Washington August 25, 2020
The Small Town In Washington That’s Loaded With Fascinating History
Steilacoom is a small coastal town in Pierce County. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re not alone. Only about 6,300 people call it home, and while it’s a charming place, it doesn’t have any major tourist attractions. That being said, Steilacoom is one of the most historically significant towns in the Pacific Northwest. It’s also absolutely beautiful.
According to local legend, Steilacoom was a Native American word meaning “little pink flower."
But the general belief is that it was named after the Steilacoom tribe itself, which makes sense since the tribe had a village in the Tacoma area.
Steilacoom was founded in January of 1851 by Lafayette Balch, a Maine sea captain.
This makes it the oldest incorporated town in Washington.
Aside from being our first incorporated town, Steilacoom has a few other Washington firsts.
The town has several territorial corporations. One is the Oberlin Congregational Church, incorporated on April 27, 1883 with a mere eight members. The first sawmill and the first jail in Washington were also built here.
When you visit, you'll quickly realize that this is a place that is truly proud of its heritage.
A historic district was established in 1974, and it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places the following year. There are 68 contributing properties.
The Steilacoom Historical Museum and Historical Fort Steilacoom are two spots perfect for learning more about our state's past.
he Steilacoom Historical Museum Association, which was incorporated in 1970, is dedicated to preserving every part of the town's past.
While it's true that this town has a great past, it also has a pretty great present.
The views from Sunnyside Beach Park really can't be beat. It's really no wonder that those who call Steilacoom home tend to love it.
Washington is full of charming small towns with rich local histories like this, and there's never been a better time to explore them.
And all it takes is one visit to Steilacoom to fall in love.
Do you have a favorite small town in Washington?
Address: Steilacoom, WA, USA