The Northwest Room's Ilona Perry and local author Rod Koon sat down with CityLine host Amanda Westbrooke to talk about Rod's new book Port of Tacoma. Rod, the unofficial port historian, spent the last year putting this book together. During that process he spent hours at the Northwest Room, among other libraries and archives, researching and gathering materials. Ilona in the Northwest Room talks about the many months of reference support of finding, scanning, and assisting Rod in the process. Ilona also talks about the many other types of projects the Northwest Room has helped with.
The book itself begins in 1873, when Tacoma became the Northern Pacific Railroad western terminus of its transcontinental line. Tacoma emerged as a bustling port city by the late 1800s. In 1918, Pierce County residents voted to create the publicly owned Port of Tacoma, which started out on 240 acres in Tacoma's Tide flats. Throughout its history, the port has made strategic investments to develop shipping terminals, waterways, and industrial lands to serve as an "economic engine" for the region. Today, the Port of Tacoma encompasses 2,450 acres and is one of the leading container ports in North America. In 2018, port-related activities connected to more than 42,000 jobs in Pierce County.
Tacoma Public Library has this book on order. Be on the lookout for it at your favorite branch soon!