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Group of young men on the docks outside of a wooden building with a sign that says "Parcels Checked" and another sign advertising hot lunch.


Panorama of the Seventh Annual Meeting of Pacific Northwest Feed Association at the Tacoma Hotel, exhibiting textured wood work of the building's interior.


Third Annual Northwest U.S. Zone Canadian Legion Meeting with Seattle Pipe Band group in formal Scottish dress holding flags in front of customized drums.


ca. 1931. Attendees of a Pacific Coast Gas Association meeting in the garden of the original Tacoma Hotel.

Pacific Coast Gas Association (Tacoma); Tacoma Hotel (Tacoma);


ca. 1935. Display of gas home appliances at the Tacoma Hotel for the Washington Gas and Electric Company. Sign stating "Gas is Best" on far wall. Columns are topped with ornate carvings of sea creatures, mermaids and faces. The wall clock is inside a ship's wheel. Upper walls are decorated with stencilling and antlered animal heads. Exposed beams and dark wood give the room a heavy, dark look. Dark leather chairs and sofas are scattered about. Appliances displayed are cook stoves, water heaters and refrigerators.

Tacoma Hotel (Tacoma); Washington Gas & Electric Co. (Tacoma); Hotels--Tacoma--1930-1940; Appliances--1930-1940; Water heaters; Stoves--1930-1940; Refrigerators--1930-1940;


ca. 1935. The Tacoma Totem Pole at the foot of South 10th Street, near the south side of the original Tacoma Hotel, circa 1935. A painter is suspended from ropes halfway up the pole. Building by McKim, Mead and White, Architects, New York City. The Totem Pole was commissioned by W.F. Sheard and Chester Thorne and presented to the city in 1903. It was carved by two Alaskan carvers in the Haida tribal style. (filed with Argentum)

Tacoma Totem Pole (Tacoma); Totem poles--Tacoma; Tacoma Hotel (Tacoma);


ca. 1935. Close up of unidentified painter as he restores the Tacoma Totem Pole at the foot of South 10th Street, near the south side of the original Tacoma Hotel (building in the background.) Photograph taken around 1935.The Totem Pole was commissioned by W.F. Sheard and Chester Thorne and presented to the city in 1903. It was carved by two Alaskan carvers in the Haida tribal style. (filed with Argentum)

Tacoma Totem Pole (Tacoma); Totem poles--Tacoma; Tacoma Hotel (Tacoma);

BOWEN G31.1-018

ca. 1934. Two men share a table in the "Ben Johnson Coffee Shoppe" in the Tacoma Hotel circa 1934. On the wall next to them is the saying "Here's Wishing Us All More Friends And Less Need Of Them." The Tacoma Hotel, built on the bluff overlooking Commencement Bay, received much acclaim befitting its elegant structure. It was destroyed by fire on October 17, 1935.


Former world heavyweight boxing champion Jack Dempsey finds himself flanked by prominent Tacomans in this July 25, 1930, photograph taken on the veranda of the Tacoma Hotel. L-R Mike Lavelle, former Pantages manager and current Tacoma Hotel manager Jack Calvert, TNT sports writer Elliott Metcalf, Mr. Dempsey, Mayor Melvin G. Tennent, unidentified, and J. Frank Hickey, president of the elegant Tacoma Hotel. Mr. Dempsey was in town to referee the Tod Morgan - Joey Coffman match at the Greenwich Colliseum that evening. The bout was sponsored by the Kay Street Athletic Club. Mr. Dempsey was clearly the favorite attraction that night with cheers shaking the Colliseum's rafters. A record-breaking crowd was so loud in cheering him that he could not be heard in the ring. (TNT 7-25-30, p. 17-article; TNT 7-26-30, p. 4-article) G67.1-178

Dempsey, Jack, 1895-1983; Boxers (Sports); Hickey, J. Frank; Metcalf, Elliott; Tennent, Melvin Green; Mayors--Tacoma--1930-1940; Lavelle, Mike; Calvert, Jack; Tacoma Hotel (Tacoma);


