My pursuits are photography, Pierce County history and community livability. Things to do, places to see, where we were then, now, and where we are headed, are questions to ask.
Here we are
In this place, we are in a basin between the Cascade and Olympic mountains. Whulge was the name the native people used for Puget Sound. Water was the original main source of transportation although trails existed, they were more difficult to travel.
South Puget Sound was carved out in the ice age 10,000 years ago. It left Pierce County with an abundance of rock and gravel. Digging a hole to plant a tree or starting a garden usually requires you to compete with a considerable number of rocks, large and small.
Trees are also abundant here, cottonwood are the quickest to start up in a newly excavated site. Over time, evergreens will also appear. Since the British Hudson Bay Company located their Trading post, Fort Nisqually in Dupont (1833), we have also dealt with the Scotch Broom they imported from Scotland that spreads like wildfire here.
This area was Lewis County, Oregon Territory (O.T.) until 1853.
In 1846, the 49th Parallel was selected as the border with British Canada.
In 1853, Washington Territory was created and we became Pierce County. We did not become a state until November 11, 1889.
December 25 and 26 of 1854, the Medicine Creek Treaty was negotiated, leaving the local indigenous people with reservations, and not all were pleased with the new arrangement.
And then Tacoma became the terminus for the railroad from the east.
Trains opened the area to quicker settlement and also machinery to efficiently mill timer. The industry expanded, rail lines were built into rural areas and big trees fell. At the same time, geology discoveries were made. Rock, gravel, clay and coal were mined.
And the dream continues….
Discover Our Communities
Spanaway, Elk Plain, Graham, Frederickson, South Hill are names you hear today, but 100 years ago there were more.
Hillhurst, Whittier, Greenbrook, Leber, Fisk, Cross, Electron, Muck, Benston, Rocky Ridge, Kirby, Salcich Junction, Thrift, Clay City, Alder, have been all but lost.
Times they are a changin’
1800 to 1980
Fort Nisqually original locations including farming sites
Towns & industries forgotten
1981 to Present
Former businesses and schools
County planning goals
Centers & Corridors
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)
Book Your History Tour
To contact our historian, call at (253) 847–8000 or use the form below.