889. In Tacoma, they lived at 317 South G St. The family included Judge John Calhoun Stallcup, Mary Shelby Stallcup, and their children: John C. Stallup Jr., Evan Shelby Stallcup, and Margery B. Stallcup.

John Calhoun Stallcup (1841-10/21/1915) Practiced law in Denver Colo. and served as justice of the supreme court of Colorado from 1887 until 1889. In 1889 he came to Tacoma with his family. He was elected to the superior court bench in 1892 on a non-partisan ticket and held the position for four years. From 1897-1900 he served on the state board of audit and control, having received the appointment from Gov. Rogers. For his last five years, he had been a member of the Tacoma Public Library board. He also authored an essay titled "Refutation of the Darwinian Theory" which was published in Tacoma in 1905.(1)

Mary Shelby (Prindell) Stallcup (1846-10/21/1916), a native of Lexington, Kentucky, married Judge Stallcup on Nov. 2nd, 1880 in Kirkwood, Mo. She held office in the Mary Ball chapter of the D.A.R. and was active in the parish, guild, and auxiliary of St. Luke's Episcopal Church. (1) (2)

Evan Shelby Stallcup (1888 -1938) A graduate of the old Tacoma High School and entered Stanford University on his 17th birthday. After two years at Stanford, he entered Columbia University where he completed his Law course then returned to Tacoma to work with his father in his law office. He served in the 91st Division in World War I. After the war, he moved to Phoenix where he became involved in city government. He held the position of City Manager and head of the water department.(3)

Margery B. (Stallcup) Smith ( ?-1946) was admitted to the bar in 1909 (4). Secretary-treasurer of the Buckeye Realty Company in 1910 (5). Married Fredrick A. Smith in 1918 (6). She was a member of the 50 year club, on the board of the American Association of University Women and one of the founders of the Woman's Council for Democracy (7).

John C. Stallup Jr (1886-1920)

Byrd Family

  • 6.2.2
  • Family

Adam Byrd was born in Ohio in 1796. He and his wife had nine children. They relocated to Illinois first and then moved again to Richland County, Wisconsin where Adam operated a grist mill. In April 1852, the family acquired a team of oxen and embarked on a six month journey on the Oregon Trail. The family arrived in Vancouver, Oregon Territory. Adam continued on with Lieutenant A. Slaughter further north and selected a site at the head of Chamber Creek for a mill. Adam returned to move his family to the site in February of 1853. They stopped at Judge Thomas Chambers' mill on the way where Adam Byrd died on April 26, 1853. Adam's sons Andrew, Marion, and Preston constructed a grist mill and saw mill on the site their father had selected. George Byrd, the youngest son of Adam Byrd, attended the first school session held in Pierce County in 1854. In 1865 George married Mary Ellen White of Olympia who had crossed the Oregon Trail in 1851. George operated the mill until 1868. He later devoted the surrounding land to raising hops. In 1885, he represented Pierce County in the state legislature and served as Justice of the Peace in 1890. George and Mary Ellen had nine children. George was active in the Fern Hill area. He donated the land and financed the construction of the Methodist Episcopal Church and parsonage in Fern Hill and help establish school district number 23. He donated several lots and gave other incentives to encourage the street car to run through Fern Hill. He died June 17, 1915.

Anderson Family

  • 6.2.3
  • Family

Anderson, Ada Woodruff

Ada Woodruff Anderson was a Pacific Northwest writer and early resident. Born in San Francisco on July 4, 1860, her family moved to Shanghai, China, when she was three months old. She arrived in Tumwater, Washington, in 1865 after her father died. There her family lived with her mother’s brother, Nathaniel Crosby, grandfather of Bing Crosby. She attended high school in San Francisco, California, and returned to Washington around 1875. In 1879 she began teaching at a one-room pioneer school in Thurston County near Yelm. She married Oliver Phelps Anderson in 1882 and they had three children; Alice Woodruff (1882-1972), also a writer of short stories, Maurice Phelps (1888-1970), and Dorothy Louise (1893-1912).

