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
Home About Us Contact Us Education Bookstore Tourism Advanced Search
6819 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 >

U.S.S. Lexington provides electricity to Tacoma beginning about December 17, 1929.

HistoryLink.org Essay 5113 : Printer-Friendly Format

Beginning about December 17, 1929, the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2) ties up to the Baker Dock and supplies electricity to Tacoma for a month to meet a power crisis.

In the 1920s, Tacoma received most of its electrical energy from dams on the Nisqually and Skokomish Rivers. Supplemental energy came from the Dock Street steam plant (1922). A drought in 1929 severely cut the power from the hydroelectric sources. The shortage became so critical that Superintendent Ira S. Davisson (1860-1951) had to cut power to Cascade Paper Company. Cascade laid off 300 employees. Fort Lewis turned the lights out in the barracks at 4:00 p.m.

Tacoma appealed to President Herbert Hoover, who bumped the matter to the Navy. At first the Secretary of the Navy refused the request, but negotiations resulted in a message to the Lexington’s captain to go to Tacoma, then to wait, then to go to Tacoma.

The request for the Lexington was opposed by Puget Sound Power & Light and by Seattle City Light, which claimed that the drought did not affect their operations. After the Lexington left Tacoma in January 1930, Seattle requested that the ship help out there. The Navy declined.

The "Lady Lex" arrived at Tacoma's Baker Dock in the rain to the sounds of a brass band and the applause of City Light customers. The Lexington’s boilers supplied a quarter of Tacoma’s power for about 30 days, leaving on January 17, 1930. That month, the skies opened and rain filled Tacoma’s reservoirs.

Tacoma enjoyed a special relationship with the carrier until its loss at the Battle of the Coral Sea on May 8, 1942.

Sources:
Dick Malloy and John S. Ott, The Tacoma Public Utilities Story -- The First 100 Years: 1893-1993 (Tacoma: Tacoma Public Utilities, 1993), 90-93; "U.S.S. Lexington," U.S. Navy Historical Center Website (http://www.history.navy.mil); Caroline Denyer Gallacci, The City of Destiny and the South Sound (Carlsbad, CA: Heritage Media Corp, 2001), 61.


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

Related Topics: Infrastructure |

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:
Tacoma Public Utilities


U.S.S. Lexington (CV-2) supplying power to Tacoma, January 1930
Courtesy Tacoma Public Utilities


 
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