Showing 163 results

Authority record

Elizabeth Loring

  • 6.1.17
  • Person
  • 1909-1976

Elizabeth Loring (1909-1976) was an author and playwright active in the Mormon community in Pierce County. Born in Kansas, she moved with her family to Washington State by 1920 where she graduated from Mount Vernon High School in 1927 (1, 2). By 1930, she was employed as a public school teacher, and in 1933 she married George Loring, a dentist (3, 4). Their two children, Elizabeth Ann and Thomas Lovell were born in 1940 and 1949 (5). She and her family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints around 1953 (6).

Since childhood, she had acted in and directed plays, as well as singing and composing songs, and in the late 1950s she became involved with Lakewood’s On Stage Summer Theatre. She held many roles in this company, which was organized and directed by fellow Mormon, Thor Neilsen (7,8). Her son was killed in a tragic automobile accident and she memorialized his life in a small book of reminiscences and genealogy, Thomas Lovell Loring, 1949-1966 (6, 9).

She spent seven years developing her play, You’re No Stranger, based on the diary of Amos Fuller, an early associate of the founder of Mormonism, Joseph Smith. It was produced locally in 1971 and 1973 (7, 10). She died in 1976 at the age of 66 (11).

Clarence Stave

  • 6.1.18
  • Person
  • 1897-1973

Clarence Stave was a popular baseball umpire in Tacoma’s City League, officiating for almost 30 years. His father Ole was a Norwegian immigrant, his mother Ida came from Sweden, and he was born in Tacoma in 1897. He left school after the eighth grade and was 15 when he began employment at the Northern Pacific Railway Company as a messenger (1, 2). He was promoted to clerk and then shop timekeeper before leaving in 1918 to seek employment with the F.S.Harmon Manufacturing Co. (2, 3). There he worked his way up from stockman to clerk to furniture salesman, eventually moving to Sears, Roebuck and Co. where he remained selling furniture and appliances until his retirement in the early 1960s (3).

His life outside work included performing; he appeared at the Liberty Theater on amateur night, and with his wife was featured in a benefit for shopmen called “The Moonshiner’s Daughter” (4,5). He began as an umpire for City League baseball in 1924, and he was considered the first and favorite choice to officiate the City League games and others (6). He was usually the only official present and would announce the games as well as call them, adding in humorous quips and minor skits to enliven the action. Audiences came in order to see him as well as the game (7).

He had two sons, Clifford L. and James R. with his first wife. He married his second wife Lillian Shonberg in 1942 and she and his sons survived him when he died in 1973 (8).

Carrie Woodard

  • 6.1.19
  • Person
  • 1869-1941

Carrie Woodard (1869-1941) was born in Boscobel, Wisconsin in 1869, the seventh child of Edman and Catherine Welch (1). In 1888, she married Albert E. Woodard, and by 1900 they had moved to Williams, North Dakota and had had five children (2). Three more were born by 1910, at which time they were in Minter, Washington (3). After thirty years of marriage, Albert began divorce proceedings in early 1918, citing the "ungovernable temper" of Carrie. Custody of the three minor children, including the two-year-old ninth-born, was awarded to her (4). She was 49 years old. Nineteen years later, she was granted a judgement against Albert, and he was to pay $300 toward child support (5). Her occupation at age 70 in the 1940 census was live-in housekeeper for a lawyer and his family (6). She died a year later at her place of work at age 71 (7,8).

Royal Gove

  • 6.1.2
  • Person
  • 1856-1920

Royal Amenzo Gove (1856-1920) was an early Tacoma physician, city council member, and public health officer. He was born in Vermont and raised in Minnesota. After studying medicine and surgery in Chicago, Louisville, and Iowa, Dr. Gove practiced medicine in Minnesota before moving to Tacoma in 1890 to start a new practice. In April 1892 and again in 1894, he was elected to the Tacoma City Council. Dr. Gove also served on the Washington State Board of Examiners. An active Mason, Dr. Gove was Grand Master of the Masonic Lodge of Washington in 1908 and 1909. He was a member of the Evergreen Lodge, Tacoma chapter; Royal Arch Masons; Scottish Rite; the Grotto and Eastern Star; and the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. He was variously President and Treasurer of the Pierce County Medical Society, which he helped to found, and was also a member of the State Medical Society, the American Medical Society, and the Tacoma Commercial Club. He died in Tacoma on January 21, 1920 after a three month illness.