While still in high school, she entered a story writing contest sponsored by the San Francisco Chronicle at the urging of a friend and won second prize. In 1899, her husband began to produce photographic essays for magazine publication and asked Ada to write the accompanying copy. She began to produce short stories which were published in a variety of magazines, and she considered her best work during this period to be “The Man Who Knew Bonner” (Harper’s September 1902).

She drew upon her early teaching experience in her first novel, The Heart of the Red Firs (1908). Her second novel, The Strain of White (1909), is set in Washington Territory in the 1850s during the time of the treaty councils. The Rim of the Desert (1915) interwove settings in Alaska, Seattle, and Wenatchee, including the historical 1910 Wellington disaster, when an avalanche swept away two trains in the Cascade mountains.

She apparently ceased writing for publication afterward, lived on Bainbridge Island, and assisted with the family business, the Anderson Supply Company. She died March 23, 1956 in Port Blakely, Kitsap County.

Anderson, Oliver Phelps

Oliver Phelps Anderson was an early Seattle, Washington mapmaker, surveyor, photographer, and owner of a photographic supply business. Born in Lexington, Illinois in 1859, his family had moved to Oregon by 1869, where his father, Alexander Jay Anderson was Dean of the Academy at Pacific University in Forest Grove. He had an eclectic early education, studying bookkeeping, chemistry, and the pharmaceutical business, in Portland, Oregon. From 1878-1880, he attended the University of Washington, where by this time his father had been appointed President (1877-1882). He established a mapmaking business in Seattle and was an early adopter of the cyanotype photographic process to quickly produce maps and blueprints. He founded the Anderson Supply Company in his mapmaking offices in 1898 and it moved to 111 Cherry St in Seattle by 1899.

He married Ada Woodruff on January 4, 1881. He produced photographic essays for publication, one on Kwakiutl basketmakers of Vancouver Island, and at least two on scenic views of the Cascade mountains, and asked her to write accompanying descriptions. He died April 15, 1941 on Bainbridge Island

Anderson, Maurice Phelps

Maurice Phelps Anderson was the second child and the only son born to Ada and Oliver Anderson on June 9, 1888. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1910 with a degree in naval architecture. He kept a diary of his experiences in the US Army in WWI, where he served in optical supply procurement for the Ordinance Department. He wrote short stories and novels, possibly never published

He and a partner, Fred Norton Hallett, were granted a patent in 1926 for a lens system. He worked at the Anderson Supply Company, becoming president around 1913 and continuing in this role until the company closed in the late 1950s.

Anderson Supply Company

Anderson Supply Company was a photographic supply business in downtown Seattle. It was founded in 1899 by Oliver Phelps Anderson in his map-making offices and moved to 111 Cherry St in 1900. Along with photographic supplies and lenses, it sold scenic photographs of the Northwest. Both Ada Woodruff Anderson and their son Maurice Phelps Anderson were employed there in various capacities. Maurice took over as president in 1913 and remained throughout the existence of the business, which ended in the late 1950s.

McGrew, J. E.

J. E. McGrew is thought to be James E. McGrew, a Seattle attorney. He was born in Iowa in 1858 and had arrived in Seattle by 1892. His connection to the Anderson family is unknown.

Lindstrom Family

  • 6.2.4
  • Family
  • 1861-

The Lindstrom family live in Tacoma in the early to mid 20th century. Emil Lindstrom was born in Sweden in 1861 and immigrated to the United States in 1889 [1], starting a job in Tacoma as a shipping clerk for the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company [2]. He worked there for about 10 years, becoming the superintendent of St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company and the treasurer of Tacoma Electric Company [3]. He moved to a house on N Yakima Avenue in Tacoma, where he would live the rest of his life. By 1910 he was married to Henrietta Lindstrom, a U.S citizen from Michigan, and they lived with her daughter Henrietta Tousley. He started and became the president of the Lindstrom-Hanforth Lumber Company, and local historian Michael Sullivan explains that, “by 1917 the Lindstrom-Hanforth Mill in Rainier was cutting 18 million board feet a year, was operating its own railroad and had burnt to the ground twice only to be rebuilt bigger in the aftermath each time” [4]. After retiring in 1946, Emil Lindstrom passed away in Tacoma in 1950 at the age of 88 [5].