The Tacoma Hotel was the site of a hardware convention in late January of 1932. Participants, all male, posed for a group portrait on the hotel's steps. The Pacific Northwest Hardware & Implement Association met in Tacoma for the first time in its 37 years of existence. The three-day meeting was to discuss hardware trade problems. A.E. Vaughn of Aberdeen was president of the association. G30.1-088 (TNT1-27-32, p. 11-article)

Tacoma Hotel (Tacoma); Meetings--Tacoma--1930-1940; Pacific Northwest Hardware & Implement Association;


This group of 16 men shown dining at the Tacoma Hotel on January 15, 1928, is believed to have been associated with the Lidgerwood Pacific Company. The firm, with general offices and works in the Tideflats, manufactured steam, gas and electric logging, hoisting and dredging machinery. G31.1-002

Tacoma Hotel (Tacoma); Hotels--Tacoma--1920-1930; Eating & drinking--Tacoma--1920-1930;

French TPL-4602

Adlai E. Stevenson, the 23rd Vice president of the United States, paid an overnight visit to Tacoma on July 26, 1893, arriving from Portland by train. A Democrat, Stevenson served under Grover Cleveland, and teamed up with William Jennings Bryan in 1900 in an unsuccessful run for president. A parade in his honor in downtown Tacoma included the police harmony band and Puyallup Indian band, police and fire departments, civic groups and representatives of the G.A.R., as the vice-president was also a member. Vice-President Stevenson was formally welcomed to the city by acting mayor John T. Lee, president of the Tacoma city council, and spoke to the crowd at the Tacoma Hotel. He was the grandfather of Adlai E. Stevenson II who would himself become the two-time Democratic nominee for the presidency in the 1950's. Photo from the collection of Roy Clark, Yelm, WA. Mr. Clark furnished the livery for the occasion. (TDL 7-26-93, p. 4, 7-27-93, p. 1) (Also G67.1-177)

Vice presidents--United States; Stevenson, Adlai Ewing--1835-1914; Carriages & coaches--Tacoma--1890-1900;


Famed orator, presidential candidate, and Secretary of State (under Woodrow Wilson), William Jennings Bryan visited Tacoma in September of 1924. Mr. Bryan is shown shaking hands with William R. Lee, Democratic nominee for Lt. Gov., in front of the Tacoma Hotel, 913 A Street, where an invitation-only breakfast was held in his honor. Mr. Bryan would later lecture at the First Methodist Church on "Problems confronting government, society, and religion." He also made a brief radio address on KGB, the Tacoma Ledger broadcasting station. Mr. Bryan was on his farewell lecture tour to the West; he died July 26, 1925. The man on the right has been identified as attorney Robert E. Evans. He was the president of the newly organized Young People's Democratic Club of Tacoma. Mr. Evans was a longtime member of the Tacoma bar and was later appointed Pierce County Superior Court Judge by Governor Clarence Martin. He was a partner in the well-known law firm of Ellis, Fletcher and Evans; all of whom became judges. Robert E. Evans was the last survivor of this pioneer legal firm and passed away after a long illness on December 7, 1941. (TDL 9-16-24; TNT 9-15-24, p. 1; T.Times obituary 12-8-41) G67.1-134

Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925; Evans, Robert E., 1876-1941; Lee, William R.; Shaking hands--Tacoma; Lawyers--Tacoma;


William Jennings Bryan visited Tacoma in Sept of 1924. This photograph was taken outside the Tacoma Hotel, 913 A St., where an invitation-only breakfast was held in his honor. The famed orator had been a Presidential candidate and Woodrow Wilson's Secretary of State. Mr. Bryan was on a farewell lecture tour of the West and stopped in Tacoma to give an address at the First Methodist Church and a brief talk on local radio station KGB. He would pass away the following year on July 26th, at the age of 65. (TDL 9-16-24; TNT 9-15-24, p.1-article)

Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925;


Ruins loom where the once majestic Tacoma Hotel stood after an October 17, 1935 fire ripped through the building leaving only charred remains. The modified Tudor structure built by the architectural firm headed up by Stanford White was a Tacoma landmark since its construction in 1884. Northwestern Dock Co. can be see through the gaping hole in the hotel's wall backed by the industrial waterfront. Businesses on the waterfront include City Lumber Co., Coast Sash & Door Co. and Western Fibre Furniture Co.

