A Dose of Nostalgia From 1970s Tacoma

Does this booklet look familiar to you? I found it a while ago when I was helping my grandma clean out her attic.

The booklet was published in part by the Tacoma Area Chamber of Commerce, in 1976. According to the cover, this was the 4th edition of the Land of Destiny publication. I can’t find any information about the previous three issues, or Land of Destiny in general, but I’m sure my grandma isn’t the only longtime Tacoma resident who stashed one of these away.

She held onto it because she enjoyed looking at the historical and (then) contemporary images. The combination of imagery, local happenings, and historical nuggets is very Grit City. A lot like what we do, but with fewer jokes and swear words. 

Some stories are classic Tacoma, like Galloping Gertie. Others, like the Tacoma Speedway and rotten egg slinging voters are a bit less talked about. (More on that below.)

See if you can spot the old awnings that used to cover the Broadway promenade, find the weirdly cutesy name of the sandwich shop in Old City Hall, and check out those old ads. Some of those businesses are still going today. 

One of my personal favorite nuggets in this brochure is the rotten egg story. Two men were so passionate about their picks for mayor, that they decided that the losing supporter would be pelted with rotten eggs.

The loser was egged for 15 minutes. He became weak from the stench, and had to be dragged to a bathtub by a rope. The last line of the article? “His clothes were buried…”

If you’ve got a story about one of the businesses seen here drop it in the comments below. We’re all ears.

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