Cavanaugh Family

  • 6.2.5
  • Family

Cecil C. Cavanaugh (1902 - 1980) was a life-long resident of Tacoma. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1920. He served as President of Tacoma’s Young Men’s Business Association, the Tacoma Chamber of Commerce and the Tacoma Broadcasting Company, which worked to bring the radio station KTBI to the city. He was on the Board of Directors of the Lumberman’s Club and of the Camp Six Logging Museum at Point Defiance. He had an interest in promoting traffic safety and was active in St Patrick’s Catholic Church. Cavanaugh was an amateur historian of lumber operations in Tacoma. As part of this hobby, he built a collection of 600 historic photographs depicting logging, lumber milling and lumber shipping operations in Tacoma and Pierce County which he donated to the Washington State Historical Society.

Cavanaugh was founder and President of the Cavanaugh Lumber Company, which operated in Tacoma from 1930 to 1982. In its first 10 years his lumber company was destroyed by fire twice and severely damaged by Puyallup River flooding. Each time, Cavanaugh rebuilt. Tacoma’s growth and development necessitated two relocations of his business.

Cavanaugh’s relatives were active in the 10th (Steilacoom) Chapter of the Daughters of the Pioneers. Cavanaugh and his wife Mary Geiger Cavanaugh had two daughters, Cathleen Jarman and Mary Frances and two sons James and Lawrence.

George O. Swasey

  • 6.3
  • Person
  • 1868-1958

George O. Swasey was born in Beverly, Massachusetts in 1868. He was a graduate of Exeter Academy and Harvard University. He arrived in Tacoma around 1907 to begin a law practice and was active in the Tacoma Elks Lodge, the Tacoma Bar Association, Sons of the American Revolution, and the Unitarian Church. At the time of his death in 1958, he resided at 4622 North 28th Street. Swasey bequeathed $110,000 to the Tacoma Public Library to establish the George O. Swasey library branch.

Marjorie Jane Windus

  • 6.3.2
  • Person
  • 3/29/1920-12/29/2013

Marjorie Jane Windus was born in 1920 to Louise and Harold Windus. Harold was a movie theatre organist in Seattle during the silent film era. Marjorie attended the University of Washington and after graduating moved to Chicago Illinois where she worked as a hostess/cashier at the Blue Note Jazz Club while pursuing a singing carrier. She returned to Washington where she received her master's degree in social work from the University of Washington. After graduating she became a social worker for the Pierce County Community Worker Unit. She developed the first community-wide resource directory in Pierce County. She also played a role in helping the Puyallup Tribe get possession of the building which would later become their community center (the former Cascadia Juvenile Diagnostic Center). She retired from the Department of Social and Health Services in 1983 and moved to San Francisco until early 2009 when she returned to Tacoma. Until her passing, she attended the Monterey Jazz Festival. She died in Tacoma after a brief illness.

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)

Paul Jackson

  • CAC1001
  • Person
  • 1968-

Paul Jackson was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on February 20, 1968. His mother, Vickie Cunningham-Jackson-Davis was born in Choopee, South Carolina. She was a twin and the oldest of ten children. She graduated from South Carolina State University and served as a civilian in the Army. His father fought in the Vietnam War. As a child, Jackson moved to Willingboro, New Jersey, a suburb 15 miles northeast of Philadelphia. The family purchased a home in the Levitt and Sons residential development, which had been successfully sued in the late 1950s for refusing to sell to Black families. While in grade school, Jackson lived in Fairfax, Virginia, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and Cambridge, Massachusetts. In Cambridge, his mother attended MIT. It was there that Jackson saw his first computer when he was in the 6th grade. He played violin in the Cambridge Youth Orchestra and began playing guitar.