Fires--Tacoma--1930-1940; Hotels--Tacoma; Tacoma Hotel (Tacoma);


Undated photograph of unidentified gardener at the original Tacoma Hotel. Photograph was taken probably in the 1920's or early 1930's; the hotel was destroyed by fire in October of 1935.

Tacoma Hotel (Tacoma); Gardens--Tacoma--1920-1930; Gardening--Tacoma;


Ladies Travelers Society at Tacoma Hotel. Sixteen women pose for the camera; most of them wearing wide brimmed hats that shield their faces. (WSHS)

Hotels--Tacoma; Tacoma Hotel (Tacoma); Ladies Travelers Society (Tacoma);


Tacoma played host to the first Northwest Fire College June 17-20, 1936. The school was an opportunity for professional and volunteer fire departments from across the Northwest to train together and share techniques. The remains of the burned out Tacoma Hotel had been left intact for training. On Thursday, June 18th, 1936, eerie red lights once again glowed inside the hotel as Tacoma's various fire departments sped to the scene. The first floor is well-lit in this night-time exposure. Automobiles are parked in front of the fenced-off hotel. The Balfour dock, destroyed in a January 1936 fire, was also left intact for training. (T. Times 6/19/1936)

Fire fighters--1930-1940; Fire fighting--Tacoma--1930-1940; Northwest Fire College (Tacoma); Fires--Tacoma--1930-1940; Hotels--Tacoma; Tacoma Hotel (Tacoma);


This group of men attending The Transportation Club of Tacoma dinner at the Tacoma Hotel includes nine retired US Customs employees who have served a total of 272 years. Seated are, left to right, William A. (Billy) Fairweather, Puyallup, 31 years; D.C. Imrie, 1314 So. M St., 26 years; F.P. "Paddy" O'Brien, Puyallup, 40 years; and W.B. Bidwell, 2521 So J St, 30 years. Standing, left to right, are John King, Puyallup, 28 years; Lee Carter, 3404 No 25th St., still in service; A. Voligny, 1030 So. Ferry, 30 years in immigration and 3 in customs; W.A. Hagemeyer, 16 years and still in service, showing a customs uniform; and John Harber, Spanaway, 28 years. (T. Times 12/10/1934, pg. 3)

U.S. Customs Bureau--Retirements--1930-1940; Tacoma Hotel (Tacoma); Fairweather, William; Imrie, D.C.; O'Brien, F.P.; Bidwell, W.B.; King, John; Carter, Lee; Voligny, A.; Hagemeyer, W.A.; Harber, John;


P.L.I.B. (Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau) banquet at the Tacoma Hotel, April 1935. The insignia plaque on the back wall indicates that the Tacoma chapter of the Lions Club meets in this room. The room has high beams encompassing stencil edged panels. There is tile work on the right hand wall where the piano is located. Some of the door and window frames appear to be hammered tin. The Tacoma Hotel was designed by the architectural firm of McKim, Mead and White and opened on August 8, 1884. Its Tudor spires were the showplace of Tacoma until it was destroyed by fire October 17, 1935, only a few months after this picture was taken. (also cataloged as series L3 image 1)

Tacoma Hotel (Tacoma); Banquets--Tacoma--1930-1940; Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau (Tacoma);

NWRPC-0150 Front

  • The Tacoma Hotel, 913 "A" Street, opened in 1884. The 300 foot long, five story structure was made of red brick and stucco, with white stone trim. A spectacular fire on October 17, 1935 reduced it to ruins. circa 1909.
  • Printed on front: Hotel Tacoma, Tacoma, Washington

NWRPC-0026 Front

  • The Hotel Tacoma was located at 913 A Street. It was built in 1884 and destroyed by fire in 1935. circa 1907.
  • Printed on front: Hotel Tacoma, and Totem Pole, Tacoma, Washington.
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