Virginia Shackelford

  • 6.1.21
  • Person
  • 05/21/1915-02/15/1933

Virginia Shackelford was born on May 21, 1915. She was a prominent figure in Tacoma’s local politics and worked to restore the Pantages Theater and Union Station. (1) She was also a member of the John Birch Society, a right-wing political advocacy group. However, she left the society after a dispute with national headquarters concerning the distribution of anti-Semitic literature by several members of the society. (2) In the 1950s, Shackelford started lecturing at meetings and on her local radio show about anti-communism. She was particularly invested in the case of a school counselor fired in 1955 after refusing to answer questions about her alleged communist activities at a congressional hearing in Seattle. In her later years, Shackelford redirected her focus to restoring the Pantages Theater, where she performed as a girl with her father. (3) She died of pneumonia on February 15, 1993 at the age of 77. (1)

J. W. Roberts

  • 6.1.3
  • Person
  • 1836-1912

J. W. Roberts, born July 17, 1836 in Hollingworth, England, was a farmer and early pioneer in Spanaway, Washington. He was born to Elizabeth Wilson and Samuel Roberts and had four siblings: Matilda, Jane, William and George. In 1843 the Roberts family emigrated from England to the United States. Census records show that the Roberts family lived in Wisconsin (1850) and Illinois (1860), but in 1860 J. W. Roberts was no longer living with his family and had presumably headed west. The year when J. W. Roberts arrived in Washington is unknown, though his papers indicate he was living in Pierce County as early as 1866. Other family members, including his parents, brother, and niece eventually moved to Pierce County and purchased land near J. W. Roberts' claim at the southwest side of Spanaway Lake. Through inheritance and investment, J. W. Roberts continued to obtain and lease land in Spanaway and parts of South Tacoma. At the time of his death in 1912, J. W. Roberts was a wealthy land owner, landlord and farmer who had lived in Pierce County for over 40 years. Between 1868 and 1912, J. W. Roberts recorded his daily work on notebooks, loose papers, account books and pieces of cardboard. The journal entries average only a line or two a day and give accounts of details such as the weather and his daily work: tending to livestock, planting, clearing land, and various household tasks. He describes trips to Tacoma and other nearby areas to purchase or sell goods, and visit family. J. W. Roberts’ journals and correspondence also illustrate his family’s movements in Pierce County. His parents settled in Steilacoom in 1870, and his brother George Roberts lived in South Tacoma and ran Roberts Granite & Marble Works at 5304 South Alder St. In the last month of his life, J. W. Roberts’ journal entries made mention of “akes & pains,” swollen ankles, and being “verry sick.” According to his obituary, J. W. Roberts died May 12, 1912 at his brother George Roberts’ home in Tacoma. On May 14 his funeral was held in the Merrow & Storlies Chapel in South Tacoma. He is buried at Oakwood Cemetery. J. W. Roberts died a wealthy man without a wife, children or a will. After his death there were several claims on his sizable estate, estimated at the time to be worth between $70,000 and $90,000. Claimants included his great-grandnephew Charles Larson who petitioned on behalf of himself and his siblings, and a woman named Marguerite Clark Mulroy Snyder of Rockford, Illinois who declared herself a long-lost granddaughter. Both petitions were eventually rejected by the courts, and the claim by Mrs. Snyder declared grossly fraudulent. Included in these papers is a full record of this court case which made front page news and attracted considerable attention in both Tacoma and Rockford, Illinois. In the end, half of J. W. Roberts’ estate was awarded to his only surviving brother George Roberts, and the other half was split between two nieces, Elizabeth Beck and Catherine Rossiter.