He attended Prairie View A&M University in Texas where he played bass in an award winning funk band. He received a National Science Foundation scholarship to obtain his PhD in computer engineering. His research focused on augmented and virtual reality within the aerospace industry. He completed three summer internships with Boeing and, after graduation, was hired full time and relocated to Seattle.

He has presented nationally and internationally on a range of topics including deep space exploration and digital media authoring. Jackson is the co-chair of the Swedish MS support group. He is a Chronic Disease Self-Care Manager and is certified in Adult Mental Health First Aid through the African American Reach and Teach Health Ministries. He and his wife, artist and educator Jasmine Brown, now reside in Tacoma.

Charles Carson

  • CAC1002
  • Person
  • 1970-

Charles Carson, MA, was born on October 25, 1970 in the Eastside of Tacoma. He and his siblings were raised by a single mother in an environment of alcoholism and violence. At age 12, Carson was arrested for theft and sent to Remann Hall Juvenile Detention Center. Before the age of 17, he was detained at the detention center a total of 18 times.

As his mother’s alcoholism worsened, Charles would frequently be kicked out of his home and spend the night in abandoned buildings. He began selling crack/rock cocaine and became addicted. During his teen years, he was a frequent witness to deaths, gun violence, and overdoses. In February of 1988, Charles was beaten and shot during a drug-related incident.

After being released from the hospital, he moved in with his best friend's family. His friend's mother, Ramona Bennett, a Puyallup tribal leader, activist, and mentor, became a surrogate mother to Charles, encouraging him to quit drugs and return to school. With her support, he enrolled in an alternative high school and completed four years of coursework in just 18 months. Over the next year, Charles was awarded the Boys and Girls Club’s Youth of the Year Award and selected to attend the Washington Leadership Institute.

In 1989, he was recruited by the Safe Streets Campaign to support at risk youth impacted by drugs and violence in Tacoma. On March 15, 1991, he founded the Late Nite program in collaboration with the Tacoma Center YMCA. The program has since expanded across Pierce County and has been implemented in other cities across the United States. He has received dozens of national awards and recognitions for public service, including being honored by Vice President Al Gore for his work with Late Nite.

Charles went on to earn an Associate’s Degree from Tacoma Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree from Evergreen State College, and a Master’s degree from the University of Washington. He has spoken extensively at colleges, detention centers, and churches. He now works as a musician and author and operates Beautiful Birds Family Services, a foster/adoption agency that helps find homes for children.

Tacoma Community House

  • CAC2002
  • Organization
  • 1910-

The Tacoma Community House was founded in 1910 under the name “Tacoma Settlement House” as a Methodist institution serving the children of the Hilltop neighborhood. Deaconesses Miss Chayer and Miss Branning offered educational and recreational activities for local children out of a rented home on South M Street beginning in 1913, later expanding the programs offered to serve adults as well. Early in the institution’s history, workers at Tacoma Settlement House supported recent Italian and Scandinavian immigrants in the area. In 1922, the name change to “Tacoma Community House” was finalized. The organization continued gearing its programs to recent immigrants, offering English language classes beginning the following year, and focusing much of its efforts in the 1960s and 1970s to accommodate incoming refugees and immigrants from Southeast Asia. As of 2022, the institution states it mainly focuses on immigration, housing, education, employment, and legal advocacy services.

Tacoma-Pierce County Black Collective

  • CAC2004
  • Organization
  • 1969-

The Tacoma-Pierce County Black Collective is an organization that meets weekly, 52 weeks out of the year on Saturday mornings. Previously, meetings were conducted in person at the City Association of Colored Women's Clubhouse, but were converted to a virtual format during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization's mission is "to promote the interests of Black People. The Tacoma-Pierce County Black Collective is a community of Black people dedicated to civic engagement through volunteer service."(1)

The Black Collective traces their history back to Tacoma's civil rights movements in the 1960s. It was formed as the Concerned Black Citizens in the immediate aftermath of the Mother’s Day Disturbance of May 11, 1969. On that date, violence broke out in Hilltop, the home of the city's largest Black population. Local leaders of the Black community, including Thomas Dixon, Executive Director of the Tacoma Urban League; Harold Moss, then a leader in the Tacoma chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); James L. Walton, student president of the Obi Society at Tacoma Community College; and pastors Reverend Earnest S. Brazill and Joseph A. Boles, both leaders in the Ministerial Alliance, intervened to calm the disturbance.

