Tacoma Light and Water Co. illuminates Tacoma streets on December 26, 1886.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 11/29/2002
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 5020
On December 26, 1886, Tacoma Light and Water Co. illuminates Tacoma streets for the first time. Power comes from a hydroelectric plant connected to the drinking-water supply from Galliher Creek. The city pays $12 a month for each streetlight.

Service was erratic until January 1888, when a new generator came online. Streets were lighted with 16-candlepower globes from dusk to midnight, except for the three nights each month when the full moon illuminated the streets of Tacoma.


Sources: Murray Morgan, Puget's Sound: A Narrative of Early Tacoma and the Southern Sound (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1979), 314-315.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You