Della Gould Emmons

  • 6.1.4
  • Person
  • 1890-1983

Della Gould Emmons (1890-1983) was a writer of historical fiction based in the Northwest. Her first novel, Sacajawea of the Shoshones (1943), was written from Sacajawea’s point of view and told the story of her life and participation in the Lewis and Clark expedition. Emmons invested ten years of research, travel, and correspondence with historians before its publication, and she included brief references at relevant chapter ends. She assisted with an adaptation of the book for Hollywood in 1953, as The Far Horizons, which starred Charlton Heston, Fred McMurray and Donna Reed. Nothing in Life is Free (1953) focused on the pioneer experience and the Puget Sound settlers who crossed the Cascade Mountains at Naches Pass. She next wrote the story of Leschi of the Nisquallies (1965), an account of his involvement in the Medicine Creek Treaty and ensuing Puget Sound War, his two trials for murder, and subsequent death by hanging. Her fourth book was a compilation of 12 plays, Northwest History in Action (1960). Lastly she wrote a biography of her oldest brother, titled Jay Gould’s Million Dollar Gems (1974), which served additionally as a memoir as she related their early upbringing together.

She was born in Glencoe, Minnesota August 12, 1890, where she spent her early life. She graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1912 and the following year she taught high school in Sisseton, South Dakota. Her tenure there culminated in the production of a musical and theatrical presentation at the local opera house as well as the nearby Sioux agency [1, 2, 3]. Her marriage to Allan Burdette Emmons (1887-1958), a train dispatcher, in 1913, led to their subsequent travel west along the railroad line as his job required. They lived in Seattle for nineteen years, and when her daughter’s fourth grade class at Green Lake School studied history, Emmons was motivated to write pageants for the students’ participation. The pageants were popular and restaged multiple times and Emmons was encouraged to submit radio plays to local stations where they were aired in the 1920s and 1930s. By 1936 her husband had been transferred to Tacoma and she was involved in civic life there for her remaining 47 years. She served on the Board of the Washington State Historical Society, was appointed Historian for the Fort Nisqually Restoration Council, and was adopted by the Lummi Nation in 1955. She gave talks and presentations at events and on the air, and received numerous awards. A plaque was placed in Point Defiance Park dedicating the rose arbor to her in 1981. She died in Tacoma at the age of 93, November 6, 1983, and was buried in Glencoe, Minnesota [5,6,7].

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 Pindell Shelby Stallcup, and their children: John C. Stallcup Jr., Evan Shelby Stallcup, and Margery Bruen 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 (Pindell) Stallcup (1846-10/21/1916), a native of Lexington, Kentucky, married Judge Stallcup on Nov. 2nd, 1880 in Kirkwood, Mo. She helped charter and 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 Bruen (Stallcup) Smith (1883-1946) was admitted to the bar in 1909 (4). She was affiliated with the Women’s Club house board and the Tacoma Interracial Council and the Association for the Advancement of Colored People. 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. Stallcup 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.

Stanley-Mason Family

  • 6.2.6
  • Family
  • 1926-1972

Beatrice Mason Stanley

Born Beatrice Birmingham, daughter of Emma (Stone) and Earnest F. Birmingham, on May 23, 1887, in New York. Beatrice had two sisters, Eleanor and Pearl (Polly). After graduating from St. Agatha school, Beatrice spent two years at Smith College, then attended the Academy of Design and Art Student League in New York. She worked as a nurse in an Army hospital during World War I.

Beatrice Birmingham married Melvin Wood in 1923, but the marriage ended in annulment in 1924. The following year, in 1925, Beatrice Birmingham went to Fort Yukon, Alaska, to work at the hospital. She later married two pioneer Alaskans. In 1926, Beatrice married Willoughby Mason. She traveled 600 miles up the Porcupine River for winter fur, trapping with him and his brother Reuben. After Mr. Mason died in 1935, Beatrice remarried Lewis V. Stanley. Stanley was a prospector who arrived in Alaska in 1897. He was in Nome in 1901, Chisana in 1913, and worked for several large mining companies throughout Alaska.

The Masons retired to Seattle in 1941, and their home became a gathering place for former Alaskans, a service that became known as "Alaskan Friends." Beatrice's life in Alaska is described in the unpublished manuscript "Return to the Frontier." Beatrice Mason Stanley passed away in Seattle on February 12, 1972.