In describing their history, the Black Collective states, "In the days following, they negotiated successfully with the City Council to win black representation on the police force and some, although limited, improved services to the Hilltop. These leaders decided to continue meeting and expanded to include others of color, becoming the Minority Concerns Task Force. By 1970, however, they resumed their focus on issues specific to the black community.

Since then, the Black Collective has met each Saturday morning, 52 weeks a year. Harold Moss, Tacoma’s first black city council member (1970), mayor (1994) and Pierce County council member (1997), in describing the organization in 2008 said, 'The great strength, endurance, and influence of the Black Collective is not its structure or lack thereof, but it is in its autonomy and commitment to the mission of empowering and bettering the conditions of the black community.'"(2)


  • CAC2005
  • Organization
  • 2013-

The Women’s Intergenerational Living Legacy Organization (WILLO) was founded by Seong Shin in 2013 to share storytelling between generations of women spanning all ages, races, sexual orientations, and cultures. Programs put on by WILLO are often interactive to encourage communication between these identities, as well as being free to all members of the public. The WILLO Founding Members included Sandy Allen, Julie Amman, Todd Anderson, Marian Anderson, Elia Armstrong, Lea Armstrong, Mira Armstrong, Diane Bai, Shaunna Baldyga, Debbie Bronson, Jamie Brooks, Ronnie Bush, Rosmarie Burke, Elizabeth Burris, Carly Bush, Libby Catalinich, Cathy Cha, Nicole Cha, Kevin Cha, Judy Colarusso, Seong Shin, Angela Connelly, Denise Davis, Kathleen Deakins, Teri DeGroote, Maria Devore, Melanie Dressell, Liz Dunbar, T'wina Franklin, Marguerite Gerontis, Jill Goodman, Anna Grover-Barnes, Tina Hagedorn, Chong Hilger, Lisa Isenman, Rick Jones, Anne Kin, Hyang Lee Kim, Janet Kim, Sunni Ko, Babe Lehrer, Denise Kopetzky, Georgia Langrell, Jacquelyn Langrell, Vicki Langrell, Karen Larkin, Chelsea Lindquist, Dawn Lucien, Alexis MacDonald, Robin MacNofsky, Laura McCallum, Barbie Pratt, Laura Michalek, Stephanie Miller, Natalie Minear, Cindy Niemi, Rickie Olson, Julie Peterson, Kathryn Philbrook, Kathleen Deakins, Pamela Transue, Anna Price, Judy Calarusso, Carlyn Roy, Carla Sontorno, Mihwa Schmitscheck, Lea Worth, Ana Maria Sierra, Mary Thomas, Gail Thomason, Amenda Westbrooke, Victoria Woodards, and Sarah Worth. The WILLO Steering Committee formed in in 2014. Steering Committee members included Angela Connelly, Ana Maria Sierra, Babe Lehrer, Barbie Pratt, Dawn Lucien, Diane Bai, Elizabeth Sanders, Lea Armstrong, Melissa Sue Barkley, Robin Macnofsky, Ronnie Bush, Sunni Ko, Tina Hagedorn, and T'wina Nobles. The first WILLO Annual Storytelling Festival was held at the Theatre In the Square on October 12, 2014. The festival featured speakers Lea Armstrong, Eva & Allie Brooks, Rosa Franklin, Melissa Jorgensen, Griselda “Babe” Lehrer, Dawn Lucien, Maxine Mimms, Cindy Niemi, and Seong Shin herself. Six annual Storytelling Festivals have been held by WILLO through 2019. In addition to the WILLO Storytelling Festivals, the organization has also hosted the Health and Happiness Conversations event and the Father-Daughter Brunch.

