Tacoma’s story spans more than two centuries from the time Captain George Vancouver anchored off Tacoma’s north shore in 1792. In 1870, Tacoma’s natural deep-water port became an attraction that the Northern Pacific Railroad couldn’t pass up, when it made Tacoma a stop on its transcontinental line. The railroad platted “New Tacoma” and the growth of the city began.
Old Tacoma and New Tacoma merged on Jan. 7, 1884 and incorporated as Tacoma. By 1890, the population reached 36,000 people. Sawmills, coal mines, flour mills and a smelter turned raw materials into exportable goods. Tacoma continues to make use of both its land and sea resources. It is home to the Port of Tacoma, the seventh-largest container port in the United States, and it is within 20 miles of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and 36 miles of the city of Seattle.
Today Tacoma is a thriving city with a revitalized downtown that caters to residents and visitors alike with its shopping, dining, theaters and award-winning arts and architecture.