"With the same ability to make personalities and events come alive that characterizes his classic Skid Road, Murray Morgan here tells the colorful story of Tacoma, "the City of Destiny," and southern Puget Sound, where many major events of Washington's history took place. Drawing upon original journals and reports, Morgan builds Puget's Sound around individuals, interweaving portraits of well-known historical figures with those who are more obscure but have a special significance: a colorful parade of saloonkeepers, politicians, union organizers, schemers, and swindlers. Morgan begins his account with the landing of Captain Vancouver in Puget Sound in 1792 and ends with the founding of Fort Lewis in 1916, the year the author was born. Between are the arrival of the transcontinental railroad, the boom-and-bust of lumber mills, the anti-Chinese riots of 1885, and more unique Northwest history that will intrigue both new arrivals and longtime residents. With a new introduction by historian and historic preservationist Michael Sean Sullivan, this redesigned edition of Puget's Sound brings new life to Morgan's landmark history of the South Sound and the early days of Tacoma."--Provided by publisher.
In grade school, I lived just down the street from Morgan and once interviewed him for a school project. During the interview, me and my partner quickly forgot the questions we had and ended up just listening fascinated as Morgan wove a story of the early history of Puyallup, a nearby Tacoma suburb. I brought along my dad's copy of Puget's Sound for an autograph, but hadn't gotten around to reading it until now, more than twenty years later.
Morgan is a great story teller and his history of Tacoma is a series of interwoven stories of the people, both locally and from distant Railroad and Wall Street board rooms, who shaped the city from a marshy rival to Seattle for the terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad to a thriving industrial city.
Much has changed in Pierce County in the thirty years since the book was written, but the stories of the early settlement are still fascinating and I'd recommend this for anyone who is interested in the early history of Tacoma.