Tacoma adopted its name soon after the nearby Mount Rainier, initially and locally referred to as Takhoma or Tahoma. It is locally identified as the “City of Destiny” because the location was selected to be the western terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad in the late 19th century. The decision of the railroad was influenced by Tacoma’s neighboring deep-water harbor, Commencement Bay. By connecting the bay with the railroad, Tacoma’s motto became “When rails meet sails”. Commencement Bay serves the Port of Tacoma, a center of international trade on the Pacific Coast and Washington’s largest port. The city gained notoriety in 1940 for the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge, which earned the nickname “Galloping Gertie”.

Like most industrial cities, Tacoma suffered a prolonged decline in the mid-20th century as a outcome of suburbanization and divestment. Given that the 1990s, downtown Tacoma has experienced a period of revitalization and welcomed new Tacoma escorts. Developments in the downtown include the University of Washington Tacoma Line T, the first modern electric light rail service in the state the state’s highest density of art and history museums Tacoma classifieds for getting and selling goods and solutions and a restored urban waterfront, the Thea Foss Waterway.

Starting in the 1930s, the city became known for the “Tacoma Aroma,” a distinctive, acrid odor produced by pulp and paper manufacturing on the industrial tide flats. In the late 1990s, Simpson Tacoma Kraft reduced total sulfur emissions by 90%. This largely eliminated the issue exactly where when the odor was ever-present, it is now only noticeable sometimes downtown, primarily when the wind is coming from the east. The mill produces pulpwood and linerboard goods previously owned by St. Regis Organization, the mill was sold to RockTenn in 2014. The mill’s name changed however again in 2016 to WestRock.

U.S. Oil and Refining operates an oil refinery on the tide flats in the Port of Tacoma. Constructed 69 years ago in Tacoma in 1952, it refines 39,000 barrels of petroleum per day.

The Tacoma Mall is the biggest purchasing center in Tacoma. It is owned by Simon House Group. Anchor tenants consist of JC Penney, Sears, Macy’s, and Nordstrom.

An economic setback for the city occurred in September 2009 when Russell Investments, which has been in downtown Tacoma since its inception in 1936, announced it was moving its headquarters to Seattle along with numerous hundred white-collar jobs. A large regional office for State Farm Insurance coverage now occupies the former Russell developing.