Point Defiance: 100 Years and Beyond  
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  Park Interactives
Take our quiz and see how much of a Tacoma history buff you are.
Point Defiance Quiz

Park Discussion
Point Defiance Park is an essential part of living in Tacoma and the South Sound.
Park memories

Hare & Hare report to park commissioners - 1911
100 years of change
  Since even before it became a city park in March 1905, Point Defiance has played a special role in the lives of Tacomans. Attractions, people and festivals have ebbed and flowed over the landscape like Puget Soundís tides. The constant: A place where people and nature intermingle for fun and for reflection.

Washington State Historical Society
Groups such as the Tacoma Ex-Service Women's Club, shown June 1, 1922, navigated a wooded or sandy path to Point Defiance Park's Picnic Beach. The promenade is there now.

A place in History
By JASON HAGEY  •  The News Tribune
American Indians camped, fished and hunted on its shores and called its imposing banks “near face” or “near cliff.”

U.S. military explorers came across the same landform in 1841 and saw an ideal fortress, a point that would “bid defiance to any attack.” The federal government set it aside as a military reservation.

Decades later, the leaders and residents of a young City of Destiny looked at the peninsula, with its sandy beaches and enchanting forest, and saw something else.

Continue reading A PLACE IN HISTORY
Ahhhh? A sea monster!  |  Was the park for sale?

Explore Each Era
Point Defiance was shaped over the decades by changing times and tastes. Go explore the 5 different eras of the park through its 100 years of existence as a Tacoma treasure.

Pre 1905




Tacomans recall times joyful and sad as their lives intersected with the park.
• A place in our lives
• Practically raised in the park, it was like family
• Defiance full of good fish, even greater times
• Share Your Memories

See the forgotten buildings and attractions of the park's bygone eras.
Point Defiance Map (PDF)

Park Timeline
A timelined look back at Point Defiance and Tacoma from 1840 to today.
A Brief History of the Park

Events will showcase Tacoma's beloved park and begin shaping its future.
Point Defiance Events

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