Here is a neat old map showing Tacoma as it looked in 1891. At that time the Puyallup Indian Tribe still had a large area of land covering all of what is now the Tideflats to & including Brown's Point. Up until the mid-1800's the Puyallup River used to flow north of the Tideflats, entering Commencement Bay by Marine Drive near Browns Point, but it was re-directed to the south where it currently flows.
Sheet music was very popular in the early 1900's, many people played the piano or simply enjoyed singing along with their favorite songs. Subjects were as varied as one's imagination, this one being a song about Tacoma, with a steam engine train being the visual focus. The Northern Pacific Railroad was of key importance to Tacoma's birth & expansion, beating out Seattle as their terminus location. The railroads continued to be a livelyhood for many generations.
Here is a circa 1939 poster stamp showing the 11th Street bridge leading into downtown Tacoma, and portraying this as the Scenic Harbor of the World.
Tacoma had various "themes" over the years to draw interest from other areas of the country. In 1909 the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exposition was held, and many items were produced with Tacoma's phrase "You'll like Tacoma". This is one of the AYP Expo pinbacks. Many postcards with this same theme phrase were made also.
Everyone loves a good joke, and just looking at this funny cup brings a grin.
This large size cloth banner was hand-made by a local dance group, the Totem Folk Dancers. This is a group of people that get together to celebrate song & dances, and keep them alive thru the generations, many of which have been lost as they were never written down on paper, but simply passed down through families by example. The banner features a beautiful rendition of a Native American Totem Pole.
A souvenier of Tacoma plate is shown here, featuring scenes of the city surrounding a depiction of Mount Tacoma, now known as Mount Rainier. This plate was made in England, circa 1950's using 1900 period engravings to make it seem older than it really is.
Another recent plate that was made to seem older is this 1969 City of Tacoma Centennial plate. Made in the USA, it features important downtown buildings surrounding Mount Tacoma.
The Washington Historical Society issued this plate which has engravings of memorable events in Tacoma history. It was made in England for the Rhodes Department Stores, circa 1960's.
Here is a milkglass plate that centers on the Tallest Totem Pole, located on "A" Street in downtown tacoma.
1976 was the Bicentennial of the USA, and a special train toured the country starting in 1975, making stops in cities to promote America. This is a collectible cover bearing the postmark date when the Freedom Train was in Tacoma. An odd occurance happened that year; America's celebrations started in 1975, even though the 200 year mark from 1776 was 1976, and the yearly coin issuance of the 25 cent piece did not happen. There were no quarters dated 1975, instead special quarters dated 1776-1976 were issued in 1976.
The State of Washington celebrated the Centennial in 1953, this being a cover featuring this event, and it is also marked by the Tacoma Stamp Club.
The military has had a strong presence in the Tacoma area since Fort Lewis expanded in size & capacity around World War I, and ever since then with McChord Air Base being important as well. This being a commemorative banner celebrating the Military in Tacoma.