Hilltop Library Planning Committee

  • CAC2006
  • Organization
  • 2012-

The Hilltop Library Planning Committee (HLPC) was originally created in 2012 in response to the closure of the Tacoma Public Library’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Branch which was built starting on January 19, 1987 and existed at 1902 South Cedar Street. Original members of the committee include: Bil Moss, Al Nurse, Billie Johnstone and Ellen Smith. The current president/chair of the committee is Linda Oliver. The committee continues to meet regularly to share information, engage the community in the project, have discussions with city leaders and advocate for the return of a local library for the Hilltop neighborhood.

Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed Council

  • CAC2007
  • Organization
  • 1993-

In 1993, the Pierce County Council established the Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed Council. The Council produced the Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed Action Plan and brought together stakeholders from the private sector, and federal, state, and local governments. The Council hosts monthly public meetings and undertakes work to improve fish habitat and water quality.

The Chambers-Clover Creek Watershed extends from the town of Ruston on Commencement Bay south to DuPont, and east to Frederickson, covering about 149 square miles. Major lakes include American, Spanaway, Steilacoom, Gravelly, and Tule. Major streams are Chambers, Clover, Spanaway, Morey, Murray, Flett, Leach, Puget and Peach. Seven municipalities, three military installations, and one drainage district, as well as Pierce County, have jurisdiction concerning water quality. The cities are: Tacoma, Lakewood, Fircrest, University Place, Steilacoom, DuPont, and Ruston. In 2018, the watershed's population was approximately 409,843 or 2,751 people per square mile.

Black Women's Caucus of Washington State

  • CAC2008
  • Organization
  • 1977-

The Black Women's Caucus is a non-profit organization based in Washington state. The caucus was created at the State Women's Year Conference in July 1977. The organization's purpose is to "identify the barriers that prevent Black women from participating in mainstream society and to remove these barriers using their efforts, resources, and talents."

On January 7, 1978, a constitution governing the caucus was passed at a statewide meeting of Black women held in Seattle. Thelma Jackson of Olympia was elected as the first State President. The state organization was divided into four areas: the northwest, southwest, northeast, and southeast quadrants. Officers served for one year at the state level as well as the regional level. The activities of the caucus center on issues identified by Black women, then a work plan is created. This plan is updated and evaluated regularly to track progress.

The Black Women's Caucus sponsored the First Annual Black Summit Conference in Yakima in October 1978. In October 1979, the Second Summit Conference was held in Seattle. The third Annual Meeting was held in May 1980 in Seattle. Barbara Williams, the Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus, was the keynote speaker and workshop leader.

The caucus has been active in presenting cultural events important to African Americans' history, such as Juneteenth and Kwanzaa. Annually in June, the caucus has presented a luncheon with themes relevant to the African American community.

National League for Woman’s Service

  • Organization
  • 1917-1918 (?)

The National League for Woman’s Service was a volunteer service organization created in 1917 from the Woman’s Department of the National Civic Federation's readiness and relief activities. In conjunction with the Red Cross, the NLWS offered classes in subjects such as sales, office work, and truck driving to train women to fill men's jobs while the men served in the military during World War I.

John Boynton Kaiser

  • Person
  • 1887-1973

John Boynton Kaiser was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1887. He received his B.A. in 1908 from the Western Reserve University, and later Kaiser studied at the New York State Library School in Albany, N.Y., where he received his B.L.S. in 1910 and M.L.S. in 1917.

After graduating, Kaiser began his career at the New York State Law Library. He became the assistant state librarian in charge of legislative services at the Texas State Library from 1910-11. He served as the departmental librarian in economics and sociology at the University of Illinois from 1911-1914. Kaiser was the director of the Tacoma Public Library from 1914 to 1924. However, during World War I, Kaiser served as the camp librarian at Camp Knox in Kentucky and Camp Upton in New York from 1918-1919. He left Tacoma to become the University of Iowa Libraries director and was in charge of their library school. Then in 1927, he took a position as director of the Oakland Public Library until 1943, when he became director of the Newark Public Library. While director of the Oakland Public Library, Kaiser was "also responsible for the Oakland Public Museum, the Snow Museum, and the Oakland Art Gallery." Kaiser retired from Newark Public Library in 1958.

