Posts by History Department

Can You Guess Which Spot?

Think you’re a McMenamins history buff? Identify the five properties associated with these images. Property #1 Spar Café (Olympia, WA) – Want to try a beer made with 3,330-year-old artesian well water (give or take 50 years)? The beer is brewed using water from the artesian well bubbling up in the basement. Property #2 Olympic…

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Thea Foss

Hello from the History Department — All Tacoma, all the time! Speaking of time, this week’s history is about a Tacoma woman way ahead of her time. Thea Foss turned one green-and-white rowboat into what eventually became a world-class fleet of maritime vessels and a company still in operation today. Look for the green-and-white Foss…

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The Graffiti Artists

Hello from the History Department — By now you may have seen the “before” images of the Tacoma Elks building – decaying, waterlogged and covered in graffiti. Through one of our Tacoma artists, Jeremy Gregory, whose work is now found throughout the hotel, we were able to connect with a few of the graffiti writers…

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Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day

Hello from the History Department — This past Friday, March 8, was International Women’s Day. And to celebrate, members of the Pink Boots Society gathered at the Concordia Brewery in Kennedy School for the 2nd Annual Pink Boots Collaboration Brew Day, a worldwide event. Fittingly, the group was led by recent  26th Annual Hillsdale Battle…

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Making Ufology History in McMinnville

Hello from the History Department — What’s all the hubbub about Bob? The 20th Annual UFO Festival is just a couple months away and tickets are now on sale! One of our most highly anticipated guests this year is Bob Lazar, who has been called “the singular most famous and controversial name in the world…

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The Party Planners

Hello from the History Department — We continue with another installment of “Just Who Were These Tacoma Elks?” Meet Jackie and Bob Morgan – she’s 4th from the left in the stylish 1950s skirt-and-sweater ensemble, while her husband is 3rd from right in the fetching grass skirt and bikini top. ****** Live doo-wop music swung…

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Her Own Sunshine

Hello from the History Department — When one thinks of the Elks, one doesn’t immediately think of baton twirling. Think again… She came strutting and swinging into view with two furiously spinning batons catching the sunlight. She danced like Ginger Rogers. She did splits so gracefully you didn’t wince. And she made better catches than…

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“I Have No Idea What I Saw”

Hello from the History Department — We just announced the 20th Annual UFO Festival line-up – and wow, is it a good one! We are especially pleased to welcome guest speaker U.S. Naval Commander David Fravor, who was an actual Top Gun Naval pilot (yes, as in Maverick, Goose and Iceman). Cmdr. Fravor has never…

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Scenes from Behind the Scene

Hello from the History Department — Not all of our Tacoma Elks research is about the Elks. For example, what happened after the Elks sold the downtown building at 565 Broadway and herded themselves to the suburbs? The property had a series of managers and an array of creative uses over the next two decades.…

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The Life of Hattie Lund

Hello from the History Department — It is historical fact that the Elks organization, founded in 1868, was open to white men only. It wasn’t until its bylaws were amended in 1976 to allow men of color and again in 1995 to admit women. However, there still are plenty of stories about those who influenced…

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