Snapshots of Father’s Day in Tacoma History

Judging by photos from decades past, all-out Father’s Day pampering is a time-honored Tacoma tradition. Here we take a look at snapshots of what Father’s Day has been like in Tacoma history, including a birthday note for a cat named Tricia.

Father’s Day, 1950 as noted in the Tacoma Public Library’s Northwest room files:

“Dr. John J. Bonica delights in reading comic strips to his small daughters, left to right, Angela, 6, Linda, 2, and Charlotte, 4. Dr. Bonica was a physician at Tacoma General Hospital and the head of the Department of Anesthesiology. After leaving Tacoma General, he went on to found and chair the Dept. of Anesthesiology at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle.”

“In June of 1945 three unidentified women prepared to send Father’s Day messages to servicemen from the special Post Yarns mailing center in Tacoma’s Rhodes Department Store; an unidentified clerk working in the booth took their addressed messages.

“Rhodes joined with the Saturday Evening Post magazine in a special wartime Father’s Day offer…Rhodes provided free delivery for the miniature magazine – with a personal note from the sender.”

“The Jensen boys opted for a little target shooting with Dad on Father’s Day 1950. Everett Jensen showed his two sons how to clean a rifle after shooting. Jimmie (seated), age 11, held ‘Kaatsie’ while Ronnie, age 7, held a rifle.

“The family dog, ‘Butch’ a black Labrador retriever, joined the trio. Everett Jensen was the owner of Jensen Fuel Company.”

“Fathers and their daughters are seated at the foot of a large staircase watching an entertainment [at Annie Wright Seminary].”

“Louis Weir gets pampered like a king on Father’s Day by his entire family at their Midland home in this photograph from 1953. The older boys are busy painting the house and mowing the lawn while the younger children give Dad’s shoes a sparkling shine and offer a cigar. A nice cup of tea and snack are gracefully offered as well.

“Mr. Weir had just relocated his appliance and heating store to the 84th and Portland Avenue area the month before. He appears to be enjoying all the extra attention from his four boys and four girls as he relaxes outdoors.”

“Mrs. Christian Overland, of the Totem Cat Club, pictured with two of her feline pets on November 8, 1970. Songsuda (at left) was a silver-blue, green-eyed Korat from Thailand.

“Tricia, the calico at right, was born on June 17th, Father’s Day, and was considered a special household pet. Both Overland family pets would be seen at the upcoming annual cat show held at the University of Puget Sound Fieldhouse.”

“Doting on their father, Alvin Brown, on Father’s Day are his five daughters (from left to right): Sharron, with robe; Judy, with newspaper and book; Nancy, with smoking pipes; Sally, holding dad’s slippers; and Juanita, helping dad with his shoes and socks.

“Brown is president of Harry Brown Confectioners, Inc. founded by his father Harry L. Brown of Brown & Haley.”

Special thanks to the Tacoma Public Library’s Northwest Room.

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