Kaiser wrote many publications, including The National Bibliographies of the South American Republics (1913), Law Legislative and Municipal Reference Libraries, an Introductory Manual and Bibliographical Guide (1914) and Legal Aspects of Library Administration (1958). In addition, Kaiser served as president of the Pacific Northwest Library Association, the California Library Association, the New Jersey Library Association, and the New York State Library School Association. He was vice president of the American Library Association and executive director of the American Documentation Institute. Kaiser passed away on September 30, 1973 in Florida.

Latinx Unidos of the South Sound

  • Organization
  • 2016

LUSS: Latinx Unidos of the South Sound
Latinx Unidos of the South Sound (LUSS)’s mission is to facilitate the engagement of South Sound Latinos in the broader community by 1) calling attention to the expressed needs of this diverse group, 2) encouraging pride in Latino cultural heritage, and 3) promoting and expanding on existing opportunities and resources. LUSS’s vision is “to see the full inclusion of Latinos in a society where our culture is celebrated.” LUSS is a volunteer-based grassroots group that has been advocating for Pierce County's Latinx community since it was formed in 2016, during and after, two Latino Town Halls organized by Latinx community volunteers. LUSS primarily outreaches to the Pierce County Latinx community which includes people from 21 countries and territories. Since our inception, LUSS has created recommendations for actionable items, policies, and recommendations to improve the living conditions of Latinx, immigrants, and refugees in the City of Tacoma and surrounding areas. LUSS most often engages Latinx community members experiencing socio-economic disparities and barriers to access as a historically underserved community. Barriers include, but are not limited to, language access, lack of proficiency with technology, and being undocumented residents. Our core group of volunteers, promotoras, and the majority of volunteers are Latinx community members. A team of promotoras, who reflect the community, serve, and engage the Latinx community in Spanish. Recent campaigns include census promotion and supporting COVID-19 outreach, prevention, testing, and vaccination promotion in partnership with the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department for the past three years. We celebrate our cultures with an annual Festival Latinx. All people are invited to join our annual free showcase of Latinx arts, culture, and heritage that is Festival Latinx.

Chapin Bowen

  • Person
  • 1900-1956

Joseph Chapin Bowen was born on April 25, 1900, in Columbus, Ohio to Charles Ambrose Bowen and Mabel Shattuck Hayes Chapin. (1) Chapin Bowen operated his photography studio Chapin Bowen Inc. for 25 years in Tacoma.(2) Bowen also worked as a freelance photographer for the Tacoma News Tribune for 12 years.(2) He came to Tacoma in August 1924 from Wenatchee, WA, where he also worked as a photographer.(3) Before living in Wenatchee, Bowen had traveled to most US states holding various jobs. (3) For example, he was also an engineer after taking courses at the University of Washington, Whitman College, and Montana School of Mines.(3) Previously Bowen was employed by the Great Northern Railroad at the Cascade tunnel as their chief electrician.(3) Chapin Bowen married Irma Saunders on December 22, 1925. (1) Together they had three daughters.(2) He was a lifelong member of Tacoma's Young Men's Business Club.(2) He passed away at age 56 on May 30, 1956, in Seattle, WA.(2)

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)

Paul Meyers

  • Person
  • 1900-1985

Paul Meyers was an avid collector of railroad miscellanea, with a special focus on the Great Northern Railway. He was born in Leavenworth, Washington in 1900 and took his first railroad job at 12 years old as a water boy for a section gang. He spent 49 years working for the Great Northern Railway in a variety of different positions, and retired in Tacoma as general agent for freight and passenger service in 1966. He was also a member of the Tacoma City Planning Commission and was active in city clubs such as Tacoma Rotary, Tacoma Elks, and the Tacoma Executive Association. Paul Meyers died in Tacoma on August 11, 1985 at the age of 85.

