Jim Oliver, Esq. 

Tacoma, Washington

According to www.answers.com, the Tacoma area was originally inhabited by Native Americans of the Puyallup and Nisqually Tribes. The city's name was derived from the white man's interpretation ("Tahoma") of the name "Tacobet," a Native American phrase meaning "Mother of Waters" that the natives had given to the massive mountain that rose above the valley where the present city lies. The mountain itself was renamed Mount Rainier by Captain George Vancouver, who explored the area in 1792. The first European settlement was founded in the Tacoma area with the establishment of a fur trading post, known as Fort Nisqually, in 1833. Early settlers utilized the natural resources of the land, and the lumber industry thrived, thus aiding the development of the city of Tacoma.

In 1873, Tacoma was selected as the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad, and it became known as Washington's "City of Destiny." While the completion of the railroad in 1883 provided access to other parts of the country, Tacoma's location on Puget Sound's Commencement Bay made the city accessible to the rest of the world, making it an ideal distribution center. In the years that followed, Tacoma experienced phenomenal growth. The city's population soared from approximately 5,000 at the time of its incorporation in 1884 to 50,000 by 1892. However, the Panic of 1893 resulted in a dramatic drop in Tacoma's population, as nearly 13,000 residents left the area that year.

The 20th Century brought new growth to Tacoma, beginning in 1900 with the establishment of the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company. In 1918, three years after the opening of the Panama Canal, Commencement Bay was named as an official U.S. Port of Entry, and the Port of Tacoma has since become the sixth largest container port on the continent. The development of military bases, including Camp Lewis (now Fort Lewis) during World War I and McChord Air Force Base in 1938, also helped to fuel Tacoma's economy. Tacoma is now one of the country's major trade centers, earning it the title "Gateway to the Pacific Rim." With a current population of more than 196,500, Tacoma is Washington's third largest city

Read more: http://www.answers.com/topic/tacoma-history#ixzz1cOsMznlm

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