The name Tacoma stems from the Indian name for Mt Rainier, “Tacobet,” meaning Mother of the waters.
On May 3, 1792, Captain George Vancouver named Mt. Rainier for his friend Rear Admiral Peter Rainier,
who, incidentally, never saw the mountain.
The last major eruption of Mt. Rainier occurred about 150 years ago.
On August 11, 1890, Fay Fuller, a Tacoma school teacher, became the first woman to climb Mt. Rainier.
Tacoma was founded in 1865 by pioneer Job Carr, who staked a claim in what is now the “Old Town”
neighborhood of the city.
"City of Destiny" became Tacoma's moniker when it was designated – instead of Seattle – as the
Northern Pacific Railroad's western terminus for its transcontinental route in 1873.
Pierce County encompasses 1,790 square miles and stretches from lower Puget Sound to Mt. Rainier National Park
The altitude ranges from sea level to 440 feet in the metropolitan area and 14,411 feet at the summit of Mount Rainier.
Despite the Pacific Northwest’s rainy reputation, the average annual rainfall is just 39.9 inches (less than New York),
75 percent of which falls October through March. The driest month is usually July and the wettest month is December
Dale Chihuly, world-renowned glass artist, is a native of Tacoma.
Bing Crosby (Harry Lillis Crosby) was born May 3, 1903, in a house that his father built at 1112 North J Street, Tacoma. Bing’s family moved to Spokane in 1906.
Musicians Robert Cray and Steve Miller are from the city of Tacoma.
The Wailers, a rock band, was formed in Tacoma in 1959. They hit the national Top 10 with their first
release, the instrumental “Tall Cool One.”
Gary Larson, the noted cartoonist of the “Far Side,” is a native of Tacoma.
Teddy Roosevelt stayed at what is now Thornewood Castle Bed & Breakfast.
Tacoma is the largest city in Pierce County with a current population of 198,100 and the third largest city
in the state of Washington (as of 2005).
Puyallup is the second largest city in Pierce County with a population of 35,690.
Steilacoom, was the first incorporated city in Washington territory in 1854. Steilacoom also gave
Washington its first Protestant church (1853), first library (1858), and first jail (1858).
Movies Filmed in Pierce County:
Rose Red, Enough, Preston Tylk, Get Carter, Prefountaine, 10 Things I Hate About You, Countdown,
Born to be Wild, The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, I Love You to Death, Waiting for the Light,
Come See the Paradise, Chips the War Dog, Three Fugitives.
Unique Structures & Facilities:
The Tacoma Dome is the largest wood-domed arena in the world. The Tacoma Dome
requires 265,000 square feet of roofing, enough to cover 140 average homes. The roof of the Tacoma
Dome is comprised of 288 triangular wood sections, each weighing 5,000 pounds. That means the
Domeroof totals more than 1,444,000 pounds!
Dale Chihuly’s stunning glass chandelier, “End of the Day,” hangs in the rotunda of the Union
Station (free & open to the public); it has 600 pieces and weighs 2,000 lbs!
The Tacoma Narrows Bridge – soon to have a second, parallel span, is the fifth longest
bridge in the world.
Stadium High School, known as “The Castle,” was originally built as a luxury hotel by Northern Pacific
Railroad. The Depression of 1893 halted construction just before completion, and a major fire left only the
brick exterior. Architect Frederick Heath adapted the original plans to transform
it into a high school,
which opened in 1906 and is still in use today. Dale Chihuly graduated from Stadium High School.
The Port of Tacoma is the sixth largest container-handling port in North America, covering more than
2,400 acres, and ranks in the top 25 for worldwide container trade. The Port services more than 15
lines, two transcontinental railroads, 200 inter-and intrastate trucking lines and 20 air freight forwarders.
Tacoma’s 700-acre Point Defiance Park is among the 20 largest urban parks in the nation
1943 East Day Island Blvd West University Place, WA 98466