Jacob Lawrence and Gwendolyn Knight Hiram M. Chittenden Patsy Collins Gordon Hirabayashi Home William Boeing
Search Encyclopedia
Facebook
Advanced Search
Featured Eassy Book Store Donate Now
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
6872 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 >

New Tacoma and Tacoma City merge to become Tacoma in December 1883.

HistoryLink.org Essay 5062 : Printer-Friendly Format

In December 1883, New Tacoma and Tacoma City merge to become Tacoma. New Tacoma (pop. 4,000) is the terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad on Commencement Bay. Tacoma City, or Old Tacoma, (pop. 400) is the settlement formed around the Job Carr claim a short distance to the north. A temporary mayor and nine aldermen are elected.

In 1873, the Northern Pacific Railroad established its terminus just south of Tacoma City and called it New Tacoma. The Tacoma Land Company -- NP's real estate subsidiary -- platted streets and offered lots for sale. The residents of Tacoma City asked to be recognized as a city and it was incorporated on May 21, 1874. Newcomer Alice Blackwell recalled:

"We were practically three communities at this time. There were Old Tacoma, Wharf, and new Tacoma, or 'on the hil,' as we said, meaning Pacific Avenue from where the city hall was built to about Twelfth Street; A Street from Eighth to the Same distance, a few scattered shanty houses a litter farther up. There was much feeling between the Tacomas about the name. We would call the old part 'Old,' while we wanted to be called 'Tacoma' (they insisted that we were not Tacoma proper and called us 'New'). All business was at the wharf -- the railroad and express offices, telegraph, two small stores, and later a printing office" (Morgan, 179).

The two entities enjoyed distinct postal identities and efforts undertaken to link the communities by road were blocked by the Tacoma Land Company. One area of cooperation was a baseball team, but that disbanded after one game.

In 1883, the Territorial Legislature authorized a merger of the towns. General John Sprague, manager of Tacoma Land Company and a former Northern Pacific superintendent was elected the first mayor. Old Tacoma became Old Town and New Tacoma became downtown.

Sources:
Murray Morgan, Puget's Sound: A Narrative of Early Tacoma and the Southern Sound (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1979), 219.


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

Related Topics: Cities & Towns |

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


This essay made possible by:
City of Tacoma Economic Development Department


Looking north on Pacific Avenue, Tacoma, 1884
Courtesy UW Special Collections (UW5400)


 
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