Captain George Vancouver Julia Butler Hansen Carlos Bulosan Ernestine Anderson Kurt Cobain Bill Gates & Paul Allen Home
Search Encyclopedia
Facebook
Advanced Search
Featured Eassy Sponsor of the Week Book Store Donate Now
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
6857 HistoryLink.org essays now available      
Donate Subscribe

Shortcuts

Libraries
Cyberpedias Cyberpedias
Timeline Essays Timeline Essays
People's Histories People's Histories

Selected Collections
Cities & Towns Cities & Towns
County Thumbnails Counties
Biographies Biographies
Interactive Cybertours Interactive Cybertours
Slide Shows Slideshows
Public Ports Public Ports
Audio & Video Audio & Video

Research Shortcuts

Map Searches
Alphabetical Search
Timeline Date Search
Topic Search

Features

Book of the Fortnight
Audio/Video Enhanced
History Bookshelf
Klondike Gold Rush Database
Duvall Newspaper Index
Wellington Scrapbook

More History

Washington FAQs
Washington Milestones
Honor Rolls
Columbia Basin
Everett
Olympia
Seattle
Spokane
Tacoma
Walla Walla
Roads & Rails

Timeline Library

< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >

Nicholas Delin begins construction of a sawmill at the head of Commencement Bay on April 1, 1852.

HistoryLink.org Essay 5017 : Printer-Friendly Format

On April 1, 1852, Nicholas Delin (1817-1882) begins construction of a water-powered sawmill at the head of Commencement Bay in what will become Tacoma. By the end of the year, the mill will be cutting lumber and selling it to local settlers and to the California market. This is the first Euro-American settlement in Tacoma, but it will be abandoned in 1855.

Delin arrived in the Puget Sound country from Sweden in 1851 by way of San Francisco and Oregon. Sawmills were sprouting up around the sound. A carpenter by trade, he obtained financial backing for a mill. He selected a spot on a stream (Delin Creek) at the mouth of the Puyallup River for his enterprise. With the help of Sam McCaw, Jacob Burnhardt, and William Sales, Delin erected the mill on pilings. Logs were cut with an oscillating muley saw.

Delin eventually claimed 318 acres. Other immigrants settled nearby, including fishermen John Swan and Peter Reilly; cooper Chauncey Baird; Mexican War veterans Jacob Kershner, Peter Runquist, and Carl Gorisch; and Scot Adam Benston. After the Indian War of 1855-1856, none of the settlers returned. Delin sold the mill to James L. Perkins for $3,500, and moved to Seattle, where he helped build the Territorial University. Born Niklas Delin, he was buried following his death in 1882 under a tombstone reading "Nicholas DeLin," although subsequent accounts of his life, by Tacoma history Murray Morgan (1916-2000) and others, use the "Delin" spelling.

Sources:
Murray Morgan, Puget's Sound: A Narrative of Early Tacoma and the Southern Sound (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1979), 76, 80-82, 137; "Nicholas DeLin," Find A Grave website accessed September 5, 2013 (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=11174297).
Note: This essay was revised and corected on September 5, 2013.


Travel through time (chronological order):
< Browse to Previous Essay | Browse to Next Essay >



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




Nicholas Delin (1817-1882), n.d.
Courtesy History of Tacoma, Vol. 1


Delin's sawmill, ca. 1860
Sketch by J. D. S. Conger, Courtesy Washington State Historical Society


 
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search

HistoryLink.org is the first online encyclopedia of local and state history created expressly for the Internet. (SM)
HistoryLink.org is a free public and educational resource produced by History Ink, a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt corporation.
Contact us by phone at 206.447.8140, by mail at Historylink, 1411 4th Ave. Suite 803, Seattle WA 98101 or email admin@historylink.org