Willoughby Mason

Willoughby Mason was born in 1871 to Peter and Lyndia Mason of Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was one of twelve children born to the couple. Willoughby’s elder brother Reuben was in the Klondike for the gold rush of 1898, and he joined his brother in 1903 with the goal of mining. Willoughby Mason is credited as being the first man to navigate the entire length of the Mackenzie River to Herschel Island in a gasoline launch. Additionally, he is credited with being the first person to take horses to the mouth of Mackenzie. He fished and mined near the arctic coast and became lifelong friends with the explorer Vilhjamler Stefansson. Willoughby would join his brother Reuben in hunting and trapping up the Porcupine River during the winter and spending summers at Ft. Yukon and Circle Hot Springs.

Willoughby Mason met Beatrice at Ft. Yukon, and they married on July 5, 1925. From 1925-1934 they continued to live their pioneering life on the Porcupine River; however, Willoughby’s failing health forced the couple to give up their wilderness existence. Willoughby died on December 12, 1935, at Circle Hot Springs, Alaska.

Reuben continued the old way of life until 1947, when several strokes led Beatrice to move him into her home in Seattle. She later placed him in a board and care in Seattle, where Reuben lived until his death on October 2, 1954.

Lewis V. Stanley

Stanley was born in Parkersburg, West Virginia, on April 25, 1876. When Lewis was six months old, the Stanley family moved to Davenport, Iowa. After his father deserted the family, Lewis helped run the family farm for his mother. Lewis Stanley moved to Alaska to prospect, and he was in Nome in 1901 and Chrisana in 1913 following the gold rushes. A brother and sister did follow him to Alaska, but they both passed away. Lewis married and had two boys, but the youngest died at age four. His wife passed away when his eldest son Dean was twelve years old.

Stanley worked for a large mining company that took him all over Alaska. He met Beatrice Mason in 1936 and married on January 16, 1937, in Fairbanks the following year. After his retirement in 1941, the couple moved to Seattle, WA, where they remained active in Alaskan affairs and clubs. Lewis Stanley died September 12, 1956, in Seattle.

Pixler Family

  • 6.2.7
  • Family
  • 1881-1967

Alice Pixler and Milton Moriarty got married in Iowa in 1881 and moved to Washington Territory in 1883 [1]. The family became involved in the lumber industry. Alice’s nephew and his wife, King Pixler and Dorothy Gardner, moved to Kosmos, Washington in 1947. King Pixler worked for the Kosmos Timber Company. The creation of the Mossyrock Dam for the Tacoma City Light Cowlitz River Hydropower Project caused the (around 500) residents of Kosmos to sell their land and receive settlements from the City of Tacoma. With the approval of the 605 foot dam in 1964, the small town, located 16 miles upstream from the dam, would become inundated by water. [2] The Pixlers were one of the land owners that sold their property. Residents of Kosmos had to move out by June 1967, and the town was then demolished. [3] The location of Kosmos is now the Riffe Lake Reservoir, which is utilized for recreation and described by Lewis Talk as, “offer[ing] a chance to float above the once-proud lumber towns. As we fish, swim and boat around the waters, few of us take the time to remember what use[d] to be located along the now flooded riverbed below” [4]

Forsberg Family

  • 6.2.8
  • Family
  • 1866-

Edward Forsberg (1866-1954) was a cabinetmaker in Tacoma, Washington. He began his trade as a carpenter in 1893, working for various firms in Tacoma including Cornell Brothers. He then transitioned to cabinetmaking at the Lone Star Cabinet Shop from 1908 to 1912, and established his own shop in 1913. For ten years it existed at various addresses in downtown Tacoma, and in 1923 he built E. Forsberg Cabinet Work and Show Cases at 2907 Sixth Avenue and continued there until he retired in 1940 (1).

Born in Sweden, he emigrated in 1887 and in 1892 married Anna Johnson (1863-1955), also a Swedish immigrant. They had three daughters (2, 3, 4). Agnes (1894-1984) married Norman Simpson in 1923 (5,6). Edith [also Edythe] (1896-1948) married Emmet Cooper in 1935 (7, 8). Mildred (1901-1972) graduated from Stadium High School in 1920 and the College of Puget Sound. She taught high school in Puyallup for many years before marrying David Thomasson in 1934 (9, 10). The married daughters settled in California and were followed by their parents (2,8).