Orpheus Club of Tacoma

  • Organization
  • 1903-1990s

The Orpheus Club of Tacoma was formed as a chorus that would offer both musical fellowship for its members and provide public concerts for the community. The club was founded on May 4, 1903 when a dozen men met at St. Luke's parish house and formed a temporary organization. Later that year the permanent organization was officially established. Members began practicing once a week in January 1904 under the direction of Keith J. Middleton, conductor and founder. The Orpheus Club's first public concert was held at the Masonic Temple at 734-36 Saint Helens Ave. on June 20, 1904. At the height of its membership from the 1930s to the 1950s the club consisted of over 70 singing or active members. Members sang at the opening of Stadium Bowl in 1910 and for the opening of the Camp Lewis Theater in 1918, and performed with the Seattle Philharmonic orchestra and the New York Symphony at the Tacoma Theatre. In addition to concerts, the club provided services to organizations such as hospitals, schools and retirement homes. Members from all walks of Tacoma's business and civic communities were long-time members of the club, such as Judge Hal Murtland, architect John Richards, grocer Iver Belsvig, early pioneer and wholesale supplier Frederick Mottet, and former mayor W. W. Seymour. From its founding until it was disbanded in the 1990s, the chorus performed two concerts a year and practiced once a week September through May.

Tacoma Centennial Committee

  • Organization
  • 1968-1969

The Tacoma Centennial Committee was organized to plan and oversee all aspects of the city of Tacoma’s centennial celebration in 1969. The celebration included parades, productions, and many other large-scale events.

Marvin D. Boland

  • Person
  • 1873-1950

Marvin Dement Boland was born in 1873 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, to parents James M. Boland and Darah E. Pennington. (1) Bolan attended Vanderbilt University from 1892-1895, then attended Fairmont State Normal School in West Virginia. Boland taught at Fairmont and later in Sterling, Colorado while attending the University of Colorado and Colorado State Teachers College. (1) He would graduate in 1912 with a BA. Boland then moved to Tacoma in 1912 to teach manual arts in various schools. (2) After teaching for a year, Boland became a commercial photographer and owned several photographic studios in downtown Tacoma from 1915-1949.(2) On December 9th, 1950, Boland died while photographing Navy ships in Bremerton. (2) He married Earle Keith Patterson from Ashland, Ky., in 1902. They had two daughters together, Katherine John Boland and Sarah Elizabeth Boland. (1)

Frederick W. Keator

  • Person
  • 1855-1924

Frederick W. (William) Keator was a bishop of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Olympia from 1902 until his death in 1924. During these years he resided in Tacoma where he was active in fraternal lodges and many clubs and societies, and served as president of the Tacoma Public Library board from 1907 to 1910 and 1912 to 1923. His tenure on the library board included chairing the statewide Washington campaign to raise funds for the American Library Association’s Library War Service effort during World War I. Frederick W. Keator was born in Honesdale, Pennsylvania on October 22, 1855. He entered Yale University in 1876 where he received a Bachelor of Arts in 1880 and a Bachelor of Law in 1882. After practicing as a lawyer in Illinois for several years, he became interested in church work. He graduated from the Western Theological Seminary of Chicago in May of 1891 and was ordained an Episcopal priest later that year. He married Emma Victoria Lyon of Chicago in 1894 and they had one son, Frederic, born in 1896. He was consecrated as bishop of the Diocese of Olympia on January 8, 1902 and arrived in Tacoma on January 25th. He soon became involved in many civic causes and organizations not directly related to his church position. In addition to his service on the Tacoma Public Library Board and many other posts, he served as president of the board of trustees of Annie Wright Seminary, was an overseer at Whitman College, and served on the board of Tacoma General Hospital. Frederick W. Keator died of a heart ailment on January 31, 1924 in New Haven, Connecticut while visiting his son who was an assistant instructor in electrical engineering at Yale University.

Results 91 to 120 of 122