Lying along Interstate 5
, Tacoma is the county seat and largest city in Pierce County
. The Tacoma Narrows Bridge
connects Tacoma with Gig Harbor
and other communities on the west side of Puget Sound
The city lies in the shadow of Mount Rainier on the shores of Commencement Bay.
The area was discovered by Captain James Vancouver in 1792. Tacoma was shaped by a series of booms and busts that began after Swedish settler Nicholas de Lin started the first business in 1852. De Lin's sawmill was the first major means of employment for the settlers who braved harsh conditions to reach the area.
Today Tacoma, population 193,556, is a deepwater port and bustling center of industry, commerce, culture and education. The city boasts a major railroad hub. Nearby McChord Air Force Base and the U.S. Army's Fort Lewis contribute to its economy. Points of interest include University of Puget Sound and the Washington State Hist. Society Museum.
Tacoma is part of the Tacoma, WA metro area.