Forsberg-Sauers Family

  • 6.2.9
  • Family
  • 1887-

Lorraine Thoren Forsberg (1911-2001) was born in Tacoma in 1911, the first child of Henry M. Thoren and Clara Rosetta Sauers Thoren (1). She attended Lincoln High School in Tacoma and graduated from Pacific Lutheran College in 1932. She taught for several years before marrying Leo J. Forsberg in 1940 (2,3). They had four children, Julia, twins Joanne and John, and Mary Ellen (2). She joined the Tacoma Genealogical Society in 1965 and served as president from 1969 to 1970 (3,4,5). Starting in 1972 she published a genealogical newsletter, The Hansons of Hamnvik (the title varied through the years), that circulated to relatives and solicited their information. Her daughters Mary Ellen Forsberg and Julia Roberts continued it after her death until 2004 (4). She died in Tacoma in 2001 at the age of 89 (2).

Anna C. Meyer was born in Wisconsin in 1886, the fourth daughter and fifth child of German immigrants, George Sauers and Anna Mahlberg. Her family had moved to Chehalis, Washington by 1900, and she married her first husband, William Criswell in 1904 (1,2). By 1914 they were living in Tacoma and operating a bakery and confectionery shop downtown (3). William died in 1915, and she continued running the business with her sister Ella Simpkins for a short time afterward (4,5,6). She married her second husband, John A .Meyer in 1917, and they stayed in Tacoma. He died in 1961, and sometime later she moved in with her sister’s daughter, Lorraine Forsberg. She died in 1979 at age 92 (7,8).

Ellen Forsberg was born in Michigan in 1887, the first surviving child of Swedish immigrant Victor Forsberg and his first wife, Sofia Carolina Stromberg (1). Her mother died in 1895 and her father married his second wife, Johann “Hannah” Bjur in 1899 (2, 3). The family had moved to Tacoma before 1903, when she graduated from Edison School (4). She was awarded a teaching certificate in 1908 and taught for the next 57 years (5,6). She earned a diploma in the two-year Normal training course for teachers at the College of Puget Sound in 1914 (7). Her father died of appendicitis in 1916 and she provided support for her mother and her eight younger siblings (8,9). Her career began at a one-room school at a German settlement between Eatonville and Elbe and culminated in teaching English for 27 years at North Kitsap High School in Poulsbo, from which she retired at age 77 (6). Her later years were spent living with her younger brother, Leo J. Forsberg, his wife Lorraine Forsberg and family. She died in 1978, age 92 (10).

Malcolm Forsberg (1908-1991) was born in Tacoma in 1908, the fifth child of Victor Forsberg and his second wife Johann “Hannah” Bjur (1). After graduating from Lincoln High School in Tacoma, he attended Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois. He began working in Ethiopia as a missionary with the Sudan Interior Mission (now SIM) in 1933. In 1935 he married fellow missionary Enid Miller and three of their four children were born in Africa. In 1938 they were ousted from Ethiopia by Mussolini’s forces and transferred to Anglo-Egyptian Sudan where they spent the next 25 years. He spent the final ten years of his career serving as candidate secretary for SIM in the United States, and retired in Carlsbad, California. He died in 1991 in Rancho Encinitas, California at the age of 82 (2, 3).

Mary Ellen Forsberg (1946- ) was born in Tacoma in 1946, the fourth child of Leo J. and Lorraine Forsberg. She attended Stadium High School and in 1967 graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in history (2, 3). From 1971 to 1974 she worked as a high school librarian in Keansburg, New Jersey while earning her MLS degree at Rutgers University (4, 5, 6). She returned to Washington in 1974 and was employed as an elementary school librarian in Prosser (7). In 1993 she began assisting with the genealogical newsletter her mother published and continued it after Lorraine died in 2001, producing paper copies until 2004 (8). By 2003 she had returned to Tacoma and lived at 1001 S. Prospect, the house her father had built on weekends using the steel fabrication techniques he employed as a boat-builder (9,10). She sold the house in March of 2023 (11).

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.

Metcalf, Ralph

  • 6.3.4
  • Person
  • 1861-1939

Ralph Metcalf was born in Providence, R. I., November 2, 1861; son of Alfred and Rosa C. (Meloy) Metcalf. After his preliminary education he attended Brown University and the University of Michigan, graduating in 1883. He began newspaper work and was identified with the Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minn. for several years, afterwards purchasing and editing the Winona (Minn.) Daily Herald. He moved to Tacoma in February 1890, and became proprietor and editor of the Tacoma Morning Globe, which was absorbed by The Ledger in 1893 (1). While editor of the Globe he was also briefly a clerk of the Board of Public Works but resigned in April of 1891 having found the two positions incompatible (2). In 1902 he established the Metcalf Shingle Company which became the largest manufacturer of shingles in the state (3) . He was elected Washington State Senator from Tacoma in November of 1906 (4). He served in the Senate until his death in April of 1939. His background in the newspaper business and his passion for travel inspired his many columns in the Tacoma News Tribune (5) which ran from November 3rd 1927 to February 10 of 1939.

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.

Sulja Warnick

  • CAC1004
  • Person
  • June 6, 1942-

Sulja Warnick is a Tacoma resident who was a public school teacher in the Tacoma Public School dstrict. Early in her teaching career, she was called upon to help translate for Korean women married to service men on the military bases. This started her work with the Korean Women’s Association (KWA). KWA started as a small social club for Korean women and has expanded to a non-profit organization that provides education, affordable housing, in-home care for seniors, and social services, including domestic violence counseling for all groups of people. KWA now has offices in 14 Western Washington counties, serving up to 150,000 people of 40 nationalities and 35 language groups. The organization is now 51 years old.

John McCluskey and Rudy Henry

  • CAC1005
  • Family
  • 1934-2023

Rudolph “Rudy” Henry Jr. was born on July 14, 1934, on a farm near Fresno, California. He was born to Tomas Enrique Filva (also known as Rudolph or Thomas Henry) and Ann Finley, a Mono tribe member, but was raised by his Aunt Teresa Silvia Miranda, also a Mono tribe member, and her husband Francisco Bustamante Miranda. Henry served in the U.S. Air Force from 1954-1958 in Germany. When Henry was honorably discharged, he moved to San Francisco and worked at TransAmerica for 25 years. He then moved to Tacoma in 1983 with McCluskey and participated in local activism for gay rights. Henry passed away on March 16, 2023, in Tacoma at 88 years old (1).

John McCluskey was born on September 9, 1936 in Pawhuska, Oklahoma to Lillian and Daniel McCluskey. He was drafted in 1950, but due to his openness about his sexuality, was rejected by the Army (2). He was transferred to Tacoma in 1983 by his job, the St. Regis Paper Company, and Henry moved with him (1). McCluskey participated in many gay rights campaigns in Tacoma, Pierce County, and Washington for the three decades before his death (2)(3). McCluskey passed away on May 25,2022 at age 85 at a Tacoma long-term care facility (2).

Rudy Henry and John McCluskey met at a New Years Eve party in San Francisco in 1958. On April 1, 1959 they made the commitment to live together as spouses. After nearly 50 years together as a couple, they were issued the first marriage license given to a same-sex couple in Pierce County on December 6, 2012. Their wedding was held a few days later in the First United Methodist Church on Dec 15th (1).

Wanda Thompson

  • CAC1006
  • Person

Wanda Thompson was born in a small rural town in Florida. Her father served in the military and her mother was a teacher. Early in her life Thompson moved around due to her father’s job, and has lived in places like Germany, France, California, and Georgia, before moving to the Hilltop area of Tacoma. She attended the all-girls Catholic academy, Aquinas Academy, which in 1974 combined with an all-boys Catholic academy to form Bellarmine Preparatory School. She won Ms. Hilltop in 1969 and ran for Ms. Downtown Tacoma in 1980.

After high school Thompson attended Evergreen State College and studied cultural anthropology and journalism. While at Evergreen she also studied abroad in France. Out of college her first job was at the Tacoma Public Library in the genealogy department. From there she went on to work at the Puget Sound National Bank, Civic Arts Commission, Fashion Fair Cosmetics, the Washington State Department of Corrections, and the Rehabilitation Council of Washington to name a few. Thompson has been involved in the Tacoma community through her involvement with organizations like the Tacoma Urban League, the Tacoma Downtown Association, and the Afro-Pageant and Show. She is also a published author.

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)

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